mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
mabfan

My DHL Experience

Back in December, a few people I know shared their experiences of bad customer service with the courier DHL. (For those who are interested in reading those stories, I've given the links at the end.) Now, my own experience with DHL had been minimal and okay; a few times, I ordered items from companies that used DHL's Airborne service to deliver to my PO Box, and in all cases the items arrived just fine.

But after reading the testimonials referenced below, I became very nervous last week when I found out that the bank we've been using for Mom's estate account planned to ship some vital documents to my brothers and me via DHL. I looked into the possibility of the bank using another courier, but apparently the bank and DHL have a contract of some sort, and so DHL is the only courier they use.

So I resigned myself to the delivery coming from DHL, and I figured that this would give me a chance to praise DHL's delivery and point out that the previous testimonials I had read might have been aberrations.

You can probably see where this is going. Let me start off by saying that all three of us did in fact receive our packages last Wednesday, so in the end everything turned out fine.

However, in all three cases DHL did not deliver correctly.

My older brother had his package delivered to his home. DHL was supposed to ring the bell and get a signature. The courier did not do so; my older brother discovered the package leaned against his front door when he went looking because the package had not yet arrived. Given the importance of these documents, and the fact that anyone walking by could have taken the package, this was not a good thing.

My younger brother, who works in a university, had requested the package delivered to his office. Instead, DHL delivered it to one of the other offices in the building. Fortunately, Josh knows the people in the other office and was able to locate his package.

As for me...it's a good thing they provided tracking numbers.

I requested the package be delivered to my office, and I included my company name and our mailroom floor in the address. The way package delivery works at my company is that everything gets delivered to the mailroom, and then the mailroom staff distributes the packages throughout the morning. By 11 am, they're usually done. (And if I may say so, the folks in our mailroom do an excellent job of getting packages to the other employees as soon as possible.)

Since I had the tracking number, I was able to see that the package had been delivered by 8:38 am, but the name listed as signing for it was an unfamiliar one. I waited for our mailroom staff to deliver the package, but by 11 am it had not yet shown up, and one of the mailroom staff had told me that he had not seen a DHL package for me.

So I went down to our mailroom to ask the staff about it. They didn't have it, but apparently had some familiarity with DHL making delivery errors before. They suggested I check with the mailroom for the other company that shares our building, which meant going to a floor that did not belong to us and which I couldn't access with my ID. Fortunately, an employee of that company let me onto their mailroom floor, and their mailroom staff quickly and efficiently located my package.

In other words, DHL's courier assumed that a package meant for company X on floor 9 – and indicated as such on the address label – should be delivered to company Y on floor 3.

Again, had it not been for tracking numbers and the knowledge of my own company's mailroom staff, I might still be looking for this package of vital documents. All I can say is, thank God they didn't deliver it to an entirely different building.

Now, if DHL is true to form, some anonymous representative will probably show up here and attempt to reply, defending the company's performance. However, my LiveJournal is set up to reject anonymous replies. Let's see if DHL has decided to create their own LiveJournal account to make replies, instead of doing something like improving their service.

And to anyone from DHL reading this, I wish to point out one more time – all three packages had delivery issues. The only valid defense I can see for this is a sincere apology, and an explanation of how the company plans to retrain their delivery staff.

Links:
Bill Leisner's DHL experience
Keith DeCandido's DHL experience
Bob Greenberger: Jumping on the DHL Bandwagon
Bob Greenberger: DHL Responds
Tags: personal
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