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DHL - Excessive charges and Unacceptable Customer Service
By -

DO NOT USE DHL to send anything of value to Mexico! I needed to send a laptop to my daughter going to college in Guadalajara. I used DHL because they charged about half of what FedEx was charging. So I paid $100 to send the laptop with insurance to the DHL office in Mexico to avoid having it driven around on the streets of Guadalajara. When it arrived my daughter went to pick it up but the DHL office wanted $500 US for her to get it out of customs and no explanation of what the charge was for. I called the DHL helpline in the US and explained the situation. They said they would assign someone to my case and call me back in 2 hours.

4 hours later they call back and tell me someone was assigned to my case and would call me back the next day, I explain to them I want to know why that are asking for $500. The next day they don't call, so at the end of the day I call them. I talk to someone who tells me the fees might be for taxes or duties or something. I tell them I want to know exactly what it is for because as far as I know there's no such charge in Mexico that high. They say they will check on it and call me back the next day.

The next day late in the afternoon I call them back and they tell me the fees might be for duties and taxes. I tell them again I need to know what exactly they are charging me for. They say they'll call me back the next day... I go through this for 4 days and on the 5th day I get a hold of some assistant and I ask if they found out anything yet. He says the fees might be for taxes or duties. I respond, "I've been calling you for 5 days and you haven't found out anything?" He said and I quote, "We sent them an email but haven't got anything back yet".

I chewed him out for the next 5 minutes on why they didn't call the office in Mexico directly instead of sending emails, and then he says, "Did anyone tell you about the 4 day limit?" "No." He goes on to explain that his records show my package was confiscated by the Mexican government because I didn't pick it up within 4 days. I explain to him that I've been on the phone with DHL every single day for the last 4 days and no one told me this. After I chewed him out some more I hung up the phone and immediately wired $500 dollars to my daughter and thankfully she was able to get the laptop out of customs.

The DHL office in Mexico charged $80 for storing the package and $120 service fee on top of the $100 I paid to have it shipped there. The rest went to the Mexican government for duties and taxes. If you have read this far I just have two points I want you to know: 1. DO NOT ship anything of value to Mexico. If you insure the package they use that value to determine how much to charge you when your package goes through customs. It ended up costing me $600 total, to ship a $700 laptop to Guadalajara. Next time I'll buy a ticket and take it there myself.

2.DO NOT USE DHL. I don't blame them for duties and taxes but their office charged $100 initially and then an additional $200 for storage and service after the package arrived. Also not knowing and not finding out what their office in Mexico is charging me for after 5 days of phone calls is unacceptable. I wouldn't trust them to send a Christmas card across town after this...

Extended Delivery Time .... Very Extended
By -

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- I had a dress made in the U.S. that was sent to Ireland to be copied and to have a matching cloak hand made. Per instructions the package was to be marked as sample/not for resale so that duties and taxes would be waived since the package would be returned. As most of you may or may not do, I took the dress to the office and turned it over to the shipping department with the above mentioned instructions and asked them to ship it and refer all charges to me. The dress left here on Tuesday, 4/4/06 @ 18:00 - Package ID 9294409460. Silly me, I thought all was well. No such luck.

On Friday, 4/7/06 the vendor to whom the package had been shipped emailed to let me know that it had not yet arrived and DHL had called asking for duty charges to be paid. A quick check using online DHL tracking showed that the package was indeed "on hand" in Cork, Ireland. Next stop our shipping department. A check of the shipping records showed that the package had not been correctly labeled and therefore duty/taxes needed to be paid. No problem, I'll just call DHL and ask them to apply the appropriate charges to our corporate account.

The customer service rep. was very polite and professional. She said she would take care of it. All she needed to do was sent a quick email to DHL Ireland to find out how much the fees would be and then she would call me back by end of business and let me know what needed to be done. I waited all day Friday and received no return phone call. So, I called DHL back around close of business. It turns out my "case" had been referred to a technical specialist and they would be contacting me. Since it was almost 5 p.m. on Friday I knew nothing would happen until Monday. Oh well, that's what happens when we screw up.

Monday morning, 4/10/06... I called the technical specialist. She said she had just been assigned the case and had me on her schedule to call back Tuesday since she had only just received an email of the problem and had herself emailed Ireland to find out what the hold up was. For those of you reading this, we already know what the hold up is and I told her this. Apparently, she needs to hear it from DHL Ireland, I'm not qualified.

Okay, Tuesday... again, not a word. So back to the phone and I called Tuesday afternoon EST about 1 pm. The technical specialist was kind enough to inform me that the package was being held for payment of duties and taxes. "Yes, ma'am. I already knew that. How much are the duties and taxes? Can they be charged to the shipper's account?" Her reply, "I don't know. I didn't get that information." After what I must admit was a full minute of sarcastic laughter and non-verbalized expletives racing through my head... I asked what needed to be done in order to fix the problem at hand.

She said she would email DHL Ireland for that information and get back to me in 24 hrs. Why 24 hrs and not 10 minutes? I was informed they need time to respond. Perhaps, maybe, you could call them? No, we only use email. Nice. Alright, we made the mistake, this is payback. No problem, call me Wednesday. That morning I received an email that said I needed to write a letter containing our DHL account number and it should state that all duties and fees associated with the above mentioned package should be charged to that account. Then fax that letter directly to the technical rep. It took less than 20 minutes. Great. Problem is finally solved. No such luck.

I left the matter in DHL's hands thinking all had been taken care of so I did not call on Thursday 4/13/06. On Friday 4/14/06 (ten days after the package left here) I checked the package status using DHL online tracking to see it listed as "on hand" Cork Ireland. Hmmmmm.... another call to my technical rep. She says she doesn't know what is wrong. She will email... Here we go again... DHL Ireland to find out what the problem is. However, I should not expect an answer until late Tuesday because it is a holiday weekend in Ireland and businesses are closed until Tuesday. Nice. Alright, fine I will wait until you contact me on Tuesday afternoon 4/18/06.

Needless to say that by this point my temper is short, the expletives are raging in my head but fortunately only the sarcasm escaped my lips. No word on Tuesday and I was not in the office. First thing Wednesday morning I checked again to find those all too familiar words... "on hand" Cork Ireland. That's it. I called DHL Ireland directly and asked for customer service. I was put in touch with a very nice young lady that apologized up and down for the delay and said she would handle this personally. All she needed was an email stating permission to charge our corporate account. Wait a moment. Don't you have that on file already? It was sent a week ago. No sir we don't.

Alright, I'll send an email. Four minutes after that phone conversation I received a return email confirming that she had gotten the authorization and the package would be released for delivery immediately.. with the time difference that really meant tomorrow, Thursday, 4/20/06. Phewwwww.... all is well. Wrong again.

After all that had happened and being somewhat dubious... I rechecked the package status... "on hand" Cork, Ireland. So another call to Ireland. A different customer service rep.. in Dublin.. not Cork. Said that I needed to deal with this through the US and not Ireland since that is where it was shipped from. Fifteen minutes of explaining later.. she said she would look into it. "Please hold". When she came back on the line she told me that she spoke with the young lady that had helped the day before and the package was indeed released for delivery.

However, following that conversation she called the distribution center in Cork and spoke with the delivery supervisor who informed her that at the current time they are having a "bit of a problem locating the package". Yup, it's true. They lost it. She would call back later today to let me know how things are going. I have yet to hear.

Now you would think that after all of this the story is over right? No. I took the time to call my technical specialist yesterday to let her know that I was going to file a complaint because after all it had taken over a week for her to solve a problem that should at most have taken a day. That having been said, I attempted to contact her supervisor whose name was readily provided and he has yet after four calls today, to return my call.

When all is said and done it has taken over 17 days for a package to be delivered by a company that prides itself on being "the world's premier global delivery network" (their quote not mine). Personally, I think their network...crashed.


Updated: DHL error in a life or death situation - no accountability
By -

UPDATE TO POSTING BELOW: After I posted this complaint, a copy was sent to DHL's customer service. They emailed me to say that they understood my frustration and that someone would be in touch with me. A rep finally did call me a few days later, but only to say that yes, DHL does accept responsibility, however will not give me my money back. That her hands were tied. To which I responded, then how can you say it's "guaranteed service". Call DHL now and the reps will still tell you delivery internationally is guaranteed 1-2 business days.

Do I think they'll do a better job training their reps? I doubt it. A large company like DHL won't even give me my $350 back for their mistake, so they can say sorry all they want, but until they actually do something about it, their sorries are only to shut me up.

I usually don't write complaints -- who has the time-- but in this case, it needed to be done. My brother-in-law has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. My husband wasn't found to be a match, so we had to reach out to relatives, some who live in Greece. We arranged for the relatives to have their blood taken at a medical lab in Greece. The only way to transport this blood was an international carrier that the lab works with. There were two, we chose the one we've heard of -- DHL. What a mistake. The package was supposed to arrive to the hospital by Friday, it didn't until the following Tuesday (almost one week later!)

First, the package was misrouted and went to Italy, instead of Belgium, where it sat for 24 hours. Once we contacted DHL, it took them another 24 hours to locate the package. While international reps insisted the package wasn't sent to Italy in error, US reps said it was, I couldn't get a straight answer from anyone. Following day, checked the website and called DHL. It made it to Belgium where it would connect to NYC, its final destination. Next morning, now day three and a Saturday, we checked on the package and it missed its destination, no explanation.

I got a supervisor on the phone who called Belgium, they said the package was marked as "dangerous goods" and wouldn't make it out until Monday. This was the FIRST that we had heard of the whole "dangerous goods" excuse. BTW, DHL works with this medical lab, so don't they make these shipments all the time? You would think this is the first international delivery they're making - ever! For whatever reason, it didn't ship out on Monday. Then Tuesday it finally arrived at Laguardia, NYC, but DHL wanted to wait an extra day before delivering it to the hospital.

Finally, my husband got a hospital nurse on the phone with the DHL supervisor (a new one at this point) and she basically blasted them for their incompetence saying that if this person dies, it's on their hands. At that point, the supervisor acted like he had no idea, then arranged for a courier which checked the airport for the package and delivered it to the hospital short of 10pm Tuesday night, 6 days after it was shipped out from Athens.

The DHL Supervisor apologized, and for the FIRST time in the 6 days, said, "Yes, DHL made a mistake and admitted to that." Before, every rep just wanted to rush us off the phone like we were annoying complainers. We asked how we could file a complaint and she said, they (DHL) could only file an internal complaint. Complaints are not accepted from outside... what a joke... perhaps that would overwhelm them. She said she would send us a letter showing us the internal complaint but we never received it.

No credit for the $350 that we paid for the shipment, no acknowledgement of the error at all. If I were you, and this were a life or death situation, or even just a situation where the materials are important, I wouldn't rely on DHL. Big name, but no accountability. And looking back, everyone acted like amateurs. How long have they been in business?

Horrible Company, No Tracking Updates, Very Slow Delivery
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

Item ordered through Amazon, was given an expected delivery date, item did not arrive. I tried to get tracking information. I emailed DHL, Amazon, got no responses. Could not get tracking info. The worst customer service department ever. I will never order anything from a company that ships via DHL global mail.

No delivery - bad service
By -

FLORIDA -- I got notice from an overseas company in China that my shipment left on Tuesday evening - and I received tracking.
Then I tracked and tracked - to my utter shock and happiness, it was in America by Thursday evening! I was so excited! I told my mother to stay at her home on Friday since it was being delivered there. And somehow, no one ever rang the doorbell or knocked loudly enough for someone to hear

So my husband called DHL and spoke with a representative - the representative said we could come pick up the package between 6 and 7 pm. HOWEVER, their hub is over an hour away and I don't get home from work until 6:40 pm. So we called again and spoke with a lady who said she could probably get it on a truck out that evening since their driver made the mistake. We would get a phone call from a manager called "**" within an hour. An hour passes and no ** calls. So once again, we call DHL - and we have to track ** down. Lo and behold - all the drivers have gone home. "So sorry - blah blah blah."

Then, he promises we are the FIRST delivery for Monday. I check the tracking all weekend and all morning today, Monday. I call my husband and tell him to contact DHL since there has been no update since the one from Friday saying "recipient not home". So he calls their customer service again. This time he spend 1.75 hours on the phone with some women who HALFWAY through, updates the website. Literally, right in front my eyes - while I'm at work I refresh the tracking page and one minute the latest news was: Delivery attempted; recipient not home. Houston, TX - USA. 11:00. Then, three minutes later it says: Awaiting collection by recipient as requested. Houston, TX - USA. 18:50

And then NOTHING else. Today, they tell us that someone told them to hold my package instead of deliver it. WTF?!?! So at 2 pm we tell them to get it on a truck and deliver it now. Apparently that's out of the question... but why would the lady from Friday suggest putting it on a truck at 7pm on Friday, but it's out of the question at 2pm on Monday? So now they tell me AGAIN, that we will be the first delivery tomorrow.

My main question is, why does it only take 2 days for a package to get from China to Houston, unharmed and no problem? And why does it take more than 2 days for a package to be delivered WITHIN Houston? From now on, I will ALWAYS choose either UPS or FedEx - and the companies I buy from will offer those options. OR I'll just take my business elsewhere. This has been too miserable of an experience - I want no more of it!

Unknown requirements
By -

I am very disappointed in DHL. First, their competitor FEDEX did a great job in handling a very similar package to the exact location recently. A package sent internationally was delivered with no issues, and with no customs paperwork requirements. It was a large package, a gift in fact, very similar to the one I was trying to send.

My situation: I took the package items to a local pack and ship location. The employee actually packed the items into a box and said DHL was the best way to send the package. There was no mention of customs paperwork. So, I trusted the employee at the pack and ship, and I trusted DHL to send my package to the international location. However, I come to realize that the package was returned because customs papers were not filled out for this package. Therefore, my father will did NOT receive his gift for his 60th birthday. I am very disappointed.

If DHL requires certain paperwork for certain locations, they should add warnings to their services that alarm customers and local shipping employees of international packages to certain areas, that all packages must have customs paperwork. How would anyone know to fill them out? DHL should research why FEDEX does not require customs paperwork so they can avoid these in the future. Or maybe, DHL should close their doors and shut down! When I called this morning to find out where my package was, the customer service lady was rude and patronizing. She kept cutting me off on the phone too!

After the call, I went to DHL's website to file a complaint, but they have a maxiumum character in their comments box, so you can only write about 2 sentences. How can anyone fully explain their situation in 2 sentences? Even the best writers can't file a complaint in such a concise manner! I am so outraged!

DHL's Lousy International Service
By -

DHL claims on its advertisements to provide an international solution to shipping problems. This is very far from true and at least here in Kuwait where I work they provide the very worst service anyone can imagine. I have had to go to the lengths of informing all companies who we do business with to never send anything through DHL.

First, it seems that DHL uses a local agent to clear shipments. This local agent makes more money depending on the additional items they accomplish in the clearing process. The first time I noticed this was when a company from the UK sent me some advertising documents and a videotape of their services through DHL. Since DHL "cleared" it through customs, I had to pay KD 3 (approx $10) for customs duty, but what was worse was their various "clearing" administrative activities cost me over KD 10 ($34). FEDEX regularly brings in similar envelopes with no customs or clearing charges.

The latest testament to the incompetence of DHL, I was sent a shipment of specialized industrial grease through them. I pleaded with the sender to use anything other than DHL to no avail, even though another vendor in the same city in the USA shipped a similar package through UPS on the same day. The UPS shipment arrived a week ago while the DHL shipment of the same type of items is still stuck in customs. Although the shipment originated through DHL, they called me asking for the original shipping documents, certificate of origin and packing list so they could clear it through Customs.

Now, how am I supposed to have these original documents when DHL did the shipment? Maybe they thought the documents were sent through FEDEX so naturally they would have arrived early? There were several frustrating things with this shipment. First, it arrived in Kuwait on the morning of the 26th of May (the weekend here in Kuwait) even though DHL failed to call us until the 29th three business days later. WE have been trying to accommodate their requests for documents, but now two additional days later they are requesting an environmental shipping statement so they can continue the clearing process.

The reason for using such international courier services is to ensure time sensitive shipments arrive quickly, not to provide additional irritation and delays. It is clear that at least for Kuwait, this is not the case with DHL. I suggest to any company who has to ship anything to Kuwait to use UPS, FEDEX, or even parcel post before they consider using DHL.

DHL Billing: Robbery In Progress
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I have been using DHL for over 5 years, I have to admit that their non-US service is great, once packages leave the US they get delivered on time. I recently discovered a billing error where DHL surcharged me over $1000.00 to ship a large package to Saudi Arabia. Luckily I had my DHL quote and package information recorded. I created a billing dispute and DHL refused to correct the issue, I started the process back in February and I realize that I was dealing with complete idiots!

They refused to recognize that they were billing me for package dimensions that exceeded manufacturer packaging specs, it is almost if the package grew within DHL sort system. After multiple emails and certified letters, DHL continues to call me on weekly basis looking for payment and I have to tell them every time that the invoice is not overdue, it is in dispute, all I asked them to do is correct their mistake. But hold on, it is a mistake or an opportunity to enhance revenue? In talking with other EX-DHL customers, I realized that DHL has a long history of padding the invoices. So buyer be aware, audit your invoices and do not give them your credit card.

DHL Incompetent
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WASHINGTON -- Package lost in translation - this package, a flat envelope containing one US drawn check for less than $1,000 and a deposit slip to a US financial institution. I work in Kuwait.. it was shipped on 25 May and as of this date has been sitting for over 48 hours in a hold status! Imagine that, but to make things just a bit worse the excuses have been 1) Lost. 2) Customs. and 3) Already in Transit. I have contacted the representatives both on phone and supposedly "live" chat with a string of absolutely stupid excuses to include that Customs can hold mail for up to 30 days - God forbid my paycheck is a bomb!

So stupid is what stupid does; I won't ever use DHL again and when and if I ever do received the check due to the delay which has hurt my family because I just began this job and it is a livelihood issue I will definitely do everything in my power to cause DHL to lose a thousand times what it has cost my family in heartache and real time cost. I want to put DHL out of business and it should happen now!

DHL - Very unprofessional and not trustworthy at all
By -

DHL has proved itself very unprofessional in my case. In a nutshell, they have delivered an important international package into the wrong hands in the wrong address. Neither the address, nor the name nor anything matches with me. I have lost the package and the company has the cheek to say "You see sir, we only deliver home to home and not person to person." They are silent when I say, "You have not even delivered home to home. You have delivered home to some unknown home."

They are totally not in communication with various departments. The driver and his supervisor have tried to lie saying they actually came up to my apartment to deliver it, but that is impossible since the apartment is controlled by a central number lock and he will have to call me before entering. DHL, having made this atrocious delivery somewhere (or maybe that is also a cover-up lie for losing my package), have not even informed me that it has been delivered to the wrong place to the wrong person. They have not even left a slip explaining that they couldn't find me and therefore left it with a neighbor.


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DHL International Delivery Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 1 ratings and
16 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
333 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City, CA 94065
650-593-7474 (ph)
800-216-5429 (fax)
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