Deliveries - a rant

  Kate B 17:23 07 Dec 2006

Why why why do companies offer delivery services that they can't fulfill? This has happened to me more times than I care to count.

Right now I am trying to reschedule a delivery from Dabs. I ordered the item last Friday well before close of play and paid for Saturday delivery. Behold, an email arrived in my inbox later on saying it had been dispatched. I waited in all day Saturday - nothing. They tried to deliver on Monday but I wasn't at home on Monday. That's why I specified and paid for Saturday delivery.

On Monday I emailed Dabs asking what had happened and requesting the refund of the premium delivery charge. No response until yesterday afternoon - and it was an unhelpful one.

I'm trying now to ring the courier and reschedule the delivery for next Saturday but it's busy. The voicemail says "you can email us, details are in your catalogue". Which would be great, but I don't have a catalogue and the card they left does not have an email address. Or, says the voicemail, please try ringing later. No option to hang on or to leave a message, just a "get lost, try later".

I'm beginning to wish I'd never bothered ordering the wretched thing.

  g0nvs 17:36 07 Dec 2006

Big is not always best.

  Forum Editor 17:40 07 Dec 2006

that a single bad experience with an online purchase can undo any feelings of goodwill that you had previously developed towards the company involved.

The gritty truth about being an online seller is that the success of your business depends to a very large extent on the efficiency (or otherwise) of the courier who makes your deliveries. In the past I've spoken to some of the country's biggest suppliers about this, and to the couriers who handle the deliveries, and of course I discovered that there are many things which can go wrong. That wasn't a surprise, but the frustration involved in trying to get a courier to come back when a delivery is missed can be enough to make you suicidal.

There's no definitive answer - if there was we would all get deliveries when we expect them - but the least we should expect is that someone would show an interest. It's the sense of abandonment that gets me - the attitude that say "You had your chance, you weren't in when it suited us to call, so now it's up to you to make all the effort - we've moved on to other deliveries. If you don't get your hands on this parcel within the next two days we're sending it back to its point of origin".

I'm lucky (if that's the word) in that I live within striking distance of a CityLink depot, and that's the company used by my favourite supplier (Ebuyer). I can toddle down to the depot and collect my own parcels if I miss the driver.

  spuds 18:56 07 Dec 2006

This type of situation happens to most of us at one time or another Kate B, so you are not alone on that one. Personally, I would never trust an urgent or special deliver to an internet order,and I would be foolish to do so, especially at a weekend, premium rate or no premium rate.

  €dstowe 19:02 07 Dec 2006

dabs seem to have picked a particularly poor delivery service company - Home Delivery Network.

Recently I waited for a parcel for five days from dabs only to learn eventually from them that the driver couldn't find my address (I live and work in a small village where everyone knows each other so what's wrong with stopping someone and asking). After waiting another two days I eventually received the package with a sticker on it stating my address was non-existent.

Even though I had a parcel tracking number the system didn't work and, like you said Kate, the company was impossible to contact.

  Kate B 19:07 07 Dec 2006

*steaming with rage at repeated attempts to contact Home Delivery Network*

You're right, Peter, that businesses rely on couriers for their reputation. It surprises me actually that more don't take their deliveries in-house: it's so absolutely crucial.

  Forum Editor 19:12 07 Dec 2006

would be prohibitively expensive,Kate. No online retailer could possibly afford to maintain a fleet of vehicles and drivers to make deliveries throughout the UK. There isn't a company online that has the sales volume to warrant it.

  Kate B 19:15 07 Dec 2006

It's a prime candidate for vertical integration, though, I would have thought.

  oresome 19:53 07 Dec 2006

So what makes you think it would be any better if it were handled in house?

They would face exactly the same challenges as the existing companies.

A much increased workload around this time of year, temporary staff, restricted daylight hours and ever increasing traffic congestion to name a few.

Equally, they shouldn't offer and charge for a premium service if it can't be delivered at this time of year.

  polish 22:26 07 Dec 2006

i dont understand why rhese compamies dont take your home or mobile number then call or text with a idea of time am/pm and date to give people a chance to arramge when to be in or alternatively if possible let a neighbour sign for the parcel to simple?

  namtas 22:29 07 Dec 2006

I would suggest that they have a word with Screwfix Direct, this firm would show them how a mail order firm should work, immediate info on availabilty and provides a next morning delivery to boot.

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