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DPD are terrible

Monday, 9 January 2012

There are few things more tedious than waiting for a delivery. One of those is waiting for a delivery, seeing the van turn up and just drive off without delivering the item. Worse still when the driver says it was your fault.

We moved house at the beginning of September to a small town in Norfolk. Like the rest of the houses on our street, ours has a name, not a number. Normally that might be an issue if you’re in the delivery business but our postcode only covers a handful of houses. When we first moved in, we had a lot of deliveries. This wasn’t a problem for most couriers. We tell them to drive to the postcode on their GPS and look out the window.

Last week our router blew up. It was 5 years old and covered in pine needles dropped over Christmas. Pair that with a storm and the resulting power-cut and we weren’t shocked that it died. I ordered a new one with next-morning delivery from Currys (oddly the cheapest place for the Netgear DGND3700 - odd because it’s rare that the Dixons Store Group are cheapest for anything). They sent it by DPD. The same day I ordered a Bluray burner and DVB-S2 PCI card for my desktop. This time from Overclockers and they also use DPD but just the standard next-day service.

The next day came and by 8am we had a new modem/router. Hooray. We thought they might have had the foresight to batch up my other order to save fuel… but they didn’t. Oh well.

I went to DPD’s consignment tracking website and saw they had allotted an hour-long timeslot for me at ~3-4pm but 4pm came and went. No parcel.

Nothing on the tracking site happens while the drivers are out and about. I don’t think they upload their data until they get back to depot so when I checked the next morning I saw the notice:

We were unable to deliver your parcel as there was no one present to sign for the delivery

Erm, no. The facts:

In short: we were in, the driver hadn’t been anywhere near our door. He lied.

Delivery day two… Things get stranger.

Unable to psychically detect my growing fury, DPD assigned us another hour-long delivery slot for the next day. Slightly later this time, the top end being at ~6:15pm. The slot cane and went without a single parcel being delivered. That’s when I started getting itchy. I started looking out the window at every possible van noise.

Even I think this is odd behaviour for a grown man, but that’s what I do when I want something delivered.

At 6:20pm a DPD van arrived. Right outside our house. I could hear the driver making a phone call over his in-van speakers and saw him tapping on his satnav screen. He then got out of the van and started walking around it to the back. I ran downstairs to open the door and before I could yell anything, I heard a van door slam and expected to see the driver walking up our drive…

But to my bewilderment, the van was driving off.

What the hell is going on?

Later that night I checked the online tracking again. No lies this time but the parcel was tracked back to depot.

DPD tracking screen of doom

There are two contact options. I wanted an immediate answer so I gave them a call. Unfortunately their 0844-number seemed to be exclusively by a rather bossy automated voice who was very reluctant to put me through to a real person. After about five minutes of just swearing at her, she buckled with something along the lines of “it seems like you’re having problems, if you want to speak to a real person press #”. So I did.

And then I waited. And waited. And waited. During this time some awful music and adverts for DPD. They really need to spot the irony in this.

After another five minutes of this, I Googled how much an 0844 number costs to call. Few pence from a BT line, but I was calling on my O2 mobile so it’s the low, convenient, “always thinking about our customers” rate of just over 20p/minute. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I hung up and wrote them an email.

It’s now nearly 72 hours since I sent that email. No reply.

I checked the DPD tracking site again today. Another day. Another timeslot, again, in the early evening. I’m strongly considering deploying a stinger to stop the van getting away this time because this is getting stupid.

Does anyone know how to best lodge a complaint with DPD? I’m going to contact Overclockers now but I don’t expect them to change couriers over little ol’ me. I do expect them to get me a portion of my delivery cost back though.

Less than an hour after posting…

It arrived “just” four days late.

4:16pm Heard back from DPD an hour after delivery. They apologise for taking so long to reply, note that they’ve finally delivered it and apologise “for any inconvenience caused”. But no explanation. Rather a limp email.

5:20pm Overclockers got back in touch (2-hour response time) and told me they’d elevated the issue to management and that “management will speak to the head at DPD to ensure this does not happen again and raise a full investigation”. Also a refund of my delivery costs. Much happier to know that somebody is doing something to try and ensure this doesn’t happen again.

I would say that Overclockers is much better at their customer service but in reality I’m not DPD’s customer. I just hope this feeds back through the right channels to make them pick up the slack and provide everybody with a better service.