There’s an article in the Independent today, slamming courier companies for poor delivery experiences.
Labour’s consumer affairs spokesman Ian Murray, complains that a parcel he ordered as a Christmas present wasn’t delivered as the courier couldn’t find his address – his constituency office.
He’s right about some things, businesses do need to make it easy to seek redress if an item doesn’t arrive or is late. He’s wrong to say that most responsible retailers will leave consumers out of pocket when things go wrong. I had a couple problems with deliveries over Christmas and the online businesses I was buying from were a pleasure to deal with.
One item was broken on arrival, and although delivered on the 17th I didn’t report the breakage until after Christmas. They did query the return asking why it was over 10 days but, as soon as I explained there was no visible external damage to the retail box and it was only when opened on Christmas Day that the damage was discovered, they immediately arranged for a return and sent a replacement which arrived this Friday in perfect condition.
Whilst that might be considered a “bad” experience, as far as I’m concerned these things happen and the company did everything they’re both required to do by law, and that I could have asked for as a consumer.
Baroness Hayter compains of frustration that shoppers couldn’t choose their preferred courier. Quite frankly it’s a nice idea, but in practice retailers can only offer competitive courier rates by shipping with a single provider in volume. If her wish for choice became common place I wonder what her thoughts of paying rack rate for her preferred courier would be, I suspect she’d regret having choice over cost.
Overall I’ve heard very few complaints of poor courier service over Christmas. I had a couple of deliveries take two days instead of one, and one parcel to the Isle of Wight which took three working days for a 24 hour delivery and finally arrived on Christmas Eve. Apart from a couple of late deliveries, all of which were trackable online so that I and the recipients knew where the parcels were, it was a pretty faultless service for all the couriers that delivered to or collected parcels from me.
Do you think consumers should have a choice of having their parcel delivered by their favourite courier company, or would that be totally impracticable for your business? How many delivery options do you offer and do you plan to increase customer choice in 2013?
I should add that the image is from two years ago and I had nothing delivered to my Dust Bin this year, it’s just too good an image not to use again!