City Link tell me it’s safe to go out for the day

By Chris Dawson July 1, 2014 - 11:33 am

I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was to log onto the City Link website and eagerly enter a tracking number to see what time a delivery was due to arrive.

CitylinkThen I groaned, it’s not due to be with me until between about 4pm and 6pm this evening.

Then it suddenly struck me, that’s not a bad thing. Sure I’d hoped I’d get the delivery earlier in the day, but at least now I know I have the whole day free and don’t have to sit here frustrated every time a truck pulls into the road wondered if this time it’ll be calling at my house.

Taking full advantage I’ve already been down to Tina’s Cafe in Thatcham with a mate for a late breakfast (highly recommended if you’re ever in Thatcham High Street!), and been to the bank.

Deliveries are massively better than they were just a few years ago. It wasn’t unheard of to sit in all day waiting for the door bell to go, just to find a card shoved through your letterbox the second you visit the bathroom. Now deliveries (at least with the better couriers) are somewhat predicable and whilst a two hour delivery window from City Link isn’t quite as slick as the 15 minute window you’ll get with DPD/Interlink, it’s a heck of a lot better than the old “We’ll deliver some time between 7.30am and 6.30pm”.

Which couriers are your favourites? Not which is cheapest for you as a seller, but if you’re waiting for a delivery at home which companies would you prefer to deliver to you and which would you definitely like to avoid?

  • Richard
    4 years ago

    Interlink Express are brilliant, you can even see where the delivery van is online in real time, and they specify a one hour delivery window too.

    At the end of the day it makes them more efficient if people are ready and waiting for packages and they can fit more deliveries in the same number of hours, everyone’s a winner.

  • fusion
    4 years ago

    Have used UK mail, Fedex, Interlink and City Link. Out of these Interlink has definitely been the best we have seen for delivery. They offer the best tracking and the text/email delivery updates.

    Also they seem to be the best in terms of order creation/collection for us. Not the cheapest but worth the money.

  • paddy
    4 years ago

    In my opinion you can’t really go wrong with DPD. We have never had a problem with them.

  • james
    4 years ago

    i think wev’e tried EVERY courier here….
    if DPD will take it, we give it to DPD, nobody else even comes close.
    when i’m receiving a delivery, DPD every time, 15 minute timeslot (that they actually keep to!) online realtime tracking, easy changes direct from email or text, you really cant ask for more (maybe sunday delivery? oh yeah, coming soon!)
    if only DPD would uplift the larger items i’d be a happy man indeed.

  • Dean
    4 years ago

    We have used several couriers over the years.

    We found DPD very good but their 1 meter size limits very restrictive.

    UPS were also very good, but cost a bit more and we were occasionally hit by £60 oversize fees. They also did not provide us with a account manager.

    We recently used UKMail and found them pretty dismal. They were cheap but we spent forever on the phone chasing them up when items constantly went missing. Sometimes if they couldn’t deliver a parcel, the driver would drop it of in a completely different road without leaving a note or a card! They lost a £700 parcel we a weight of 2kg and said they only pay out £10 per kilogram, but it must be a minimum of £40. So nothing then. Who ever came up with that system needs firing.

    “Sorry your £10,000 gold Rolex went missing, but it only weighed 100g, so tough luck”.

    TNT were OK but we had high instances of damage and they were reluctant to pay out.

    City Link are OK as they would take everything but we did have some problems and got the feeling they were not really very professional.

    We currently use Parcelforce. They are not the cheapest but we still get a good rate and hardly ever have any problems. The fact that they can leave a parcel at the local post office instead of taking it to the nearest depot, which can be 20-30 miles away for some customers is a big plus.

    Some of the couriers we used may have got better or worse since we last used them.

  • Rich
    4 years ago

    DPD for sure, by far the best.

  • Cambridge Blue
    4 years ago

    We would strongly recommend Interlink Express & DPD as the current best of the bunch.
    We have found UPS to be OK locally and for oversize Parcelforce are also OK.
    After that it is a real lottery although some speak highly of APC as well but we have no direct experience with them.

  • Merlo
    4 years ago

    DPD are good but as they get more successful they are tightening the screws. Many parcels that were okay are now ‘manual’ handling and they are using this to raise rates. Because they are affiliated to other networks some of the best alternatives are unable to quote if you wish to move.

  • tinker
    4 years ago

    Royal mail special delivery guaranteed next day before 1pm
    usually no need to give a date and delivery time everyone knows
    the normal time their postie delivers,

    • Jon
      4 years ago

      I live in East London. The postmen arrive any time between 8am & 5pm but normaly before 12 noon. When I complained about this I was told that it’s up to the individual postman how he does his round as long as he gets it done. The problem here is that they change postmen around every few weeks. There are 4 different postmen who deliver to my house at the moment & that’s excluding the parcel van of which there are 3 different drivers. I have had a couple of deliveries as late as 7.30pm as well as a couple of letters for people who live in North London! Anyone who has a predictable service is extremely lucky.

    • tinker
      4 years ago

      whats new ? any delivery at all is a lottery in east london

  • Daniel
    4 years ago

    DPD are exceptional in service terms, I love receiving a parcel from DPD.

    Interlink is the franchise side of DPD so whilst they use the same tracking etc, they are all different so you could have a good Interlink franchisee or a bad one.

    With Interlink however, if they do not deliver during the 1 hour window quoted, the franchisee does not get paid for that package so that really helps enforce good time keeping (their handhelds that you use to sign for parcel have GPS in them so they can know 100% it was signed at the right place at the right time, quite clever really).

    DPD are very good value for money when you send lots of things from a seller perspective.

  • admiralhardinge
    4 years ago

    For deliveries to me DPD are the best, Interlink also improving and are good.

    Shipping out never had a problem with Parcelforce, Citylink, UPS

  • 4 years ago

    A very interesting post, we used Fed Ex for years – but recently (10 weeks) changed to Interlink because we feel the tracking and delivery window are what customers now expect and want.
    Our biggest problem, and this is already mentioned, is there poor limit on 1m items – slightly over and bang a £15 surcharge. Then if you have a 32Kg item, bang – it is freight and over £30. We have only a small number of these items – but now it isn’t worth selling them anymore.
    I didn’t know that City Link did the 2 hour window – they don’t really shout about that do they ? Maybe we should look at using two couriers, so that when we have the odd bigger item we can send it with the one who charges the least. Keep the feedback coming on the different options guys – this is very helpful stuff.

  • Jon
    4 years ago

    I use Hermes. I’ve had so much stuff delivered that I have got to know the Hermes delivery guy by name. I asked for his mobile number so I could call or text him when I need to pop out on a day I am expecting a delivery & he tells me when he’s expecting to be in my area. I suggest making friends with all couriers.

  • 4 years ago

    I enjoy getting parcels via Collect+ delivered by Yodel as my local fella is the most friendly and cheerful of all of them.

    My DPD guy looks very tired I feel sorry for him but he’s always on time.

    MyHermes staff seem to change most frequently. I had some very dubious characters deliver when they first started up but these days they are much better.
    However they lost a parcel sent to me in late October but then about 6 weeks later it turned up delivered by a schoolboy who said he was helping out. By that time it was near Christmas. However they also lost one I sent so I don’t use them anymore.

    UPS failed to deliver one to Scotland. Tracking showed that they tried 3 times but after that it got sent to Parcel2go depot and I had to pay to have it sent back to me. I don’t get many items from them but others I’ve sent have been on time or faster including a 6 foot metal CD rack to Northern Ireland.

    I’ve got stories about most of them – mostly good. A lot depends on the individual “final mile” delivery man.

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