Home Crystal Graham: Not so FedEx SmartPost

Crystal Graham: Not so FedEx SmartPost

Crystal Graham

smartpost1I am not a fan of FedEx SmartPost shipping. We ordered two items from two separate companies, and both shipped via FedEx SmartPost. What does that mean, exactly? Apparently, it means FedEx takes their sweet time getting you the package and then instead of being delivered to your doorstep, it is dropped at the local post office. Who then has another 1-2 days to deliver to your home.

For shipment #1, I paid $11.98 in shipping costs. It shipped on Jan. 3 from Nevada. As of today, it’s still in Martinsburg, W.Va. When I first checked the tracking number on this package, an expected delivery date was given of Saturday, Jan. 10. It now says Tuesday, Jan. 13, two additional business days. Which would be great if that was actually the delivery date. However, it appears that is only the date it drops at the local post office. Which then has those additional two days to deliver. So, if it stays on schedule, we might get this item by Thursday, Jan. 15. What did I pay $11.98 for? I’m sure UPS could have delivered in three days for that cost. Or first class through the USPS would have been less. Who came up with this so-called SmartPost service?

For shipment #2, I paid $8.00 in shipping costs. The package shipped from Massachussets on Monday, Jan. 5. Originally, it said my expected delivery date was Friday, Jan. 9. But no surprise, that date changed. It now says my estimated delivery is today, Saturday, Jan. 10. The item apparently arrived at my post office at 5:48 a.m. this morning. Seems to be doing a little better than shipment #1. That being said, that just means it arrived at the local post office by the estimated delivery date. The caveat: The fine print that says to “allow one to two additional days for delivery.”

I might not complain if I had been given free shipping on these items. But in both cases, I paid a pretty solid shipping fee. I know UPS and USPS would have gotten me the items quicker than this so-called SmartPost option from FedEx. I’d even argue that a horse and buggy might get here quicker.

It may be “efficient” and “economical” as the FedEx website says, but when we are paying for shipping, it is not a viable shipping method. It makes me think twice about ever ordering from these two companies again.

Smart Post …. smart? I think not.

– Column by Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.