3 An Post vs GLS for US inbound parcels

Sep 29th, 2005   4:59 pm

So regular readers of Boards.ie will know that GLS Ireland have a pretty damning negative reputation, if such a thing exists. Vast amounts of user experiences including lost parcels, failure to show, weeks of “Out for delivery” status, impossible to contact, no calls back when promised, and the list goes on.

Indeed, I myself have posted some negative experiences both here and on Boards. When the USPS cancelled the GLS contract (at least that’s what I’ve read happened anyway, either way GLS no longer handle inbound USPS parcels), the news was warmly greeted by myself any many others. Some months on, how have things faired out?

Probably the biggest event since the cancellation is the closure of SDS, An Post‘s courier/parcel delivery service, with all parcel deliveries being absorbed back into the main letter/national delivery service. There had been rumours of DHL taking over the contract in Ireland, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of that, and certainly all my US inbound parcels have been delivered locally by An Post.

For better or for worse? Good question. Bad and all as GLS were, they occasionally rang in advance. I think this was more down to the driver, rather than company policy, as my (and many others) experiences varied wildly. However An Post have a bad habit of slipping a delivery attempt notice in the door (without knocking/ringing the doorbell). That practice is very annoying! I’d certainly pay 50 cent more to have the driver ring me in the morning to see if there’s any point in delivering that morning. As I say, some GLS drivers used do that. It saves his time, and mine. Having got 7 parcels over the last few months, I’ve had to collect them all. Twice I was genuinely out. Twice I was in bed (but the door knock always wakes me, because it’s so loud). The other 3 times I was working in the room right next to the front door. Never heard a knock. In fact each time, I heard the slip coming in the letter box, but just assumed it was junk mail/flyers, of which we get a lot.

When you ring, you’re bandied about from sorting office to delivery office to customer service to call backs. Nobody has ever called me back. When questioned why the driver didn’t knock, I was asked to stop exaggerating! Can it be delivered the following morning (any time) when I will definitely be in, or indeed any time that week? No, as an attempt has already been made (surely that can’t be right .. 1 attempt, and that’s all? So I’ve been told 3 times by different customer service people in An Post). Can you send it to my nearest sorting office (a 10 minute round trip versus 1.5 hours to Sandyford Industrial Estate)? No, sorry.

So in actual fact, at my modest rate of pay, I’d have paid for a round trip to New York, with the time I’ve spent collecting parcels from An Post’s failure to deliver! An Post definitely lose out to GLS in customer satisfaction as far as I’m concerned. Sure I’ve had negative experiences with GLS, but the parcel did mostly get there (bar one parcel that Dabs.com are still billing me for), just after the supposed 48-hour service. I’ve yet to have a parcel delivered by An Post (US inbound, that is)!

What is it about delivery companies? Is it so hard to insist that a phone number be printed (not hand written) in International format on all accepted parcels? Phone the number on the morning of delivery to confirm someone will be there (within a 3 hour time frame, say). If no phone contact can be made, phone the following day (i.e. don’t attempt to deliver). If that fails, then mail out a postcard asking them to contact you. How hard can that be? How expensive can that be? You’re talking about the cost of the call (which at bulk rates, and for the short-duration nature of the call, can’t be more than, say, 10 cent including VAT), and the cost of the time to make the call. Allow a modest 4 minutes per call. You’ll get 15 calls in one man-hour. At minimum wage, that works out around 50c. So we’re talking about 60c per parcel, including VAT/PAYE/PRSI. Now offset that additional expense with wasted delivery attempts, and I think it’s a no-brainer. No contact number on the parcel? Post out the postcard, explaining the need to ring them.

Rocket science? I think not. Just the massive failure of delivery companies to recognise that a few simple steps would radically improve customer satisfaction, and cut down on fleet/driver time wastage. Any key-decision maker in the field reading can feel free to take my idea!!



Oct 2nd, 2005   12:40 am

Glad to see I'm not alone in the opinion; it seems it goes a bit further than I'd thought, as many are reporting in this thread suggests.
Apr 20th, 2006   11:48 am

Yes, I've noticed this too! It gets worse with An Post. a friend of mine went to pick up a parcel at the depot after such a failed delivery -- it wasn't there. He was simply told it had been "lifted", c'est la vie! wtf?!


Apr 20th, 2006   11:54 am

Heh, nice one .. I'd to drive to Sandyford a few weeks ago, again. The slip came on the Monday, I was in the depot on Thursday morning. "You're lucky mate, that was nearly gone!" he said. When I pointed out the notice clearly stating I'd 5 business days to collect it, he laughed. That might have been something to do with me laughing when the person before me gave him the change of €20 after paying €16.something in duty! Tipping the An Post counter staff? New to me.

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