Sunday, October 24, 2010

DHL are idiots who deserve being punched IN THE FACE

If you buy and sell games consoles, or anything large enough to require a courier (such as Steel Battalion), do not use DHL. Since as I will show, they are staffed by incompetent gibbons with nary a brain cell between them.

In the process of selling off a large quantity of my games collection I sold a modded MD2 with Sega CD, plus 11 eBay items. The eBay items came to about $400, and included things like rare boxed SNES games, import titles, and a Sega CD RAM cart which is quite sought after in the UK (that came to about $100 alone). Living in France, I needed to post the MD/SCD to the UK, plus the 11 packages. To save money I decided to use DHL (via Interparcel since DHL don’t deal directly with the public), to post the 11 items to my brother in the UK (cost $50) who would then post them on. The console was posted directly to the buyer.

In this way I couldn’t have post each eBay item individually (about $15-20 each) from France. I also made sure to take out extra insurance on each box, should something go wrong. Unfortunately it all went wrong, and I didn’t get a penny from the insurance.

Online I booked pick up of the console for Monday, and the parcel of smaller items for Tuesday. Except DHL were busy on Monday so picked both up on Tuesday. On the box I had put the required postage labels emailed to me. When the DHL pick-up guy arrived, I watched and made sure he put the correct corresponding labels on the boxes. We both triple-checked them, they were absolutely correct. And off they went.

The problem arose when both boxes arrived at their central UK depot, when a 3rd label was applied. Some gormless, dim-witted, incompetent sack of shit mixed the labels up and put the wrong ones on each box. How this happened is beyond my thinking, seeing as the labels originally on the box had barcodes and code numbers which should have been checked. So some dozy idiot (who I hope was fired during our current global recession), clearly wasn’t paying attention.

The delivery van of course only takes into account the 3rd label, and so the boxes ended up in the wrong places. As confirmed by both recipients, the boxes contained 3 labels: the first 2 labels with the correct address to the other person, and the 3rd label which was wrongly applied, with THEIR address on it.

Had the parcels arrived correctly, the 11 packages would have been redistributed first class mail to arrive on or before when I promised them on eBay. Thanks to DHL’s error though they would be late. As it turned out, 2 weeks late, which had a negative impact on my feedback stars (thankfully the bidders were kind enough to listen to my pleas and still leave positive overall feedback).

DHL and Interparcel’s after-service contact was abysmal, since Interparcel works funny hours and seems chronically understaffed. They said they needed copies of the receipts I received from the pick-up guy, which I emailed to them. After this I phoned the woman I emailed to confirm she received them, she said she did and would get back to me by the end of the day.

So I ring an hour before they close, and suddenly she claims she never received them and we never had that conversation, so I had to send them again – emailing her while on the phone, and demanding an email confirmation after that. I can only assume staff are trained to LIE to customers if things go awry, and it infuriates me that she would later claim not to have received anything, after saying otherwise earlier. Why categorically state she had the emails of the receipts and would set things in motion, and then later deny this?

I also tried dealing with DHL directly, but the bastardly cretins state that if you deal with a 3rd party they can’t deal with you, so I had to phone Interparcel, who then phoned DHL, then they’d phone me back to say what DHL wanted, which I then provided to them to give to DHL, after which they phoned DHL again, and then later phoned me. Both parties were slow to respond and deal with the problem, meanwhile my parcels sat in opposite ends of the country.


I got so desperate I actually considered spending $150 for my brother to catch a train up to the other guy (who lived in London), just to switch parcels directly. In the end we couldn’t do that due to each party having work commitments, and strikes going on in the London underground.

In the end, over a week later, DHL sent out recovery vans to pick each up and then deliver them. When my brother received it he went out, posted the items, and then taking into account Royal Mail’s delivery times, the items arrived 2 weeks after they should have.

I have to wonder: what if I didn’t know both recipients personally? What if one of them had been a registered charity, and received 11 items of value? They would think it a donation, make use of them, and then my items would have been lost forever. What if I’d sent the packages to disreputable people who have opened them and kept the items? It was only through fate that the parcels had been sent to people I trust, and through good luck that DHL were able later to retrieve the packages.

It cost me a fortune in phone calls, my brother a fortune in phone calls his end, not to mention stress, time, and my good reputation on eBay. I received nothing in return from DHL or Interparcel, not even an apology. It would have been better if it had all been lost, since I could at least have then claimed the insurance.

A photo of your average DHL depot worker, taken last week.

CONCLUSION: both Interparcel and DHL are staffed by idiots. Presumably the lowest calibre of uneducated, unskilled manual worker that British society has to offer. Whatever the case, they are incompetent and have cost me greatly through a bizarre and frankly easily avoided mistake. Here's a tip: usage of EYEBALLS may avoid this in future.

If you are thinking of using either for posting your gaming items, make sure to first consider all the alternatives.


  1. < I can only assume staff are trained to LIE to customers if things go awry...>

    I remember taking a job for customer service for EarthLink (a probably now dead internet provider) and we were trained to do that very thing, in a less obvious manner.

    Basically if a customer called saying they were only getting busy signals from the servers (this was back in dial up days), we were NOT allowed to tell them that the server was full and just give them another number to another server.

    This was because EarthLink was running a promo that stated their servers were always available and never full. Therefore, if ever questioned about the status of a server, we could never say the server was full, since that would breach the service contract with the customer.

    I quit the job after only being on the phones for 2 hours. I wasn't being a part of that.

  2. That really sucks. Sorry to hear that

  3. Ick, what a horror story. The U.S. Postal Service has been pretty good for me and my eBay dealings. Obviously, that option is not open to you. You sure Interparcel doesn't shoulder part of the blame?

  4. Interparcel shoulder the blame in being slow to react, and not very interested in resolving the matter after I complained (it took multiple phonecalls and eventually shouting at my end before they did anything).

    But the label mix up was 100% DHL.

  5. I got my phone bill today. The cost for the calls to DHL, my brother, the other guy, and Interparcel, during this fiasco, has come to around £90. That's $140!

    GAH! I utterly despise DHL!

  6. DHL is the worst. I've only used them twice (neither time was by choice) and it was a terrible experience. The first order I made I payed extra for 2-day shipping from an online retailer so I could get my gifts before christmas. I didn't get my items til a week and a half after christmas, plus they were all damaged. The second time I shipped with them I just never received my item. I won't ever ship with DHL again.

  7. Our postal service here in Germany has enough problems on its own, so I guess they're even less able to put up with the DHL section. They should sell.