We really need these boxed out of our entryway.
September 1, 2022 3:02 PM   Subscribe

The previous tenants keep having packages delivered to us. The only ones we can't figure out what to do with are the FedEx packages. We've contacted FedEx twice about them, both times they said they'd arrange a pickup in the next day or two and then never did. What now?

We've tried contacting the companies that sent them and have gotten no response. We also tried some good old fashioned internet stalking to see if we could track down the former tenants on Facebook, but didn't have any luck.

We have one vote in the house for chucking them in the dumpster and another vote for giving the boxes to the cat.
posted by Ookseer to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Could you taken them to a FedEx shipping center? I realize that involves additional hassle.
posted by mekily at 3:06 PM on September 1, 2022

Might the neighbours or landlord know the former tenants? I would try to get them that way. Failing that, i would give it a month of grace period for each item, then just keep each package yourself, open & do whatever you want with it. If asked, say it vanished. The other person has had lots of time to come claim it and has likely marked it non-delivered and gotten a replacement anyway.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 3:06 PM on September 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Your landlord might have forwarding information for the former tenant. They may or may not give it to you, or you could ask the landlord to contact the former tenants on your behalf.

But honestly, I think if you hold onto them for a week, you're in the clear. It's on them to get their sh!t together. (this is quite dependant on how long you've lived there - under a month is reasonable for random shipments; more than a month, then well...what's theirs is yours.)
posted by hydra77 at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm in line with nouvelle-personne here. Contact either FedEx or the company that sent them exactly once. Give them a month. At end of month, dispose of the package, or take it for yourself if you want.

This is likely not the "legally correct" answer, but it's what I'd do anyway, and I put the chances of getting in trouble for it at so close to zero as to be indistinguishable from zero.
posted by saeculorum at 3:10 PM on September 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

If it's USPS, write "REFUSED" across the box, black out the address and the cancel/routing barcode below the address, but not the name, and drop it at the Post Office. It will get returned to sender.

If it's FedEx, contact FedEx to come get it, or write "NOT AT THIS ADDRESS/RETURN TO SENDER" and black out the address but not the name, and just drop-kick it into a FedEx storefront at your convenience.
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:54 PM on September 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

Wait, this is bizarre. Are you saying these people never actually get the items they've ordered, they just keep sending them to you?

That sounds like it might be a brushing scam. Though I don't know that that changes anything on your side.
posted by trig at 9:39 PM on September 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Tenants should provide their landlord with a contact address upon moving out. I would contact the landlord.
posted by Polychrome at 12:46 AM on September 2, 2022

This is probably happening because they have not updated the "ship to" address in online shopping carts. Undeliverable packages due to user error are a huge thing for big online sellers, because people update their billing address but then forget to update the delivery address.

It is very very likely that the vendor has either reshipped the item to the customer, or has refunded them. They have a budget line for "undeliverable/lost" packages and believe it or not the cost of a returned or recalled package probably outweighs the value of the item (I'm pretty sure the Very Large Shipper (not that big)) that I work for spends around $15 - $18 every time a refused package is returned to us, because UPS does bill us for them.

If the vendor won't respond, you're well within your rights to either keep the item or dispose of it. Very very often we outright tell customers "just keep that" because the return shipping is so high.

Bottom line: this has become your problem because you have to deal with the items, but this package has already been written off. Keep it, donate it, or use the stuff as holiday gifts. Once you've contacted the company you've done your due diligence. If they really wanted it back (some items we very much do want back) they'd arrange a pickup for return.
posted by anastasiav at 10:45 AM on September 2, 2022

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