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How DHL Ruined Our Christmas Contest


I wasn't going to write about the depressing conclusion to our Wizbang Tech PS3 Christmas Giveaway because, frankly, it was just too depressing to get into. Only the good natured understanding of our winner Joanne and her son has given me the energy to put into words the disappointment that one shipping company managed to inject into what otherwise was an excellent contest.

In late November we came into possession of a coveted Sony Playstation 3, the "hot" (as in totally out of stock) Christmas item this year. Wanting to do something special for our readers we conceived a fairly elaborate giveaway that stretched over two weeks and ultimately had 25 readers vying for the prized gaming console. On December 16th, Joanne was randomly selected from among the 25 finalists as the grand prize winner and we immediately set out to arrange shipping so that the unit would arrive prior to Christmas.

Wizbang Tech editor Thomas Grace got the unit off to Joanne on December 19th, sending in 2nd day air via DHL, with plenty of time to spare in case of delays. The unit was double boxed to prevent "accidental" loss, lest someone along the route get happy fingers... We picked the contest award date specifically so that we could be assured that the winner would get the prize and get to put it under the tree; in this case as a present to her 14-year-old son.

In hindsight, perhaps choosing DHL was our downfall, but according to their website they're all about putting customer service back into shipping, and they claim to have pumped millions of dollars into automation and tracking capabilities. In fact here's what they claim about their 2nd Day service:

  • Guaranteed delivery by 5:00 pm the second business day
  • Shipments guaranteed up to 150 lbs
  • Total visibility and tracking from pickup to delivery
  • Automated shipment processing and solutions

That marvelous new automation system is described like this in their holiday shipping PR:

Technology investments at the DHL Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio, the company's principal air and ground hub, will provide customers more shipment visibility this year by providing precise, guaranteed updates for millions of customer packages. The new small package autosort at the DHL Air Park, part of a $160 million U.S. hub automation and integration initiative by DHL, includes state-of-the-art conveyor and sorting hardware, together with a proprietary software solution, to enable more rapid processing of shipments, increased efficiency, and 100 percent traceability for all material transiting the system.

As of today here's what that $160 million automation system has to say about our package:

12/21/2006 1:55 am Transit through sort facility. Wilmington, OH 12/19/2006 8:13 pm Departing origin. 12/19/2006 6:20 pm Picked Up by DHL

That's not a typo, the package hasn't been traceable since December 21 and no one at DHL can explain why it's not traceable. Over several phone calls we've been given just about every conceivable answer as to what may have occurred; the packages was put on a truck, put on a plane, held at a closed location, etc. but when pushed by increasing frustrated Wizbang editors the customer service reps admit they're just guessing.

And that's the truly disappointing piece of this whole debacle. DHL's whole focus on adding value to their shipping services by adding "world class" customer service seems to have passed us by completely. By and large we've received quite a bit of misinformation disguised as actual status information. We were told the package was on a truck, and would be couriered to Joanne's house on Saturday, that the package was on a flight to Newark, that the package was in a DHL station in New Jersey that was closed for the weekend, etc. none of which turns out to be the case. The only thing that can be said with certainty is that the package arrive at their hub and then disappeared from the "100 percent traceability" system.

As of this morning DHL reports that the package has not yet arrived in New Jersey (duh) - something those of us at Wizbang and Joanne's house are painfully aware of. Its last known location was Wilmington, OH (again, duh). They are ordering a "doc search" (whatever that means) in order that each potential location along the route may be searched. That appears to be a tacit admission that the PS3 is likely to be gone for good...

All the time and effort that went into the PS3 Giveaway, and all of the excitement Joanne felt at being able to give that gift to her son just melted away this weekend thanks to hours of phone runaround with DHL.

For us, DHL is the Grinch who lost Christmas...

Comments (60)

Let's hope the obvious did ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Let's hope the obvious did not happen.

Regardless of your double-b... (Below threshold)

Regardless of your double-boxing, if the contents were listed anywhere on the paperwork (such as when insuring the contents) my more cynical side says that some DHL employee is home enjoying the PS3 as we speak.

People are not basically good. We have to be taught goodness. Unfortunately, too many people look for the "easy" when they think they can get away with it.

Please tell me you got the ... (Below threshold)

Please tell me you got the package insured.

DHL is clearly 3rd string ... (Below threshold)

DHL is clearly 3rd string in the shipping dept, maybe 4th if you trust the UPSP unions.

On the bright side, it's no... (Below threshold)

On the bright side, it's not that hard to get a PS3 now. Assuming DHL has to pay up, by the time you get the money back you can just buy another one.

Sorry to hear of your pligh... (Below threshold)

Sorry to hear of your plight, I've unfortunately had a similar pleasure with them. They make the post office look good!

These people used to be cal... (Below threshold)

These people used to be called Airborne Express, seems that they haven't changed since I worked there.

In the DC area they use contract carriers for all of their work. The contractors were exclusively made up of ex-cons, with about 5% having been reformed, the rest were still criminals.

Daily I would have to report numbers of high value lost items, and not a week went by without an arrest on the dock, or a drug bust. I could not however invite the local police to visit with a drug dog, it would violate their (the contract courier's) rights.

The company stinks from its head to its feet. I now refuse to do business with any company that does business with them.

By the way I left on my own terms.

Dontcha Hate ... (Below threshold)

Dontcha Hate Late

What? You never heard of Fe... (Below threshold)

What? You never heard of FedEx? I ship two ways, FedEx or FedEx.

Bah! Dont beat yourselves ... (Below threshold)

Bah! Dont beat yourselves up over the issue.
You did an honorable thing and you just cant control the boneheads at some companies.
It sounds like the winner understands and Im sure
realizes you have done everything possible...short of a personal delivery.

I have a similiar experienc... (Below threshold)

I have a similiar experience with DHL. Item was supposed to arrive last Wednesday, I am still waiting. Company is reshipping my order. Thankfully it was only a t-shirt and not something very expensive.

Here in semi-rural N. Calif... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Here in semi-rural N. California, we've had pretty much the same UPS and FedEx drivers for years and they speak well of their organization most of the time.

OTOH, the DHL guys and gals seem new every month and those that I talk to complain bitterly about their benefits and working conditions. The last two told me they were independant contractors with zero benefits and pretty much paid on a flat-rate per delivery regardless of the size of the package or the remoteness of the delivery point. The current driver tells me that she's only doing it until she works her way to the top of UPS's hiring list.

It is possible it is lost i... (Below threshold)
Ruth H:

It is possible it is lost in the Great Denver shutdown. In that case, who is to blame?

I've had problems with DHL ... (Below threshold)

I've had problems with DHL as well. I had a package that was supposed to arrive in 5 business days. It took nine business days to arrive.

Though it sounds like the PS3 was stolen, they might actually be that slow and it is still on its way.

DHL is the reason I will no... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

DHL is the reason I will no longer shop at outpost.com. The two occasions I did in the past both had shipping problems with Airborne/DHL, which is outpost's only carrier.

FedEx or UPS are always reliable, DHL is never so.

DHL used to be just a truck... (Below threshold)

DHL used to be just a trucking company. They decided they needed to buy airplanes to be competitive with FeDEx and UPS. After they bought their first airplanes, they discovered they were pretty expensive to operate. In a meeting they were talking about ways to trim fuel costs. One DHL manager actually said "we have been able to save fuel on our trucks by installing air damns on the roof to make them more aerodynamic. Is there anything we can change on the airplanes?"


Never, ever use DHL if you ... (Below threshold)
sammy small:

Never, ever use DHL if you want to be assured your package will arrive on time. Our defense company sadly uses them for express air and we have had trouble with them for years. I guess they think the discount is worth the lost and delayed shipments.

I have my hardware handlers always use FedEx (and pay full retail price) whenever we have to have it arrive on time.

FedEx hired extra drivers f... (Below threshold)

FedEx hired extra drivers for the holidays. I am sure most shipping companies hired extra workers for the season as well. Seeing that a PS3 costs more than the extra help will get paid, the math could be that painfully simple. I hope it was insured.

On Sunday morning Dec 24 t... (Below threshold)

On Sunday morning Dec 24 the US Postal Service delivered a package to my door in Chicago that had been sent from the mountain town of Rollinsville, Colorado on Dec 19 and in the words of the lovely shipper it was posted in the afternoon "just as the snow started coming down." Rollinsville got 38 inches. I rarely have good things to say about the postal service in Chicago but a Sunday delivery impressed me. The package was shipped "Priority Mail" a service sold as 2-3 day delivery; the delivery did take 5 days but under the circumstances I wouldn't have been upset if I had recieved the package today. My only experience with DSL was very strange, I was sent a document without being informed of the fact by the sender and when DSL "attempted" to deliver the package they neglected to leave a notice. DSL held the package for a month while waiting for me to contact them.

Curious. Early last week I ... (Below threshold)

Curious. Early last week I used DHL to ship a few documents to California. They didn't arrive to pick-up on the day I called despite it being called in early in the day. I work in Maryland so I don't see how the Great Shut Down in Denver could have caused a missed pick-up and, just to rub salt in the wound, it didn't arrive in California when it should have, even based on the actual pick-up day. I'll accept the weather as an excuse for the late delivery but this isn't the first time I've had this kind of trouble with them. Too bad, because some of my customers request them instead of FedEx or UPS.

As I recall, DHL is owned b... (Below threshold)

As I recall, DHL is owned by the German Postal Service... and that says VOLUMES to me.


This sucks, and I share you... (Below threshold)
Denny F. Crane!:

This sucks, and I share your frustration -- big time.

But I've had similar problems with all carriers. The USPS has to be the absolute worst. UPS used to give me great service, but I've had many similar problems in the past couple years. Fed Ex is my favorite right now, but they've given me plenty of problems, as well.

As for DHL, I've never had a problem. In the 90's I used them exlusively for overseas shipments of time-critical materials, and they were fine. However, I have not used them in the past several years, so my information is obviously outdated.

I hope it surfaces soon! If it mistakenly shows up on my porch, you'll be the first to know. ;-)

The first time I had to use... (Below threshold)

The first time I had to use DHL, I was in the Netherlands and needed to ship two printer-paper-sized boxes home to Philly. The mailing process was a chore - I had to weigh the boxes myself before I could even call for pickup - but the staff seemed nice enough.

One box made it back quickly and in fine shape. The other box took so long to be delivered that I figured it came over by ship, and it looked like it had been drug along in the water behind the ship the whole time. I mean it was SOAKING wet, inside and out. The entire box had to have been dunked completely in water at some point during the process.


I was never going to use Fe... (Below threshold)

I was never going to use FedEX again after I had to have a network rack re-shipped to my home because the driver somehow decided that I didn't live there anymore, and wrote "property is unoccupied" on the delivery form (which got it immediately sent back to the shipper, and FedEX management refused to re-ship the item to the same address).

But they have gotten better lately. I was tracking a package that said it was delivered, but I couldn't find it... I got a call back from a manager who talked to the driver on my route, who remembered handing it to the gardener - it turns out, the gardener put it in the shed in the back yard.

Anyway, I was impressed that they followed up enough to know where a specific package was delievered.

I've been giving FedEx more chances to deliver lately, and they seem to have upped the bar - good for them.

When in doubt, always use U... (Below threshold)

When in doubt, always use UPS. They're huge, dedicated to decent customer service and ship probably a hundred times more packages without incident than DHL every year, at least. DHL is a terrible company. I had to ship my dell power supply for my laptop back to dell after it was replaced, and the carrier that Dell chose was DHL. Finding a DHL drop off spot that was obviously DHL was nigh impossible in my area of Northern Virginia (Herdon-Reston). WTF?! I learned from that that if half of their drop off boxes listed on their website for such a wealthy area are defunct, their shipping is not likely to be anymore reliable!

I feel badly for you Kevin.... (Below threshold)

I feel badly for you Kevin. I'm sure you've got a backup plan, so it'll all work out. It's good that you told this story so everybody has fair warning about DHL. I'll never use them.

We never, ever use DHL. Th... (Below threshold)

We never, ever use DHL. Their poor service is for the history books as far as I am concerned.

Only UPS or Fedex at our office. Believe me, we gave them a try, and they are AWFUL.

Come on, tell us you had in... (Below threshold)

Come on, tell us you had insurance on the package and that this story will eventually have a happy ending. If you sent a PS3 UNinsured...through a discount delivery service...at Christmas...then you are at least partially to blame.

All may not be lost. I orde... (Below threshold)

All may not be lost. I ordered a present for my son from one of my favorite stores, Thinkgeek, which only uses DHL - and the tracking was of the same quality. It did get here in time for Christmas, though, even if they couldn't explain how. I'd definitely prefer to use FedEx or UPS to DHL, but they didn't mess us over this Christmas.

I had a DHL package nightma... (Below threshold)
Teri Lester:

I had a DHL package nightmare around Christmas a couple of years ago. Three different people told me outright lies, including that they had come to our office and found it closed at 2:00 PM. I was sitting at the reception desk the entire day with a view of both the parking lot and the entire driveway from the street a block away. No DHL truck ever entered the parking lot that day.

The package had to be reshipped by the vendor - totally lost in transit. I would never use DHL again.

You're going to get horror ... (Below threshold)
Tim in PA:

You're going to get horror stories from all the shippers, and we have people in the comments here saying "always use" just about all the other options.

The best you can do is figure out through experience which drivers are most reliable in your area. You can't do anything about theivery and incompetence somewhere else, but you CAN stop using a shipper when the local driver keeps leaving your stuff where people can steal it, claiming delivery attempts when you were there all day, and delivering it to the wrong place.

UPS, due to their volume, has more theft horror stories than most of the others (USPS is of course bigger, but they have the postal inspectors as a deterrent). On the other hand, the local Fed Ex driver usually drives half way up the driveway and then, no shit, he hurls the package as far as he can into the front lawn (thus saving some time) and then leaves. I've watched him do it for YEARS now.

Personally, while insurance for damages is understandable, the carrier should be responsible for loss of the package before it even gets on the final delivery truck. Loss in the system is unacceptable, you're already paying them to deliver the damn thing.

I had a seasonal residence ... (Below threshold)

I had a seasonal residence in Miami Beach (aah) and when I got there last I had my computer shipped so I could conduct my business. My fed ex driver decided I didn't live there anymore and I had to spend four days on the phone tracking the damn thing down. They didn't tell me and I got to them the day before they were going to ship my computer - my revenue producing tool - to an empty apartment in New York City. You should have heard the driver tell me I didn't live there anymore. He didn't even ring the bell - I was HOME!

DHL is basically the German... (Below threshold)

DHL is basically the German government's postal service.

I use UPS at work, but I have to use tons of bubble wrap and padding because the UPS hires gorillas to handle their packages and I've had quite a lot of damaged packages.

But UPS has always paid on my damage claims, so that's all right.

I have used all of the list... (Below threshold)

I have used all of the listed shipping companies over the past 20 years. Basically, it all boils down to "how lucky do you feel". When our firm ships packages, we always inquire of our client, as to their preferred choice of carrier. We will always have the online price quotes ready (just in case they are curious). 20 years ago most of our packages were shipped via FedEx or UPS. As of 5 years ago, most if not all are shipped via DHL because of lower cost. All packages valued over $100 are insured, and cost is passed onto client. That being said, we have had only one bad experience, and that was with FedEx. In a multiple package shipment to Texas, they destroyed the package and client was unable to use our product. We immediately re-shipped to our client in time for their presentation in Texas, and that package was totally destroyed as well. Thankfully, our client saved the shipping boxes and the boxes were sent to the FedEx lab for structural testing. Our packaging passed the "drop" test. Overall, I spent about 6 months of telephone calls, emails, and faxes trying to collect on our claim from FedEx.

Jeff is wrong. DHL was nev... (Below threshold)

Jeff is wrong. DHL was never a trucking company and only recently stopped flying their ground shipments during the merger with Airborne under the ownership of Deutsche Post AG. However everyone is right in their gripes. They are not only the worst domestic shipper (they are quite good outside the US) they have no sense of accountabilty, despite their claim to be "customer friendly" and so technologically advanced. You would even be hard pressed to get a refund on a lost shipment and many have them in court at the present for these offenses. For more insightful info on these Morons go to www.exdhl.com....

I had 2-day shipping with D... (Below threshold)

I had 2-day shipping with DHL. Package was shipped Dec 18th and arrived in Colorado Springs Dec 20, same day as the snow. But, on Friday the roads were clear and dry and no package. DHL "National" said it would be delivered on Sat or Sun. On Sat, I called "local" DHL and they said they weren't delivering, but could pick up before 3:30pm. They closed before 1:30. Luckily, I "found" the local number and picked it up Sun -- only 150 mile "trip" for both days. Never will I order something they can get their hot, sweaty little hands on again!

I love how people think tha... (Below threshold)

I love how people think that DHL is the German governments post office. DHL is owned by Deutsche Post AG, which is a -private- company, IE: the German government privatized the post office, which was bought and run by Deutsche Post AG.

Every shipping company has it's fair share of horror storis. Anybody involved with UPS knows how the belt systems mulch packages, FedEx ground are IC's who are paid per package, etc... Fact of the matter is if you, who ship, are going to be the victim of chance. :)

Some of the information abo... (Below threshold)

Some of the information about DHL here is as wrong as you can get. I have used them hundreds of times and never had one problem yet. The fed-ex guy does ok but I have had a few problems with him and the UPS guy is a total [email protected]@. The guy seems to smash more stuff then he can get his hands on and thats if he can get it to the correct address. Seems that UPS is the worst of them all for me.

I think that you are just u... (Below threshold)

I think that you are just upset that your package was lost and you need someone to blame. I have experienced the same problems with all courier services. DHL is a really good company. They just went through their merge with Airborne a few years ago so of course there will be some problems. I have heard more good about DHL than I have about UPS and Fedex! Also DHL is not just a trucking company. They have been an express company for 40 yrs! I have been using DHL for many years and I have never had any major problems and I know many other companies that will say the same. Certain areas for DHL are ran by independant contractors but they are not convicts! It's no different than Fedex ground. I can tell you some horror stories about Fedex and UPS. It's all the same. No company is perfect. DHL has grown alot since thier merger with Airborne and it's just a matter of time and they will have some things straightened out. I'm a loyal customer of DHL and I believe that it's only going to get better. Like I said, no matter which courier service you use, you are gonna run into a problem sometime.

Just wanted to say that "do... (Below threshold)

Just wanted to say that "doc search" is actually a "dock search". Meaning they are searching the loading docks and warehouses. It's unfortunate that things like this happen, especially at this time of year and in circumstances such as this.

Duey Huey and Louie are in over their heads with their acquisitions in North America the last few years. I work for the main Canadian competitor, and while we're not without our own warts, DHL is getting an even worse reputation than the predecessor company had.

You win some and lose some.... (Below threshold)

You win some and lose some. You will have a handful of people that don't like DHL and the same goes for UPS and Fedex! I love how I read in the other blogs that there are so many LARGE companies that ship mainly DHL and how you won't use that company anymore because of that. There is a reason that they use DHL. They wouldn't use DHL if they had more problems than not. These large companies would not use DHL if they thought that it was hurting there companies. These are just a few complaints from you guys and I don't see how some of these small complaints can justify not using a company that in my book does a great job on a daily basis. I have heard more people talk good about DHL than I have bad. Unfortunetly, you have had a bad experience. Do a google search and you can find a ton a websites just like this one with people complaining about UPS and Fedex. With the same horror stories. I get more people requesting DHL service than I do any of the other services. I feel that DHL cares more about the customer than Fedex and UPS and the people that I deal with everyday that request DHL service tells me that everyday. It all comes down to what my customers want. 90% of them request DHL and there is reason for that! They have had a good experience with DHL.

I forgot to tell you what t... (Below threshold)

I forgot to tell you what to put in your google search....type in Shipping complaints on UPS and Fedex. This will have several pages of stories just like the ones on here but instead they are all about UPS and Fedex. There are even several that says they will only use DHL. So I just wanted to make it clear to all that DHL is not the only shipping company out there that makes mistakes. I also wanted to add that one of my really good friend's husband works for UPS and he has said that DHL is hurting there volume of freight. I wonder why that is? If DHL is such a bad company then how could they be hurting such a large company as UPS? DHL is a great shipping company and customers are realizing that and are switching.

P you are very correct that... (Below threshold)

P you are very correct that all the companies have there good and bad times. UPS hasn't been hurt by DHL in the overall scheme of things. In their most recent quarter, they have increased US volume by almost a half million packages per day and an almost 10% increase in profit. Your friend's husband is probably seeing a regional shift which happens all the time. One driver can lose a big account on their run and will then say "DHL is killing us". Meanwhile across town, another account comes over so it all evens out. This has gone on for years and will continue to.

When DHL bought Airborne in the US, and Loomis in Canada, they competed on price alone. They took some big accounts from everyone. Fortunately for the rest of us, they were mostly low-profit accounts anyway, so losing them actually helped the bottom line. And many are re-evaluating and coming back at higher rates now that those contracts are up.

I read an article on overal... (Below threshold)

I read an article on overall service for UPS, Fedex and DHL. DHL was not far behind UPS in the numbers and way ahead of Fedex. I'm not saying anything bad about any of the companies, just making a point that all companies have their problems and you can't just point fingers at just one.

I am so sorry that you have... (Below threshold)

I am so sorry that you have had to endure this. You had no way of knowing, but I have worked in the shipping and logistics industry for almost eight years. DHL would be the last company my corporation would have ever chosen. They have such piss poor service it is scary. When they do not have a hub in your area (and an airport does not guarantee they will) they contract the packages out to someone else, and the carrier of their choosing (in our area at least) is always scary. Next time you ship anything let me help?

Sounds to me like Dan and S... (Below threshold)

Sounds to me like Dan and Sunni work for UPS. I know for a fact that DHL does not contract packages out to different carriers. Majority of the areas are union so they are not allowed to contract. The other areas are Independant Contractors which are employees of DHL but own the trucks they drive. DHL has not been perfect and neither has the other shipping companies. DHL is a growing company and is doing just fine with competing against UPS and Fedex. You all need to do more research on the internet and you will see just how well DHL is doing. They are standing up strong against the competetors.

I worked for UPS for 4 year... (Below threshold)

I worked for UPS for 4 years......and after the things I personally saw/did(or was told to do), I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use ups again. wouldn't advise it to anyone else either........Especially if your shipment will travel westbound through the chicago hub. I work in LA, and every night we would get at least one trailer from the chicago hub that had been totally ransacked. management never did anything noticible to stop it, cause it never stopped. trust me all you say about dhl is no where compared to ups

UPS (United Postal Service)... (Below threshold)

UPS (United Postal Service) and FedEx (not sure what that stands for) are the two major shipping services here in the United States. With DHL following close behind. On Thursday, I ordered a new PocketPC, some extra flash memory, and a flash memory-to-USB adapter from New Egg. I knew that, in order to get the package here on time (I will be leaving for a [boring] trip early Friday morning and won't return until late Sunday night), I would need to use next day shipping, wanting the package here on Tuesday since Monday was a holiday (since it takes awhile for the shipping info to clear the New Egg office/warehouse). I saw about a 5 dollar difference between the UPS and FedEx next day options, so I thought "hey; a penny saved is a penny earned" and went with the cheaper; UPS. Early Friday, I recieved an email alerting me that my request was processed and had been shipped. However, here it is; the 5 days after the package was shipped, and I still haven't gotten it! This has really served to infuriate me and spoil my day. I paid about $28 for something that would have cost around $5 to $10 in shipping and handling in order to get it on time, just to find out that UPS didn't keep their side of the financial bargain to get me the package in the alotted time. I should have realised that one gets what one pays for, and that FedEx and DHL are naturally way better than UPS (FedEx and DHL has a habit of getting packages to their destinations ahead of time; pretty much every time), but regardless of my trying to take the more affordable route, UPS still should have gotten the package to me as I paid for. One thing is sure; it will be a cold day in Hell when I next use UPS to ship my purchases.

UPS, in my mind, now stands for "Uncaring Postal Screwovers."

If you ever require something to be shipped (and have a choice), listen to the word of the wise (so to speak) and go FedEx or DHL(an extra dollar or two is worth it)!

I sent 12 packages thru DHL... (Below threshold)
Sue Blackburn:

I sent 12 packages thru DHL to customers that were Christmas presents. These were double packages as I had to send some of them in two boxes to meet the size limit. So we have 6 customers here. Out of 6 customers 5 opened their boxes on Christmas day to find them destroyed. I even built crates for one of the items and the crate was missing when they received it. I have had to either refund or replace these items. Some are one of a kind and cannot be replaced. Needless to say this has put us in a financial crunch. These are expensive items and now my little business is just about shut down. DHL only refunds the cost of your item so your profit is out the window and you have to return it. Thank goodness I didn't spend it and had it to send back. The day that we spent building crates is also gone. Packaging materials are also unbelievably expensive. The price of the truck I rented to pick up these iems, gone. I am most certainly in the hole on this endeavour. What a nightmare. I resent sent two of the these items and both were lost for a while before they turned up, only one made it there in time for Christmas. Most of the items appear to have been crushed. Imagine a wood crate totally disappeared. UPS is just as bad. They sent my package to the wrong address and it got refused and sent back to me, but not until it was totally destroyed. They did comp the return shipping but not until they tried to charge me $432 for my complimentary shipping charges. The rep did comp the charges and yesterday I got a bill for $23 in late charges, what a comedy of errors this has been. I do want to say that UPS paid the claim even though they admitted destroying the package they said it was not packed properly. It is very common for these shipping companies not to pay a claim by saying you didn't pack it properly, even if you followed or exceeded their guidelines. My advice is to pack it like it will be dropped from an airplane and take photos of the packaging process. I resent the one item with a double box and 5 inches of dense styrofoam packed solidly all around. I didn't do the crate because they just break it and it obviously didn't help. That one made it to my client in one piece. Don't think that because you have insurance you will be reimbursed for this. You have to prove what you paid for it and that is all you will get back even if you paid $100 on a real deal and sold it for $1000, you are only going to get your $100 back and your sale, time and profit are gone. Don't spend your money until your customer has the item you sent in their possession and it is 100% ok because you haven't made your sale until this happens.

UPS stands for United Parce... (Below threshold)

UPS stands for United Parcel Service, not Postal, and FedEx is Federal Express. DHL is Dalsey, Hillbrom and Lynn, the 3 founders of the company almost 40 years ago. Many in the industry call DHL "Dewey Huey and Louie" (which I did above) while here in Canada, UPS means "Use Purolator Stupid". DHL isn't new to the US, since it was founded there and only 5 years ago purchased by Duetsche Post. And no, I don't work for UPS.

Millions and Millions of pa... (Below threshold)
Angry Driver:

Millions and Millions of packages moving through all of these company's system,, and you expect not one error or mistake, Try getting into a truck with 120 deliveries on it ( thats stops,, not pieces ) after working on the dock for 2 hours prior, and then try to efficiently route out all your stops without having any 9 am, 10am, 10:30 am 12pm , 3pm and 5pm service failures,, oh and dont forget the 20 pickups coming in all day long before your regular pick ups start,, you all can go screw yourselves.. unless you live the life of this job, keep your traps shut,, you are lucky that you get your packages most of the time if not at all... oh by the way, while all of you are enjoying your christmas bonus, and probably the week off between christmas and new year,, we will be out there working to pick up all the returns from your shipments that you though you could fit into... oh and by the way, just so you all know,, we (drivers) all know what plain brown boxes are (discretely unmarked) and who gets them. Your all soooo perfect and never make mistakes that cost someone else money,, how about all the times you ask if we could just hang on "1 more minute" while you get your shipment ready,, you unthoughtfull asses,, dont you realize every minute you hold us up you are jeopardizing everyone else's buisness after yours?? You all too stupid to realize how this buisness works,, but hey, keep shipping, and thanks/

Looks like you were the dri... (Below threshold)
Sue Blackburn:

Looks like you were the driver throwing all my packages around and putting them on the bottom of the stack so they would get crushed. If your job is that bad and you are so misunderstood I would highly recommend you find another job. Looks like I am going to have to find another way to make a living because everything I ship gets broken by someone like you, someone this angry. I truly feel sorry for you but thank you for the explanation as to how all my merchandise was destroyed. You guys are pretty mad. Interestingly enough I had the thought that my packages were so mishandled because I ticked someone off by shipping something that was just a little too heavy for them even though they were all 50 pounds under your mininmum. I probably would have been ok with one error or one mistake, as you say, but not 5 out of 6. By the way, looks like most of us post our names. Your name is not posted and neither is the company you so hatefully defend. Perhaps you need to get a new life and some anger management classes. Your paycheck will be waiting for you at the end of this term but all the money I worked so hard for has gone back to my customers as refunds or replacements, I have zero for my efforts. Seems you get your money whether you do a good job or not.

I'm a driver for DHL Ms. Bl... (Below threshold)

I'm a driver for DHL Ms. Blackburn and we are not all that angry. I love my job as do all the other drivers I work with. I also love all my customers. I can speak for alot of drivers by saying that our customers are our extended families. I see them everyday and know them all by first names. All my customers have my personal cell number and know that they can count on me 7 days a week 24 hours a day. I have even received phone calls on Sundays and it is not a bother knowing that I am helping them out. When I take vacations, they know that if they have a problem they can still call me. It is sad knowing that you all have had some serious problems shipping with DHL. It happens but not on purpose. There are too many reasons to list why a package gets lost or damaged. There is not a shipping company out there that has never lost or damaged a shipment. It is also sad that some of you have not had good experiences with your drivers. I work with a wonderful group of drivers. We all care about the customers and we bend over backwards for all of them. Not because we have to but because we care and want to. I have been a driver for DHL for 10 years and it is a wonderful company. They have gone through some major changes in the past 4 years and from what I can see they have been possitive changes. Please don't let a few bad experiences give you a negative outlook. If anyone has any questions or needs any help I will be more than happy to help out and try to answer any questions.

Thank you for your reply. I... (Below threshold)
Sue Blackburn:

Thank you for your reply. I failed to mention in both my posts that I happen to love my DHL driver and his boss. Both have been nothing but wonderful to me. They are much like you. When the one package was lost I could not get anyone in corporate to help me but the manager here in Houston found the package in about 5 minutes and then we could all rest knowing it was really on its way and not lost. Corporate told me to just file a lost claim. My driver checks on me all the time to see if I have packages. He is always in my area and I always get a wave or a howdy. It is not all of the drivers, you are correct. I just wish they could weed out the bad ones. The driver who posted his angry reply needs help. I have visions of him going postal. His post is freightening. We should all remember that any organization will have its problems but for the whole I believe there are good people everywhere.

I found your post goggling ... (Below threshold)

I found your post goggling for people to commiserate with after a similar DHL debacle cost me dearly. In my case, they claim a delivery attempt was made, however I believe the 24 hour building staff here that no such attempt was made, espeically in light of the fact that DHL subsequently has no idea where the package is or if I will ever get it.
In my new copious free time, I will be setting up www.dhlcostmemyjob.com (for real, I just registered the domain). Please have any of your friends post their stories there so hopefully, if it begins to impact their bottom line, DHL will begin to treat its customers with respect.

I'm sorry for your hassles and I feel your pain.

I work for DHL, having been... (Below threshold)

I work for DHL, having been adopted from the Airborne Express side of the company. DHL is in way over their head. I take pride in my job but my immediate supervisir hassles me to the point that I may go postal. I have been with the company 14 years and am on my 25th supervisor!!
My route is way too heavy and I am constantly being written up for their failures.No person should work 12 hour days, five days a week. They don't care about their employees and unfortunately that manifests itself in our daily work ethic. I am grateful too have a good union job but wonder how a company can be managed in such a way. All shipping companys are the same. Volume rules. Put a claim in, good luck buddy!!!!

I have noticed that the big... (Below threshold)

I have noticed that the bigger the company the worse they are. I have noticed they all seem to get too big and the service gets worse. My suggestion would use a smaller company if you can, it seems that the local companies give you the personal service that you deserve. I only use a local company for all my courier
and delivery needs. I will only trust them with my goods!

this would have happened ha... (Below threshold)

this would have happened had you sent through any other shipping company. there is a reason dhl is the number one shipping company in the world. don't blame your misfortunes on the thousands of employees that do their best every single day.

I came across this article ... (Below threshold)
freud's slip:

I came across this article when looking for information about DHL and its crappy service.

The problem with DHL is simple: no accountability. The fact is that 90% of the people who "work" for DHL, don't work for them at all- they are outsourced employees or independent contractors. No-one in the whole chain really cares about you or your package. Why should they? If I'm making minimum wage answering phones at the 1-800 #, why should I care if you get accurate information about your shipment?

DHL's transit services (airplanes, long haul trucks, Ohio sort center, etc) are outsourced. ABX air in Wilmington is notorious for mangling and loosing packages. Again, no accountability. If you expect anyone at that center to give two-shits about a lost package you are seriously mistaken. A dock search is a joke. I've spoken to people in the UFO @ ABX (unidentified freight office, DHL's "dead letter" dept.) and on average they have a 30-60 day backlog of "dock search" messages to go through. The chances of them finding your package before it's sold off as unclaimed freight are slim to none.

Lastly, are the drivers. Someone here said that most are unionized and work for DHL. That's BS. 85% of DHL drivers are independent contractors who in turn work for another IC that contracts with DHL. DHL drivers have no benefits & don't make shit, so what do they care if you don't get your package? It's not like their livelihood depends on your satisfaction.

There is no incentive anywhere in DHL's system to give a rat's ass about you or your package. If you are shipping non-valuable items and want to save some money- use DHL. If you are sending a mission critical B2B package use UPS or Fedex, insured w/ signature required. If you are shipping a mission critical package to an individual- use USPS, UPS, or Fedex- insured, signature required, hold for pick up. The person will have to retrieve it- but at least they *WILL* get it.

DHL = Drop it, Hide it, Los... (Below threshold)

DHL = Drop it, Hide it, Lose it. End of story.






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