HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Delayed, lost and even stolen parcels. These are all issues that apartment residents who use Fetch, a package delivery service, told ABC13.
In some cases, residents have to pay for this service which they say is literally not provided.
“It’s deplorable. As if there was no resolution or improvement in services. You go to your phone, you look at it and you say to yourself, ‘Okay, reprogram it. “Hoping he’ll be there, but knowing there’s no guarantee,” John Lohmann explained.
Lohmann said he’s seen packages delayed for days, lost and delivered to the wrong address.
His apartment complex, Crosley Tanglewood, is one of approximately 200 Houston-area complexes that have a contract with Fetch, and he must use the service to have a package delivered to his address.
Fetch is promoted as a convenience for tenants and a time saver for apartment management. They act as a middleman, accepting packages from people in their warehouse.
Residents can schedule when they want their package delivered, but according to John and other apartment residents ABC13 has heard about, that’s not happening. There is hardly any solution from Fetch customer service.
“It’s always like, ‘We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Your ticket has been rescheduled. We’re trying to resolve the issue.’ But otherwise, no further information,” Lohmann said.
Fetch is an Austin-based company with over 200 complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau over the past year and currently has an F rating.
We contacted Fetch about the issues John and others were having. They sent the following statement:
We understand that some residents have shared that they have experienced unsatisfactory service levels. We do not take this lightly and are always looking for ways to improve our protocols and business practices to optimize our services. Our warehouses are staffed to align with incoming delivery times. We work with all major carriers to ensure that large deliveries occur early in the day to allow time for resident packages to be processed and dispatched for same day delivery.
Apartment renters want convenience and the highest possible level of service. We believe that Fetch is the package management device that meets both of these tenant expectations. We allow residents to receive their packages directly at their doorstep when it is most convenient for them. Our service levels in the Houston area have consistently been in the 90s for the past few months, with resident CSAT ratings averaging in the 90s as well.
E-commerce is growing at an alarming rate and shows no signs of stopping. In Houston, on average, an apartment community receives between 75 and 150 packages per day. These need to be managed in some way, and that responsibility usually falls to the on-site team. If you can imagine it, with 100 packages arriving daily in your community, and you combine that with all the other tasks the on-site teams are supposed to handle, the process is a colossal undertaking. And let’s not forget perishables and oversized packages. Many communities don’t have the space or manpower to accommodate the volume and size of packages that constantly arrive. When you add in the labor shortages that the multi-family industry is experiencing, you can see the problem growing exponentially.
Even if a community has processes in place to manage parcels – like a concierge service, parcel lockers, or a parcel room, these solutions are not without problems. For example, often delivery drivers will simply leave packages outside the apartment community’s front doors or in front of the package rooms or parcel lockers rather than using the actual locker system.
We work closely with each resident to rectify any issues or delays in delivery. In the event that Fetch fails to properly complete our service, we work with residents to process a refund in accordance with our terms and conditions.
So what can you do if you think Fetch isn’t delivering? Attorney Ernie Garcia said that while the ability to terminate the lease on this, particularly if you’ve agreed to use Fetch, probably doesn’t exist, you should still bring it up.
“The best thing they can do is that they can express their concerns to all parties involved. That includes the third party that handles the packages, but that also includes the owner, because if the owner has an exit in this contract and they hear enough complaints for their own tenants, they’re going to exercise that,” Garcia said.
The Better Business Bureau said Fetch contacted them over the past few weeks to discuss complaint issues and understand the reporting process.
The bureau said that was a good sign and that these issues people were having were possibly a result of the company’s growing pains.
If you have a concern about where you live that you want us to look into, go to ABC13.com/RentersRights and fill out the form with as much detail as possible.
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