I ordered an Icelandic sweater from a company in Iceland. They handknit them so it takes a few weeks. Then they told me It had been despatched. So far so good.
I didn’t receive notification of when it would be delivered so when they did I wasn’t at home and they couldn’t leave it because I had to pay duty on it. Bit of a downer but half-expected. The delivery company was DHL, which is part of the company which runs the German postal service. They left a card with various contact numbers to arrange payment of the duty and redelivery.
I rang the first number and was put through a series of automated responses, none of which met my need to have the parcel delivered near my home at one of their service points. So I rang another number and was transferred to what was obviously a call centre in India. I had a “phonetic” conversation with an operator (the line was bad and so was her English).
I wanted to pay the duty and re-arrange delivery. She could only deal with the first by which time I’d decided to pay the duty on-line anyway rather than risk any transaction errors. She promised to put me through to someone else to arrange re-delivery/collection but after a minute or so the line went dead. Perhaps it was taking too long for her to meet her targets and I was only the customer after all!
I then had to go back on-line to pay the duty, which was straight-forward, and eventually managed to arrange for me to collect it at the service point at Ryman’s in the town centre new where I live. They confirmed by e-mail and said it would be there on Friday after 1500.
I waited an extra day and went to collect it from the service point. Problem was they didn’t have it and had no idea where it was because they couldn’t use the live tracking system. I told them I wasn’t happy and that it was poor customer service from both DHL and Rymans.
The staff in Ryman’s said basically it wasn’t their problem but DHL’s. (DHL must not be paying Ryman’s for the service then?) They did ring customer services for me but there was no-one there as it was a Saturday and they don’t work weekends.
The following day I decided to go on-line to track the parcel. The system showed me when it left Reykjavik, when it arrived at the East Midlands sorting centre which took 3 days to process it and send it to Manchester which took another 3 days before they attempted delivery. According to the tracker the parcel was still in Manchester on the Friday awaiting payment of the duty (which I paid online on the Thursday) when I was expecting it to be at my local service point at Ryman’s. Seems the computer system doesn’t work weekends either
So now I don’t know where my sweater is and won’t be able to get any further information from Ryman’s until Monday afternoon. This is not good enough and when companies use these automated response systems rather than have a real person on the end of the line (and one who speaks English well enough to understand you without having to spell everything out for them) it makes you determined not to use them if you can avoid it.
DHL claims to be the largest global delivery service so why doesn’t it invest in some decent customer service?