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What a week. We had an EPIC fail. We were hired to provide badges and lanyards for a 3-day conference that started on Sunday. Everything was ordered in plenty of time, and shipped with time to spare. 

Sadly, I did NOT anticipate the last mile failing. Fedex dropped the ball in a big way. The goods arrived in the destination city on Wednesday. They should have been delivered on Thursday, but were not. Tracking still showed the goods ‘at the station’ 

Phone calls to Fedex customer service didn’t help. Fedex has it set up so you can’t call and get a live person where you need help, so I couldn’t get through to anyone in the conference city. I was on the phone with Fedex customer ‘service’ most of the morning on Friday, and again on Saturday morning. Finally, one of the more helpful Fedex representatives put me on hold and claimed to call the station. He was told that my shipment was on a container, and that station was overwhelmed with packages. They’d get to it as soon as they could. 

Sunday the conference started, without badges and lanyards. Monday came and went. Still no delivery. 

During all this, I’d been emailing my customer, letting her know what I could. Her email was on ‘auto responder’ so I’m not sure that she received any of those emails during the conference. 

Finally, on the last day, the goods were delivered — with about 1-1/2 hours to go. That’s unfortunate, because now I can’t file a claim for a lost shipment. Thanks Fedex! 

Of course it was too late for the event organizers to distribute these, and why would they? 

I’ve been sick about this all weekend.I could have shipped a week earlier, and risked having the destination hotel misplace the shipment. I had no idea that Fedex would screw it up so bad.

The takeaway? Plan for everything. Come up with a Plan B, or even a Plan C. Realize that you should focus on what you can control. 

In this instance, I’m going to have to refund the customer and take a hit. It’s not their fault. They trusted us, and we failed. The buck stops here. We have to make it right, as best as we can. 

What a week indeed. It’s never dull, that’s for sure. 

Rich Graham

Rich Graham

Purveyor of branded swag and merch. Host to 3 kidneys. Uncredited contributor at @nbcsnl Chief Imagination Officer at @bigpromotions. Podcaster at http://bigpromocast.com
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