Monday March 17, 2014
How to avoid problems with parcel delivery – what customers want to know
Like parcels, problems with delivery come in different shapes and sizes; at My Parcel Delivery, we know a lot about this, as customers ask a wide variety of questions every day about how to handle a delivery issue.
Some of these questions come up time and again and it’s worth giving you a quick guide to your options for the most common parcel delivery problems.
We also get asked some – let’s say – more bizarre questions about parcel delivery. But more of that later – for now, what are the answers to the most common delivery questions?
1. “When is my parcel going to be collected?”
A regular customer question is about what time a courier company will arrive to collect a parcel.
Most of the time, it’s difficult for courier companies to give a definite time in the day, which we realise can be a problem for parcel senders. Unfortunately, the current capability of courier planning and IT systems doesn’t allow them to provide an exact time.
If you simply can’t wait in for a courier to come to your address, you can go to them at your convenience! Drop-off services – which mean you can book your delivery and then take your parcel to a choice of dedicated drop-off locations – are available through My Parcel Delivery using companies such as CollectPlus and Hermes Parcel Shop.
2. “When is my parcel going to be delivered?”
Of course, customers want to know when during the day a parcel is going to arrive so they can plan the rest of their day and be sure they won’t miss the delivery van.
Courier company, DPD, offers a window in the day – for UK deliveries only – when you can expect the parcel to arrive. Also, City Link has just started to roll out a two-hour delivery window for customers, making it more convenient for customers waiting in for a package.
But – at the time of booking – if you can’t guarantee to be in one place to wait for a delivery then there are other options: if you can’t be at home, you can arrange to have the parcel delivered to a neighbour who you know will be at home. Or, you can have the courier take it to your workplace if you’re confident there’s always somebody there to receive it if you’re not. With courier company Hermes, there is a “leave safe” service where the courier will leave the parcel in a safe location at your property.
To put your mind at rest, nearly all of the services involve the courier driver getting a signature of delivery at the chosen delivery address. With Hermes, it costs an extra 75 pence for a signature, but it’s worth the modest investment in peace of mind for your parcel.
3. “What happens if I’m not going to be at home for delivery?”
If you arranged a delivery for a particular day but your plans have changed and you can’t be at the delivery address it’s really not a problem.
You can change the parcel’s delivery date, even when it is already in transit with the courier. Even better, if you book through My Parcel Delivery we can do the re-arranging for you either via a telephone call or live internet chat. This doesn’t cost you any extra, as long as the delivery address doesn’t change.
If you simply forget that you’re expecting a parcel and don’t rearrange delivery, a courier such as City Link will try to deliver twice on consecutive days before the parcel is returned to the courier depot and then back to My Parcel Delivery’s sorting centre several days later if booked through us.
From there, you can either rebook your delivery (which does incur an additional cost) or you can collect it from the City Link depot. It’s always easier if you book through My Parcel Delivery, as we’ll let the courier know you’ll be picking up the parcel in person.
4. “My parcel hasn’t been collected – what happens now?”
Why do parcels fail to be collected by a courier company?
It might sound obvious, but at a home address it’s mostly because the parcel sender isn’t there for the parcel to be collected. At a business address, it’s possible that the sender hasn’t told the person on reception that a parcel is being collected and when the courier arrives the receptionist thinks there’s nothing for them to pick up! At both locations, a courier can refuse to take something that hasn’t been packaged properly or is a prohibited item. My Parcel Delivery has a useful list of items that are either prohibited or restricted in terms of delivery services and it’s worth checking before you book a delivery.
Everything being sent by courier needs to be packaged and we have a list of helpful packaging tips. But businesses should ensure they don’t tape several packages together – these can come apart during transit and risk being lost. Make sure you check and double check the delivery address you put on the package and make sure the reception or security desk at your office or business knows to expect a courier and where the parcel is located. If the courier arrives to find nothing to collect, the sender will have to re-book the service for another day, which will tend to be charged a second time.
5. “Why wasn’t my parcel delivered?”
If a parcel doesn’t arrive at an address, it’s usually because the address on the parcel is wrong or because there’s nobody there to accept the delivery.
It’s not uncommon for parcel senders to either mis-type the house number or put in a wrong post code for the delivery.
In this case, the parcel gets sent back to the delivery depot. If you booked through My Parcel Delivery, our tracking service will inform you where the parcel is. However, it is possible for some couriers to leave your parcel if they believe it’s safe and secure to do so. Hermes is one company that will do this.
To prevent a failed delivery, you have to either:
- Make sure you’re at home!
- Select a courier service that gives you a delivery window
- c. Stipulate an alternative address where someone can sign for your parcel. Delivering to a neighbour doesn’t cost any extra, but re-directing a parcel to a completely different location, such as your workplace, will.
6. “Can I send…?” – The top 5 weird and wonderful delivery questions
Among the strangest requests My Parcel Delivery has received, people have asked whether they could send:
- Human remains
- Live fish
- A bee hive and live bees
- Raw meat
- Frozen/refrigerated food
Clearly, the answer to all of these is NO! Once again, check our prohibited and restricted list of items just to make sure – you wouldn’t want to try sending live bees and end up getting “stung” on price!