An Aggravating Update

To those reading, this post is meant to be a warning, a show of gratitude… And maybe also a bit of a venting.

Mail Delay

If you have been following my journey, it won’t surprise you that Smugness and I have decided to swap out our tent. After entering New Hampshire, we realized that our tent (Zpacks DupleXL) just won’t cut it anymore; I think the free-standing pitching complexities on a tent platform were the final factor that made us bite the bullet and switch tents. Between the tent’s high vestibules, lack of protection in inclement weather, and the almost impossible pitching regime on a tent platform, we decided to call for our Big Agnes tent.

Our Big Agnes Tent

Being a gear junky is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, I’ve got a lot of gear that I have tried and tested. On the other hand, it makes purchasing on the fly impractical. Given that we own a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 3 MtnGlo tent, it would be silly to purchase something similar here. I should mention that we decided to swap out our bapckpacks and other items as well, so the tent is not the only big ticket in the box. Anyway, instead if buying new on the fly, we have to pay for the shipping costs to have it sent out.

Having blasted through Massachusetts and Vermont, we were super eager to keep up the miles, and get through New Hampshire and Maine as quickly as we could. Consequently, we paid to have our tent shipped out to us. We paid for overnight shipping, and insured the package at a cost of a WHOPPING 500$ CA… We didn’t realize that was what it would cost until we paid for it, but c’est la vie. We sent for our tent when we were in Hanover, NH, and had it delivered to North Woodstock, NH. This parcel was due to arrive on June 20, so we made sure to arrive on time to recieve it. Upon arrival, we found our parcel had been delayed, and our hopes of having a quick mail swap were dashed.

Crappy Service and Zeros

Optimistic that the observation of Juneteenth was causing our parcel delay, we decided to zero at a local motel. June 21 came and went, with no parcel in sight. After looking at parcel tracking, there were no relevant updates as to our parcels status or location, so Smugness and I decided to do a small flip to get some miles under our belt.

This is when we got the news: our parcel was being held at customs, and we weren’t informed of the missing documentation until June 23rd. Further, we submitted the documentation to them and they failed to provide it to customs for another 3 business days. Their lack of expeditious communication, as well as shit customer service has meant that Smugness and I finished as much as we could before the Presidentials, but still have to wait an additional 10 days for this package to arrive (minimum). That’s right. we have spent 10 days in the area, only 4 of which were put towards miles.

To put it plainly, FedEx has cost us 500$ in shipping, and 6 nights stay in North Woodstock… As well as 6 days worth of miles… So far. Its the 29th today, and we still don’t have our parcel. If I could do it again, I would just buy a different tent because this process has been a nightmare.


Scott and Pam

Thankfully, we found Scott and Pam. These lovely trail angels allow hikers to camp in their yard for 25$/person/night, which saved us from the cost of staying in a motel. I cannot praise this place and them enough. They have been gracious hosts, letting hikers use their barbeque, charging, Wifi, providing local rides, and even setting up an outdoor hot shower system on their property. I should add, they also own a small Wigwam village with beds, string lights, hammocks, and other bougie accessories which you can rent to stay in. They’re incredibly friendly people, with adorable elderly and friendly dogs, and I believe that they provide an absolutely amazing level of service… They really do take care of you.

We rented a wigwam, it was the cutest thing EVER.

Our little slice of paradise at Scott and Pam’s

Slow Down

The delay of our parcel, however frustrating, has not been without a silver lining. We were able to use this time to go through the Whites at a slower pace, which meant I got to savor the section of trail I had been looking forward to the most: Franconia ridge. Additionally, we were able to act as tourists in this small town; Mini Golf and trained bear shows were some of the highlights of the North Woodstock/Lincoln area. Last, we were able to just kick back and relax…

Franconia Ridge!

Given the series of recent events, I’ve found it increasingly easier to ask myself “What is good? What is bad?” Had our parcel not been delayed, perhaps we wouldn’t have been able to find time to stop and smell the roses in this area… So really, was this good, or was this bad? Who’s to say?

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Comments 5

  • Craig : Jun 30th

    So a customs delay caused by your shipper having the wrong or missing paperwork. Sorry this falls in your lap. Fedex has no control over customs delay. The only one that has cost you anything is you amd your shipper. Shame on you for playing the blame game. This ones on you!

    • Mountain Goat : Jun 30th

      Hi Craig,
      You’re correct that an error in paperwork is on me, and that customs is a third party through which FedEx has no control. The part that upsets me is the delays in communication. If they need something from me, it shouldn’t take more than 3 nusiness days (on what was supposed to be an overnight) for them to communicate that. Further, I provided them with the necessary paperwork the day they asked for it, and they failed to submit it to customs for 3 more business days (which was confirmed by them in writing). When you pay for expedited service, communication is part of that service. Overall, absolutely I’m responsible for the initial delay at customs. However, their lack of communication has 100% delayed the resolution of this process.

      I didn’t mention this in the blog, but another frustrating aspect of their service has to do with customer care. When your package goes to customs, a FedEx employee is assigned to you and your parcel. That agent has never answered their phone or returned a call in this entire process. Again, for 500$, their service is disappointing.

      I’m glad you’ve allotted me the opportunity to clarify that though.

    • Smugness : Jun 30th

      And shame on you for having the reading comprehension of a fourth grader Craig.

      FedEx absolutely controls when their agents reach out to inform you of issues, and when they submit paperwork, and they delayed the process for no reason twice (on an overnight shipment) for several days.

      Nowhere does she say that Customs is to blame in any of this, and as the title of the post suggests, her displeasure is aimed at FedEx.

      Bonus goat fact: the reason for the initial hold up with customs was because the person who shipped the package was told to put their info under the “organization” section, prompting customs to believe this package was part of an international purchase/sale.

      I think it’s entirely proper to be upset with your shippers when they’re the initial and ongoing cause of your issues.

    • The Bees Knees : Jun 30th

      How boring is your life Craig, that you have the time to read random blogs and “critique” them for no reason? I hope this brought you a little meaning and made you feel very smart. c:

      poor guy

  • george d summersell : Jun 30th

    Was this good or was this bad? Maybe good in an annoying, irratating, frustrating, exasperating way.


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