Big problems with Fedex shipping
Like many others here, I buy mostly from catalogs, by phone, mail or Internet. In the last couple of decades, I've bought over 1000 trees and shrubs, and a like number of perennials.
Most deliveries are by UPS, and I ask for them when possible. But many dealers use Fedex. In the past year or two, service has really deteriorated. They leave packages out by the street, unprotected from theft or weather. It's only twelve steps to a sheltered entry here, but Fedex agents *never* (and UPS *always*) take the extra few seconds to protect the goods. Today, for example, I had six cardboard boxes of bare-root trees left on the hot pavement in full sun. Fortunately, I was only out of the house for half an hour, and everything should be fine.
Worst part is that they seem to have no customer service to deal with this. I've sent two letters, several e-mails, and a couple of web-form complaints. It seems impossible to reach a person by phone, and I have learned that deliveries come from many different centers through subcontractors anyway.
Very disappointing when dealing with expensive and sensitive materials, and when returns mainly hurt the vendor and still cost something (including time and effort) to customer.
Perhaps if enough people let vendors know that UPS is safer for plants, things will change.