February 23, 2006

A Truly Rotten FedEx Experience

Filed under: Art,Stolen Tiki Alert,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 1:35 pm
Big Benzart #5
Big Benzart #5

There are plenty of horror stories out there about all of the shipping companies, so a lot of folks tend to think of FedEx, UPS, DHL and all the others as being generally equal in reliability. And truly, it’s possible that any one of the shipping companies could have been the player in this crappy tale, but it happens to be FedEx this time. This doesn’t excuse the extraordinary awfulness of what happened to Benzart.

Ben “Benzart” Davis is not only a fantastic tiki carver, he’s a bit of a legend — he’s been carving for decades now and was responsible for the fantastic tikis that used to populate the Tropicana in Vegas. Benzart now lives in Florida and after working on heavily detailed small pieces, has returned to creating large masterpieces. Benzart pieces are highly coveted, and widely revered.

The tiki to the left is Big Benzart #5, and was shipped via FedEx to its new owner in Maryland. It disappeared from the FedEx system on February 16, when it “Departed the FedEx location” and never appeared anywhere else. Calls to FedEx were uncooperative, initially telling Ben “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” and ultimately telling him that the tiki had been completely “destroyed,” had been discarded and it was now a claims issue.

Okay, now look at this thing. It’s a big ol’ solid piece of wood. Really big, like man-size. What, short of a raging inferno of a fire, could damage it so badly that it would justify completely tossing it? FedEx refused to give Ben any confirmation of what had occured, no details, no pictures of the damaged goods, only telling him it had been discarded. The whole thing smelled rather fishy.

Benzart puts a lot of time, care and love into his tikis, and he simply would not take this as an answer. He wanted to have the remains of his tiki. He wanted to know what had become of it. You don’t just toss a tiki. Everybody knows that. It’s bad juju.

Ben insisted on speaking to a human being at the local office that last saw the tiki. He again was given the runaround, told that he couldn’t talk to the local office, told again that the package was damaged and destroyed, and upon insisting to see the remains, was transferred through three more people. Finally he was sent to a person at the local office, a woman named Peggy, who upon hearing the description of the item, said “It’s RIGHT HERE”… the tiki had not been destroyed at all. On the contrary, the FedEx label had been partially damaged.

So not only was FedEx unable to connect a package having lost its delivery information with a person trying to find out what happened to a package at that exact same day & location, they flagged Benzart’s package as having been destroyed and discarded, without actually having any idea at all what happened to it. Especially given that the FedEx system knows the dimensions, size and Lose Weight Exercise of each package, it should have been able to connect the two, given the unusual the size of this package. With Ben being told his package had been trashed, how on earth did they plan on connecting the package with its proper owner?

So Benzart and the tiki’s new owner have a happy ending, but it is absolutely ludicrous that it was incumbent on him to be so ridiculously tenacious and persistent in the face of FedEx asshattery.

4 Responses to “A Truly Rotten FedEx Experience”

  1. Scott McGerik Says:

    Ben’s persistence is commendable. Those with less perseverance, such as myself, would have given up a lot earlier. Luckily, a Tiki was saved because of his efforts.

  2. Anna Barringer Says:

    I am glad Ben was able to save the tiki. I found this posting because FedEx “destroyed” a package that was sent out and I wanted to do a google search to see if this has happened to other people as well. Thus far FedEx has given us the complete run around and it has been over 6 weeks of calling them on almost a daily basis.

  3. Dan Pavlica Says:


    I was waiting all day for two FedEx packages today, October 24, 2008. Here are the tracking numbers:


    My address is on a very large and well-known street in Chicago (Irving Park Road) and the building has very clear numbers above the door. I left a note downstairs to ring the top buzzer outside (which also has my name) or to call me (and left my number) and that I would come downstairs immediately.

    I received the first package before noon. The driver called me before coming to the building (from a nearby address) and I met him downstairs. This worked out great.

    The second package never came so I went to the FedEx web site to track it at 5:30pm where it said the following, “5:01pm customer not at home or business closed.” I WAS AT HOME AND THIS FEDEX DRIVER IS TELLING LIES! HE NEVER EVEN CAME HERE TODAY. There was no note. They are supposed to leave a sticker or a door hanger, but there was nothing.

    I called customer service and they very nonchalantly explained to me that I would just have to wait till tomorrow. So now I have to alter my plans and spend another whole day waiting for this package!

    This is a horrible, horrible service. There is not even a complaint field at FedEx.com, anywhere on the site, for customer benefit and quality improvement. It is quite clear that FedEx does not care at all about its customers.

  4. Richard Mitchell Says:


    My package (with medical equipment) was shipped Dec 12, 2008. It will definitely NOT arrive before Jan 6 2009(!)

    Here are the details of my shipment:

    6 days cross country
    - 16 (will be greater than 19) days in Kent, WA

    - Medical supplies critical to patient with acute decompensated heart failure

    - No response to call (they did take my #)

    - For 4 days, package listed as “On Truck for Delivery”

    - Every day, at end of day, updated to “No Delivery Attempt”

    - Failure to provide *ANY* even approximately accurate information on when package will arrive has made it impossible to know when/if an alternative source of the supplies needs to be sought

    - Phone call to FedEx Customer Support, they took my phone number but never called back

    - Phone call to Kent is greeted with (after about 10 rings) “Your Party is NOT ANSWERING” – (it is Saturday…but UPS is clearly working…)

    - Roads have been clear to my neighborhood for 6 days now, UPS and USPS have been delivering all week (and UPS was just here on Saturday)

    How can one get accurate information about their package???????

    (Kent FedEx facility is managed by Mike Arvai, (Fax area code 425) 251 9142.

    ( FedEx Federal Express Seattle Washington Kent Complaint Delivery delay snow 2008 2009)

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About Humuhumu
Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

- Website Design and Programming

- A Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

- Tiki Mugs & More: Track & View Collections




Arkiva Tropika
Mimi Payne’s massive Polynesian Pop collection

Barefoot Bloggin’
A surfin’, ukein’, freewheelin’ monkey boy

Beachbum Berry
Author of Grog Log and Intoxica!, and one of my dearest drinkin’ buddies

Blog from the user interface designer extraordinaire

Worldwide Guide to Tiki Bars & Polynesian Restaurants

Dumb Angel
A look at the 1960s Los Angeles mod, pop, surf, and music scene

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Pop culture with a tiki tinge

Forbidden Island
My Wednesday hangout, the Bay Area’s best tiki bar

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I build websites

Junkyard Clubhouse
Random interesting things from Humuhumu & Hanford Lemoore

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Kevin loves tiki, I love Kevin, you will too

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Montreal-based tiki ‘zine

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Periodical publication covering the wide world of Tiki

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