“We R Wireless, FedEx, and Verizon = Mess. What Can I Do?”

pain sculpture

“Dear PoPville,

I ordered a new iphone from Verizon, but the FedEx driver claims that he accidentally delivered it to We R Wireless, a store in Adams Morgan that sells Verizon products (but is not owned by Verizon). When the FedEx driver went to the store to try and retrieve the package, he was told that any phones received had already been taken out of the boxes and added to the inventory. However, the people I have spoke with at We R Wireless now insist that they have checked their inventory for the phone and that no phone with that device number was ever at the store. The way I see it, either the driver is lying about having delivered it to the store in the first place, or the store is lying about not having the phone. When I tracked the package online, it says that the phone was signed for by C. Colbert, which is the name of the Assistant Manager of We R Wireless, so I am guessing that it is the store who is lying, and not the driver.

I called We R Wireless to see if they found the phone based on the device number. The person I spoke with claims that they did inventory and the phone was not there, and that he does not believe they ever had it. I told him how is that possible, since C. Colbert, who it turns out is an Assistant Manager at We R Wireless, signed for the package. He responded that FedEx doesn’t actually get their signatures, they just put the name of the Assistant Manager. So, in sum, We R Wireless claims they never had the phone.

Would love to get some thoughts on any recourse I might have!”

36 Comment

  • FedEx-captured signatures also have a time stamp. It is impossible for them to just have a repeated signature. The devices they use don’t allow it. Get that info from FedEx and present it to this crappy establishment (i’ve had issues with them in the past as well – terrible customer service).

  • Blithe

    I’d start by contacting whoever you ordered the phone from — and see if you can make sorting this out their problem instead of yours. I’d also contact my credit card company to indicate that any charges related to this purchase are disputed. If I were in your position, I’d request another phone — instead of acting as though the missing phone is yours, I’d act as though there has been a failure to deliver something that you ordered. Could you get a replacement phone sent to a convenient Verizon store and pick it up there?

    • “I’d start by contacting whoever you ordered the phone from — and see if you can make sorting this out their problem instead of yours.”

      This is the best advice you’ll get on this forum. You have a million ways to make this happen but ultimately the responsibility is on the person that shipped it to you, they’ll make it right and they’ll deal with FedEx/insurance/etc.

  • Mug of Glop

    You, in this case, are Verizon’s customer, so they’re the ones you should take it up with. They failed to deliver the phone to you, so your beef should be with them. FedEx has no real obligation to you, since Verizon is their customer, not you. Your time would be more efficiently spent battling with Verizon over the product you were promised, but don’t have.
    Verizon certainly has a beef with FedEx in this case, but it’s not your job to take up the cause of one corporation against another.

    • west_egg

      This is precisely right–having misdirected the parcel, FedEx is on the hook for this; but since Verizon is the shipper (i.e., customer) they have to initiate the complaint. Likewise you are Verizon’s customer — that’s who you should get in touch with.

    • maxwell smart

      100% agree. This isn’t your problem to solve, but Verizon’s. I had a similar, but less serious issue once with City Sports – somewhere along the route, Fed Ex decided to transfer deliver of my package to the Post Office which removes any means of tracking delivery. I waited 2 weeks and nothing showed up, so I contacted City Sports to let them know my package was never delivered. Within a day I had received a new “shippment” (I honestly think someone at City Sports bagged the items and hand delivered them to my door based on how it was packed). I kid you not, 4 months later my original order was delivered from the Post Office.

      • Mug of Glop

        I hate when FedEx sources the last mile to USPS, since it precludes more precise tracking. On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of it because USPS has a key to my building and can actually lock the packages inside so it doesn’t get sliced open and almost stolen like once previous. (I guess the thief didn’t want my new very heavy wood cutting board.) So I guess on the whole, I’m a pretty big fan of that business practice. Usually my stuff is delivered within a day of the local delivery transfer, so it’s not that big a problem.

        • With Fedex (SmartPost I think it’s called) you can plugin the Fedex tracking number on the USPS website once the package has been handed off to USPS and see the rest of the tracking.

          With UPS (SurePost, i think), you’ll get issue a separate USPS tracking number (shown on the UPS tracking page) once the package is handed off which you can then use to track the USPS side of things.

        • jim_ed

          I lost an somewhat expensive package this way – it disappeared in the handoff between FedEx and USPS. I called both and each blamed the other. Luckily, I had ordered it through Amazon, and they refunded me the price immediately so I could order something else. Oddly enough, the package showed up 3 months later on my doorstep with no explanation.

          • Probably got stuck in sorting somewhere. It’s the same way most luggage goes missing and then “mysteriously” shows up a couple weeks later. I once had a bag “found” almost a month later stuck in a conveyor belt at an intermediate airport, all the airline knew was that it was scanned off my inbound flight but never scanned in for the outbound (FTR, I was happy to have it back…the payout would have been more than the value of the bag and its contents (cheap bag and nothing of real value in it), but I LIKE that bag and was grumped about having to re-order the items in it). Unless the bag/package causes the whole system to break (prevents other bags/packages from getting through or kills the conveyor belt), they don’t know it’s there.
            But, yes, your complaint is with Verizon, their complaint is with FedEx. Take it up with Verizon, and if they won’t deal with it appropriately, dispute through your credit card. Once Verizon gets a notice that the charge is being reversed for “goods paid but not delivered,” they’ll get on FedEx and/or make an insurance claim. Just act quickly to remain within bounds of the time you have to dispute and the shipping insurance Verizon surely has (usually 45-60 days from shipment).

  • burritosinstereo

    So FedEx is saying that someone (presumably C. Colbert) at the store signed for it, but the store is saying that they don’t actually PHYSICALLY SIGN, FedEx just logs the name of the assistant manager? SOUNDS FISHY TO ME.

  • Call Verizon and tell them you never received the phone. Tracking with FedEx will show that you didn’t sign for it so they should replace it.

  • Agreed — this should be Verizon’s problem, not yours. Call them, tell them what happened, tell them you expect a refund or replacement, and make them sort it out.

  • As others have said, fault isn’t your problem. The phone was never delivered to you. Verizon Wireless is (to state the obvious) a very large company that ships through FedEx a lot. You call Verizon and tell them you didn’t get the phone, and they’ll send you a new one very quickly without asking many questions.

  • I wonder if the FedEx driver(s?) for Adams Morgan are just straight-out incompetent. Recently my tenants on the 1700 block of Columbia Road NW were expecting a package via FedEx that didn’t arrive but showed up in the FedEx system as having been delivered. They were worried it had been stolen. Turned out the FedEx driver misdelivered it to another address on the same block.

    • It’s really just a FedEx-wide issue. My work (account management at a non-profit) means that I’m on the phone with them (very rarely UPS) at least once or twice a week trying to get them to deliver a package, because it got lost in their system. They’re very argumentative that they did not make the mistake (even though they did). When USPS said they delivered an item in their tracking system but the package didn’t arrive in reality, I called the 800 number and the woman I got immediately said that I was probably right, and the package got delivered the next day without much trouble on my side.

  • I had an iPhone delivered by usps a few months back. The box came with no phone inside. Someone along the line opened it and took it out.

    Att replaced the phone. USPS couldn’t not have cared less.

  • The package is insured for a reason. As everyone has said, report to Verizon that you haven’t received the package. They will likely send you a new one with little trouble.

  • Every cellphone has a unique IMEI number. Verizon knows the missing phone’s IMEI#. Verizon phones can only be used on the Verizon network. So as soon as We R Wireless tries to activate the handset (or sells it to someone who attempts to do so), Verizon can officially nail them. But until then this is entirely Verizon’s problem to deal with and they should send you a replacement handset.

    • Post-pay 4G phones from Verizon nowadays come unlocked. Per this page on Verizon’s site (http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/commitment/safety-security/device-unlocking-policy.html): “We do not lock our 4G LTE devices, and no code is needed to program them for use with another carrier.”

      This seems to be the result of a provision that Verizon agreed to when it purchased 700Mhz network spectrum to support its LTE service, per this article: http://www.macrumors.com/2012/09/24/verizon-leaving-iphone-5-sim-slots-unlocked-as-required-by-fcc-network-access-regulations/

      • Correct. I’m a Verizon customer and I’ve owned and used my LTE iPhones (I’ve broken a few…) on other networks. I have a prepaid global SIM that I pop in when traveling abroad and it works fine on a bunch of networks all over Europe (using GSM and LTE bands) and I’ve even tested it out here in the US (using ATT GSM). I never had to call Verizon to have them unlocked, unlike with the “global” Blackberry I had a while ago.

      • I didn’t think the IMEI number had anything to do with the phone being locked or unlocked. I also thought that Verizon used CDMA technology and that no other network did. Maybe this has changed? (I’m not up to speed on the meanings of 3G, 4G, and LTE.)

        • Verizon still uses CDMA for voice and for 3G (and lower) data. The rest of the world, except for certain carriers in China, South Korea, South America, and Verizon in the US, uses some combination of GSM and whatever version they call LTE (there’s some debate of what true LTE is). All of the iPhones that Apple now markets as being “for Verizon” have the capacity to handle multiple bands of GSM and LTE (more than the ATT phones, oddly enough, at least when the iPhone 5 came out). Eventually Voice over LTE will become the standard for Verizon, but that will take some time as that requires a network upgrade in terms of both hardware and the handsets that people are using. But you’re correct. IMEI doesn’t have anything to do with the phone being married to one network. The response had to do with the “Verizon phones can only be used on the Verizon network” statement. The rest of Mojotron’s point stands, though.

      • I stand corrected- Verizon phones now have SIM card slots and can be used on other carriers. The phone still has a unique IMEI# that can be traced, but it possibly could be activated on any network.

  • This is FedEx and Verizon’s problem. It was never delivered to the recipient. What does Verizon say? You shouldn’t be traipsing all over trying to clean up their mess.

  • When FedEx or UPS or whatever don’t get a signature, the driver usually signs. At least that’s what happens when I’m not home to sign for a package. They sign their name, not the recipient’s. It’d be fraud if they were signing for someone else.

  • The FedEx drivers in our office building sometimes log the signature as anyone whose name they know from our workplace. I’m an Office Manager so they’re familiar with me, as a result, my name is often logged as the signee when I was on vacation. It could be a FedEx issue after all, but Verizon should be the one to take it up with them, not you!

  • We R Wireless is a sham company. This company regularly overcharges people for products that can be purchased online or at a Verizon store. Don’t trust this store!

  • FedEx is responsible since they were under contract to deliver the phone to you. They failed to fulfill the contract so they owe you a phone. If they can get it back from We R Wireless, great but that isn’t important – they just need to make you whole. Speak to Verizon and see if you or they has the right to file the claim. I hope its Verizon b/c then they can send you a new phone in the mean time.

  • File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and write a negative yelp report, hitting them where it hurts. I would also file a police report. If the police can’t do anything about it, they will for sure let you know.

  • I had a similar problem with Caremark, which is the CVS mail order pharmacy. When I called them last year about medication they said they delivered last December 23rd they tried to say that it had been delivered so I had to pay for it. I said that I never got it and declined. They played dumb but I didn’t back down, and they reshipped it.

    In the reverse situation, they messed up an order and sent it twice, then tried to get me to pay for both. I thanked them for the gift of the second order, as I believe that postal regulations state that unordered merchandise is yours to keep. Anybody know the actual rules on this?

  • This is FedEx’s problem, not yours. They didn’t deliver it to the address they were supposed to, they don’t have a sig from your or your authorized representative. Where it actually ended up is irrelevant to – only that FedEx didn’t get it to you. Don’t let FedEx distract you from their responsibility for the mistake.

    Also, assuming you used a credit card to pay, tell them the phone didn’t arrive and get the payment to Verizon delayed until receipt.

  • Sorry but why are you making this your problem? You never received something that was shipped to you. The evidence shows it was sent to someone else. Have the shipper send you another item.

  • call the credit card company and dispute/reverse the charge.
    you might also want to report it to the Attorney General at http://oag.dc.gov/service/consumer-protection-asst or DCRA at http://dcra.dc.gov/service/consumer-protection since if they’re getting lots of complaints about the same store they could (probably won’t but could) take action.

  • http://www.trackimei.com
    find it yourself
    and kill Kill KILL!!

  • Thanks for all of the input, Popvillers! This has been a super frustrating experience. It has now been over a week since the phone was delivered to We R Wireless. After countless calls with five separate customer service folks at Verizon, I still don’t have a refund, a replacement phone, or any resolution in sight. Anyone buying a phone anytime soon, maybe consider just going to the store – and opting for AT&T or T-Mobile.

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