Dragonlink, a local courier company was in the headline recently for not meeting delivery. They have too way many parcels and couldn’t deliver in time. I guess they couldn’t deliver due to lack of staffs? A customer was asked to dig through their mountains of undelivered parcels to find her own parcel as she needs it urgently.
She purchased it from Taobao – China’s online marketplace where you can get anything from handphone accessories to furniture. Apparently she did pay a bit for air shipping so this is not the kind of service that we should be expecting from courier.
Being an crazy online shopper, I do shop from Taobao very often. In fact, most of my iPhone’s covers are from taobao as they are cheap and lightweight so the shipping will not cost alot. A basic silicon cover might cost just USD3 with air shipping which is much cheaper than shops. But I do not buy from taobao directly. I would use an agent to help me. They will purchase, receive and deliver for a fee. I do know that buying direct is much cheaper as you do not have to pay to get someone to handle your purchase. But here’s why I do that:
1) I buy from different sellers most of the times. It is really a headache to purchase individually. I don’t have the free time to do that 🙂 Furthermore, some items might be on pre-order. which means the goods are not ready yet. So you will have to follow up after a few days etc. All these take times. For me, I would rather pay a small fee and someone will handle for me.
2) Using an agent will also allow you to consolidate different purchases from the different sellers and ship under one big parcel. This would mean huge savings as it is always much cost effective to ship out a bigger parcel than a small parcel.
3) The agent will also help to inspect the goods and repack them if you want to! This would save shipping cost. E.g. I always request them to remove shoebox as they are not necessary. They will help to manage damage goods as it is easier and cheaper to send back to them in china.
4) Lastly, if any shipment is delayed. You can just refer to the agent. My agent have good partnership with their logistic partners so my shipments are seldom delayed. Even it is, it is usually only 1-2 days late. Which eliminates the problem which was faced by customer who uses dragonlink.
In fact, They have done such a great job that I wouldn’t want to stop using them! For a minor extra fee, i would get a peace of mind and save a lot of times 🙂
I do also have my fair share of terrible experiences with courier. Recently I came across a courier but unfortunately I did not managed to find out the courier company so I couldn’t log any complaint. What happened was… The courier called me and I appreciated that. But he asked if he can leave my parcel in the shoe racks outside since nobody is at home. Firstly, WHAT? If I wanted you to leave my parcel in my shoe rack, why would I pay for the courier (okay maybe I didn’t actually pay for it as some sellers gave free courier if you spend 40bucks like that). The point is I rather it ended up where it should be – the mailbox. So why would I need to pay for such service? Secondly, a shoe rack is a shoe rack. I am particular about my shoes. I never leave those…nice ones outside. So you can imagine what kind of shoes is out there… and no thanks, I do not want anything to be mixed with it even though its all wrapped up. Thirdly, I have nice neighbours. But who knows right? So, I told the courier NO and he can come back another time.
Another bad experience I had was with UPS… when Amazon first started the direct shipping service. They have improved since! You wouldn’t know which courier would be assigned to deliver your parcel. Unfortunately one of my parcels got assigned to UPS. They delivered and as usual, nobody was at home and my parcel was re-deliver to an retail outlet of a certain local tonic brand. I had to take 2 bus just to get there! Of course I was very unhappy. Well, I know it is free shipping but I rather that they ended up in our local post office. At least I do not have to take bus. So after getting my parcel, I did what most people would do.. I complained to Amazon! and told them to use iParcel for all my future shipments. iParcel is handled by my local post and I will be able to collect from my nearest Post Office if I missed the delivery. I think a lot of people complained too. Because a few weeks ago, I have another parcel handling by UPS. So I called them up to make sure someone is at home this time and the CS told me that they have changed their agreement with Amazon. They would delivered and leave a note if nobody is at home and they will redeliver after you called to arrange a timing. I hope they keep up this way! because this is the basic kind of service I am expecting from a courier.