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13 February 2018

Asking for an Autograph?

Whenever you're booking a label for shipment, you are bound to run into one of life's biggest questions. Should you, or shouldn't you, require a signature for receipt of the package? 

At first glance, it seems like a simple enough problem. Valuable package? Or course you should require a signature. That proves that it was delivered to the right person and no one else gets a chance to steal it.  Doesn't it?

Yes, and no. Requiring a signature to release your package will give you proof that the package was delivered into someone's hands, but it is not a guarantee that it was delivered into the right hands. Now, chances are, if the FedEx driver pulls up to the wrong address and tries to deliver your package there, the person asked to sign for it should notice and say, "Hey, you're at the wrong place, this isn't mine." But, if they don't notice that it's not addressed to them, or if they are the sort of character that is happy when the person in front of them in line accidentally drops $20 out of their pocket, they may gladly sign for your package without anyone realizing there's been a mistake until it's dangerously late. 

Beyond the very small risk of the wrong person signing for your package, there is another, much bigger, hidden risk that many don't realize. 

FedEx drivers have a LOT of packages to deliver and are on a tight schedule--especially those with Priority Overnight shipments on their truck. They are in a hurry and absolutely hate to wait around for someone to answer the door. If the person receiving your package doesn't answer the door the instant the driver rings/knocks, there is a very good chance the driver will conclude that no one is home and return the box to the truck and continue on his rounds. He made the attempt within the allotted time, and that's all that matters to him.  

So, rather than ensuring your package is safely delivered to its new owner, it ends up back on the truck, making the rounds in whatever hot or cold weather extremes are brewing for that day. It likely won't be attempted for delivery again until the following day. 

"Well, I'll make sure my buyer is waiting by the door, ready as soon as the FedEx guy shows up!" You say. All well and good, but what if the driver shows up earlier than expected? Or later? Or just at that very moment when a run to the bathroom was critical? (Honestly, it seems destined to happen that way, like your toast always landing butter-side down when you drop it!) If your buyer can be there attending the door, they can just as easily be there to scoop the package up off the porch as soon as it is delivered. 

Allowing the driver to leave the package on the porch is, by far, the least risky method for delivery. Your buyer/recipient should be there to receive it in any case, so they will be watching for it.  It should not be at risk of being left outside in extreme temperatures or at the mercy of thieves. If they can't be sure they can pick it up as soon as it's delivered, then it should, instead, be shipped and held at the nearest FedEx Ship Center where the buyer can pick it up when they are ready. 

And last, but not least, why not save a few extra dollars? FedEx charges a $4.75 fee for a signature confirmation, adding that cost to your shipping label. This is one worthy shortcut that saves you money instead! It's a win/win/win...for you, your customer, and the animal being shipped!

If you ever feel like your situation is peculiar and are unsure about whether or not the Signature Required is a good idea, feel free to contact our Customer Service Desk and ask for their advice. 

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