Since I was a little girl I knew that when it was my turn to become a mother, I was going to breastfeed. I grew up learning that ‘Breast is Best’, about the benefits to breastfeeding for mother and child. I have been breastfeeding my first child, a daughter for almost 5 months now. We had a rough start. On April 1st, 2015, I made two phone calls. The first call was to UPS. I asked if they ship breast milk and dry ice, their answer was no. The second phone call I made was to FedEx. I asked them the same question, and their answer was yes. (I’m not going to mention the names for their privacy.) The woman I spoke with proceeds to tell me what I would need to go buy, specifically from Walmart and go to this specific FedEx shipping center. So, on April 2nd, 2015, I went to Walmart and bought a Styrofoam container that’s sturdy, and dry ice. The container cost me $2.27, the dry ice cost me $5.57, for one pound. Total I spent was $8.47. After I left Walmart, myself and my friend went to this FedEx shipping center. When we arrived, we were the only ones there. We walked up to the counter where I told them (the 3 workers) what I have and what I would like to do. I showed them my 7lbs of breast milk and 1lb of dry ice. I said that I would like to priority overnight ship this to my home address in Louisiana from here. (California). The woman, who we assume is the manager there, proceeds to tell me that they don’t ship breast milk or dry ice. I handed her a paper of the information the woman had told me the day before, and explained to her so and so said you guys indeed ship breast milk and dry ice, or I wouldn’t be here. We were then told to wait, so she and her co-workers can check it out. They come back about 5 minutes later and tell us that we can. They had me fill out the shipping information. Then after I was done, I am told that they will not be able to ship my breast milk in the container that I had just bought.
I asked them if I went to Walmart and bought an actual cooler would they be able to do it. I was told no. The woman suggests and says that we can ship it in a regular shipping box and that it would be fine. My friend helped me take my breast milk and dry ice out of the container and put it in a regular shipping box, which then went into another box. I know what you’re thinking. Why would you allow them to do that? Well for one, I have never shipped with FedEx, and for two, they should know how to do their job, and for three I trusted them, specifically her with my precious goods. I trusted her word. We watched her pack it. As she was packing it, I explained to her that I don’t need something happening to this package, that my breast milk is very important to me, because it’s for my daughter. I told her that it took me almost 4 months to get 7 lbs of it. These are perishable goods. This woman tells me nothing will happen to my package and it will be at my home address when I get there. We, my friend and I, were there for an entire hour trying to get this taken care of since I was boarding a flight with my daughter the next morning at 9am.
On April 3rd 2015, I arrive at my home address to no package. I wait for a few hours, thinking maybe they are running late or something. After those few hours, my husband and I called FedEx to be told it never shipped. Uhm, WHAT?!! Yes, that’s right we were told my package was never shipped, that it was still sitting at this shipping center. We were then given the run around about trying to figure out why it wasn’t shipped to begin with, to try and find a way for someone to go pick it up or have FedEx ship it to my parents address. After 3 days of phone calls and being given different numbers to call, to being placed on hold for hours, to even being gave a number that was disconnected, we finally spoke with someone who had a brain. They told us why it was never shipped out of the shipping center. “Turned out the person who packed it put a hazardous material label on it”, we were told. I said “My breast milk isn’t hazardous material, its perishable goods.” There was nothing we could do. I was told that I won’t be getting a refund. I was livid. The next day I spoke with someone different who said that I will get my refund, instead of it being the cost of my payment, they would give me extra, and that they apologize on the behalf of FedEx for this incident. That my package will ship to my parents address on April 6th, which it didn’t even get there until the 7th of April. 6 days and 5 nights it sat. What I do not understand is why hadn’t anyone managed to check on it, when it’s clearly listed in my file that the contents are breas tmilk?! Anyhow, when it finally arrived at my parent’s home, my father sent me a photo of it.
My breast milk was delivered thawed. On the package my address was crossed out, and there were multiple labels on it. (I had seenit in person as well, a week later). I filed a complaint against the person who packed my package that was never shipped out. Some of the people who work for FedEx were sincere while others were plain rude. I was told I was going to be getting my refund. That it would go directly into my bank account, since I used my card to pay for this. Was told to wait 5 to 7 business days. It took me 7 days shy of 4 months to store up 7lbs of breast milk. Just to never see it again, because of one person, who messed up on the labeling. Today is April 30th, 2015. I called FedEx to figure out what’s going on with my claim and if it was ever received. It was received and denied. That’s right. Denied. I cursed at the woman asking why was my claim denied and why was I not informed. Told me the person who is handling my claim would be the person I would need to talk to. I said to transfer me, and this woman tells me that the office is closed and to try tomorrow. I asked for the person’s name who is handling my claim. I then said to this woman if she could take down my number and give it to this person to have them call me so we can discuss my claim. She was not able to disclose my claim information as to why it was denied. After that phone call, I got a phone call from FedEx. It was a woman telling me that she feels my pain, that she breastfed all 6 of her children. That if this woman could, she would help me. She was so nice and sincere. Said she hopes I get what I need. My message is to let people, especially breastfeeding mothers know that FedEx did not take care of their customer, me. That because of one person, My Precious Gold, for my daughter, is gone. That because of an employees mistake, my daughter has to suffer. I no longer have a stash of breast milk for her. This entire month, I have pumped my breasts for milk to start a stash, and all I have is about 16oz. I went to having 7lbs, to 16oz!!!! I’ve told FedEx that I will never ship with them again. Each person that I’ve spoken with that works with FedEx has heard my story. I’d also apologize for my cursing and my rudeness. I really hope something like this doesn’t happen in the future, for any breastfeeding moms. It’s devastating and truly heartbreaking.
After writing out this story, the woman I spoke with is the one who takes care of my claim who ‘supposedly’ denied it in the first place, along with a few other people. She said they would get together and see about this. A few people are saying they should refund me, plus some. Too bad I couldn’t get my breast milk back though. Yes, I need the money, but the breast milk was all I cared about. My refund from FedEx. … $233.27, the shipping plus an additional amount that may have been a per ounce amount. The woman who was handling my claim sounded sincere when apologizing for what happened.