Shipping fail: How do I re-arrange delivery?

Mystery ParcelI’ve just received a shipping confirmation from UK Mail and it appears it’ll probably be a right pain to get my item. I’d be willing to help get the parcel delivered to me but the retailer and courier have conspired to ensure there’s nothing I can do to ensure a successful delivery.

Some retailer or other (Haven’t a clue who – could be an eBay or an Amazon seller, I’ve been buying a lot lately) has simply dropped my email address into UK Mail’s system. Unfortunately the so called order number means nothing to me (possibly an eBay SMP record number?).

The “Thank you for your order from ________” isn’t that useful either.

Shipping Confirmation

No we can’t leave it with your neighbour or a different address

As it happens I’ll be out on Tuesday and Wednesday so there’ll be no one here during the day to receive the parcel so I went onto UK Mail’s website to arrange a redelivery or to get it left at a neighbours. The “Can my parcel be delivered to another address?” and “Can you deliver to my neighbour/leave in a safe place?” are both answered with “The delivery instructions are provided to us by your sender. If you wish to change the delivery instructions please contact your sender to see if this is possible. They will then communicate any changes agreed to us”. Not particlarly useful as I don’t have the retailer’s details.

No we can’t deliver on a different day

Let’s try delivery on a different day…. “Can I arrange for my parcel to be re-delivered?”. UK Mail’s website tells me “If we attempt delivery on a day that you are not available we will automatically try again the next working day (excluding weekend and bank holidays). We will always attempt your delivery twice. However, if you wish to receive your delivery on a different day please contact us on the telephone number shown on your card”. Of course I won’t get the card because I’ll be away.

Why I blame the retailer

I understand it’s not the retailers fault that I’ll be away on the day their item is delivered, but being out happens. What I don’t understand is why they even bothered to send UK Mail tracking numbers without either giving me a valid order number or at least their name so that I know which retailer the item is from.

The chances are the retailer has never done a dummy order from themselves so don’t know how bad their courier communications are. They’ve definitely not added the tracking number to eBay or I’d be able to match it up there. Have you made a trial purchase from yourself lately to see what your own service is like?

Having just collected an item from an Amazon Locker this afternoon it was great to get my order at a time convenient to me. I can’t help but think unless retailers up their game and unless carriers enable customers to rearrange delivery, there will continue to be failed deliveries with unhappy customers, unhappy delivery drivers wasting their time and unhappy retailers answering “Where’s my item?” customer service queries.