FedEx’s Twitter account offered to assist in locating a dead body shipped and allegedly lost by the courier three years ago, in an extremely misplaced attempt at customer support.
On July 14, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted an article about FedEx allegedly losing a package that contained human remains, and the pain of the deceased’s family as they continue to wait, three years later, for answers.
“Man’s body still missing 3 years after Georgia medical examiner shipped it via FedEx,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweeted, with a link to the piece.
The official support account for FedEx, @FedExHelp, replied: “I am truly sorry you went through this experience. Please send a direct message so I can continue assisting you. -Gaby.”
Gaby has clearly misread the room on this one. FedEx deleted the tweet, but it’s still visible in archives. Screenshots of the interaction also went viral on Twitter:
According to the article, “The FedEx receipt included in the public records shows that Merriweather’s remains were placed in a 20″x16″x14″ box. It was shipped on July 5, 2019 for $32.61 and was supposed to arrive at the St. Louis City Medical Examiner’s Office within two days.” The medical examiner said that the package was last tracked in FedEx’s Austell facility—dubbed the “black hole” because of its record of losing packages—and disappeared from tracking after that.
In the replies to another tweet from the Journal-Constitution, yet another FedEx support person tried to help:
Tweets from automated accounts like bots are required to be labeled as such, and this one from Gaby is not. It’s not clear whether FedEx is simply shirking the Twitter rules for labeling its bot accounts, or if Gaby is a real, and likely very overworked, human being who is doing their best to respond to every tweet that mentions a FedEx failure.
The FedExHelp account has said before that it’s not a bot, but a real person. Getting on Twitter to tag a corporation that wronged you has become the platforms’ unofficial pastime, and it’s not surprising that those corporations are getting overzealous and replying, desperately, to offer help to any complaint that mentions their brand—even when it’s about shipping a dead body.
FedEx did not immediately respond to a request for comment.