It seems FedEx Help isn’t doing the help it was designed for. It’s disgusting to know that a FedEx customer service site doesn’t seem to be prepared for every situation that arises.
After somehow losing a human skeleton in transit, FedEx used perhaps the milquetoast possible way to apologize for the loss — a generic Twitter reply.
This bizarre story begins three years ago when per an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation a Georgia medical examiner attempted to send the remains of 32-year-old Jeffrey Merriweather to a lab in St. Louis to try to determine how he went from full-bodied shooting victim to skeleton in the span of two weeks.
According to the report, the office was trying to collect information about how he had “became a near-complete skeleton less than two weeks after he was last seen alive during a shooting in East Point.”
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office attempted to send a box containing the 18.6-pound skeletal remains via FedEx, but it never arrived. According to Merriweather’s mother, Kathleen, the debacle is “a nightmare you can’t wake up from.”
With the loss of his body, the cause of his death, or how he ended up in such a state, was never determined — leaving his grieving family without answers.
When the AJC tweeted the story out this past week, however, a FedEx employee who clearly monitors the company’s feeds for mentions of the issue gave a jarringly stilted response.
“I am truly sorry you went through this experience,” read the tweet from @FedExHelp. “Please send a direct message so I can continue assisting you.”
The tweet has since been deleted. However, responses to the article also began being replied to by FedEx’s seemingly automated account.
A spokesperson for FedEx told “Indy 100”, in response to the situation on social media:
“We deleted several company responses to this tweet that were made in error. We apologize for the mistake and are committed to preventing this type of issue from occurring again.”
The Journal-Constitution reports:
“The bizarre episode also may have violated the law. Human bodies are traditionally transported across state lines by airline. FedEx said using its services to send human remains is prohibited, a fact that’s stated in its user manual. The U.S. Postal Service is the only mailing service legally qualified to carry human remains across the country and then only under strict guidelines.”
Lots and lots of questions remain about this bizarre tale — including, chief of which, why the ME decided to send the skeletal remains via FedEx in the first place, which is reportedly not customary for these sorts of specimen transfers.
But for now, we at least know that whoever monitors FedEx’s Twitter feed knows that the company lost a skeleton. And, heck, that’s something.