These days most parcel deliveries by courier take place without issue. Parcels are left with a neighbour, or a safe place if you're not in. The one exception is Royal Mail. They seem very reluctant to attempt an alternative or offer collection from a local point. Since the rationalisation of their logistics operation, it's also a real pain to go and collect an undelivered item. So in one way and another they seem to be by far the most difficult courier for us to get a delivery from.
A case in point today for me today. The Royal Mail attempted to deliver an item this morning when I wasn't in. Instead of trying an immediate neighbour, many of who were in, they left a card. My choices are a redelivery next week, a trek to Tufnell Park or delivery to a Post Office next week (for a 70p charge). A redelivery might just end up with the same problem. So I tried a post office delivery. I'm on Hewitt and there's a post office at the bottom of Warham, but the online redelivery system wouldn't allow me to collect it from there. I assumed this was a computer glitch so called up to see if could arrange delivery to Harringay Post Office. I learned that this was no glitch. It was just another example of a system designed to suit a company rather than a user. Because I'm in N8, I can only collect from an N8 post office, no matter than the parcels for N8 and N4 both come from Tufnell Park. It's bonkers.
With companies like DPD and Hermes presenting a real challenge to the Royal Mail, I don't understand how they can survive performing like this - and unless they change, they don't deserve to.
Last year the FT wrote:
The 500-year-old postal operator still controls more than one-third of the £9bn parcels sector and is modernising its systems and technology. But the high growth rates of its smaller rivals suggest they are gaining ground. Revenues at DPD, which is part of the French state-owned La Poste group and competes directly with Royal Mail’s Parcelforce service, rose from £417m in 2010 to £945m last year, said Mr McDonald. He expects turnover to top £1bn in 2016.
As users of parcel delivery firms we're in a strange situation. We're not actually the customer; the vendor is. Rock and a hard place?
This isn't the first time I've had an issue with Royal Mail deliveries. A couple of years ago Martin Lewis, consumer champion and the force behind MoneySavingExpert.com, criticised retailers for failing to monitor the performance of the delivery firms they use. I agree. So I've decided that now I will avoid suppliers who use the Royal Mail unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise. I've written to the supplier I bought from this week explaining the reason that I won't be using them again.
I much prefer Royal Mail to Yodel or Hermes - I can usually get a redelivery on a Saturday and they do an early morning round so no waiting around all day. If I have to use Hermes etc I Doddle it and pick it up from a charity shop as presumably they get some benefit from that. DPD are pretty good at giving you time slots and sticking to them, but sometimes even they won't redeliver on a weekend.
Yes, could have been clearer I guess. It's part of Royal Mail.ow a wholly private delivery group.
I had this experience too Hugh - wanting to get a parcel sent to the PO on Warham and being told it had to go somewhere much further away just because it was the same postcode as me. I just get everything rebooked for a day I know someone is around, but appreciate that isn't possible.
While we're on the subject though, be warned that DPD allows you to get your stuff delivered to Stears chemist near Hewitt/Allison. Sounds great you think ... but be aware that nobody else can collect it on your behalf unless they live at the same address AND have your surname. I got something delivered there on a Monday as I really needed it, but couldn't get it until Saturday because I was never home early enough.
Good luck with that Hugh. I emailed and phoned John Lewis a couple of years ago about their delivery service provider and the response was not helpful at all. I expect better than that from a well regarded company.
We had a UPS delivery a few weeks ago on a Friday, didn't wait long at the door (someone was in), didn't try neighbours AFAIK. I tried to rebook online and by phone for a Saturday delivery but the option wasn't available. The phone service as well as the online is highly automated, but you can't use it to say deliver to a UPS depot for collection on a Saturday, even though the depot is open on a Saturday and is exactly where the package would have been returned and left over the weekend anyway. Eventually I worked out how to circumvent the IVR system and spoke to a real person who was able to make sure the package was available for collection at the depot.
All in all a bit rubbish, considering I'd paid extra for next day delivery.
Absolutely agree but means checking with every supplier you use which courier they use..... a bit of a hassle but hope they get the message.
I've got a note on my door asking anyone with a delivery to leave it in the shop downstairs, which they always do, plus I've left the shop address as a 'safe place' on the RM's and other websites (RM won't accept shops for 'leave with neighbour').
I've found RM/Parcelforce far better than DPD, who have said my flat is a PO box and doen't exist, missed redelivery slots, say they've left deliveries at local offices when they haven't and said they couldn't find the shop.
Same thing happened to me yesterday. Because it's so difficult to predict when the postman arrives, I wasn't there when my package arrived. I now have to schlap to Tufnell Park tomorrow morning to retrieve it. I rang Royal Mail to check it would be there and complained about the location of the sorting office. Why can't it be Tottenham Lane N8? Surely the nearest to Harringay N4?
The woman then mentioned Broad Lane N15 just as good.
What about a campaign to make Royal Mail change the location?
Royal Mail have rationalised its infrastructure and the N4 (Harringay) and N8 (Tottenham Lane) offices are now long gone. They won't reverse this, but they could add better collection arrangements.