Why Is FedEx So Bad? (11 Reasons Why Customers Are Fed Up)

When it comes to something as important as getting cell phones, medicine, or business supplies delivered on time, customers are understandably very picky about the shipping service expediting their orders.

While every shipping company struggles to perform due to lousy weather, IT issues, and ever-increasing package volumes, some manage these challenges better than others. One company that seems to be struggling the most is FedEx.

Why Is FedEx So Bad?

FedEx customers note that the tracking information is slow to update and that deliveries often arrive late. In addition, many customers cite damaged packages and ever-increasing fees as reasons they’re frustrated with FedEx. What’s more, FedEx customer service seems unwilling or unable to respond to customer complaints satisfyingly.

1. The Tracking Information Is Slow to Update

Customers note that FedEx’s tracking information is riddled with issues.

For example, more than one customer mentioned waiting 48 hours to get shipping information after a package went out for delivery.

Other customers cite massive delays during the delivery process.

Indeed, customers have experienced inaccurate and unpredictable delivery times due to FedEx’s subpar tracking system.

2. Packages Are Left in Bad Locations

Several FedEx customers share the experience of having their valuable packages left in less-than-ideal locations.

For instance, one customer noted that his regular FedEx driver would drop packages in the middle of the driveway rather than bring them to the covered porch. This happened when it was sunny, raining, and blizzarding.

Similarly, another FedEx customer shared the experience of leaving her packages on the edge of her porch (visible from the street) rather than hidden away in a corner.

In both cases, the carelessness of FedEx’s delivery drivers meant that customers’ packages were vulnerable to damage and theft.

3. Drivers Lie About Attempted Delivery Attempts

Perhaps customers’ most common complaint about FedEx is that delivery drivers lie about delivery attempts.

Indeed, several customers shared experiences of taking time off work and staying home all day to wait for their packages, only to find out that FedEx never bothered to knock or ring the doorbell.

Instead, FedEx would leave a slip saying that delivery was attempted, but no one was home to receive the package.

This negligence and laziness leads to late deliveries, a loss of trust, and frustrated customers.

4. Weather Delays Are Common

Of course, no one can control the weather. Blizzards, tornados, and hurricanes do happen. But if customers are to be believed, FedEx abuses the “weather delay” excuse and delivers packages late.

This becomes even more unexplainable once you discover that FedEx has a Global Operations Control Center designed to make routing changes in response to bad weather.

Moreover, the company employs a staff of 15 meteorologists who predict weather changes and make suggestions accordingly.

Given FedEx’s investment in weather response systems, it seems rather curious that the company often uses weather delays as an excuse.

5. Packages Arrive Damaged

5. Packages Arrive Damaged

As mentioned above, some FedEx drivers have a bad habit of leaving packages exposed to the elements.

Indeed, letting a package sit out in the sun or the rain is a surefire way to ensure it gets damaged.

However, package damage doesn’t just happen due to exposure to the elements.

Instead, Customers have recorded FedEx drivers throwing and dropping packages. Understandably, this leads to ripped packaging and damaged items.

6. Packages Arrive Late

FedEx may have an 85% on-time delivery record, but 15% of packages arrive later than expected.

Indeed, this percentage looks even less impressive when compared to USPS’ 92% on-time delivery performance.

But the situation gets even worse. FedEx’s deliveries aren’t just a few hours or a day late but can sometimes be delayed 2, 5, or even 7 days.

It comes as no surprise, then, that internet commentators say things like:

 “Over 75% of packages I receive through FedEx are late,” or “I can expect it [FedEx] to be delayed almost 100% of the time these days.”

7. Services Are Expensive

FedEx’s prices are comparable to those of competitors like UPS and USPS, but that doesn’t mean customers are happy paying for their services (especially given the quality).

To add insult to injury, FedEx announced a fuel surcharge fee in 2021 and a 5.9% price hike on FedEx Ground services in 2022.  

Therefore, it’s fair to say that FedEx charges more for less-than-exemplary service and that this trend will likely continue. 

8. FedEx Uses Subcontractors

Many of FedEx’s problems stem from its ground service relying entirely on subcontractors.

Under this system, people can purchase FedEx routes and hire their drivers.

While some companies provide excellent service, many do the bare minimum, which does nothing for FedEx’s customer satisfaction.

9. FedEx Doesn’t Deliver Everywhere

Customers, especially those living in rural areas, often have this complaint.

Indeed, unlike USPS, which is mandated to deliver to every U.S. address, FedEx can choose which customers it wants to give to.

As a result, those living in rural areas either don’t have access to FedEx’s services or can only use FedEx’s Ground Economy service (formerly SmartPost).

This service uses USPS for the “last mile” of delivery and thus is much slower than other FedEx offerings.

10. FedEx Loses Packages

Several internet commentators have shared the experience of FedEx losing one (or more) of their packages.

Sometimes the package is delivered to the wrong address, other times, it goes missing entirely.

In either case, FedEx rarely makes good on its mistakes. Usually, the customer has to request a refund from the website they purchased from.

11. Customer Service Is Unhelpful

Given the problems discussed in this article, one would hope that FedEx would, at the very least, have decent customer service.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Customers describe trying to contact support and being unable to get in touch with a human or getting hung up on.

To learn more, read our posts on why is FedEx so expensive, why is FedEx so slow, and what is FedEx Express.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

11 thoughts on “Why Is FedEx So Bad? (11 Reasons Why Customers Are Fed Up)”

  1. It seems as of late that FedEx is becoming unreliable in delivering on time. UPS (up yours) delivers on time but expect your package to look like they’ve been dropped down a chimney; so I would normally go with FedEx because FedEx takes better care in handling your package. For the last three days on camera I’ve seen the FedEx truck pull in front of my driveway, the driver checks something in the back and then takes off. Yesterday he delivered one of the packages out of the two that where expected from the same sender. The tracking information on their website had the expected delivery window and status was out for delivery but the package was not delivered and later showed up on the website as delayed no delivery date available. This morning it showed out for delivery. The truck stopped in my driveway for a couple minutes then took off. I called FedEx and was finally able to get to speak with a human being and she said that even though the website showed out for delivery, she could see on her computer that it was not loaded on the van. WTF? But today it is on the truck even though I told her that the truck has been here and gone. I’m at my wits end with these guys.

  2. I live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building. USPS, UPS, And even Amazon drop their packages at my door. FedEx leaves the packages in the dirt outside the 1st floor entrance to the apartment building. Next to a sprinkler. Not just once but every time. When I used FedEx in the late 80s and 90s they were amazing. They have really gone downhill.

  3. FedEx is the absolute worst. They consistently miss the delivery dates. Why do they post an estimated delivery date when they haven’t even picked up a package? No other package service does that.

  4. FedEx will not honor the liability claim for damages to the content of their packages. I have own my business for about 12 years and I am a very experienced packer. That said, I ship out about 500 packages a year with FedEx. Of those 500, they will damage the contents of 1 out of 100 packages. FedEx is known for damaging packages, USPS is known for losing packages, and UPS (more expensive) has not damaged or lost any of packages. Lately since COVID, FedEX has not been honoring the liability claims. You have to fight them tooth-and-nail to get them to approve the claim. I don’t have time to do this every time they damage a shipment. The last one, the shippers gauged a hole through the box while braking the contents. I had pictures and everything. They told me that I didn’t pack it right. I sarcastically said, ‘I will be sure to use a metal box next time’. The contents had a value of $500. The buyer said he would fix it, which was nice of him, and it only cost about $135 to fix. FedEx couldn’t even cover the claim of $135 !! .. which I feel they got off cheap. Now, they will lose me as a customer. Not a big deal, but collectively this will be a big deal if they treat enough of their customers this way.

  5. FedEx ground is the worst, followed closely by Prime Delivery. Both seem to think dropping the packages in the centralized mail room is OK, even though anyone can take the package. Live in a multiple two story building apartment complex (about 72 units), all within 60 yards of mail room. Mail room was recently remodeled and USPS installed package boxes, but other vendors don’t have access.
    After having to wait over the weekend when FedEx dropped the packages in the manager’s office (10AM – 2PM) on a Friday, FedEx explained that the driver was a contractor. Guess the company name can be used by anybody without repercussion to FedEx.
    Then Prime started showing up this year and does the same thing, just dumping the packages in the mail room, expecting Amazon customers to find their purchases.

  6. FedEx is horrible. I dread when I order something online and the retailer uses FedEx. It’s common for FedEx not to deliver on time or deliver to the wrong address. Their tracking system sucks. They won’t admit when they’ve lost a package until a week or two go by. Customer service is never any help. They always reply with, “we’ll escalate this to a special team that investigates”. Total BS.
    USPS and UPS is the way to go. NEVER use FedEx for ground.

  7. Agreed. FedEx tracking is a joke. A shipment went out from one of my suppliers for a perishable product on cold packs on this Tuesday for next day delivery (yesterday). The tracking information said it was scheduled for delivery yesterday morning. Then it says end of day. then today it says it’s still at a distribution center and hasn’t been load on the truck. Do delivery time was specified. Last week I had the same thing with the tracking information saying next day morning. then it changed to before end of day. Then it said the delivery date was unscheduled but the tracking information said it was at our local distribution center. I informed their agent that I would pick it up and drove there. They couldn’t find it for 2 hours, then they found it claiming that it “fell off the conveyer belt and was under some stairs”. A couple weeks before that I send some perishables on dry ice to the University of Texas and paid extra for express first thing delivery. The package didn’t arrive. Then there was a message that they attempted to deliver it before 8:00AM but the loading dock was closed. So instead of sending it out again that day, the tracking info said it was scheduled for delivery the next day before 8AM. I finally got through to an agent to explain that if the loading dock was not open before 8AM on the scheduled day, that it probably wouldn’t be open before 8AM the next day either. This breakdown is entire new this year. My buisness is in an incubator space with several others with our lab well marked for which room to deliver if no one is there. But it doesn’t matter if some one is there, the packages are dropped off at random locations. Sometimes on a loading dock, sometimes in a hallway, and sometimes on the steps outside the building. No one cares.

  8. Has the shipping business gotten this bad ? or should I say FedEx never seems to get anythig right since I have known .other companies use them like home depot and feed screws almost every order they come across. Are the owners making it that hard for theses idiots to screw up the information. They get or is it whoever is giving the drivers the dilervey drivers the information hoping to screw them up !! It dosent make sense or is it the computer system they are useing ?? Somethi I definetly screwed up !!!!!!!

  9. It starts in Customer Service being in India! Someone on the other side of the Plane doesn’t care about what happens in the US. I have had packages left at other places 3 times in the past year. I called CS each time and they couldn’t have cared less. Next, the workforce has degraded greatly. Thirdly… like other companies that are struggling – they coddle employees instead of holding them responsible (related to the previous reason). It starts at the top. You can’t fix the problem if all that matters is $$$!

  10. I tried buying from Wal-Mart for the first time and they shipped with FedEx. They “showed” up the next day saying I wasn’t even home (I was) They didn’t even bother to use the door buzzer (which I gave them to use). I live 10 floors up on the other side of the building. I have no clue when they show up thus the door buzzer. I’ve never seen such negligent incompetence in all my life from a company.

  11. Fedex has not improved at all, 5 days after a weather delay, zero status update !
    Weather delays are understandable, inability to communicate is not.
    Will avoid fedex at all costs in the future.

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