Fedex Stolen iPhone

I recently ordered two new iPhone 5 phones through Verizon from the Verizon website. I had two lines on my family plan that were eligible for upgrades, so I was able to get the iPhones for the discounted price. The two iPhones were going to be shipped together, and FedEx was going to deliver them to my house.

I left a signed note for FedEx

FedEx had attempted to deliver the package one day, but I was not at home. So, the FedEx delivery guy (or girl) left a doortag which said that I could simply sign the tag and leave it stuck to my door. By signing this doortag, the FedEx delivery person could leave the package at my doorstep, without me being present to actually open the door and sign. So, I signed the doortag and put it on my door.

iPhone missing from the FedEx shipment




The next day I actually happened to be home, but I still had the doortag on my door. The FedEx deliver guy rang the doorbell and left, because he did not need a signature since I already had the signed doortag there anyways. I went to the door as soon as I heard the doorbell ring and opened the door and saw my package. And, I saw the FedEx truck just driving off as soon as I came outside – which meant that there was absolutely no time for anyone else to possibly tamper with the package. But, I saw that the package was already partly open, which of course I thought was strange.

When I went inside to open the package I was shocked to see that there was only one iPhone in the box – not two as I expected. But, there was clearly an order form that said two iPhones were meant to be in the shipment. So, it became clear that one of the iPhones was stolen!

Did the FedEx delivery guy steal my iPhone?

Even though this seems to be the most likely explanation, I think it might have been stolen while the package was in storage at the FedEx branch location. Why would the delivery guy risk losing his job? I’m guessing that he didn’t notice that the the package was partially open – even though it was fairly obvious.

FedEx delivery guy must have thought no one was home

If FedEx delivery guy did steal the iPhone, then my guess is that since the FedEx deliver person saw the pre-signed doortag, he assumed that no one was home. This way he could simply claim that one of my neighbors or someone else stole the phone and opened the package because there would be some gap of time before I came home to receive the package. But, I picked up the package immediately after he rang the bell, and saw his truck leaving – so no one could have possibly touched the package in between him dropping it off and me picking it up from the doorstep.

But, some questions I asked myself were: why did the FedEx guy ring the doorbell in the first place? Why risk that someone would come out immediately and see the package was opened in his presence. Also, why would he just steal one iPhone 5 – why not just take both iPhone 5’s and leave? Maybe he/she did not see that there were actually two iPhones in the package.

Calling FedEx to report the missing/stolen shipment

I called FedEx immediately to report the missing iPhone. They input the information in their system and told me to call Verizon, so that Verizon could fill out a claim form with FedEx. While I was blaming the driver on the phone, the FedEx representative told me that it could have also been “lost” in transit, which is of course a possibility as I mentioned earlier.

Calling Verizon to report the missing iPhone

Finally, I called Verizon to report the missing iPhone. They filled out a form to start the claims process with FedEx, and they said that they will get back to me within 48 hours to report any progress. I’m currently waiting to hear back from them, and will update this post to see what they say – and whether they will send me a new phone free of charge, which they absolutely should.

The moral of the story – don’t use FedEx doortags

If I didn’t use a pre-signed doortag, then I would have had to sign for the package in front of the FedEx guy. And, at that point I should have noticed that the package was already opened and could have reported it to the FedEx guy immediately, which I believe would be easier to prove in case they try to disprove my story. So, don’t use FedEx doortags, and don’t leave signed notes because you really are opening yourself to the possibility of theft of expensive items. Even though I picked up the package immediately after the FedEx person left (and saw his truck), it looks like the signed doortag gives the FedEx delivery guy plausible deniability in this scenario (assuming he/she was the one who stole it).

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  • Varoon

    I know it's horrible! You should call Fedex and try to get your money back if possible. It will take a lot of phone calls to make any progress, but keep trying. Also, try to get Verizon to give you back a free upgrade – they should be willing to do that at least, even if you have to make a lot of calls!

  • SRmom

    I am out $389 from Verizon including the upgrade fee and two year contract without a phone because my uncle signed for the empty box from Fedex and left it in my office. I did not touch it for 2 months because that same day I had to deal with the result of my daughter health issues. I finally looked at the box and felt it was light so I brought to Verizon store to open it together with them. They said it was tampered and the original tape was replaced. We opened it and of course it was an empty box. No phone 5. I think I have the worse case against me. They told me to call the police to report it stolen. As I left the store and sat in my car looking back into the store, the staff and the manager talked to each other and they both laughed. I felt so insulted for my stupidity. Why do not people make more aware of this so less people like us get cheated?

  • varoon10

    So true! Now i know, thanks James.

  • varoon10

    Hey Steve, I think your best bet is to follow up with Fedex – that's what I did. FedEx will probably try to give you the runaround and blame it on Verizon, but that's nonense because it's really not Verizon's fault at all, because it is a shipment issue which is Fedex's domain.

    I filed a claim online with FedEx here:

    http://www.fedex.com/us/customersupport/managing/claims/

    And then I kept calling Fedex to make sure that they were following up with it. FedEx will then work with Verizon to get some paperwork, and Fedex won't allow you to speak directly with their internal claims agent without getting written approval from Verizon. Just take a firm tone with them because they will try to make excuses.

    Just yesterday I received an email from FedEx saying that they have reached a resolution on my claim – they said they would let me know what that resolution is in writing within the next 5-7 days. I don't know why the process is so lame and why they can't tell me immediately, but I'll update this post with the outcome.

    Keep in mind that your situation is a bit different since FedEx might argue that it could have been one of your neighbors since there was a 15 minute gap between delivery and when you actually picked it up from your doorstep.

  • Administrator

    Hey Steve, I think your best bet is to follow up with Fedex – that's what I did. FedEx will probably try to give you the runaround and blame it on Verizon, but that's nonense because it's really not Verizon's fault at all, because it is a shipment issue which is Fedex's domain.

    I filed a claim online with FedEx here:

    http://www.fedex.com/us/customersupport/managing/claims/

    And then I kept calling Fedex to make sure that they were following up with it. FedEx will then work with Verizon to get some paperwork, and Fedex won't allow you to speak directly with their internal claims agent without getting written approval from Verizon. Just take a firm tone with them because they will try to make excuses.

    Just yesterday I received an email from FedEx saying that they have reached a resolution on my claim – they said they would let me know what that resolution is in writing within the next 5-7 days. I don't know why the process is so lame and why they can't tell me immediately, but I'll update this post with the outcome.

    Keep in mind that your situation is a bit different since FedEx might argue that it could have been one of your neighbors since there was a 15 minute gap between delivery and when you actually picked it up from your doorstep.

  • Steve

    So what happened? I have almost the identical situation and Verizon is refusing to do anything except bill me for the phone that I did not receive. In my case, one phone was taken from a box of three. Fedex claims it was delivered,so not their issue and Verizon want nothing to do with it. The package was sealed, but there are signs that it possibly could have been opened and retaped (the cardboard box is missing some of the outer shiny layer in a few places) but cannot be said to be obviously tampered with. We picked up the package 15 mins after it was left.

  • James7088

    With the way of the world today. There is no way I would elect to have any package that needed signing to be left unattended.