The final chapter in the Fresh Direct saga

This is the last and final chapter in my Fresh Direct saga. In some respects I think it was a mistake to write about it, as it opened me up for personal phone calls (google is a bitch) and hate emails, and nasty comments. But fact is, I ordered Fresh Direct, a lot of New Yorkers order Fresh Direct, so deal. Emotionally I’m at the end of my rope with this and at the end of the day was so disheartened by FD’s final response that I’m ready to throw in the towel and say “You won.”

Yesterday, the director of transportation came to my office to show me pictures of potential people who could have done this. I quickly identified the offender for him. He next handed me his business card and told me the next time I ordered FD to hold up the card to the delivery guy and he would know not to hurt me. I laughed. I didn’t mean to, but what kind of response is that? I told him flat out I would not be ordering FD again, and as if scripted he said he was very sorry but to hold up the card the next time I ordered and I should be okay. He even put his cell on the back just in case something did happen so I could contact him. Great.

The other side of this was that they were doing an internal investigation with the delivery guy. They spoke to the guy today and although they could not give me any employment details they “gauranteed he would not be delivering to my area” any more. It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines of that. Again, I said I’m sorry but I can’t use FD any longer. A few minutes ago, I received a message from the director of transportation who said he thought the last telephone conversation went badly. In return, I left him a message saying I’m just so drained I can’t go any further.

Yes, I suck at life. Yes, they won. But when things like this so consume your life, sometimes it feels like its best if you just let them win. Is this the best resolution? No. I’m a pansy, flake, worthless type of person for letting this happen? Yes. BUT as far as all the comments go, I reiterate, I always tip – just not to guys who demand one from me. And, at the end of the day, in regards to the comments section, I think that old saying should be rewritten to read “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always crush me.” It’s over with and done with and that’s my final word on the matter.

19 Comments so far

  1. Chris Trent (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 5:44 pm

    who the fuck looks up someone they don’t even know and calls/contacts them based on something they read on the internet??? what the fuck?!?!? i read tons of shit written by tons of people on the web every day and it has never occurred to me to seek those people out in real life and respond to or harrass them.

    seriously tessa, they are the unstable, mentally unbalanced ones. don’t let them get to you. you have no obligation to live your life or conduct yourself in any way other than the way in which you see fit. you handled this ordeal the way you felt it should be handled. end of story. don’t feel you need to justify your actions to anyone else.

    and a fucked up ordeal it was. an ordeal that, anyone sane and stable who reads about it (probably 99% of the people who read it–don’t forget that the largest percentage of readers don’t comment at all) feels terrible that you had to go through and supports you in your decisions.

    thanks for writing about it, and hang in there.

  2. Kate (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

    There were a few reporters/journalists who commented to you and wanted your story. Have you followed up with them?

    What about a civil suit?
    Did you call the cops? He mugged you. He forced his way into your home — even if your door is unlocked, that’s legally burglary. It’s a serious crime that this piece of shit delivery guy shouldn’t get away with. For your own safety, please talk to the cops — this guy knows where you live and that you are vulnerable. If he ever comes back, the police are going to take it more seriously if they have record that he has victimized you before.

    Tessa, they won’t win if you do this and you could save someone else from having a lot worse happen to her. NY1 would be interested. I saw someone posted their number for you.

    You’ve had a rough time. I’m sorry jackasses came here to antagonize you. Don’t let them sap your energies. You deserve better.

  3. Kathleen (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 7:31 pm


    Don’t be sorry you wrote about it. I’m glad you did, and I’m glad I read about it. As a result, I will personally be informing Fresh Direct that until I hear that the person WHO BULLIED AND STOLE FROM YOU is fired, I will NO LONGER BE USING THEIR SERVICES.

    You know what makes them listen? MONEY. Or loss of it. And BAD PUBLICITY = LOSS OF MONEY.

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for Fresh Direct to not take something like this seriously. I hate to bring a gender bias discussion into this, but one of the problems we as women might sometimes have is trying to please everyone and being afraid to disagree and stand up for ourselves. You are doing great at that so far, so DON’T STOP NOW!!

    I’m logging on to Fresh Direct now to see if there is a comment section and I will tell them I don’t appreciate their treatment of their customers and women in general.

    Good luck –


  4. ~dana (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 7:51 pm

    I too cannot believe that people are actually calling you and sending you hate mail. WTF? I’m sorry this has been such an ordeal for you. But it also pains me to see that this will happen again–maybe this guy won’t deliver to your neighborhood, but it sounds like he’ll keep his job and I bet this will happen again. I for one will be hyper-vigilant whenever I order from them, and I am sure anyone who has seen or read this will do the same (if not stop ordering from them altogether) It would have been nice for this to get more press and attention, so more people could have been informed, but that is your decision to make and I respect that.

  5. Kathleen (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 8:19 pm

    Here is a copy of the comment I have just sent to FreshDirect through their website. There are other alternatives – some grocery stores are now offering online ordering, and Tessa posted another option in one of her previous posts.

    “To Whom it May Concern:

    I am writing to let you know I will not be giving you my business until I hear the matter concerning the single woman in Manhattan has been resolved. By “resolved” I mean the driver in question has been fired. A company such as yours should take the safety of its customers (and women in general, which must make up your largest demographic) seriously.

    Before you look at my account history and decide this is no big loss – let me share with you my “networking” opportunities.

    1. I run a large beach share house which gives me access to over 50 people – all single, Manhattanites, and a mix of current and potential FD customers.

    2. I used to babysit for practically the entire Upper East Side and am still very friendly with the wealthy mothers that are the primary grocery shoppers for their families. I will be more than happy to share this story with them, as I’m sure they’ll be happy to share it with the other mothers they run into in as they pick up their children from school, playdates, etc. and are searching for small talk.

    3. I also have a large network of friends in the city that are also single and I feel should be warned of this situation.

    4. I have a large network of work contacts who will find this story interesting and useful.

    5. I have two friends who run very large Vermont ski share houses comprised of Manhattan singles. I will ask them to forward this story on to their list.

    I am in no way being defamatory of FreshDirect – I will just be passing on this story as I have seen it unfold on a major website. Given the history of your company (and the “stalker” incidents involving past drivers, I would imagine it is just a matter of time before one of the local news stations picks this up. Who knows, this story may even go national as the state of tipping today is always a hot topic.

    I have never met the woman that was victimized, I do not know anyone that knows her, and she is in no way shape or form involved in this letter of complaint.”

  6. lisa (unregistered) on October 19th, 2005 @ 10:06 pm

    Tessa, I’m sorry that writing about this Fresh Direct incident has caused you so much stress, but I want to thank you for writing about it anyway. For every person who makes an obnoxious comment about how they wish you were handling the situation differently, there are probably 20 other people who appreciate the warning to be more careful when having Fresh Direct (or anything else) delivered to their apartment.

  7. Nora (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 11:10 am

    Tessa –

    They haven’t won. You got the word out, and I and my friends and plenty of people who read this site are not ordering from Fresh Direct until we have some assurance that we will be safe in our homes. Thousands of people are aware of this story now, enough to make a significant dent in their business. Don’t think you’ve given in to anything. Speaking out is often the hardest part, and has the most impact.


  8. stacey (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 2:07 pm

    geez, did you even get the $10 back he took?

  9. Alan (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 11:20 pm


    I went to the updates to follow up the response that I made waaaay ^up there^ somewhere, but now that I’ve come back to the original, I see most of the current comments happens here.

    I think I should actually apologize for opening the gate to the kind of posters that followed me with much abuse and the cursing. That was never the spirit of my post. For you, as the victim of a mugging, I have complete empathy.

    Your blogged account was my first real exposure to this delivery culture, even though I lived in New York for a little while. I lived in Harlem, so the instances of delivery were extremely few and far between. It just wasn’t done among people of low/no-income. And I lived a block away from a supersized PathMark. People came out of those doors loaded down like they were stocking their own stores somewhere else! I never passed any PathMark workers trying to deliver boxes to anyone else–not like I’ve seen FreshDirect and others in midtown and elsewhere with those big boats of groceries. I’m now coming to understand the need for some people to get the groceries delivered, but MY reality was watching mothers and children carrying their bags up stairs. No other alternative really occurred to me.

    That is where my head was when I posted. (Well, that plus the fact that I’ve been economically stung as of late and a lot of my perceptions are being filtered through economic suspicion–in other words, I’m sensitive these days on matters of classism).

    I had no intention to blame you or devalue what you personally went through, and in rereading my original response, I don’t think it dictates that way. However, the general tone may have done that anyway. For that, I do apologize to you.

    After reading your responses to others, I can tell that you are a gracious and brave lady. Whatever preconcieved notions I had of you are now gone.

    As for the others who dogpiled me? Meh. Not so gracious.

    God’s Peace, Tessa.

  10. JT (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2005 @ 8:59 am

    Sorry to hear about your demise. Based on what you have written, I see nothing here that escalates to the level of theft, or even intimidation. I know this is your blog, your story.

    Yet, there are two or more sides to every story, and it is rare that one side recounts the events unfolding exactlty (or even accurately) as they developed.

    Did you feel threatened? Yes. Were you coerced? I do not know. You could have (simply) told the delivery person to leave your apartment, or you would call the police; or you could have forced him out of your apartment.

    Yes: The answer to the next obvious question. How do you “force” someone 8 inches taller and 80 lbs heavier than you out of your apartment?

    My dear(s), if you do not have the means, or the tools to defend yourself from attack IN YOUR OWN HOME IN THAT INSTANT, you are beyond help, because even if you dialed “911”, in the 75-90 seconds (or NY minute) it takes them to get there, you could have been very raped, very blugedoned, or very dead.

    It’s YOUR life. Quit expecting “the police” to be the primary source of preserving it. Three of ten responses here indicate you should call the police, file charges etc. From this point on do your civic duty, preservation of life is the most valuable right we have.

    Oh, by the way, next time FD comes by, have a can of (legal) pepper spray or something handy…or maybe even that signed baseball bat you got when you went off to college.


  11. Platypus (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

    This is BS. They dispatch people out with specific orders. There is no way that they can’t know who delivered to your apartment.

    You should contact the local media, if you can stand the attention, and go public. Imagine the amount of potential business you could kill by simply going on TV or talking to the Post.

  12. Jason (unregistered) on October 24th, 2005 @ 1:52 pm

    If FreshDirect won’t identify and resolve the issue to your satisfaction, i’d say just use another service. That will speak louder than all the complaints.

    Now, there’s that gets there in under an hour and even food emporium also has an online website.

  13. edEx (unregistered) on October 24th, 2005 @ 7:44 pm

    I think this [FD] response is the same type of response I would expect from Starbucks if the latte king was to have thrown a steaming hot cup of coffee in my face for not saying please.

    I understand the need for an investigation, but holding a photo up next to your perp… yeah – – – obviously they read the same safety guidelines the MTA seems to be using as of late. Godspeed, my friend.

  14. JLD (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 9:21 pm

    JT – I could not agree more. As a woman, I own a 5inch blade and will not hesitate to use it! More woman need to think along the lines of protection….not police. This is the reality

  15. KKB (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 2:46 pm

    I am a single woman in BK who orders Fresh Dee every couple months or so, esp. when I have a big dinner or party.

    I have always had good experiences, but mostly I’ve had weekend dudes who are in a haul-ass hurry to get in and back on the truck. One guy even came with his cute 8-year-old son in tow. But this instance gives me great pause and I thank you for writing about it.

    Being a victim in a culture that loves to piss on its victims is not easy, and this will make you stronger going forward — even if you don’t feel strong now. Believe it, take it, breathe it, work it, and know that there are minions of us invisible internet people there behind you, taunting Fresh Direct and being more alert of deliveries in the city. It’s easy to get tired and complacent, and that’s when these degenerates always seem to sniff you out. Thanks for reminding us all of that.

    Best to you, Tessa.

  16. Lorelai (unregistered) on October 28th, 2005 @ 2:41 pm

    Tessa — Anyone who would actually take the time out to track down the “real” you clearly leads a pathetic non-existence. They give new meaning to the notion of having no life. They are seriously disturbed. I personally sent Fresh Direct an e-mail about how aghast I am at their treatment of you, and about how neither I nor amyone who works in media (my fiend) in NYC will ever be using Fresh Direct until we have proof that FD did right by you. Chin up, Tessa. We are behind you.

  17. JLD (unregistered) on October 28th, 2005 @ 11:13 pm

    !!!!!!!!! I just want to pass this info on for the record !!!!!!!!!!!
    After inquiring directly to FreshDirect regarding the incident (as the idea of this man not getting let go, if it’s true, is alarming). FD quickly responded back to assure me that after completing an internal investigation the delivery man involved was terminated as of October 19. So in the end it looks like justice was served.

  18. LPC (unregistered) on November 1st, 2005 @ 7:26 pm

    You originally claimed that the CMO visited you. Why is that no longer mentioned? Why haven’t you indicated that you’ve changed this? Unfortunately, both these points corrode your credibility.

  19. Female (unregistered) on November 23rd, 2005 @ 8:45 am

    I’m not a regular reader of your blog but came upon it this morning because I received my first order from FD last night and the delivery man made me very nervous. He entered my apartment without my permission and I had the distinct feeling that he was “casing” my apartment. Anyhow, I’m very sorry about what happened to you, having personally been robbed several times in NYC. I think that you probably learned a lot by this experience — I know I have.

    Ladies, if you ever get anything delivered to your apartment, stand in your doonway, blocking the entranceway, and accept the order from right there. Do not let anyone in your apartment.

    I did not tip last night because I did not receive “exceptional” service. As for the delivery people’s livelihoods, the real problem lies not with customers tipping enough, but with FreshDirect not paying a decent wage to their delivery people. All the money that we spend on FD go straight to the pockets of the owners, while I’d be surprised if the delivery people can eke out a decent living for the work that they do.

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