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Couriers...would this work?

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Martin C

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:40 am

Couriers...would this work?

I know this has been covered before and I even done my own bit of White Van Man bashing despite having been one myself for a while!

BUT...in recent weeks I have had 3 Next Day deliveries in succession arrive a day late.....and all from the same Courier Company. Yesterday (Monday) I had the Depot Manager of another delivery company tell me that the driver was half a mile away from me and he'd be with me soon, that I couldn't meet him to retrieve my parcel which should have been with me Friday as it was against company regulations. This despite getting the ok from the sending company. What he forgot to tell me was that it wasn't even on the van it was still stuck in the Depot! xxxxxx xxxxxx!


The problem with any courier is not the efficiency of the recieving depot, it's the quality of the delivering depot at the other end and I wondered if it would be possible for people to nominate their favourite, perhaps too strong a word, the most efficient Next day company in their post code area. That way if I send something of value to your neck of the woods there's half a chance it'll get there on time!!

I'll start the ball rolling for the CM Postcodes in Chelmsford, Essex.

The Goodies.... :D

Securicor Omega Express, always on time, quick to respond to queries, clean and efficient. I always request Securicor if given the choice.

Business Post. Have only once failed to deliver a parcel on the correct day and called the sender to explain the problem, (who called me straight away) offering to deliver on Saturday before 9am ' if your customer requires urgently'.

The Baddies

Initial City Link. Masters of the 'Driver called and no one was in...dissapearing 'I left a card trick'. Could it be because I upset the Customer Services girl, who was quick to inform me that sometimes the card falls behind a curtain, that someone else picks it up and bins it etc., Well, of several deliveries to 3 different addresses not once have they managed to meet their promises.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:51 am

ide love to reply but im not big on using these companies.. we use FEDex for all our international deliveries. dont think we get any probs...

oh yeh and i think you will have hit phills raw nerve on this one mate..
easy phill, easy mate! :o :wink:
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Chalkie

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:01 am

The main problem is that the industry is much more competitive than it was say 10 or 15 years ago. Many firms such as Business Post use self-employed drivers who supply their own vehicles and work on a sort of semi-franchise basis. Over the years their payments have actually been cut quite dramatically while their costs have, of course, risen. This has forced out a lot of good drivers who have been replaced by people who never worked out their costings before starting and are now struggling to pay finance agreements, leaving them with low morale and offering a poorer service.

Securicor always employed drivers and paid them a proper rate, therefore getting a good name. They tried to go "self employed" a few years back but met with a lot of resistance. They do use contractors as well now but tend to treat them better than some other competitors.

City Link always paid appalling wages and got the drivers they deserved. I know of more than one of their drivers who has simply abandoned their vehicles on an industrial estate in the middle of a round and got the bus home!

Having been at the sharp end for many years I know all the tricks and excuses in the book but half the trick of getting good deliveries is to get on the drivers side. I could quote a lot of cases where people get guaranteed 9am deliveries on economy parcels simply because the driver knows there will be a cup of tea and a slice of toast waiting. :lol: :lol:

My Business post deliveries always arrive at 8am :wink: :wink: :wink:

Phil
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Last edited by Chalkie on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Phill Fenton

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:05 am

This is a perfect example of how the customer now suffers because of competition.

The argument goes that competition pushes down prices which is good for the consumer. In reality, prices are pushed too low and there is no longer a reasonable profit to be made by the operators. In turn this means either low wages or low profits by driver operators, and the result is a couldn't care less attitude to the consumer.

I ordered GRP signblanks yesterday and was told to sign for them as damaged when taking delivery. This demonstrates the confidence that exists in the level of service in this business.

I would rather pay higher prices and get a better service than continue with the current situation where it is not at all unusual for goods to be damaged in transit.
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Martin Pearson

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:51 pm

I use ANC because they are on the same estate as me so dropping stuff off is easy and they have never let me down. I even had a phonecall on a saturday morning from one of their London depots because they were having trouble finding the customers address and I haden't put a contact number on the package. Neadless to say they got the package to the customer on time.

As for deliveries I find much the same as Martin, Business Post are pretty good and City Link are diabolical.
I had a next day delivery from a company which wasn't delivered and apparently went to another company, they appologised and prommised I'd get it the next day, believe it or not the guy picked up the delivery and delivered it back to the address he picked it up from!!!
It took three days for an urgent next day delivery to arrive.
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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 4:01 pm

Couriers

Hi All
I'm pleased to see your comments Martin ref Securicor & Businerss Post. We use both and each have their querks.
Securicor don't mind parcels - which is excellent
Business Post hate parcels but perform very well with their courier bags.
You can see who we use for what!
Parts of Scotland are of course a problem for carriers - but I can say the best service for smaller packages to Scotland by far will be 'Special Delivery' via the Post Office -& it's good value for money for 12noon delivery or your money back! - And they do refund the charge in a couple of days if they're late - you have to claim of course.
City Link we sacked long ago, although we quite liked NCN but they were let down by the other end quite a lot!
Regards Dave Standen
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Lorraine Buchan

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:09 pm

I've been using city link but to be honest i don't use tham that much. They are ok this end but I know of plenty of times there has been the infamous i left a card, there was no one in blah blah blah.

I have had experiance of lynxs from one of my suppliers and my parcels regularly go missing for days the last one was on a next day and was 9 days late!!

I might give some of the other companies a try if they get a good enough report on here.

Anything thats small enough to go by Special delivery does, though not much good at the moment as there is a postal strike on!
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Chalkie

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:53 pm

Dave Standen wrote:

Business Post hate parcels but perform very well with their courier bags


As a point of interest, Business Post use, almost exclusively, self-employed drivers who are required by their contracts to have a Transit or Sprinter van (some now seem to get away with a Renault or LDV etc, but nevertheless they are panel vans). As they are limited for space the drivers can get more bags on than parcels. They are paid basically per signature so can make faster money with these.

More importantly, "standard" parcels need to fit into marked cages for overnight trunking on the company lorries and anything that does not fit neatly into one of these cages is deemed "ugly freight". It is basically put onto the artics loose and is more prone to damage and more easily mis-routed to the wrong depot when cages are unloaded and reloaded at the national hub.

Things like sign boards can also be more easily damaged when packed against all sorts of other stuff on the delivery vans and thats why they don't particularly like carrying them. More awkward to manhandle than the courier bags so not such easy money.

Securicor tend to have transit size vans for the smaller stuff and roomier 7 1/2 ton box vans for the bigger stuff with drivers under less pressure.


Phil
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Last edited by Chalkie on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Steve Madley

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:57 pm

Disaster here for a while with Securicor Omega but they were moving depots from Edinburgh to Perth. You think with their experience they would be able to co-ordinate it properly!

Agree about City Link, crap service and expensive. Looking at going back to Parcel Force, good price if you send a few out each month.
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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:31 pm

We've tried Parcelforce and ANC, have to say I'd only send anything by parcelforce if I wanted it to be used as a football :wink: I've had umpteen pet headstones come back smashed when they've delivered them :cry:

ANC are very good, very competetive prices etc

Andy
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Martin C

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 8:50 pm

Thanks for the comments.....but I was thinking more of how good they are when delivering to you rather than for you which I suppose comes down to how irritated you are at the time!!
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Timmy Mallet

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Post Wed Oct 01, 2003 9:05 pm

I think Phil (Chalkie) has hit it on the head with the treat the driver delivering to you with respect. I usually try and be polite and curtious and even go as far as getting my extra large street map out to help them find street names etc. I usually get on average 5 different delivery firms comming in any one day and must be honest they do try their hardest. As Phil says the are mostly owner drivers now and I also find one firm may handle parcels for many different carrier company's. As far as the best ones for goods arriving on time and undamaged that one goes to Lynx folowed by ANC and then Citylink. Also get a few comming via Fedex which are always in good condition and on time but as I say dont have to many parcels via them...

Timmy
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steve

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Post Thu Oct 02, 2003 6:52 am

We have tried them all and found TARGET to be the best of a very bad bunch my brother has his own distribution Company and he regularly uses his brand new 4.4 metre Sprinter (which i should have lettered 3 months ago!) working for Business Post on their deliveries he once had 20+ 9 o clock deliveries to do..... they were 25 miles apart..... and he started at 8 am!!
Chalkie has it completely in a nutshell its all about bribery and corruption.... we tamed a business post driver to deliver to us at the start of his hectic round we always gave him trinkets by way of payment..... this worked !
If anybody wants a mega reliable delivery organisation I have one in the family :lol: :lol:
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Tim Painter

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Post Thu Oct 02, 2003 8:41 am

And people wonder why couriers drive like Ar**holes........1 man 1 van 6 places to be 20 miles apart all at 9a.m..........the drivers shouldn't be put in this position to earn a living.

A few years ago I had a regular driver with every major carrier firm they new mew I knew them. They would leave deliveries if I was out no problems.

Now in the last 2 years they all have packed in or moved to larger haulage. So these days I never know who to expect and especially what vehicle to keep an eye out for as the firms sub it out so much.

Just a quick rant.....

Oh and my TNT driver who likes to do the drop test on every load. (:)
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Phill Fenton

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Post Thu Oct 02, 2003 9:01 am

I would like to make friends with our local delivery drivers but they never hang around long enough for me to get to know them.

In fact they won't even wait while I check the contents of a delivery to make sure they haven't been damaged... so how can I get to know any of them well enough to make friends with them :o

Maybe they breed a more friendly type of driver down south. Up here they're a right miserable bunch.

The other day I was phoned by an owner driver for ANC. He asked me if I could fit his van livery..but it had to be done either at the weekend or overnight. I explained that night times was when I slept, and weekends were my days off, but was he aware that it is nowadays possible to hire a van for the day whilst his own van was off the road?

Needless to say he went somewhere else :(

Not only that, but if every delivery driver made friends with every customer, sat and ate toast and drank coffee, nothing would ever be delivered on time :lol: :lol:


I should point out that I am not reffering to Europoint displays own delivery drivers. They are the dogs b*ll*cks when it comes to deliveries (i.e a decent bunch of guys who take care not to damage goods) presumably this is because they are part of the company that actually supply the goods and are treated with more consideration by their company.
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WP_Graphics

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Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:03 pm

ANC - Good and cheap, next day to anywhere in the UK
Business post - good but very expensive to our parts
TNT - only commercial couriers so you can't use them to send parcels to your customers (unless they are a commercial address)
Securicor - bloody waste of time for north scotland, it takes something 3-4 days to arrive here from being sent in england
City link - :-? Depends who you get.

What chalkie was saying about self-employed drivers. Most do use these type of drivers but the likes of ANC pay their drivers by the day regardless of how many parcels they deliver where as business post pay their driver a certain wage plus an extra sum per parcel delivered on time. Could explain why they are so good.....

Gavin
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Chalkie

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Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:21 pm

Business post only pay per delivery Gav, no wage :(

The drivers usually get about ?500 per week but out of that they have to buy their own van and replace it when it's 4 years old, pay for their own fuel, very expensive "hire and reward" insurance and about another ?12 per week for Goods in Transit Insurance. Then they have to pay for uniforms, servicing and repairs, ......... the list just goes on :( :( :(
They even have to pay for the graphics that go on their vans and then arrange and pay for the fitment. A lot get left with less than ?200 per week for over 60 hours out in the cold and wet getting abuse from all and sundry. Self employed, no holidays, sick pay, redundancy or anything :roll:

Makes being a sign maker look almost appealing :lol:

I only know this from years of bitter experience.... :roll: :roll: :roll:

Phil
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Last edited by Chalkie on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Martin C

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Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 12:07 am

Last year before Christmas, my first full year self employed when December was looking a bit lean, I sent a flyer out to various local sameday companies offering my services at £150 a day using my Van (Citroen Berlingo..not really big enough) and although an agreed mileage was included I invariably drove their vehicles. I didn't do a whole week for anyone in particular which suited me but was picking up £300-£450 for 3 weeks and it allowed me time to get my own things done as well. No commitment either way, if I couldn't work I didn't.

I't's not an easy job, particularly if you are looking for 'Dunroamin' Dun Road, Dunlost, .......some sleepy little cottage without a SIGN!

I have to say it's a job that makes nice people bad, calm people tear their hair out and young men old and many problems associated with next day delivery are insurmountable. On one particular day the depot's usual load was something like 1400 parcels and the arctic turned up with over 2,000. Rather like payday at the end of the month when the supermarkets get busy and the checkouts are packed the entire industry had seen a sudden surge in business. Despite knowing about it the evening before it was impossible to get drivers and to make matters worse some of the temps threw a sicky at the prospect!

I think the only thing that could be done but which the industry fights shy of is to class Saturday and Sunday deliveries as normal days and not charge premium prices. Commercial deliveries could be made during the week alongside general consumers and home deliveries, computers, gifts etc., could be made weekends when people are in. To close, how many home deliveries do you think it is possble to 'card' as not in if you are delivering, say 20 parcels? On a good day you'll clear all but a couple but I've carded 14 of 20 drops and they all have to be taken out again the next day for the same thing to happen 50% of the time!
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steve

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Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 7:34 am

what about a facility to pick up your parcel from the depot, the cost of this sevice would be very much cheaper and at least you could collect it when you wanted it not when the harrassed drivers choose to deliver it- like Red Star on the rail network?
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Chalkie

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Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:17 am

Lots of people do that Steve.

Easy to arrange, costs nothing and you can pick your stuff nice and early.

OK if you live near to, or commute past, the local depot.

Phil
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Last edited by Chalkie on Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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looksteve

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Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:56 am

I have found "parcel2go.com" to be fairly reliable and cheap on parcels upto 25 kilos, anyone else use them?
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looksteve

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Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:18 pm

Sorry should be "parcel2go.co.uk"
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Martin C

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Post Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:36 pm

what about a facility to pick up your parcel from the depot,


'Depot Collect' is an available option but there are two things against it from the Couriers point of view.
One, it could in time reduce the number of parcels taken out and thus reduce the drivers commissions and, two, the systems are not in place to sideline too many parcels to a secure part of the depot. I've seen it happen where the parcel has gone on the van, the guy comes to pick it up......and it's not there........and while he's out the driver cards it as undelivered!! :D

Also, if your'e close enough to the depot to collect it, your probably one of the first deliveries made anyway and if your that far away it wouldn't be cost effective for you to pick it up yourself!!
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Phill Fenton

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Post Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:33 am

I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!! ......
I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!!

I ordered some GRP signblanks last week and was instructed by the supplier to sign for the goods delivered as "Damaged". This was to cover ourselves in case they were damaged and a claim was made against the carrier (TNT).

This morning the driver delivered these signs.

I asked him to wait a couple of minutes while I opened them to check for damage.

Your not allowed to check them he says!! Just sign for them as unchecked.

In that case I said I will sign for them as damaged.

That's against the rules he said and took the signs off me and drove away with them!!

"How do you fancy a cup of tea or slice of toast" I yelled as he drove away :roll:

I phoned the suppliers who were just as angry as I was. They told me if I had accepted the delivery (signed as unchecked), had they been damaged they would not have been able to make a claim. In fact the advice to sign on delivery as damaged was TNT's own advice.

What can you do (hot) (hot)

I'm still waiting for them to come back with my signblanks.

Honest - this really happened today:-?
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Martin C

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Post Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:48 pm

I always sign as 'Unchecked'. Not sure how much it helps but most carriers accept it as neccessary to cover yourself.

As for checking stuff, it's a no-no. If you were to take a Stanley knife to the box and accidentally scored the face of the sign, who's fault would it be. Should the Driver take them back as damaged?

Used to get this a lot with PC's, people would want to open and check every box which time just did not allow. One very insistent customer tried to call a helpline for advice on what he 'should' have received as I started loading his gear back on the van!

I don't suppose you can see the funny side but I can just see you waving your fist at the driver as he pulled away :D
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Phill Fenton

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Post Wed Oct 08, 2003 6:10 pm

Martin C wrote:I don't suppose you can see the funny side but I can just see you waving your fist at the driver as he pulled away :D


I sense a cartoon from Alan appearing soon :lol: :lol: :lol:
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WP_Graphics

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Post Wed Oct 08, 2003 8:52 pm

apologies - meant to be a PM
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Phill Fenton

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Post Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:35 pm

The sign blanks arrived back this morning. The driver insisted I sign for them before he would take them off his lorry.

Would you believe it? They were damaged!!

I have just spent the last hour devising a letter of complaint to send to TNT's head office.

I have asked for an apology, compensation, and for the driver to be disciplined.

Yes superficially it sounds amusing. But what a sad state of affairs where in this country I cannot get a decent service without considerable hassle and damage occuring to my property. I have complained about this on these signboards before, in particular the service I get from TNT.

Yes I believe there are rogue elements at work in my local depot as damaged goods delivered in my area is now commonplace. I intend to raise this with their management as this behaviour is totally unacceptable and borders on the criminal :evil: :evil: :evil:

(Sorry Gav - I forgot to phone you today - I have been extremely busy)
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Martin C

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Post Fri Oct 10, 2003 12:07 am

This will put the cat amongst the pigeons! (:) (:) (:)

I received a delivery today, a ready made sign blank 3m x 1m Foam and Panatrim frame. The driver was courteous, helpful and we chewed the cud for a few minutes about business picking up for christmas, workloads etc., The guy had a Lorry not a Van so was probably doing the bigger stuff over a wide area. It was about an hour later that the driver returned with a Jiffy envelope containing one squeegee and 10 plastic fixings. 'Sorry mate, I didn't realise these were part of your order as well'.

Funny, I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd left them till the next day, he must have been some way up the road when he found the package.

Oh and the company....................TNT........! (hot) (hot) (hot)
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Kevin.Beck

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Post Fri Oct 10, 2003 1:58 am

50% of my deliverys comes from paper co/euro point.

Yes they make a few mistakes, but I can inspect the goods, while the drivers there. When theres a problem, like a shortage, the driver will phone, and sort it out... 10/10.

Our chap from parcell line, calls back if he calls when we`re not there in the morning(9.00am) He`s even taken business cards to give to other customers. Resulted in a £300 sign. he wouldn`t even accept a tip.. top bloke

But.
On one occasion, I had a couple of full logs of app paper delivered. I watch as the driver chucked them from one end of the van to the other. I told him I wasn`t signing for them and to take them back. I rung the firm to let them know what went on.. never seen that driver again. ( not euro point or parcel line)
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Phill Fenton

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Post Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:54 am

Martin C wrote:This will put the cat amongst the pigeons! (:) (:) (:)

I received a delivery today, a ready made sign blank 3m x 1m Foam and Panatrim frame. The driver was courteous, helpful and we chewed the cud for a few minutes about business picking up for christmas, workloads etc., The guy had a Lorry not a Van so was probably doing the bigger stuff over a wide area. It was about an hour later that the driver returned with a Jiffy envelope containing one squeegee and 10 plastic fixings. 'Sorry mate, I didn't realise these were part of your order as well'.

Funny, I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd left them till the next day, he must have been some way up the road when he found the package.

Oh and the company....................TNT........! (hot) (hot) (hot)


He must be one of the new boys... hasn't been trained yet to fit in with the work culture of the rest of them... :wink:
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Phill Fenton

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Post Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:34 pm

Just a quick update.

Today I received a very nice letter from TNT head office advising me that they were very concerned about the problems I have encountered. They have assured me they would investigate the matter and will take appropriate corrective action once the investigation has been completed.

I hope they are as good as their word and that their investiagation is fair and thorough. Hopefully this will result in a better service in future.
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Post Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:54 pm

couriers

(no advertising):evil:


edited by admin..
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Kevin.Beck

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Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:42 pm

I fell out with my couriers yesterday.

Got to work 8.45am, letter posted through the door, missed you will deliver tomorrow.

Phoned the couriers up, who said the driver passes my shop at 8.20 every day. If you`re not in the parcel will be delivered the next day..

But how can it ever be delivered if the driver passes my shop 30 minuites before we open...

You`ll have to pick it up at the depo, was the reply........
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4PLATES

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Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 6:15 pm

couriers

Becky!

your lucky that you have the courier passing every morning at 8:20 am, when we have a courier wanting to deliver something to us, they spend about 10 minutes on the phone wanting directions, then they get lost so I have to meet them somewhere, if they don't have our phone number, they can't be bothered to find us and send the parcels back to where they came from!!, useless, a couple of times, I have popped down to the local petrol station and the person behind the counter says, " we have a parcel for you here!!", the courier has been known from time to time just to dump the parcels at the petrol station hoping that one day, I might just pop in for some petrol and get my parcel!, what would happen if I went to another petrol staion, would I ever get the parcels.

But, we are in Ireland ;~)

Simon

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