Advantages occasional outstanding members of staff
Disadvantages everything else
|Speed of delivery|
|Reliability of company|
|Competitiveness of charges/prices|
DHL is a courier company that offers various services – parcel/document express delivery, freight, warehousing and distribution, supply chain solutions, and international mail solutions. These services cover an impressive 220 countries and territories and if you use the website you can see exactly where you can deliver to and how much this will cost/how long it will take. There is also a tracking service on their website to follow your package.
I did not specifically choose to use DHL , this was just the company that the interrail company used that I purchased my ticket with. As interrail is so huge I would have expected them to have chosen a very reputable and reliable delivery company – how wrong I was!On first impressions I was quite impressed with how many countries DHL deliver to. I was in Finland at the time in Rovaniemi so ordered for it to be delivered to my flat there. When filling in the shipping details I was asked for the latest full day I would be able to sign for my package before departure – I thought that this was incredibly important as I would not want to miss my package as I did not have a great deal of time before leaving the country.
There were a few delivery options – budget shipping that was free (but the dates with this were not suitable for me), standard shipping (which is what I used) at a price of £6 or premium shipping at £19.After purchasing my interrail ticket and having paid for my ticket I was looking forward to my purchase turning up within the next week and a half or so. Having also been given a tracking number, I logged into this service on their website to track down my ticket which seemed to have moved swiftly from Ireland to Finland in just a few short days. After a few days I checked in again to find that my parcel was in Oulu – which was just 2-3 hours south of where I was staying. Having checked again the next day it appeared to still be in Oulu which concerned me as by now I had very little time before I was due to leave the Country with my interrail that had still not arrived! I rang the helpline to ask about where my package was as I was leaving within the next couple of days. I was informed that because I was not in when they had tried to deliver they had sent my package back to Oulu, and by this time it was too late to have it redelivered. I was going to Oulu anyway as the first stop in my journey so though I could just collect in then with the expectation that DHL would reimburse me. After all they weren’t decent enough to have notified me that they had tried to delivered, surely they would make up for this?
So I left for my travels all excited and desperately wanting to get my hands on that ticket! After checking into my hotel the first thing my friend and I did was to get to the warehouse in Oulu where our tickets were. This was quite far outside of the city centre meaning that we had to get a taxi which gave us extra expenses on top of the travel to Oulu that should have been covered by our interrail tickets. At this point I was already pretty annoyed that I was paying all this extra money when it would have been avoidable had I been notified that they could not get into my building to deliver. They were in possession of my email address so they did have a (free) way of contacting me but chose not to. Anyway back to the point…I arrived arrived at the warehouse desperate for my ticket only to be told that in fact my ticket was now in my postbox of the flat that I no longer lived in…brilliant! To say I was fuming would be a huge understatement. This was delivered past the date I said I was available to sign for it so why deliver it then? A member of staff informed me of this very calmly which annoyed me just that little bit more. I told him that it being in my postbox of somewhere I no longer lived was completely useless to me so what was he going to do about it, because I needed my ticket and I needed it quick! Although I don’t think I said it quite this politely…I was pretty angry. He suggested that DHL could go back and try to scrape it out of my postbox which I laughed at. I told him that he needed to get hold of the owners of the block of flats to get my postbox open and get it back down to Oulu for us to collect the next day. I have to admit I was very impressed with him. Although I must have been an absolutely awful customer (even though none of what had happened was his fault) he was extremely helpful and did manage to get our tickets for us the next day and rang us to let them know that they were now at the warehouse.
So we finally had our tickets!! However I was still pretty fed up and decided to complain to DHL about my experience with them.
In a word – inadequately! I wrote a somewhat lengthy email to DHL (in the UK) to receive a response that while they were very sorry, they could not deal with my complaint as my experience was with DHL in Finland. I asked the lady if she would kindly forward my complaint onto the Finnish company which she did, yet I received no response within weeks. I wrote back to her saying I was disgusting I had not yet received a response from the Finnish side so please could I have the email for customer service over there – which she would not give me. She instead said that it was internal information that she could not give to me (I’m not sure why – it was only an email address), that I needed to ring their helpline in Finland. I did not do this, I had already wasted about £60 in retrieving my ticket, I certainly wasn’t going to waste more on expensive international calls. Instead I emailed the man who had been very helpful in Oulu who actually did give me the email address for the Finnish complaints (he really was a terrific member of staff).I finally managed to email the correct people in Finland only to gain an incredibly unsatisfactory response. They blamed the incorrect tracking on me ringing the wrong Country, which I think is partially understandable but at the same time I think a large company should surely communicate through all of its departments to avoid giving out incorrect information? They said that they could not notify me of the first time they delivered, even though they had my email address and the only fault they did admit to was delivering again after the date I said I would be available. They did not offer to reimburse any of my extra expenses and even had the audacity to finish their response with ‘I hope you have not lost faith in using our service and would use it again’. As if.
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