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Shipping fail: How do I re-arrange delivery?

By Chris Dawson May 3, 2013 - 8:28 pm

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.

  • Glenn
    4 years ago

    I did some delivery times testing about 2 years ago by sending identical products either 1st or 2nd class post. There did not appear to be any time difference in deliveries whatsoever.

    I initially thought that PPI post was slower than regular mail until I reviewed our procedures. Prior to PPI we were posting early and late orders were carried over until the next day, but with PPI we left submission till late.

    My point is that simply testing saved me money and that it is just as important to know the weaknesses in your business as it is to know its strengths.

    • Jimbo
      4 years ago

      In my experience there is a very definite difference between 1st Class and 2nd class.
      1st class is normally delivered next day. 2nd class is not.

  • ncb
    4 years ago

    Can you not change the delivery using this page?

    https://www.ukmail.com/DeliveryPreferences/Default.aspx

  • Cassie
    4 years ago

    OMG! I had such problems with UK Mail! They were supposed to be delivering a pair of boots to me by next day delivery.

    They failed to deliver, and tried to claim no one had been there to accept the delivery (I was having them delivered to work which is manned 24 hours a day). The next day they tried to claim the address didn’t exist. The day after it was claimed it was on the van and would definitely be delivered, yes they had my mobile number in case of problems finding the address. This went on for 7 days, with me calling each morning and being assured the boots were on board the van for delivery that day. In the end I went over to the depot (a 45min drive), I had the tracking number but as I didn’t have a “sorry we missed you” card they wouldn’t deal with me. Eventually they told me the boots were being sent back to the company that day as I had failed to take delivery within an acceptable time frame. No, they wouldn’t speak to the company to get this return stopped. So I called the company I had bought the boots from and they agreed to ring UK Mail who said yes they would keep the boots and I could go and collect them. I went back the next day, again they wouldn’t give me the boots, said they were on the van for return that day, no they wouldn’t speak to the boot company. 14 days later the boot company sent me another pair, again UK Mail tried to tell me the address didn’t exist! Finally 10 days after the second pair were sent I went over to the depot again and got to speak to someone else who was new and they went and came back with the boots for me. On the packaging was a UK Mail sticker saying “Do Not Deliver” So next day delivery took 24 days to arrive!

    • 4 years ago

      Uk Fail and Sh**ty link are a pain in the backside for this. Wherever possible we avoid them like the plague as we know they cause issues, they try to deliver at 7am to a business address, don’t deliver at all, hold things hostage in the depot (a cynic would suggest they make a lot of money from returned parcel fee’s) and other various tricks.
      It does not help that the “North Manchester” depot is in Trafford Park (15mi Away)

      I suppose with prices being driven lower and lower the customer service aspect has to go with it. The only 2 that seem to be OK at the moment are Parcelforce (simply down to the PO network drop off’s) and UPS, the issue with these are in comparison they are reasonably expensive, with many companies failing to disclose who they use as a carrier it is difficult to distinguish these services from the masses.

    • Lucas
      4 years ago

      I send a large amount of parcels, both internationally and domestically. For price, I use Royal Mail Signed For if the parcel is fairly low value and is needed in no particular hurry. Parcelforce and UPS are both good, but I’ve found DHL and APC Overnight to be the best.

      I live five minutes from my nearest APC depot, and I’ve always found them to be quick and efficient. I’ve never had them lose a parcel, and 99% of the time they arrive next day.

      DHL is used for international mail, as their tracking is great. That and the same day delivery options are useful for important urgent items.