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(Post Link) post #1 of 17 Old 26-09-07 Thread Starter
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Courier companies

I just hate them. No matter what company you use, they are all the most inept bunch of morons alive.

So far this year we've been let down on delivery dates twice for exhibition material that we've had to provide for the start of the exhibition. And get this, on two separate occasions, they've lost exhibition stands – just lost them! On both of those they've only given us 200 quid compensation and we've had to have them remade at a cost of a grand each out of our own pockets. Not to mention that it makes us look like a bunch of numpties to our clients.

The latest is that I was supposed to have a radiator delivered to me on Monday. When, as expected, it didn't arrive, I phoned up to find out its whereabouts. I was informed that it had been delivered to my address at 8.20am and signed for by a guy with a name different from anyone who worked in the building. After five hours of enquiries, it turned out it had been delivered to a different person with a different name in a different company on a different street in Poole. Well, at least they got the county right.

I was assured it would be picked up and delivered to me this morning. I was not surprised to find it undelivered this morning and was about to go ape after having been without a car since Friday when I got a call from the company next door saying that someone had delivered a radiator addressed to them, but with my name on it! I looked at the delivery note and saw that it had been requested to be picked up from wherever it went yesterday and redelivered to the company next door. The only reason they new it where it should have gone was because they looked at the original address it should have been delivered to and saw my name, which they recognised.

This was Parceline, but they're all as bad. What I don't understand is how they all manage to stay in business and why someone hasn't come along and thought, "hang on a minute, I can do better" and cleaned up.

My girlfriend works for Debenhams and is in charge of delivering the Wedding gifts. She's got so fed up with them losing stuff and not delivering it on time (for people's weddings for Christ's sake) that she's now got one of her admin women's husband to do it.

Sorry, bit of a rant, but they just **** me off so much it makes my blood boil at times.

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Re: Courier companies

Not as lazy as French postal workers though.

We've had 3 deliveries not turn up although
they insist no one was here when they tried
to deliver (It's an office block!) and that
they left a delivery note. (Liars.)

Lying workshy robbers.

 
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Re: Courier companies

Oh dear. Have you not considered speaking to Parceline, or more importantly the company next door (who seem to be trying to do you a favour by signing for your deliveries!)? A little (pleasant & polite) communication with people goes a long long way....

Have you examined your address to make sure it is "findable" by delivery drivers? Do you have a large enough business sign displayed? Have you tried to input your address into a Garmin or TomTom SatNav (most delivery companies use these) to see if it shows up in the correct position?

You are understandably cheesed off but the tone of your post suggests to me that you have not spoken to the companies who might help you........

Last edited by Dreamfall; 26-09-07 at 14:15.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 17 Old 26-09-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Courier companies

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Originally Posted by Dreamfall View Post
Oh dear. Have you not considered speaking to Parceline,
It was dealt with by the company that sent it as they were the ones who had paid for it and were dealing with the supply.

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Originally Posted by Dreamfall View Post
or more importantly the company next door (who seem to be trying to do you a favour by signing for your deliveries!)? A little (pleasant & polite) communication with people goes a long long way....
I've spoken to them many times and get on very well with them, which is why they phoned me up to tell me that a parcel had been erroneously delivered to them.

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Originally Posted by Dreamfall View Post
Have you examined your address to make sure it is "findable" by delivery drivers? Do you have a large enough business sign displayed?
We are reasonable sized printing firm with a large yard and daily collections and deliveries from most of the major courier companies, ranging from vans to artics, so our address should be known to any of the local delivery drivers.

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Have you tried to input your address into a Garmin or TomTom SatNav (most delivery companies use these) to see if it shows up in the correct position?
I haven't as I don't have one.

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You are understandably cheesed off but the tone of your post suggests to me that you have not spoken to the companies who might help you........
I certainly have spoken to the companies. Every time I have been let down, I have been on the phone trying to find out where my missing material is. When an exhibition starts the next day and vital collateral hasn't been delivered and I have an angry client breathing down my neck, I'm not going to just ignore it.

Do you work for a courier company by any chance?

Just to clarify, in the latest incident, the parcel was delivered to someone with a different name in a different company on a different street in a different town. How anyone can make that large an error and think they've delivered the parcel to the right place is absolutely ludicrous. There is no excuse for it, it's just total incompetence.
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Re: Courier companies

I fully sympathise with you. No I don't work for ANYONE anymore. However, if this is an ongoing problem I would suggest you need to look at WHY it carries on.

You won't have the same Parceline drivers every day (Sickness, holiday's etc.) so it quite simply is not the fault of the driver(s). It is to do with your address or Postcode! Buy or borrow a £190 TomTom Satnav (That is what they & I use), input your business address or postcode & follow the TomTom from your house to work. See what happens. I think that you will MAGICALLY see why the delivery drivers can't find you. Modern (un) technology I'm afraid

I might add that my wife is the Senior Accounts Executive for Clays Printers (St Ives) of Bungay, Suffolk & they don't have these problems - only complaints of noise from the factory...

Last edited by Dreamfall; 26-09-07 at 15:29.
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Re: Courier companies

Fair enough. It's certainly clear enough on a map though!

The problems happen in both directions though and with everyone I know.

I really can't see it as anything other than courier companies being rubbish myself.

I'd also rather they rang up for directions than delivered it to an entirely different address in a different town thinking, "job done".
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Re: Courier companies

Could not agree more - most couriers are not up to much.

In my experience unless it has their own name and address on it the parcel will not receive proper care and may/may not arrive........

Have spent (and suffered) lots with most courier companies!

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Re: Courier companies

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Fair enough. It's certainly clear enough on a map though!

The problems happen in both directions though and with everyone I know.

I really can't see it as anything other than courier companies being rubbish myself.

I'd also rather they rang up for directions than delivered it to an entirely different address in a different town thinking, "job done".

I understand EXACTLY what you say. But what intelligence is required to drive a van? If the driver turns up at what he thinks is the correct address & some idiot signs for a package (irrespective of whether it's for their company) the driver is happy. It's a sad fact of life that the driver will have targets to meet & if he wants to see his family that evening he needs to get shut of his load as quickly as possible. It's not right but the current absolute greed of UK Companies - with NO regard for Customer Service - demands this attitude,

I'm so, so sorry for you but I hear similar tales from my wife every evening - & Clays print Harry Potter & many, many major books worldwide - and they deliver on agreed contractual times. Get shut of Parceline & try FedEx .
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Re: Courier companies

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I'm so, so sorry for you but I hear similar tales from my wife every evening - & Clays print Harry Potter & many, many major books worldwide - and they deliver on agreed contractual times. Get shut of Parceline & try FedEx .
Cheers. Tried them all I'm afraid and they're all equally useless! This was being delivered to us by someone else, so had no control over who they used, but needless to say, we won't be using Parceline ourselves…
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Re: Courier companies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamfall View Post
I fully sympathise with you. No I don't work for ANYONE anymore. However, if this is an ongoing problem I would suggest you need to look at WHY it carries on.
...
As you suggested yourself, maybe the problem is the courier companies don't give a toss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamfall View Post
You won't have the same Parceline drivers every day (Sickness, holiday's etc.) so it quite simply is not the fault of the driver(s). It is to do with your address or Postcode! Buy or borrow a £190 TomTom Satnav (That is what they & I use), input your business address or postcode & follow the TomTom from your house to work. See what happens. I think that you will MAGICALLY see why the delivery drivers can't find you. Modern (un) technology I'm afraid
So it's not the fault of the drivers when they stick a card through your door without bothering to ring the doorbell? It's not the fault of the drivers when they leave a parcel which requires a signature outside in the rain? Its not the fault of the drivers when they don't bother filling in the details on the card they leave so you can't get any sense out of the depot?

I'm with Badgers on this; our address is clear, you can find it on multimap easily enough, its been in the same place for years, and our doorbell works fine. How come so many of our deliveries don;t get through on the first attempt?
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Re: Courier companies

I second all of this. TNT, UPS and another one, caused me nightmares for ten years because of their absolute, consistent inability to successfully pick something up and then drop it off.

But what makes me want to howl like a wounded dog when I think of the larger couriers, is when you call to book a job, after you have given them your customer account number, it still takes a twenty minutes call for the order to be processed. Then another 30mins on the phone when they lose the damn item.

In stark contrast - and to redress the balance - I have also been using an independent courier for years and years now. I phone him up, he takes my job details, and absolutely without fail, he turns up on time, and has never, ever, lost anything, plus he has the intelligence to wrap a product in a protective blanket if the packaging is damaged, and to sniff around the local area if he can't immediately find the intended recipient.

So there we have it; the big guys have given me ten years of grief with their 'systems' and 'process'; my Man with the Van - whose process amounts to nothing more than his mobile phone and a job sheet - has been the single most reliable supplier I have ever had; given how crucial couriers are to my work, I cannot tell you how many times he has saved my bacon by the simple task of merely doing the job I booked him for.

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Re: Courier companies

Aye! The small fellas are usually the ones who are more likely to deliver - their livelihood depends on it, whereas the Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL and Parcellines are all "employee" drivers, so likely to be more patchy.


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Re: Courier companies

Sh1ttyLink are the worst around here. They deliver to your house as soon as you leave and card you with an 0870 number that charges YOU when you ring. I am in Shrewsbury and their depot in Telford, a 38 mile round trip away.

Guess what their phone line says?

"To ensure the best possible service we recommend you collect your own parcel"

Talk about FYT!?
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Re: Courier companies

Read all posts. Here's a measured opinion:

I refuse to use any delivery service connected in any way to the Royal Mail (Post Office). They employ mainly idiots or E. European guys who can't even read the address on an envelope!

Use somebody like FedEx. Big company but virtually every delivery driver is a Franchisee (one man operator). They can't afford to ****** up on a regular basis! Nuff said
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Re: Courier companies

We have deliveries damaged that we send out.

The transport company tells us we should pack them better. Watched a moron throwing the boxes into the back of his van the other day, told him to be more cafeful. His reply was, this is nothing compared to what happens in the depot.

I would look for a new transport company, but they all seem the same.
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Re: Courier companies

I better start by saying i don't work for a courier company and i am not going to defend them as there is major room for improvement in the service they offer. i do however understand from working for one in my past some of the issues from their side that can cause the service failures described.

Courier companies do differ in both size and quality of service as a rule of thumb the smaller companies will offer a more flexible service and probably a better service but at a higher cost. The larger the company the cost will be lower but the service level or recovery of errors is lower.

The larger companies are working with huge volumes they are driven by the number of parcels in the system and maximising the number of collections and deliveries per vehicle per day. Courier drivers can be hitting between 30 and 40 collection and deliveries per day. If a place is a little difficult to find or the parcel has the incorrect address from origin then they will only have time to quickly try and find the delivery point before moving on to the next delivery point.

The consignment note that are filled out by the shipping party are important that all the correct details are on there including correct postcode and correct telephone number. Many consignment notes are hand written on carbon copy paper which means by the time the parcel is being delivered its already lost about 5 copies of the consignment note and they are working from a fainter back copy which may contain incorrect information in the first place.

The details on the consignment note are transferred into the courier companies system by the collecting office. The key entry staff are usually part time workers or agency staff who have to key in a large number of consignment notes in a short period of time. This by its nature leads to errors and omissions. These key entry errors end up being transfered all the way down the line even to the DIAD machines that the drivers carry with them and get you to sign. The only way of circumventing that problem is to install the couriers own software / booking system at the shippers premises as the details are then input in real time into the system any errors are then errors made by the shipper at time of booking. The downside of this is that its usually only available to companies that book over a certain volume of shipments per month.

All the courier companies have restrictions on the weight per piece and the size / volume of the parcels. You might have a 1kg plastic tube to send but if its 8ft long by 2inch diameter it doesn't fit in with their ideal parcel profiles and end up either not going into the system ie they refuse to take it or ends up in the system and not being handled with the same speed as a 1ft square box or document envelope.

The drivers themselves are now quite often owner drivers / franchise or agency staff. The agency staff achieve a far lower number of collections and deliveries per day than a regular driver. The reason for this is because they are paid a day rate or hourly rate regardless of the number of collections and deliveries done and because they are not used to the sheer volume of collections and deliveries expected per day. The owner driver / franchise drivers are paid on a per delivery or collection basis or attempted if the details are incorrect or person / company not in. They amount per job is not a vast amount so they have to try and cover as many consignments as possible.

In order that costs are kept as low as possible all the major courier companies work on a hub and spoke system. For example a parcel collected from Rochdale could be sent to Manchester , Nuneaton and Barking before being delivered in London. If it gets put on the wrong vehicle at Nuneaton it could end up in say Glasgow hub in error. In order to get this parcel back to the right place it would then go something like Glasgow, Newcastle, Nuneaton and finally to Barking for delivery to London at which point its going to be a few days late even more if it falls over the week end.

All the potential pitfalls above apply if its a domestic or international parcel. The main difference with international parcels being an increased number of hubs the parcel will transit through and the added complication of customs clearances.

Your local sales person for whichever global or national courier company you choose will gladly tell you how many parcels are in their system on average per day. They will also probably tell you what their delivered on plan percentage is you can then work out just how many parcels are lost misrouted or not delivered on plan parcels there are at any given time. They may well be proud to quote a ninety odd percent success rate but the percentage that do go wrong can equate to thousands and thousands of parcels.

All the courier companies work on a cost per parcel basis. They will constantly try and get as many parcels into the system as possible so their overall costs per parcel are reduced. This put the system and people in the chain under more and more pressure which leads to more errors.

It would be easy for me to say that if the price per parcel was increased the service would improve as they could employ more key entry staff, warehouse staff and drivers to handle the same number of parcels. The reality unfortunately is that people that monitor parcel volumes within these companies work on a basis of X number of heads for X number of parcels carried. Their profits would go up but the service would remain the same.

Smaller parcel companies will tend to offer a good service to some areas and worse to others but their costs per parcel will be higher and so will their price to you the customer. If your shipment falls within one of the areas they are good at you will get the best service from them but it may take them an extra day or two to get that parcel to Aberdeen as they have to contract it out of the system.

I used to have a regular envelope that had to be moved from ready at 5pm in Manchester to Barking or Southampton every night and delivered by 10am the following day. I found a small courier company that just so happened to have vehicles that left them each night and delivered to those areas. They charged me £6.50 per envelope and never failed to deliver and it was usually between 8am and 9am in the morning.

Like i said at the start i did work for a courier company previously but not directly involved in the courier operation / side of the business. i am not here to defend them in anyway as there is plenty of room for improvement in the service levels they provide. my mini version of war and peace hopefully will give you an insight into some of the reasons why things go wrong and why they continue to go wrong.
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Re: Courier companies

you should use north devon couriers, family run buisness for over 20 years! there really good.
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