January 7, 2007
They’ve Destroyed Both Companies
Just when you thought Verizon was in fact the worst company in the world to do business with (see my post here if for some reason you’re not on that page), along comes FedEx/Kinkos.
I used to be a huge fan of both companies. I was even a fan of the merger and felt like it particularly made sense in light of UPS purchasing Mailboxes Etc. And I don’t know if our experiences are representative, but Mariquita and I have had nothing but bad experiences with both FedEx and Kinkos for the past couple of years.
Kinkos is the worst — most of the people are surly, unhelpful, not smart, have massive attitude, and ignore you when you’re standing in front of them. They never have packing materials, and when they do, they charge you for them and make you pack your own box in their store. Their systems have no idea who you are. We now walk out of our way to the UPS store, where you walk in, hand them a pile of stuff, give them your phone number, and walk out in 2 minutes while they pack your box up and bill it to the credit card on file for your phone number.
And FedEx, which used to be great at its core business, has slipped tremendously as well. Its drivers and delivery guys are spotty; sometimes ok, but sometimes they don’t even try. Their definition of going the extra mile stops at the first foot. And its 800# operators are awful — they clearly went to the Kinkos school of customer service. At least their packages generally get there on time. But at work, we’ve turned increasingly to use Mimeo to both produce and ship high-quality documents without having to print and deal with the FedEx stuff ourselves. A MUCH better alternative.
Again, I just say, why can’t they all be as great as Zappos? It’s just not that hard. And Starbucks has proven that a quick service retail operation can be as great at customer service as an Internet company.