What is it with Courier companies?

A company who you have purchased something from hire them to deliver the goods to you, so they just turn up at your door unannounced during a weekday, knowing full well the chances of you actually being in are extremely low. You own a house, you have to work and earn money to pay for it, so you’re not going to be home. Then, when they find you aren’t in, they have choices to make, and this is the hard bit.

They can leave the package of goods outside your door and just walk away, signing the card as delivered. This happened to me with an Amazon delivery, it was just left there, eighty pounds worth of books for Christmas presents, just left there, all day in a hallway with a building site all around the block, so no strangers wondering about.

They can try round all your neighbours and see if anyone will accept delivery for you, this is usually a good thing, but when another Christmas present was being delivered for me from Mailorderbikes they said my neighbours had refused to take the item in. When I got to the bottom of the story the driver had pressed all the buzzers and asked for me by name, when the people who answered told the strangers voice that no one of that name lived in their house that was taken as refusal of delivery. What ever happened to “Excuse me, would you mind taking delivery of…thank you very much.”. Note: This is called customer service.

What they tend to do most of the time at this point is leave a note to tell you they had visited (this was left outside on the front door step for me on this last occasion) and that you can call them to arrange re-delivery, or travel all across town to collect it, again assuming you have no job or can get up at seven on a Saturday morning to get to their depot before they shut from their fifteen minute opening time over the weekend.

So, I called Interlink Express to ask for the parcel to be re-deilvered. I called at 09:12 and they answered on about the twelfth ring, they hadn’t been answering the phone since 09:00, their opening time.

When I asked if they could deliver it today, the response was “I don’t think so, the drivers will be leaving soon.” She did suggest I go and collect it today, again my apologies but since I can afford to purchase goods, I also have to have a job to pay for them. So I shan’t be able to drop everything to come and collect an item from the courier or delivery company. Doesn’t the Trades Description Act cover the definition of their company?

So, despite me being in the same city as the delivery company (and Edinburgh is not that big in city terms) and the drivers having not yet left the base, I cannot have the item delivered until Monday.

This I arranged begrudgingly and despite leaving the code number of my delivery from the slip they still took my name and address. Wouldn’t that be referenced by the number? Oh no, that’s not important I’m told.

So again, what the hell is it with courier\delivery companies? Here’s my two simple suggestions for their improved operation.

Ask the originating company for contact details for the recipient and contact them to arrange a convenient delivery time, this immediately saves a huge percentage of first time failed deliveries saving costs for all parties – costs of delivery are transferred to the originating company in fees, and then from the originating party to the recipient in the cost of the item(s) purchased.

Provide customer service to both the originating company and the recipient. Remember your customers are the company giving you the goods for delivery and the company or individuals receiving the delivery.

How hard would that be? Seems to me not that hard at all, and it would improve the efficiency and lower cost of couriers and delivery companies. That way I wouldn’t be receiving a poor attempt at a delivery as I have here – go see he’s not home, take it back, offer re-delivery in a few days and suggest they collect it – some delivery.

5 comments on “What is it with Courier companies?”

  1. Pablo Reply

    Arrrrrrrrrrrgh, courier frustration boiling over. And relax. I have most things delivered to work to save courier “delivery” problems. They should mark it on the delivery option when you purchase something on the web, a: delivered to your doorstep(and then orphaned there) b: delivered to your neighbour, c: delivered to our depot(come fetch it)

    It could be a discount option, 3 day depot super-saver option.

    But seriously, there is a lot of money to be made in a proper delivery company. UPS come closest for me. Their own airport, planes blah blah

  2. Xun_Shin Reply

    Richard, It’s Xun from the Movie blog, just wanted to say that I apreciate the oppinions you bring to us the readers, and keep it up…and I just bought a kilt =) later man


  3. Richard Reply

    Cheers Xun Shin – good choice on the kilt, and many thanks for the comments. I didn’t think many people outside my circle of friends read my site!

  4. Mary-Ann Horley Reply

    I know this industry a bit, I used to work for ANC and was very relieved to get out.

    Basically, the services are designed around B2B deliveries (ie. between 9-5) and they do OK at it. However, a huge gap in the market has opened over the last ten years with the development of ecommerce for a company that delivers to private addresses between say 6 and 10. I don’t think transport is a sexy enough industry for entrepreneurs though!

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