DHL: Disasterously Haphazard Liars?

When it absolutely, positively might not have to be there anytime soon, which package delivery company do you not rely on? Let me rephrase that for the sake of sounding slightly less confusing. Which package delivery company sucks the least?

UPS, FedEx, DHL, the Postal Service… they’re all perfectly imperfect. Despite having given our station the proper address, UPS didn’t deliver it on time and claimed it had the wrong information (even though the label was 100% accurate). FedEx isn’t available from the UPS Store anymore, which further complicates my life when it comes time to ship something back through anything other than UPS. The Postal Service? Dude, don’t even get me started on our local office.

So, I had a 72-pound PC coming to the house last week – courtesy of DHL. I was given the tracking number on Monday, and was told that it would arrive on Wednesday (according to DHL and the selected shipping service (2nd day). In DHL’s world, “2nd day” apparently means “whenever the hell we feel like it.”

I knew that we’d be leaving home for the weekend, and didn’t anticipate any scheduling snags. Wednesday came, and it was still stuck in “Transit through sort facility” nowhere near Seattle, WA. I figured it was a tracking error. Thursday morning came, and (again) I expected something a bit more than a “transit” message, but the package was again in transit. I waited three days for the two-day service, and found my package still “in transit” at 10:30pm (albeit, finally in Washington state).

Friday morning came, and I had hope – seeing that the package was actually in Seattle (on the truck, to be delivered). We were leaving at 1:30pm, but I was certain that… nevermind. The PC remained “on the truck” until 6:42pm – when DHL delivered a computer worth over US$5,000 to our doorstep. Yes, they left it there without asking for any kind of signature.

It was given to DHL on the 12th, departed its origin on the morning of the 13th, and ultimately delivered on the evening of the 17th – that’s DHL’s 2nd Day service. Moreover, they left the package sitting on our doorstep (which Stan graciously picked up for us on Saturday morning). Thank goodness nobody saw it beforehand, and thank goodness it didn’t rain during the time it was out on our fully-exposed stoop.

Word to the wise: if you’re going to be shipping items to friends and family this Holiday season, don’t wait ’til the last minute and/or “2nd day” service. My situation could have ended up far worse than it did – and it’s not the first time I’ve had massive problems with DHL. I’ll likely stick with UPS for the time being, if only because it’s convenient and relatively affordable (and the least sucky out of all the package delivery agents).

Our UPS guy and postal carrier are awesome people – like, we might give ’em Christmas cards this year or something. I wish I could take ’em both with me when we move at the end of the month. It’s kinda too bad their respective employers might be a bit out of whack.