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.
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?
WELLINGTON -- DHL charged 3 times the corporate rate to ship an inverter from Hong Kong to New Zealand, badly damaged it on the way and will not accept any liability for the damage. Don't use DHL for anything. Their customer service is useless and they will not accept responsibility for any damage they do.
WARNING!!! They never delivered my box. It was lost & never found. They kept saying it was coming. Never got it. It's been a year!! Don't use them (DHL), as they lie & steal your mail. I have never been so upset. They wanted to add a surcharge coming from London, even though they lost it over there. I wish I would have found this before I used their services!!!
DHL is the worst of the worst among the worst!!! BEWARE NO MORE SENDING OR RECEIVING PACKAGE VIA DHL!! Got this package almost a week now, always "OUT FOR DELIVERY but their delivery van DID NOT COME!!" This is 4th attempt to deliver if indeed someone is delivering it or just a lie on their online tracking!! This company should stop operations. King of worst of mail service. NO WONDER WHERE AND WHAT LEVEL THEY ARE RIGHT NOW!!!
NORTH FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- I am about to lose my mind. I was expecting a package with two plane tickets (non-refundable, cost about $2,500.00) from Russia. It never came! When I called DHL international I was told that my package was DELIVERED to SOMEBODY and signed for... 3 days ago... to a DIFFERENT CITY!!!!! The address, which customer service representative provided regarding that delivery, DOES NOT EVEN EXIST!!!! Although my receipt has a correct address, I guess it does not matter... What is going on with this company? Do they even care? Well I will find out tomorrow... What a nightmare...
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.