Read, ye! And be thee not so stupid!

Eight days ago, I packed up my beloved full-frame SLR, my travel-worn and equally loved wide angle lens, and the one lens I own that takes us beyond 50mm (a Christmas gift from Paul) — and packed them up for a long trip to Virginia, where Canon Camera’s Repair and Cleaning Division told me to send them for a tune-up.  The trip was pre-arranged with Canon, I’d filled out all the necessary paperwork, packed the lenses in their original boxes with the original padding (the camera was bought used and didn’t come with a box, so I packed it in special foam and bubble wrap) and everything was protected within a sea of foam peanuts.  Before closing the box, we had it inspected by the folks at FedEx, to get their stamp of approval that all was well-packed before I said goodbye.

Canon said to wait a week after shipment; it might take them a day to get to the box, assess the situation, and call with a cleaning and repair estimate.  After a week, I checked.  The package never arrived.

Because it never left Memphis.

So I call Memphis.  Over several phone calls, I learn:

— The box lost its routing slip.

— They found the box and opened it to examine the contents.

— They found “a Canon camera” and a box with “EF 17-40” on it.  Sounds promising, but more information is needed.  Except.

— They won’t confirm the type of camera, won’t check that the one lens is still in the box (EF 17-40 is the wide-angle lens) and won’t confirm the existence of another box (the other lens).  “I just don’t know.”  They repeat.  “No, I can’t go down there.”  They explain with fake remorse.

— No.  They can’t take a picture of the box or do more to discover what is there, or, at least, “it is very unlikely.”  Ultimately, all they can do is read the notes because “It’s not their department.”  I ask to speak to the department checking the box, the floor, whatever.  They say that they will “have to have them call me back.”  Okay.  Finally, something positive.  “They’ll call later on tonight,” they tell me.

— Except no one calls back.

So, this morning, I call again.

— Oops.  Their bad.  Yeah, well, that camera and lens from last night?  We sold it on ebay last night can’t find it now.  Fill out a claim form.

— No, we can’t help you fill out the form, with all those crazy questions and numbers.  “It’s not our department.”  And?  “No, no one from that department is in today.”

FedEx decided to open up my shipment and keep what they liked.

But here is the stupid part: I only insured the package for the value of the contents, NOT the replacement value.  And the replacement value?  Almost twice the insured value ($2000 versus $3800).  Also?  The camera is very hard to find now, as it’s an older model.  I’d waited several years for it to fall in price in the used market and finally found a price low enough about 16 months ago.  How will I replace it?

I was crying hot tears of anger and regret as I wrote down the necessary tracing and control numbers from FedEx, numbers that are suppose to help me in this claim.  Why was I so stupid?


And also?  If driving through Memphis, please pull over a take a giant shit on the lawn of FedEx.  Just for me.