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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?

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DHL Poor Service & Expensive
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

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Lost My Package
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Never delivered package from overseas. It was sent to wrong country. I never heard about it again.

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DHL's Lousy International Service, Lost Mail
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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!!!

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Speedy Delivery
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Bought something from America to be sent to Britain, originally said it would take a week to get there. This was fine. Followed the tracker and found it at the door within three days, including clearing customs. Very speedy.

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International package 4th time always " OUT FOR DELIVERY" BUT NOT DELIVERED !!!
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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!!!

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International delivery
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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...

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Unknown requirements
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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!

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DHL's Lousy International Service
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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.

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DHL International Delivery Rating:
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1.0 out of 5, based on 3 ratings and
19 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
DHL
333 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City, CA 94065
650-593-7474 (ph)
800-216-5429 (fax)
www.dhl-usa.com
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