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How not to run a courier business?

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Dave Bran17/01/2015 09:28:44
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1896 forum posts
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Buying more items from T9 recently (the FRSky effect!), I have come into contact with UKMail. Bear in mind that I have an easy access urban address less than ten miles from their depot. Previous experience of them hasn't been that good, but T9 use them and say they have just as many issues with RM.

This is my latest experience:-

1. Parcel containing Foamie and receivers posted 14th Wednesday on 24 hour delivery.
2. Website does not list the parcel at all until after 10:00 15th Thursday, when it suddenly shows it "out for delivery" at 10:07, hour slot 17:39 - 18:39.
3. No Delivery (and loss of earnings making myself available at that short a warning time, but I wanted the items for this weekend, so took the hit)
4. At 19:00 website still shows it "out for delivery" at 10:07, hour slot 17:39 - 18:39, with a "we appear to be running late" addendum.
5. 08:30 A.M.Friday and website still shows same. Contact via their online system - no reply (they are supposed to operate 07:00 on)
6. Leave it till 10:30 to find it is still listed as out for delivery on Thursday.
7. 11:00 Phone Customer Services - Operator checks, says he's unable to say why the parcel wasn't delivered, where it is, why it isn't showing what they intend to do, or what will now happen, but he will follow up, make contact with the driver and WILL ring back asap.
8. Wait but no return call (inc Voicemail and Ans M/c though I was not out of hearing at any point).
9. Website still shows it "out for delivery" at 10:07, hour slot 17:39 - 18:39, STILL THURSDAY, though now the "we appear to be running late" addendum has gone.
10. No delivery by the time I'm forced to leave @ 14:30, but I return to cover the time period................. No delivery.
11. At 17:41 I receive an EMail saying that they are pleased to report that the parcel is out for delivery (no time stated)
12. At 18:50 (they finish at 19:00) I ring CS again. The young lady says that it left their Depot for delivery Friday at 10:07 (remarkably accurate, Eh?). She's unable to say why it wasn't delivered on Thursday, nor what time it was booked back into Depot Thursday nor out on Friday (today then). She then says it was booked BACK INTO their Depot at 13:00 today. I ask why, she cannot say! She then says the earliest it can now be delivered is Monday 17:39 - 18:39. No Saturday delivery since not specifically paid for, so far be it from them to correct their errors and try to recover customer confidence. I say that delivery on Monday will not be possible, she says well, they will probably "try and leave it somewhere then". At this point I gave up!

You might like to bear this in mind when considering Couriers or using firms who use this courier.

Sadly, where I purchase from will now depend on no further use of this shambles of an organisation!

Dave Bran17/01/2015 09:43:18
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1896 forum posts
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P.S. I hate to think what condition the parcel will arrive in having been kicking around depots and vans motoring around SE London for several days!

Previous issues I have experienced have been items left in a recycle bin (Lucky it wasn't collection day!!), Thrown over a high side gate (lucky it didn't rain and I wasn't away for days) and transit crush damage.

GrahamWh17/01/2015 10:13:23
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356 forum posts
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What a naff service. I thought you Londoners had it better than that!

Prop Nut17/01/2015 10:21:57
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I'm sure many of us have experienced similar problems with carriers. I recently purchased some items online, but the carrier (not UKMail, in this case) failed to deliver three times, despite their website scheduling it. Emails went unanswered and they don't provide a customer service telephone number. When they eventually did deliver (unscheduled, so lucky I was in), one parcel was so damaged I rejected the whole lot. The driver deliberately tried to foist them off on me by covering the damage, then blustered about the depot having told him something was damaged, but not exactly what.

RM and Parcel Force can be bad but, overall, I find them marginally less incompetent than most others.

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator17/01/2015 10:24:17
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15748 forum posts
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Well that is a sorry tale Dave. Have you shared this with T9? Not so much as a complaint as they are not directly to blame (though they did choose the courier) more so that they can consider whether they should continue to use them? I must say that I had not dealt much with T9 prior to getting the Taranis, but of course over the last year I have had several orders from them and always found their delivery to be very satisfactory. Have they changed courier do we know?

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 17/01/2015 10:26:13

John Privett17/01/2015 10:27:01
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6049 forum posts
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I'm glad the delivery I had yesterday from T9 was via Royal Mail after reading the above! It was just a receiver and a couple of cables, ordered Wednesday night, despatched Thursday and delivered Friday.

We too though have in the past had a package "delivered" by a courier lobbying it over the fence. It was something my daughter ordered and we found it in the back garden - it could have been there for several days as she was away at the time and hadn't mentioned having anything delivered. The courier must have walked into our neighbour's garden (no side gate on their house) to lob it over the fence between the two gardens!

avtur17/01/2015 11:01:14
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883 forum posts
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I've been caught out a couple times with home delery of parcels.

The increase in online shopping means the parcel delivery industry is both expanding and subject to lot of competition.

Although 'we' are the customer in tems of supply of goods, we are not the customer of the delivery service, the supplier of the goods we order is the customer, they call the shots more than we receiving the goods. Poor service will only really be addressed if we feedback to the supplier of our goods, perhaps resulting in us taking our business to a different supplier with a more reliable delivery option.

From my experience of 'chasing' up deliveries I can identify with the very frustrating experience explained by the OP.

In recent months when I've been buying on line I've chosen suppliers who offer delivery via Argos store pick up points; this works for me as there are a number of options within 15 minutes drive. Argos opening times mean this is a good option for me. This is much better than getting a card through the door from RM because their office hours for pick up are very limited.

I think delivery via 3rd party pick points is something we'll see more of in future.

Edited By avtur on 17/01/2015 11:07:12

Ultymate17/01/2015 11:17:40
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1703 forum posts
62 photos

Slightly off topic (UK Mail) but in a vaguely similar vein on the Friday before Christmas I ordered a spinner from SDS in China expecting not to see it before January, I'd chosen TNT as the courier on SDS's website, on the Monday morning I received an email giving me a tracking # and then some three hours later the said spinner arrived, four days from China can't be bad. There was a sting in the tail however, I thought I'd missed the dreaded import duty plus handling charge plus vodka and tonic, sadly it's not the case as TNT send out an invoice for said charges after the delivery unlike Parcelforce who hold your goods until import duties have been paid. surprise

Dave Bran17/01/2015 11:38:27
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1896 forum posts
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Yes, I did of course inform Richard (T9) after the 24hrs elapsed, he contacted them, they said it was out for delivery.

For those into Irony, It's now Saturday, when they could not deliver, yet five mins ago and a mile from my place a UKMail liveried delivery van was going about someone's business.................... probably moonlighting?

Dave Bran17/01/2015 11:58:24
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1896 forum posts
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SO, currently their website STILL shows the last action as "Out for Delivery 15th 10:07", but now show current as :-

Delivery Rearranged By Recipient

19/01/2015 between 17:39 and 18:39

Which of course makes it read as if I CHOSE a deferred delivery, and shows a day I specifically said was not possible!!

avtur17/01/2015 12:57:59
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883 forum posts
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I understand your frustration, I had a similarly frustrating episode with a company who were delivering a business travel Visa to me a few months ago. I specifically requested delivery by RM, and not a courier, because that would at least give me the option of picking up from sorting office if necessary.

However the travel company did not pick up on that request and the courier attempted delivery outside the agreed time slot, giving rise to a similarly frustrating situation as you are dealing with.

Took nearly three workings days to resolve, finally delivered two days before the Visa was need for travel!

I took to social media as means of drawing attention to my plight which may have helped.

David P Williams17/01/2015 15:03:13
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913 forum posts
318 photos

Well - I live out in the sticks, and my official postal address is <house name> <village> <nearest town>. The nearest town is actually 12 miles away, so we often get delivery drivers phoning from that town because they can't find us or, in one case, when a delivery arrived a couple of days after it should have, the driver admitted that on the previous two days he had been in that town at 4:30 and couldn't be bothered to drive 'all the way out here' just for one parcel.

The other problem is that there is no mobile signal within a mile or two of the village, so they drive to the village then try to phone to ask exactly where we are.

APC have done to me what UKMail have done to you Dave, with the added attraction that their drivers drive through the local 30mph village areas at 40-50 and will seriously tailgate you if you're only doing 60 on the winding country roads.

DPD are the best - great online tracking with realtime update on a map of the driver's location, the number of the drop he's on and the hour window in which he will deliver.

Wingman17/01/2015 15:34:43
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1148 forum posts
405 photos

Well David it seems that DPD are no better - here's my tale in responses from the model shop to my email queries :-

Your order was shipped on the 8th by DPD but for reasons unknown DPD re
> labelled the entire days shipments with one address. As the original
> address was covered we have had to get the days shipments returned to us
> for re labelling and re shipping. Im hoping the items will be back with
> me today adn a will re ship today. You should receive a email from DPD

then:-

Just spoken to DPD and its looking like they may have lost the shipment.
Im ordering you a new kit which may be with me tomorrow and ill get that
shipped out as soon as it comes in.

Luckily I'm not in any hurry!

kevin b17/01/2015 15:36:16
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1840 forum posts
146 photos

Sent a kit to Sweden at 11am Tuesday by UPS.

Arrived Friday 2pm.

Sent a parcel (similar size) to Northumberland (from Leeds) 4pm Monday by a UK courier.

Arrived Friday 12pm.

I wouldn't be surprised if the first parcel took longer to get to the airport / ship than it did to get from leaving land to arriving with the customer.

Robin Etherton17/01/2015 15:56:48
299 forum posts
48 photos

Hi

My sympathies to all who have experienced delivery problems. As an ebay seller since 2003 and before I retired 3 years ago, was a sub Postmaster.

All carriers experience problems from time to time.

For my money of the independent couriers DPD come out on top. Not the cheapest but the most trackable.

For heavy items Hermes are hard to beat.

And for shear reliability and the ability to deliver on time with consequential loss insurance available if they do not, the Royal Mail special delivery is unbeatable IMHO.

The rest of Royal Mail services operate to 90-95% reliability but can be most frustrating at times and their claim procedure is draconian.

Robin

Dave Bran17/01/2015 16:01:19
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1896 forum posts
5 photos

As a bit of lighter relief, our RM and ParcelForce guys are usually very good. The Parcelforce guy has seen me and wife walking back towards home and has timed it back to us, saying could we destroy the card he'd written and sign here!!

(OK, OK, I buy a lot of model stuff, its not an obsession, I can get over it....................)

He's actually done that more than once, too, bless 'im!! Wife buys bird seed in bulk and he now always asks after the vultures.

The usual RM guy is a Rastafarian, really nice guy, and as he has to call lots we usually have a little banter, as you do.

One day recently though he handed me my mail inc two packets, and distracted by the phone, it wasn't until he'd left that I realised it was all for next door, that day he must have had some really good stuff as I later found out he'd done the whole road one house out!! He's still taking that ribbing.

John Muir17/01/2015 16:22:26
380 forum posts
1 photos

I think it depends very much on where you are and who your driver happens to be. Many of the drivers are franchisees or sub contractors and standards must vary enormously even under the umbrella of a big name service. Most of the stuff I get comes Parcelforce and they are pretty good round here. I'm on quite chatty terms with their driver these days. I must be buying too much.

Another carrier (can't remember which unfortunately) failed to deliver once and returned the box to the depot. At about six in the evening a private car rolled into my drive and a man who I took to be a manager or supervisor handed me my box with a personal apology and explained that the driver couldn't find my house, while rolling his eyes. So at least some of them are trying their best.

Martin Whybrow17/01/2015 17:51:06
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884 forum posts
33 photos

UKMail are an absolute disaster; I had 2 very bad dealings with them in December, both using the 24H service. They predict delivery times all over the place, one of mine was between 21:59 and 22:59; according to their customer 'service' centre, they stop at 18:00 anyway. I now will not buy from any company that uses them.

Take a look at the UKMail and UKMail.co.uk reviews on Trustpilot to gety an idea of how bad they are!

Edited By Martin Whybrow on 17/01/2015 17:51:34

Dave Bran20/01/2015 07:31:24
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1896 forum posts
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UPDATE TO OP

Reprise: UKMail stated earliest they could deliver would be 17:39 - 18:39 Monday.

Wife returned home 13:00 to find card through door stating parcel left at house 11 numbers away.

Card states to use card reference on website in "Manage my delivery" to view detail. That Website page does not list that field name nor actually use card reference number in any field!!

Using parcel number:-

19th January 2015 12:09 Delivered
15th January 2015 10:07 Out For Delivery
15th January 2015 07:24 At Delivery Location
15th January 2015 01:00 Booked/Awaiting Collection
14th January 2015 17:28 Collected

and:-

Delivery Rearranged By Recipient (which it specifically was NOT)

Signed for by *******(name) on 19th January 201519/01/2015 between 12:15 and 13:15

Parcel box pretty beaten up but contents seem OK. (part of bigger order but Receivers will have been well vibration tested!)

So, there you are, if you want an unreliable and inadequate 24 hour delivery service with no care shown at all, you know where to go.

Adrian Smith 120/01/2015 09:37:09
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2470 forum posts
1273 photos

Never thought I would say it but the logistics company I use for my parcel activity (I do a lot of Ebay and model stuff ordering online) always give ParcelForce as the best option and I must say I have nothing but praise for PF. During Christmas week and New Year week I had to send some bulky items and on all occasions the same guy from PF collected when stipulated and PF48 always delivered as promised. No the cheapest and a bit fussy about no batteries, but hey that are reliable.They seemed to be working when the likes of APC Overnight were shut for Xmas. Sorry to hear your sorry story DB but thanks for sharing it with us and we now know to avoid them!

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