I am sure we all know the stories of parcels being thrown over fences or left in places easily accessible to the public and its pretty common knowledge that although we may value the items we send through the post our various courier companies seemingly do not. Or rather the head offices of these companies might but down on the ground, in the warehouses and hubs and with the drivers we entrust our valuables to these things may as well be footballs to be kicked and thrown around like play things. If they break…so what, the compensation system is so convoluted and these companies so hard to contact that the people who have mishandled and damaged our goods may as well be completely anonymous.
All of which brings me to my own sorry tale of gross negligence and incompetence at the hands of Parcel2Go.com and Hermes home delivery. If you have not come across Parcel2Go yet, they are one of a growing number of companies that act as middle men for the couriers and have grown out of the rise in people selling on EBay who require quick, cheap parcel deliveries.
To be fair I have never experienced any problems with deliveries in the past however, all delivery services are fine until they go wrong and it’s “how” you deal with the things that go wrong which ultimately colours a customer’s perception of your service. It is very true that a good reputation can take years to build and minutes to destroy. Both Parcel2Go and Hermes have managed to combine forces to destroy their reputations in my mind and ensure that I will never again sell anything of value on EBay that a buyer cannot collect in person or I cannot deliver to them myself.
About a week ago I decided to clear some desk space and sell my KRK RP5 G3 Active Monitor Speakers. They were in excellent condition and currently retail for £219.00. I sold them for £165 incl delivery so took a bit of a hit but they were a couple of years old and as we all know; values can drop quite rapidly on everything these days so I was fine with the sale price. Postage worked out at just under £14.00 as they weigh over 6kg each when boxed.
I always keep the original packaging for everything I buy so I had the retail boxes and padding which were sturdy in themselves but I decided to also pack them inside another strong box just to be on the safe side and they were sent as separate parcels. You would have needed a tank driving over them to do any damage.
I Booked Hermes to collect via Parcel2Go and as the EBay listing offered only 3-5-day Economy delivery that is how they went so no insurance for damage. Let’s face it, you should not NEED to insure against damage. You are not booking a courier to mishandle your precious cargo? Your booking them to take your goods in one piece from you to the recipient right?. So, the packages were in excellent shape when they left me, in fact I even helped load them onto the van with the courier and in any case a courier will not take items poorly packed.
A few days later I get a message from the buyer stating that the courier had arrived with only one package and had said that the other parcel “was split wide open and was leaking” so they had not attempted to deliver it.
So, two things here. First it is not for a courier to decide whether a recipient should accept or refuse a delivery. They should deliver and let the recipient make that call. Second…what exactly was “leaking”? These are speakers…they are wood and metal, there is nothing to leak.
Naturally the buyer refused delivery of the only parcel to be delivered as the speakers were sold as a pair and that is what he expected to receive which is fine but the question now is, what was happening to the package he had refused delivery of and where was the “alleged” damaged package?
No word from Hermes or Parcel2Go so I contacted Parcel2Go via their online chat…there is no other way to contact them. Red flag there I think! I also had to register on their site before I could use the chat function. That took three attempts because it kept saying I put the wrong password in… I didn’t but we got there eventually.
Parcel2Go’s online chat is either manned by chat bots or complete idiots. They stuck firmly to the script, even getting my name wrong at one point and when I asked if I were chatting to a bot or a human that question was ignored.
They…or it seemed to get very confused about what was delivered, what had been refused, what was in the packages and in particular were thrown off by the mention of “something leaking”. They or it told me they had been awaiting MY instructions on what to do with the delivery, either to re-attempt or return the items to me.
I pointed out all the above including questioning why a parcel with no liquids in should be leaking? and how it was the courier’s responsibility to make the delivery and let the receiver decide if they will accept or refuse. All a waste of time of course because the script he, she, it was following didn’t allow for that sort of discourse. So, I asked for the packages to be re-delivered so the buyer could see the “alleged” damage.
Oh but no, can’t do that because apparently, despite asking me what I wanted done, the “undamaged” item was already being returned to me! Parcel2go customer service? non-existent. May as well be talking to the wall.
Still no news on the “damaged” package and no idea when the undamaged parcel will end up back here. Hermes themselves of course are protected by Parcel2go so can’t get any info from them.
I am potentially now going to be out of pocket by over £160.00. I could argue that the buyer read the terms of the sale. No returns and only sent by Economy courier but that isn’t me. I have a moral responsibility to refund the buyer. Moral responsibilities are something Parcel2Go and Hermes obviously know nothing about.
Isn’t it about time we stopped accepting that courier companies can simply get away with treating the goods we send through their services as though they don’t matter? Why are we conned into paying insurance (see my other article about that) when they should be looking after our items so they don’t get damaged? How many boxes are we supposed to pack things in to stand up to the sort of abuse sorting staff and couriers throw at them?
The solution is simple. Stop employing morons to deliver our goods and take responsibility for your actions instead of piling it all on the customer. There should be no need for insurance. If I walk into a china shop and knock over a vase I need to pay for it even though it was an accident. I should have taken more care around the products on show. Likewise, if you drop my expensive item whilst delivering it that is your fault for not taking care to handle the item correctly. Why are the customers out of pocket for your actions?
And I know from experience. I was a courier myself for 9 years and in all that time not a single item that I delivered was damaged. I didn’t drop anything or break anything for a very simple reason, because I would want someone to take the same amount of care were it my item being delivered. It’s plain common decency and respect for your customers.
Of course, Hermes and Parcel2Go are not the only offenders. I’m sure people could relate similar stories about a whole host of courier firms. If you have had a similar experience, please let us know. Comments are disabled on the front of site postings but head over to the forum at http://yamahamusicians.com/forum and you can comment there. You do need to register but it takes less than 3o seconds so it’s well worth the effort.
By the way here is a link to another story of courier woe by someone who had the misfortune to buy a cooker via eBay!
How dare Parcel2Go sell insurance cover for ‘no compensation’ items?
UPDATE: Parcel2Go contacted Hermes to arrange re-delivery of the parcels to the recipient so he could decide the extent of the damage and whether to accept delivery or not…only Hermes don’t seem to be able to get their act together. On checking the tracking info today (9th August 2017) it seems that at least one of the parcels has been routed to the wrong depot. This means yet more delays whilst they sort it out and of course I have no doubt that an already damaged parcel is being further damaged by their mishandling and routing from one place to another.
So Parcels originally sent on the 26th July and 14 days later we are still no further forward. Choose your courier service wisely!
UPDATE 2: Here is Parcel2go’s response to my query about why this parcel has been diverted to the wrong depot.
This parcel is tracking as being returned, please allow up to 14 working days for the return. – Renee
So after waiting 14 days and having a parcel damaged they now suggest we wait another 14 days for the “return”? Not hard to see why I am encouraging people not to use Parcel2go when sending anything anywhere!
UPDATE 3: The final chapter in this lengthy saga has finally come to a conclusion. On Friday 11th August a parcel arrived at my door. Of Course I did not know that until I went to go out that evening and fell over it! The courier…Hermes had simply left it outside the door. No ringing of the bell or knocking on the door. Apparently that is far too much to ask.
Anyway this was I assumed the undamaged parcel. It was in the same fine condition as when I sent it two weeks previously. There was no indication from Hermes or Parcel2Go as to the whereabouts of the alleged “damaged” parcel. No tracking info, nothing!
The following day, Saturday the 12th August, the exact same thing happened. Parcel just left outside the door. No mention it was coming, no knock or ringing the bell. Hermes are excelling at being completely bloody useless!
However here’s the clincher. This parcel was also undamaged. Sealed and in good condition the same as I had sent it. So what was all this nonsense about a damaged and leaking parcel?
Hermes had completely stuffed up. I don’t know what parcel they were talking about but it certainly was not one of mine! Two weeks completely wasted because of their incompetence. I marvel that they have the temerity to call themselves ‘Couriers’!
Today however it was all good news. Rather than trusting to another idiot courier company I decided to deliver the parcels myself. It was the only way to be sure they arrived safe and sound. So this afternoon one very patient and happy customer finally received the items he had paid for. If he’s reading this I would like to thank him again for hanging in there, many would not have.
Of course I can’t “TELL” you how to deliver your parcels and packages but please do consider my experience and those of so many others and ask yourself if there is a better way to get your items to their recipient, because Hermes and Parcel2Go are not it!
Hermes Complaints – unofficial twitter account for complaints about Hermes
Parcel2Go Complaints – unofficial Parcel2go account
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