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December 21, 2011
FedEx's apology: expertly delivered
We've seen this before: 1) company makes an egregious service mistake and is outed by a customer via a YouTube video, 2) video goes viral, 3) mainstream media picks up the story and amplifies it, 4) PR nightmare begins.
This week's culprit is FedEx. A California FedEx driver is caught on a security-camera video flinging a package containing a computer monitor over the fence of a gated Southern California house. At no time does the driver attempt to ring the bell for delivery. Just a toss over the fence, and he jumps back into his truck. In two days, the video has over three million views.
News media around the world have jumped on the story and FedEx public relations is in a world of hurt.
However, what we haven't seen before is the speed in a company's response to the PR hit. In less than 48 hours after the video is posted, FedEx has gone to YouTube to acknowledge the video, and explain that this behavior is, in their words "Absolutely. Positively Unacceptable." A senior VP from the company says the company has apologized to the customer, has replaced the monitor and is building this example into their training programs as a "constant reminder of the importance of earning -- and keeping -- [customers'] trust with every single delivery."
This is a terrific lesson for companies in how to respond quickly and expertly to these types of fast-moving, negative customer service stories. Nice job, FedEx.
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It would be interesting to see FedEx's policy, procedure and protocol when a customer has a problem, the courier is suspected to be the cause, and there is no video of the delivery "in the wild".
That is exactly why I use UPS for all my shipments. I have lived in a gated home for over 12 years and FedEx has never ONCE made a delievery to my home. I always have to pick up my packages 16 miles aways at one of their facilities. UPS has never ever failed to deliver a package to my front door. The UPS Drivers are head and shoulders above FedEx drivers which is why many of the big companies are using UPS.
I agree that the video was timely and stated the correct message. My problem was with the lack of sincerity. He was obviously reading from the script and was coached on his hand gestures. He may have been upset and embarrassed and his words said that, but I did not see the same message from his body language and tone of voice.
More than anything, I believe this serves as a great example of the speed in which a company should react to this kind of incident.
They didn't need to discuss it for weeks, they just did what was right.
They also want to avoid this behavior in the future, and took steps to fix it.
Nice job by FedEx.
First off, what is the property owner doing filming the sidewalk? That is definitely illegal in some cities in California.
It is not clear the monitor was "broken" due to the FedEx driver. The boxes are designed to withstand a certain amount of impact with the monitor secured between two pieces of hard styrofoam. Plus he threw it in the grassy area which means it had a soft landing.
You lost me at "We seen this before..." How about We have seen, We saw, etc. Rule 6 of Bills guide to appearing intelligent - Have a sister that was an English Major. Be nice to her. Ask her for help now and then. She doesn't want you to look like a dork.
Bill, thanks for pointing out my typo. I must have read and re-read the post 15 times before I published and still didn't see it. It is now corrected.
Great response by Fed Ex indeed. With that being said, I've seen horrible AND crappy service from FedEx, UPS and SHL carriers. When I see something like this, I do not fault the company (although I will not hesitate to complain). No service industry has 100% of its workers acting excellent all of the time. But how a company responds to these issues CAN be controlled. So I agree, kudos to Fed Ex on this one!
One of the most important things to remember when something like this happens is to act quickly and be sure to make it right as soon as possible. FedEx has reacted to this incident quickly and in a way that their customer can respect.
Jackie - sorry for my 'snarky' comment. Really meant to be tongue in cheek. I do love your site and learn a lot by visiting it.. which I have and will continue to do. My public and sincere apology. And - thank you for what you do here. It's great stuff!
here is why some packages get thrown http://www.buzzfeed.com/johnnyscirocco/there-is-a-reason-we-fedex-drivers-throw-packages-4xiv