British Man Orders A Kindle Online, Is Sent Human Tumor In FedEx Mixup

| by Karin Sun
tumor sample that James Potten receivedtumor sample that James Potten received

A British man who ordered a Kindle online received something else entirely in the mail.

James Potten, 37, of Cotham, Bristol, ordered a Kindle e-reader from an Internet firm in California. On Jan. 7, a FedEx driver delivered the package to his home. When he unwrapped the parcel, however, he found a box labeled "patient tumor-specimen enclosed" instead of the electronic reader that he was expecting. 

"When I opened it I had quite a shock," Potten, an environmental consultant, told BBC News.

"My name was on the outside, but the contents were not what I expected," he said. " ... The tracking code on the item had the same first five and last three numbers as my order but it wasn't my Kindle."

The tumor specimen, which had been sent from California, was intended for the Royal Free Hospital in London.

"Presumably this is a very important package, and needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible," Potten told the Daily Mail.

"There is a reason it has been sent from America to London, and it could be wasting valuable time while it just stays here," he added.

Potten said he called FedEx several times about the mixup, but customer service agents insisted that he received the correct package.

"They keep telling me I've got my Kindle, but I obviously haven't," he said.

Upon receiving the tumor sample, Potten took a picture of the delivery and posted it to Twitter with the caption: "Wow FedEx. You've swapped my kindle with a tumor specimen. Still waiting for my collection," followed with the hashtags #FedExFail and #notmykindle.

Potten reportedly bought the Kindle from an American company called Waterfi that sells waterproofed electronic devices. 

A representative for the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust released this statement in response to the incident:

It has been brought to our attention that a package intended for one of the institutions based at Royal Free Hospital was delivered to an address in Bristol. We understand the parcel delivery company is in the process of redelivering the package to the correct address. We expect the delivery company to contact all the institutions at the Royal Free Hospital site to establish the identity of the intended recipient. If the Royal Free London was the intended recipient we will await answers from the delivery company as to how this mistake was made.

A spokeswoman for FedEx said that a driver retrieved the tumor sample from Potten's home on Jan. 10 and is "delivering it to the correct address," according to BBC News.

FedEx said it "regretted the error" and "will consider future changes to our processes." 

Sources: BBC News, Daily Mail / Photo Credit: BBC News