I called the nearest FedEx and had the following conversation:
Me: If I bring something in tomorrow, would the date on the package be the day you *received* it, or the day it will be *picked up*?
FedEx Guy: The day we receive it, if you bring it in before four o'clock.
Me: Okay...this is really important, so are you sure?
FedEx Guy: Definitely. We'll mark it with the day you paid if you get it in before four.
He was very specific and certain, so we breathed easier and figured we'd get it out first thing in the morning.
Today, we go to the FedEx, and I ask once more: "Will the date on the package be marked today?" Guy Behind the Counter (GBC) assures me, "Yes, it'll be marked today." Awesome. Fill out paperwork, pay, he prints it...
And the date is 11/02/2009. November 2nd. As in, TOMORROW.
Me: Ummmm....you said the package would say today.
GBC: Yeah, see, the receipt says today.
Me: No, I don't need the receipt to say the first. I need the package to say the first.
GBC: But it won't be picked up until tomorrow.
Me: I know that, but I was told that the date would be TODAY if I got it in before 4.
GBC: Well, you can check the tracking information. That will tell you it was dropped off on the first.
Wait, what? I'm standing RIGHT THERE in front of him. I know that the package was dropped off on the first! The important thing is that the people who get the package know it was dropped off on the first. If the outside of the envelope doesn't say 11/01/2009, they won't even open it.
So, we canceled the transaction and set off to find other options. Eventually what we figured out was that if we bought the postage online it would have the date we printed it, even if it was picked up on the 2nd.
The bad service wasn't that FedEx couldn't help fix my partner's mistake, it was that they told me they *could*...and then told me something completely different when we went in to the store. I went to the same store I called, and I wish I'd asked for the guy's name on the phone so I could report what happened. GBC didn't give us a hard time about the refund, but the waste of time was pretty annoying.