Some of you might recall the insane fiasco I encountered when trying to get a cell phone-- but I had another one recently that has me shaking my head. I do a reasonable amount of shipping. I wouldn't say my shipping is prolific, but I probably send one or two parcels per month via various services (not counting my side cable business, which i ship via USPS some 20-30 boxes every couple months). In my personal shipping adventures, I often found myself between a rock and a hard place: I don't like USPS service and my local post office is a nightmare (long lines, limits on number of transactions, inept and/or drunken staff, etc). I don't like UPS too much, I had an insurance claim once for a destroyed Laserdisc player that they basically told me to go fuck myself (including sending an insurance claims guy to my house to tell me in person. He also had the balls to tell me that UPS didn't have many insurance claims, to which i asked him if that were true, why does his job even exist). In addition- in my area, the only way to ship UPS besides a 20 minute drive to Akron is to use a place like Mailboxes etc- which add a substantial markup to their shipping packages, making it a bigger pain in the ass. I do like FedEx, at least in theory. Unfortunately, like UPS, there is no way to ship fedex locally besides Mailboxes Etc, which charges and even BIGGEr markup on Fedex than it does for UPS. The only alternative is another 20-30 minute drive to Akron (FedEx facility is even further away than UPS). So, in my desire to be able to ship without driving an hour round trip-- i thought it might be smart to set up a credit card based shipping account, allowing me to prepay and ship my packages by dropping them at the local drop point. I figured, if I have to have an account with someone, might as well be Fedex... So, I did. i setup an online account- allowing me to ship things via the web- it prints out a label- i slap it on the package, it bills my credit card and I just drop it in the box. Perfect. But not for long. After my first month of happy shipping, I arrived at my local kinkos to find an bold, angry note written in all caps using a sharpie and a canary yellow piece of paper: "THIS BOX IS NOT INTENDED FOR FEDEX GROUND DROP OFF. DO NOT LEAVE FEDEX GROUND OR HOME PACKAGES IN THIS BOX!" So, the local drop off point inside Kinkos, which features a giant bin, obviously specifically designed (and lined with padding) for parcel drop off, does not accept FEDEX ground packages. Of course, I was under the naive notion that FedEx was FedEx, but I guess the ground/home service is considered a lesser citizen, and my packages sent via this method (which i don't use exclusively by the way) must be segregated from the more elite air and next day packages... So I get on my handy dandy cell phone (LOL) and call Fedex and ask them what the hell I should do with my package. It would be a bit coy of me to say that the lady on the phone basically to me EXACTLY where I could stick my package, but that's essentially what happened... She apologized, of course, for the issue with the drop off bin. She explained that Home and Ground should only be delivered to STAFFED locations. When I asked for a reason, she gave me a rather odd rambling about how they didn't want to be responsible for parcels left in unattended bins, but that they still accepted overnight parcels in unattended bins because it was only a small portion of the type of business they did in the overnight department. Although the bin was oversized, and obviously specifically designed and lines with foam padding for parcels, she explained that they allowed only overnight/air parcels because it meant they would only get one or two- and that by allowing ground service drop off, all of a sudden they would be inundated, lol. So, she then tried to suggest alternative drop locations for my parcels. of course, the whole point in signing up for a Fedex account online was to avoid completely having to find a staffed location--- but I figured I'd let her look. Her first suggestion was, of course, the main facility in Akron, about 20 minutes away. No thanks. She then suggested 2 Mailboxes Etc locations, both of which had turned into "UPS STORES" months before, and no longer accepted FedEx shipments. She then tried to suggest an Aurora drop location (which would be even further than Akron)- then Solon (even further still!). She then asked me if I was a business. I said no. She suggested that i could arrange pickup at a business address (but not my home of course)- and she suggested that I could maybe have them pickup at my place of work. Of course, i suggested that i knew a perfect business address they could pickup at, Kinkos here in Beautiful Kent, Ohio. She was not amused. She suggested I could setup pickup at the place I work. Ok, I figured, what the hell- it might get me in trouble for doing so without anyones approval- but for one pickup it can't hurt. She then explained to me that you have to pay a monthly fee for pickup service, and that i would have to setup service for my office and pay a fee monthly to be allowed to get pickups to that address. Of course, my office actually does ship a fair amount of stuff fedex, but they don't bother paying for pickup- they just drop off at Kinkos!! In the end she basically told me that they had zero places within a reasonable driving distance, they would not accept my package at Kinkos, they would charge me for pickup to my office, and that maybe I should look into a different carrier. In the two months since i set up my fedex account I had spent about $200 in shipping (a busy group of months, it wouldn't continue to be that high)- and here I was, with a stack of additional parcels all ready to go-- and I couldn't get them to take my money. I was good customer, using their web interface to basically do the job of their employees- and was a good customer who brought my own packages to a drop off point-- once again essentially doing the job of a carrier in the first place... and yet it still wasn't enough. All I wanted to do was give them my money-- money they had to do relatively little work to earn, and still they didn't want it. I'm amazed in tis modern era what we will put up with, and that we're expected to like it. Companies make it so you, the customer are basically doing 90% of the work that their staff used to do- and yet even then they make you jump through hoops in order to give them your money. I'm just speechless.