MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man who depended on FedEx to deliver some precious cargo is now missing something he can’t replace: his father’s ashes.
Thomas Ewing was just trying to get some items delivered to his apartment here in Memphis, while he was visiting family in Portland, Oregon, back in February. One of those items was an urn with the ashes of his late father, a military veteran.
“He created a small momento urn which I could take with me and bring back to Memphis,” said Ewing. “It was the urn and his memorial flag were the things I was bringing back from Portland to Memphis.”
To make sure everything got to his home, he depended on shipping giant FedEx. He says he was given a delivery date, a time when he would be back in town, but he says FedEx later changed the delivery date.
“This was problematic because I wasn’t gonna be in Memphis to receive it. Had it been delivered at the time I had scheduled none of this would have happened,” Ewing said.
So Ewing says he called FedEx and told them explicitly not to deliver the packages. but hold them for pick up. He says they only held one package, but the piano and ashes had been delivered to his apartment and left at the door.
“I though uh oh, big issue because I have been out of town for the last seven days. I live in a busy apartment complex and this big piano box, which say what it is in front of it, has been sitting in front of my door for 7 days,” said Ewing.
The very thing he feared happened.
“When I got back to my apartment, it was indeed gone—stolen. I knocked on my neighbors’ doors and they verified they had seen a big box and it was no longer there, and there was no tracking it down from that point,”’ he said.
That began his month’s long back and forth with FedEx. He says he had to file several forms, even though he had insured the items with a value up to $200.
“They said ‘We delivered it, what is the issue?’ I said ‘It was delivered, that was the issue.’ The issue was I requested both of these packages be held,” said Ewing.
To top it off, he says they told him to prove the value of what was in the box. That was hard to do with ashes.
After months of getting nowhere, he gave up.
“I felt unheard,” Ewing said.
FedEx sent us a statement saying, “We understand how important these shipments are to Mr. Ewing and regret that this happened. We are currently looking into these claims and will work directly with Mr. Ewing on this matter.”
Ewing says he has learned a lesson: get pictures of everything you ship.
“Because it was delivered, it is against their policy they will not be responsible, so I am up a creek, I guess you could say,” Ewing said.