FedEx has found itself severely mauled by a YouTube video displaying “unacceptable” behaviour by one of its delivery staff, which went viral in the United States.
The video clip , showing an employee delivering a brand new flatscreen computer monitor to a household by casually hurling it over the garden fence, has now been viewed by more than 4.5m people on the Google-owned social media website.
This morning, the story has spread across network television in the United States to be seen by millions more.
FedEx has since apologised in person to the customer concerned, and arranged for a replacement of the computer monitor thrown by its delivery man, as well as “redoubling our efforts to keep things like this from happening again”.
The employee videotaped throwing the computer monitor has been taken off package delivery duties, and is going through the disciplinary process.
FedEx has been forced into a massive damage limitation exercise after the American media caught onto the story over the past 24 hours, while reporting on the record numbers of packages being delivered to US homes this festive season.
FedEx spokesman Jeff McCluskey told Post&Parcel this morning that he could not say whether the YouTube video had inflicted damage on the FedEx brand, at an important time of year for the shipping giant.
“We don’t know if this has damaged us or not, we were shocked when we saw it, and have been taking appropriate actions to see that this kind of thing does not happen again, both with the individual involved and the rest of the employees,” said the FedEx spokesman.
“I don’t believe the excellent reputation FedEx rightly has because of its dedication to outstanding service should be affected by one careless act that has taken off like this in a viral manner.”
McCluskey added that whether or not the incident had occurred during a particularly busy delivery period or not, it had been “flat-out unacceptable”.
FedEx Express SVP Matthew Thornton took to YouTube himself to respond to the clip, stating that FedEx was learning a lesson over the incident
FedEx said today it moved “roughly” 17m packages on the busiest day of its history, Monday last week (December 12). The company celebrated the feat by ringing the New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell this morning.
However, “roughly” delivering a single package to one YouTube user has dominated its news cycle today, above and beyond the record volumes.
Issuing a statement to the media, FedEx said it was taking the incident as a lesson to staff that “every single package is the most important one”.
As part of the response, senior vice president for FedEx Express US operations Matthew Thornton posted a video of his own on YouTube, as well as an entry on the corporation blog, stating that he was “upset, embarrassed and very sorry” for the poor customer experience shown in the original clip.
“This goes against everything we have always taught our people and expect of them,” he said.
“We are already using this as a learning opportunity. We’ve shared this video internally to remind everyone that every single package is important to you, our customers, and that actions like this are totally unacceptable.”