DHL have lost my pickups for the new partscaster.
From Australia, they reached JHB in four days. I paid duties and then suddenly... nothing happened. According to the online tracking page, they just sat in JHB. I emailed them three times, sent them a form from their website and no response. So after a week, I started phoning them... multiple times. The customer "service" reps always said they would get the woman working on my enquiry to contact me... which she never did.
On Tuesday, after four days of this, I phoned and started causing havoc. With years of "indignant customer" training behind me (dealing with Telkom's customer disservice) I asked for the rep's supervisor... who was out. So I asked for the supervisor's supervisor... who was "unavailable". So I asked for their supervisor... who was also "not available". Maybe it's me, but possibly the fact that at any given time there seems to be no-one in charge, could actually go a long way towards explaining the situation.
I asked for the branch manager (I admit it was a guess whether they even have branch managers). At this point the rep realised I wasn't just going to give up and go away the way they told her in training that people like me would when treated this way. So she asked if she could get someone to phone me back.
Now as you may imagine, the "phoning me back" issue was by now something of a red flag to a bull. So I took ten minutes to tell her why (in the diplomatic style of discourse worthy of our much-loved minister of health) she could not. I enquired after the meaning of the word "Express" that came after the "DHL "part of the company name, and generally did my rendition of the "pale person's telephonic Toyi-Toyi". Realising she had a live one here, she put me on hold while she found "someone to help" me. After getting a modicum of revenge by keeping me on hold for 20 more minutes, she came back on, said sweetly "I'm putting you through now"... and cut me off.
Carefully weighing up the balance between my sanity and getting some satisfaction, my masochistic tendencies forced me to try again... and I went through a nearly identical experience with another customer service rep, right down to the long hold, "you're going through...", and "click...".
So I tried yet again. Now at this point, I know all you gentle folk and cool peoples out there in Internetland are thinking "Sucker!", but I believe that when you've built up a considerable amount of froth at the corners of your mouth, you should try and find someone worthy to share it with. So much like that famous Light Brigade of old, I forged (actually, frothed) once more unto the breach, dear friends (Yes, I know they all died, but that's not the point. OK?).
Being of a wiley nature, I decided I'd try and skip the foreplay this time. So when the third customer service rep asked me how she could help, I said: "You can't. Put me through to a supervisor" in my bestest Hannibal Lector voice. I did something right, as 10 minutes later I was (wonder of wonders!) speaking to a supervisor. Having had lots of practice recently (and also scared that I was going to be cut off again at any moment), I was able to explain the situation extremely succinctly.
This guy was good - he managed to calm me down by exclaiming in indignation, and gasping in horror at the right places as I spewed forth my tale of woe. In fact he was so good, I let him take my number... to call me back. Well, bugger me for a shilling if he didn't actually call me back though. Things were looking, if not up, at least more level than before.
The bad news was they were trying to locate my parcel. He never actually came out and said they had lost it, but it isn't a huge cognitive leap to make between them "trying to locate" it and the conclusion that they've lost it, is it? Anyway, he said he would keep me updated. "Keeping me updated" seems to be his version of the reps' "get someone to call you back" as it's been more than two days now without a word.
And FedEx in no better. Believe it or not, I have had problems with every single international delivery via them over the last five years. It's sad, but the postal service has proven to be the most reliable way of getting stuff from overseas.
1. The next time you speak to someone, insist that they refund your expenses to date. Specifically the cost of the pickups, shipping and duties.
2. Try complaining about them (copy and paste this post!) on HelloPeter.com. Somehow that ALWAYS works and the problem gets fixed. Simply because the people monitoring HP are your PR guys and they have a lot more at stake if they fail.
Good luck mate!
That is sad dude ☹ when i ordered all my books they where sent via standard international posting which had no issues, i just collected from the post office. I would have thought using a proper courier would prevent something like this happening.
I also asked Chris Kinman to boot some DHL butt from his side, after all they should be more inclined to make a regular customer happy than the occasional recipient. His shipping agent confirmed yesterday that the pickups had been "misplaced".
Good news though - according to Chris and his agent, the parcel has been located and is on it's way. Of course, the DHL tracking still shows it as being in JHB with no movement, but at this point I'm a little more inclined to believing Chris.
I'm not sure if I should bother pushing for shipping and clearance fees back. Given the extreme difficulty in getting anything out of them (including parcels) what are the chances? I mean, is the extra aggravation of a long drawn out fight, worth a few hundred Rand? I'm not above getting riled up and taking a company to task for their lack of service (as you may have noticed), but timing is bad and I don't have the time or energy at the moment. So I think I would rather vote with my feet and make sure that nothing else I buy is ever shipped via DHL.
Some companies prefer using the big courier companies, as if they're shipping enough product, they can get good rates and actually make a profit on shipping stuff to you. Usually in these cases you can push them and get them to ship via USPS (post). You can't insure via post, so it's a bad idea for big ticket items like guitars. But then again, if stuff never goes missing or is damaged, then do you need insurance?
At least you're getting some help there and things are looking up.
It always helps to speak to someone a little higher up the line.
Good luck boet! Hope you get everything as planned and we can continue to drool over the progress on your Partscaster ;D
I would not bother pushing for money back, you know how people are. They will just be spiteful and "loose" your package.
The Saga continues: No-one has called me back, my parcel still shows as being in JHB. I have sent more emails/forms and am busy posting to hellopeter.com
Good luck with HelloPeter -- I do believe that it helps a lot!
Definitely lost/misplaced/stolen. ☹
They can't even tell if it ever reached South Africa. The container it was supposed to be in was received and that's all they can say. One would think the DHL system would have stopchecks that would send up a red red flag if the contents of a container came up short between being packed and unpacked -they would then at least be able to tell where it had gone missing and be able to crack down on problem areas.
Norio, thanks for the Hello Peter thing: they contacted me pretty soon after I posted, and followed up quickly. It's sad that you have to take it to a public forum to get the attention of someone efficient. If they had responded to my initial enquiries, the replacements would already be on their way - now I have to wait another two weeks for another custom set to be made, plus the delivery time.
So, in future, I'm sticking to my usual - and so far reliable - delivery method: post.
The comedy of errors continues. The replacement set were sent to my correct street address... but in the USA. So now I must wait for them to be redirected here. <sigh>
Sheesh Alan, by the looks of things it seems DHL are not good. What a mission :-\. It's an unfortunate thing when a company is too large to worry about their small clients.