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April 8, 2012

Don’t put the Fedex in the drop box!

Please, no drop boxes!

I know a lot of you use drop boxes (Fedex, UPS, etc) to drop your document packages. And before you say it, I know some of you have no other options that are close to you. In this case your options are limited. You are forgiven. Maybe you have had issues with drop boxes or maybe you haven’t. But, regardless, it is something to consider, if at all possible please don’t drop your packages in drop boxes. Because, if you have bad luck and the documents get lost; and you have no documentation; It can cause you a great amount of grief, stress and aggravation; and  in the end it could cost you a valuable client.

Loan package with a hefty cashier’s check thrown in a drop box

To give you an example, here is one story of several that has been shared with me. I had an Oregon notary just the other day call in to 123notary. From her tone she was obviously very upset. It seems she had completed a signing successfully and had dropped her documents on a Friday in one of those infamous drop boxes of Fedex. It was now Tuesday, and she got that dreaded call: the title company still hadn’t received the package.  I thought to myself, this is going to be bad. When this Oregon notary public and title went to track the package, there was no tracking information available. To make matters even worse there was a substantial amount in a cashier’s check also in the missing package. The assignment that had been given to the Notary in Oregon was for the paperwork that was to be used to purchase the property. So,  now everyone is upset and confused as to what to do.

Get your tracking — people!

Now in my mind, I’m thinking why in the world would you drop a set of documents in a drop box, especially with a large amount in a cashiers check. This to me this is a disaster waiting to happen.  The first thing I let our Oregon notary friend know is that unless absolutely necessary, you should always hand your packages to a driver and ask him to scan them or take them to hub or staffed service center, have them scan them and  get a receipt. This way YOU are off the hook. Which brings me to another point…

Hand fill the shipping labels

PLEASE remember when you are required to hand fill out the shipping labels with the client; title-escrow etc  account numbers you should always list the person that you are shipping to as the recipient and as the shipper. Do NOT use your information at all. This will serve two purposes. One-if the envelope is lost, it will not come to you it will just automatically go to the company that hired you. Two- if the company has not paid their bill you will not get charged for the service. Currently I have about 3 notaries battling with Fedex on this matter (cause they put their name as the shipper)and they are in collection status with them. Be careful! This can cause you a great deal of trouble with UPS, Fedex etc. and worst of all it will effect your credit if you cant straighten it out. You will have to pay it if you cant prove to their satisfaction that, you were hired by a 3rd party.

Now I understand that some of you may not be near a hub or have a location that you can go into to get a scan or receipt near by. But for those of you that do. It is better to safe then sorry. Always try to get a receipt or have driver scan your packages for you. This will protect you. For me, I need to know where my documents are at ALL times.

Now,  unfortunately as of today I haven’t heard back form the notary in this situation so I cant give up an up to date  but I am confident if those documents didn’t turn up everything would have to be redone…and all I can say is what a mess. If and when I hear from her I will let you know….Just remember: No drop boxes if you can help it…

Thank for reading and be safe…until next time!

PS — Jeremy did a signing ten years ago that was put in a drop box.  The documents were missing for a week.  The signing company eventually called Fedex — and you will never guess where the documents were.  They were still down there at the bottom of the drop box, and getting very cold by this point!  The driver who was assigned that drop box had quit and his replacement wasn’t given good instructions as to which drop boxes to pick up from every day!

(1) You could lose a client if you put a FedEx in a drop box on the off chance it never gets picked up.
(2) Sooner or later, the FedEx you put in a drop box won’t get picked up. Be safe & take it to a hub!
(3) If you put a FedEx containing a cashier’s check in a drop box, that is a recipe for disaster!
(4) Once I put a FedEx in the drop box that never got delivered. FedEx found it a week later still in the box!

You might also like:

Should you send the Fedex right away?

What tasks can you do which are worth $1000 per minute?

Compilation of Notary stories on the blog categorized

Comparing journal entries to Fedex signatures



  1. Good advice. I once had to drop in the OnTrack drop box because this is what the agency or title company chose. They don’t have any drop off centers. It did end up getting lost and was never picked up. I knew that was going to happen and expressed my views to the agency that it wouldn’t be picked up. Other than that, I always get a receipt from FedEx.

    Comment by cm — April 12, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  2. Great article Carmen, I’ve sometimes used the drop boxes when there was a line or something but no more…. You’re right, something could happen and it ain’t good. Also some years ago I did have a signing co. fail to pay their FedEx bill and FedEx billed me for it. Great idea to just list the name of the person who’s to receive the shipment and why not. Good info Carmen.

    Comment by Wayne Hamilton — April 13, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  3. Yes, that is a good article Carmen. I learned the hard way too unfortunately. About seven years ago I dropped a package in my “favorite” FedEx dropbox and got the call a few days later…oh how I hate those calls! Anyway after a full day of phone calls and head scratching FedEx informed us that the FedEx box had been replaced with a new one, the old box had been taken to the “old dropbox graveyard” with the doc package in it!!!!! We never did recover them. Luckily we were abie to resign and make it work but that was CRAZY!!!!

    Comment by Wendy Rehberg — April 13, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  4. This one topped the cake for me, and I’ve had a few. I did a Power of Attorney signing a little over a year ago. I brought my Fedex package to our local pack and ship place, rather than putting it in a drop box . Well, the receiving party never got it, Fedex said the pack and ship must’ve lost it, the pack and ship said Fedex lost it. So I had to go meet with the signor, who was 100 years old, and due to her advanced age was not a quick process. at my expense I had to meet with her and pay the Fedex bill out of my own pocket. I wasn’t happy.

    One year and a few months later, I get an invoice from Fedex. I research the bill and find out that it was the Power of Attorney package! What happened was that Fedex was replacing their old trucks with new ones and were disassembling their shelves out of the old trucks. Someone found the envelope and without contacting me, they just re-packaged it with a new tracking number, delivered the package which at this point was useless and billed me! After several phone calls to them and still receiving payment due letters it was finally removed from my bill.

    I’ve also put a UPS closing package in a drop box located outside of the UPS warehouse because in our area, they close their doors at 5:30 but empty the drop box outside of their warehouse at 6:30, which was the latest time in the county. It was a Friday night, last day of the month and 6:20pm. No Saturday pickup unless I pay for a pickup from my house, so I put the package in the warehouse’s drop box. Monday morning, no package was delivered, but angry phone calls from a realtor and title company wanting to know what I did. I call UPS and find out they forgot to pick up their own warehouse drop box Friday night! Now the lender says we have to re-sign since we are in a new month. But now we would be out of contract on a bank-owned property. UPS agrees to release the package back to me and the realtor drives 7 hours with the package to deliver it to the title company to save the deal.

    Comment by Laura Sutterfield — April 16, 2012 @ 1:22 am

  5. I had a closing last week where title instructions were to use a dropbox or .. I advised them that the signing might not finish in time for the last actual pickup & asked if they wanted it to sit in the dropbox overnight or have me hold it to hand to an actual person. They said dropbox was fine, so that made it their problem, especially as they said it in an email, which I kept. As it happened, I made it to UPS as they were closing & the driver took the package when I showed him that the after hours dropbox was full. No receipt, but put in his hands. I don’t trust the pickup times on the boxes & will only use them with specific written/ emailed instructions to do so.

    Comment by Tim Gatewood — April 30, 2012 @ 3:24 am

  6. ups and fed ex do not have your ss# so they cannot riuin your credit. all they can do is annoy you.

    Comment by eleanor — May 17, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  7. I drop about 1000 Fed Ex a year… often using a drop boxes… Only had ne deleay for couple of hours due to snow storm….. I thenk they and UPS do and outstandng job.. I drop a package at 9:00 PM and it’s half way across the county by 8:00 AM the next morning

    Comment by Tom Kopecky — May 21, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  8. I dropped two packages in the Fedex box outside the post office. Both title companies called me the next day saying they did not get their package. Then the signing companies and the lenders called me. Fedex in another state called to say their client called them and where are the packages? I spoke to six or seven people once and several times more. I told everybody where I dropped the packages but nothing was done until the next day when the regular pickup occurred. Seems the driver either forgot or quit working. Who knows?
    I got off the hook with my clients because Fedex admitted their mistake. Never again! Now everything goes to the local center, Fedex or UPS.

    Comment by Gerald Diaz — May 28, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  9. I drop my packages, but please keep in mind if you call for a pickup, Fed-ex does charge. I know my office gets charged pickup fees when we call. That’s a very large added expense.

    Comment by Kim Mervine — May 29, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

  10. I think the drop box issue depends on where you live and how reliable the pickup services are. I live in a rural area in Alaska. In my area, it takes 2 days to get the Fedex or the UPS driver to pick up–so obviously calling for package pickup doesn’t work for me. Drop boxes are certainly more convenient, but I never use them. While working as an escrow officer I once had a signing package lost for 3 weeks. What a headache that was! For all the bad results described in others’ comments, as a signing agent I take the time and expense to drive the additional 15 miles to a store to drop the package and obtain a receipt. The comment about using the contract company as the shipper is a great one….and yes it can damage your credit if you have a collection with FedEx or UPS. They don’t need your SS# to file a collection.

    Comment by Vicki Kluever — May 30, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  11. I am one of those who has no choice but to use a drop box. I live in a rural area and a lot of my closings take place in the evening after hours. I have wondered at times about docs getting lost. Sometimes I am lucky enough to do a closing in a larger city that has a hub and can hand deliver the package.

    Comment by CLarice Brashier — June 8, 2012 @ 11:29 am

  12. Good Information. Good read on all of the comments. If I cannot get to UPS depot, I use the local UPS store or Staples. Both of wich will give me a receipt for my drop off. Luckly, FEDEX has several depots in Northern New Jersey.

    Comment by David Leidy — June 27, 2012 @ 2:32 am

  13. I am sorry to hear about the many problems you have faced. But to give the couriers credit, most are very reliable. There are 12 comments on this page about bad experiences but there are millions of packages dropped off in boxes nationwide on a daily basis and 90% are picked up with tracking. Your experiences are rare and unfortunate. I know our Fedex courier here is always at his box right at or later than the time on the box and he always takes out the packages with care. He even checks the hopper. Sometimes the hopper gets a letter stuck in there once in a while. The boxes save the courier a lot of time. Instead of having to go to every house to pick up packages they can concentrate on deliveries. Our courier has told us many times on how little time they get to have all these packages delivered and the companies cutting back on drivers which make them have to deliver even more. If you have a REALLY important check or closing I would definitely make sure it is in someones hands, or make copies of everything. That is what I do, make copies of the paperwork, airbill. Our courier has told us stories about people dropping the ups and post office stuff in his box. You need to make sure you are dropping your item in the right box as well. Hopefully this helps. Nothing is perfect but it is the same with a letter in the post office box. How do you know it will get there? You just gotta have faith.

    Comment by Carl Lewis — December 9, 2012 @ 12:22 am

  14. I have no choice. Drop boxes are all I have. I have never had an issue.

    Comment by Anne — July 9, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  15. I put a Fedex ground box in the dropbox by mistake. They didn’t call me, ship it back to me, nothing… They threw it out. I’m out hundreds of dollars. Never use them. Ever. Heck, never use fedex.

    Comment by Charlie — September 8, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

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    Comment by Jeanna — December 4, 2014 @ 11:14 pm

  17. I use drop boxes all the time but I take a video of the package and the video shows my watch for time and it also shows putting the package in the box.

    Comment by David — April 11, 2015 @ 4:11 pm

  18. Ok so let me make something clear here ….First if dropping any document or any pkg for that matter pls make sure u are using the correct drop box for the shipment label u are using to send ..example. . If your label is shipping express , use the express drop box ….you are shipping ground ,,take it in to a facility DO NOT put your ground pkg in an express box … There are several companies within FedEx and THEY ARE NOT THE SAME OR PICK UP FOR EACH OTHER …. there is express , ground, home delivery , and freight … so if you put a pkg, for being lazy or what ever reason , in the incorrect box , YOU WILL have trouble and a lot of delays!!!

    Comment by gabby — April 12, 2015 @ 11:47 pm

  19. And to schedule a pick up is only $4 *FYI …..you’d be suprised how many people call in saying “I PUT MY FEDEX PKG IN A UPS DROP BOX “, OR “MY GROUND pkg shows no movement ,I dropped it at an EXPRESS drop box” ….

    Comment by gabby — April 12, 2015 @ 11:56 pm

  20. There is a drop box in Hammond, IN at 5900 Hohman Ave that is broken into all the time. The documents are discarded in an alley behind the offices. Neither the Hammond police nor FedEx consider this a problem. I would strongly suggest that you don’t use this drop box.

    Comment by kevin — October 9, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

  21. Unfortunately, I learned this a little too late. I dropped a package that contained all my personal information (i.e. copies of tax returns). The package got lost and 6 days after it, my personal information was used to open credit accounts, change credit information on two of my credit cards, and etc. I am not accusing anyone, but find it very interesting that the package got lost and only 6 days after my personal information was stolen. I have been doing online transactions for years and never had my personal information stolen. If anybody had similar situation and know what to do to get to the bottom of the case, please contact me.

    Comment by Dilson — February 4, 2016 @ 2:30 am

  22. I had a situation where only 2 pages of a refinance package arrived at the Title Company. I was lucky that the girl at fed ex told me the package weight was 2 lbs. I was lucky this was stated on the tracking notes, as the title company wanted to blame me. I always make sure I use a larger envelope for bigger packages. Extra tape is a good idea also.

    Comment by Tracy — April 18, 2017 @ 12:26 pm

  23. Depends. We are rural but Champaign/Urbana/Savoy, IL have around 15 FedEx and 15 UPS boxes, and most are right behind a local bank. I have not ever had an issue using these boxes and they start tracking as soon as they pick them up. Many of the smaller towns that I go for signings used to have dropboxes, but both FedEx and UPS have pulled them, so I cannot use those. I also won’t use a UPS box that is right behind a gas station/snack store in one small town, but I do use the FedEx box in that town, next to a bank. Several larger towns don’t even have distribution centers any more. I let my vendors know that it will cost them if I have to drive back to C/U where they do have distribution centers and UPS Stores. If there are any checks that are enclosed with the documents I always drop where I can get a receipt. Don’t care about dropoff if the signing is late bc the title company is responsible for making the appointment with the signers and I have held documents until the next shipment day rather than rush and miss cutoff when I need a receipt. The longer I do signings the more time I give them. I suggest scheduling so that each signing has a 2 hour window, then you calculate time for travel, so I can only perform up to 3 signings in any day, usually 8-9AM, 12PM, 3-4PM. I have HAD my car accident after a signing, where a woman raced across an intersection and hit me, and there is now a 4 way stoplight there, so I refuse to rush driving anywhere anymore for any reason.

    Comment by betty — March 1, 2019 @ 7:35 pm

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