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June 7, 2016

And Drop Off The Package

And Drop Off The Package
You did “almost” everything right. The call was logged and scheduled. You confirmed with the borrower. The signing went smoothly in every respect. All required “pick ups” were included. When you printed the docs you also printed a separate PDF with the FedEx airbill. You slip the airbill into the pouch, seal the envelope and, well prior to pickup time, the package is dropped off. Mission accomplished, check to follow.

Perhaps not, considering the rather outspoken title person making your cell phone’s speaker vibrate violently. “We got our delivery, it was not delivered; where did you leave it – at a local bar?” That’s certainly not the case. It was only yesterday afternoon; you clearly recall bringing it to the local FedEx office – NOT a street side drop box. There was a long line for the sole representative on duty at the time. Usually you hand it over the counter and ask for a “drop off receipt”. But, as this was so very routine, and the wait would be long – you slipped it into the drop box IN the FedEx office. You have done this dozens of time before, never a problem.

Without a drop off receipt to scan and email, you have no proof of drop off. So, you make the trip (as demanded by title) to the FedEx office. It’s a long wait, but eventually you get to speak to the office manager and explain the situation. “I have good news for you”, sayeth the manager, “I have the package, let me get it and return it to you!” Not really good news, but better than no news. Soon the manager returns and hands you the envelope. “Why did you not ship it? – it has a prepaid airbill”.
“That may look like an airbill to you but it is totally illegible! My staff was not able to read the account that would be paying; also the scanner could not read the bar code. We were hoping you would return to claim it”. Groan. You know that if you had waited for the drop off receipt, it would have failed the scan – while you still had time to do something. Now it’s the next day and the title people are having fits. Of course the blame will be on you. They will claim that you did not print the PDF properly. They will ask why you shipped an illegible airbill.

It kinda sounds like a 60 yard touchdown run, only to trip over one’s untied shoelace at the one yard line. The call to title yields the expected results – colorfully. They insist that you, while at the FedEx office – FAX the entire package immediately. You must also rent some PC time to print a replacement airbill so it can be shipped while you are there. This time they explicitly ask for a FAX of the drop off receipt. They consider you a klutz that needs micromanagement.

With demands accommodated, you return home to reprint that PDF with the airbill. Just as you suspected it was sent as garbage – nothing you could do would make it print correctly. However, if you had given it a glance at “doc print time” you would have noticed the problem. At that time you would have been able to call the sender and get a replacement PDF, or, at least the proper charge code to use on a hand written replacement airbill. But you did not catch THEIR error.

When I was a kid we used to play Tug of War. A long thick rope, us kids holding on each end with a gigantic mud puddle in the middle. The team captain would be at the end of the rope, with the rope tied around the captain’s waist. The losing team kids would let go prior to the mud puddle. Being last in the chain, like a signing agent; the team captain was dragged into the mud.



  1. Sounded like a real story. My story is I dropped off a package on time right after the signing and got a receipt. I did not use a drop box, but I dropped it inside Staples where UPS shipments are taken. Should have been fine, right? No, the shipment was not received when expected. I got a call. I provided the receipt (good for me) and was told to track down the package. Many phone calls later I tracked it down and it eventually got delivered–late. The shipper did not ship it on time. They were lazy and did not phone for an earlier air pickup. I trusted them–they are an authorized UPS shipper. They handed the package with the ground shipments. I have never used Staples again for my shipments. The receipt saved me though.

    Comment by Stefanie C Cox — June 12, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

  2. and was told to track down the package

    If they are an authorized depot and you scan/email the drop off receipt your obligation to the project is over.

    In a similar situation as yours (with my sending the drop off receipt) I would “track down” at my hourly rate. Their problem is a lack of performance by the depot/UPS – in short – not your issue.The “many phone calls” (once they have the drop off receipt image) are their task.

    Comment by Kenneth Edelstein — June 16, 2016 @ 12:56 am

  3. I live in a rural area. We have exactly one FedEx location that has staff there and they’re open until seven. If the loan runs late, I have to go back out the next day and make an hour round-trip to give it to someone by hand instead of dropping it in a box after 7 PM the night Before. For my loyal customers I always do that. Also in a rural areas most of our round trips for signings can easily be an hour and a half. And companies that don’t provide documents until the last minute create enormous loss of time and revenue for us. Rural SAs don’t get more money for all of the time and effort we have to expend tbecause of the geographics. Sure I always make sure and put it in the hands of somebody and get a receipt when I can. But I get a little tired of some of the self righteous companies that wish to be completely inconsiderate of our time, yet want us to bend over backwards for them, or blame us for their lousy scans or their sloppy business processes instead of re-engineering them. That’s why I work mostly for title companies that I have a direct relationship with who value my work and my time, because I consistently perform very well, versus a Cattlecall, snapdoc signing companies. I go the extra mile for the quid pro quo loyalty that comes with a direct relationship. It’s a little off the topic but I fear that these notarySA-by-text trends are going to hurt not just the notaries but the signing companies as well. Loyal relationships are critical in service business models. When we sell that out to save a dime, there’s a price to pay. Pennywise, pound foolish.

    Comment by Lisa — June 16, 2016 @ 3:09 pm

  4. I know all the FedEx and UPS manned locations in my area and their hours of operation. If my signing is in a larger city and I don’t have to do faxbacks, I will look up the manned drop off places so I can get the package out of my hands as soon as feasible. I always go to a manned facility (even if it’s a Staples or Office Max or some authorized local business and I always ask for a receipt, which I keep with my accounts receivable file. The only exception are the few things that go by US Mail, and then I will try to drop in an inside slot. We’re always safer handing off the parcel to the shipper as soon as practical because the liability for the package is on the shipper the client chose.

    Comment by Elise Dee Beraru — June 16, 2016 @ 9:47 pm

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