DHL Complaint - Extended Delivery Time .... Very Extended
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- Let me start by saying that having spent many, many, years in corporate world it is inevitable that things will eventually go wrong. Having said that, here's the story and be warned, it's very long .....
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 packaged 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 send 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 phonecall. 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 explainatives 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 right 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 on line 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 explainatives 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 immediatley .. 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 tiime to call my technical specialist yesterday to let her know that I was going to file a complaint because afterall 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.