Customer service is the weak spot in the parcel dropshop model

Over the last few weeks I have been utilising the full range of couriers and carriers as I sell a few bits and bobs online.

There’s lots to like about the drop off shop concept embraced by several courier brands. Firstly, it is very competively priced. It’s not hard to get a sub 3 quid price for a parcel weighing a couple of kilorams.

There’s also a lot to like about the flexibility. It’s very handy to be able to drop off dispatches at weekends and well into the evening on weekdays.

And, needless to say, it can be very convneient if you have a dropshop very close to where you live, work or drop the kids off at school or whatever.

But the one thing that has struck me as I’ve used these services is that is that it’s never a seamless, easy experience.

Dropping off a parcel yesterday at a national chain of small shops, I waited in line for quite a while and then there was a bit of scrabbling around for the handset, a bit of confusion from the member of staff about what to do, and in the end we got there.

Not a big deal but hardly flawless. But better than in one shop where the assistant told me to wait until the queue of “paying customers” was dealt with before taking my parcel.

But by far the worst was the chaotic and shabby corner shop I used where the monosyballic gentleman behind the jump seemed to genuinely begrudge taking the parcel from me.

Now, maybe all this is fair enough and I shouldn’t expect champagne service on a big budget. But the sending experience has slightly dented my enthusiasm for these couriers and the service they offer. Or rather the service that others offer on their behalf.