Advantages They have some?
Disadvantages Their ability to deliver, poor customer service, very unreliable due to subcontract delivery system
|Speed of delivery|
|Reliability of company|
|Competitiveness of charges/prices|
*** SOME USEFUL BACKGROUND INFORMATION ***White Arrow is a courier service which was founded by GUS the catalogue retailer in 1949 and being going downhill ever since as you'll find out in this review. They now subcontract the services of local delivery men in most major towns and cities. Usually its a one man company who drives around one particular area and therefore reliability is variable.
Whenever you have a problem with one driver, White Arrow will simply assign an alternative driver. I remember the days where you used to see their blue vans drive around with the big white arrow on the side. Nowadays, it could simply be a white Astramax or Ford van. The company now have re-invented themselves and now call themselves Reality Group Limited.Believe me, their service is very limited and that's a reality.
Their customer service is based in Bolton (always an omen for me). I should have followed my instincts regarding this one. Past experiences has taught me that customer service companies that operate in Bolton are usually ill-equipped to handle customer complaints. The same thing applies to Reality Group's customer service. They claim to be one of the biggest customer call centres which allegedly claims to handle 25,000 calls an hour. In this case, quantity won over quality. It appears that their one and only customer support number is a single line which is constantly engaged. Excuse my so called ignorance but don't customer call centres pick up all calls and have specialised queing systems?Their two main clients are:
Jungle.com (Which is actually part of the Argos retail group)
However if you wish to contact them you can do so in a number of ways:Telephone: 01204 873746
I recently made an online purchase with Argos because I was unable to purchase a Braun steam iron at the local branch. I was forewarned about their delivery service which also happens to be the same one shared by Jungle.com but I went ahead because the iron was on sale and hard to obtain. Anyway, the delivery was scheduled for Tuesday but it failed to arrive. After calling up Argos who then contacted White Arrow, I was told that they attempted to deliver but nobody was home. The thing is, my fiance was home all day long waiting for its arrival and didn't hear a whisper, nor did they leave any notes. As I quote from yampyuk's post in both www.ciao.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk (what a clever piece of tactical advertising!)"Then there was an angry woman that had been on night shift that Karen had woken up at eleven in the morning to deliver her the latest editor's pick from readers digest. "I'm on night shift you stupid cow", she said, "you could of just left it at the side of the step and put a card through my door" as she snatched it from my wife's hand."
And they wonder why they get such flak from their customers! Maybe we should wonder why the woman in question was so angry by the time the White Arrow courier eventually arrived at the door with her delivery.I was then told that the delivery would arrive sometime later on that day which it never did. Again, I had to call Argos on Thursday around lunchtime to inquire about my delivery. Once more, White Arrow claimed that they attempted to deliver on Wednesday but couldn't gain access to the building. It is apparent that I have to take initiative on teaching their personnel on how to use the security entrance doorbell step-by-step or perhaps I would suggest this company to explore the option of including such instructions in their company handbook.
On my latest call to Argos themselves, the woman at the customer service desk couldn't agree more about the difficulty White Arrow always have when it comes to delivering to apartments with security entrances that even the 10 year old brownie girls selling sweets can operate. Also, she stated that the couriers seem to lack common sense and rarely post notes like most other professional courier services, including the Royal mail. It turns out that on the 4th complaint they claim that the item was delivered and signed for but won't reveal the identity of the signatory. They suggest that we ask all of our 14 neighbours if they received the delivery before we can proceed with a cancellation or re-delivery of the item.Shouldn't it be the job of the courier to follow up this lost item and knock on our neighbours' doors? Anyway, I checked around the neighbours and found nothing so on the 5th call to Argos I was then told that White Arrow's delivery note now claims that they delivered to our door. Suprisingly, they still won't tell us who signed for it.
It now seems that I have to call White Arrow Express and complain, then pass on my home phone number so that they may call before they intend to deliver.
In the days when I was a little boy, my mum used to order a lot of clothes from Kays Catalogue whom of course always used White Arrow Express as their courier and like now, they seemed to be incapable of running a proper delivery system and providing a speedy delivery. Here are just a few examples of the encounters we had with them in the past:1. The White Arrow van would circle our block several times over, looking for our address until we finally managed to flag it down.
2. The courier sometimes left items on the back doorstep without leaving a note through our door. We would have to call the customer service only to find that it has been recorded as delivered. It was hit and miss if the item was still there. More often than not, the items were stolen.3. They often choose trashbins as dropoff points.
4. After being told to expect delivery on a certain day, even by calling the customer service on the same day we were told by the courier that they don't have our package on their van and made no attempt to track it down either.5. Many items were simply returned to Kays and we were told to pay another delivery charge if we want the item. This caused yet more headaches for my mum as she would have to call up customer services again.
6. My mum got so fed up with White Arrow's deliveries she even tried a hand at being a Kays authorised sales agent in the hope that it would smooth out our delivery problem. It didn't.7. Sometimes an item would be left with a neighbour but with no note of who it was given to. Days could pass until our neighbour finally decides to inform us that we have a package. Meanwhile, we've had to spend a great deal of time complaining to White Arrow for nothing and then have to return a second delivery of the same item. Sometimes this was at our own expense.
8. Drivers were often rude, unhelpful and most offensive.
I had a little chat with my fiancee on the phone and arranged for her to write a big sign on the front door instructing them which buttons to press and how to use their voice to inform her that the delivery has arrived. It's a good thing she is a copywriter. In this day and age, people still do require to be told that their coffee is hot when they buy it from cafes or fastfood chains so I guess couriers are no more clever than the rest. For any White Arrow couriers who may be reading this article, here are a few of the steps to make deliveries possible when approaching apartments:Step 1 - Look to the left and locate flat number on call buttons.
Step 2 - Press relevant call button marked with the intended flat number by using any of your 10 fingers unless you have webbed feet and hands.Step 3 - Open mouth and speak clearly and verbally state your purpose without shouting loud gibberish and running away (which we suspect happened the first time). NOTE: Mental telepathy is not optional, most customers aren't gifted with psychic ability.
Step 4 - Wait until buzzer rings and door is unlocked by flat owner. Once you hear the clicking sound, holding onto the doorhandle and pulling or pushing will open the door.Step 5 - Enter building and approach flat. Don't forget to carry the parcel with you as you enter the building. Otherwise, the purpose is defeated.
Step 6 - Knock on door using hand to indicate your arrival at the flat. Don't be afraid of the heavy dull sound, it helps inform customers of your presence and prompts them to open the door.Step 7 - Take signature of recipient and make sure he/she prints his/her name to clarify who has received the item.
Step 8 - You can now leave the building happy in the knowledge that the parcel was delivered and retailer has earned another happy customer. Thus ensuring that you have continued business in the future.
After asking around a couple of friends and family, I was told I should avoid White Arrow deliveries like the plague and that their drivers don't know how to deliver to apartments and drive around town aimlessly like lost puppies!!!My advice is the same. Make sure when you order something from a mail order catalogue that you check the following:
A. Do I live in a house? (not a flat)
B. Do they use White Arrow as their courier?
As you may have noticed, there have been 2 reviews from the same person on Ciao. Both of which are very similar and shamelessly advertise the service on behalf of his wife who works for the company. Is this not an infringement of Ciao's most basic terms & conditions? Normally I wouldn't quote any other Ciao members because of the guidelines but I feel this one merits a mention because it is a most untrustworthy source and basically goes against the entire concept of such a consumer guide like Ciao. Although the review is very informative it is not very helpful to the customer and in fact is completely biased and shameless advertising. I saw the same article retitled "Don't shoot the messenger" in another consumer website called dooyoo.co.uk for the more discriminating and objective consumer. Feel free to read the comment made by a person named gemstoned as he shares the same predicament and similar experience with white arrow. The op was written November last year so I'm pretty sure I'm not an isolated case.
*** DON'T LISTEN TO BIASED AND SHAMELESS ADVERTISING ***
He goes on to complain about customers which is the last thing a service oriented company should do. When they say they can deliver and they don't live up to their claim, then the customer has a legitimate complaint with the company, not the other way around. The customer is always right and they pay for the service so they shouldn't be so quick to bite off the hand that feeds them.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
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