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Amazon Logistics

Dear Amazon,

Once again I must contact you relating to poor service from a courier charged with delivering items bought from yourself.

Item 026-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx, although delivered on the correct date, it did not arrive before 20:30. I’m sure you appreciate the importance of deliveries arriving during a reasonable time frame. All other couriers manage to deliver during office hours.

With the next consecutive item, 026-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx, the courier abandoned the items in a hanging basket by our front door. Something that is not visible until you exit the house.

The latest (and consecutive) item did not arrive on the day specified. The tracking page which barely qualifies as such due to its spartan information still says “It’s out for delivery”, and is “Expected 30 Nov”.
Even a plumber can give you an expected time. The person who services the gas manages to state AM/PM.
I learned via twitter, and not your own help team, that the courier in question, Amazon Logistics, continues to deliver until 21:00! This sort of information should be somewhere in the tracking email. Customers should not have to learn this from a random person from social media who stumbles upon a tweet, replying in a ‘me too’ fashion.

What annoys me is the fact that you have my mobile phone number which was registered with yourselves to receive tracking updates. Not one update has been received for anything purchased with Amazon. There has been no text saying a courier is delivering to us next, no call or email to say package 202-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx would not be delivered on the specified date. Nothing.

The courier you used previously confirmed receipt of a package. They then emailed early in the morning of the delivery date giving a 1 hour window in which the delivery would take place, and a link to a page showing where the van is using GPS tracking. Only once did I receive an item outside of the specified 1 hour, the item arrived 3 minutes early.
I’m sure you can see the differences between the professional courier (DPD) and Amazon Logistics.

I would appreciate it if you could contact me with the following:
Where package 202-xxxxxxx-xxxxxxx is and the time and date it will arrive here, preferably within a 2 hour window.
Confirmation that future items will be delivered by a professional courier, preferably DPD.



I’m sharing this across Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. I’m curious to see how people respond.


Most of us have an Amazon account. If not for ebooks, then for general online shopping. The wish lists accommodate other web sites, for £80 a year you get free next day delivery on a large number of items, and media streaming thrown in. On the surface, shopping with Amazon appears to be a no brainer.

We’re all aware that they use loopholes to avoid paying tax, that’s not what this is about. It’s other little things that on closer inspection, make you question things. Whether or not keeping an Amazon account is worth it?

Recently Amazon faced criticism for stopping competitive streaming devices like the Chromecast and AppleTV. On paper Amazon’s Fire TV stick beats the Chromecast hands down, but once again, reality doesn’t quite gel with what’s on paper.
The Chromecast offers much more variety. It’s also much easier to set up. What I can’t get past is that Amazon Prime doesn’t work on the Chromecast. Initially I thought it was unlike Google to be so uncharacteristically childish, not approving Amazon so they could push the Play Store. After all, Google gave us Earth, Street View and so much more. For a high profile company they’re altruistic not childish.  Then logic kicked in and you realise almost everything works on it, Google make the developers kit available to everybody for free! The only reason why Amazon Prime wouldn’t work on the Chromecast is if Amazon never bothered to… ah. Could it be that they wanted Prime to only work natively with their newly released Fire TV? Surely not.

Amazon recently switched their courier, from the very favourable DPD to Amazon Logistics.
DPD have delivered here for a few years. Amazon Logistics, a few months.
DPD email me to say they’re in possession of a package. This is in addition to Amazon’s email saying something’s been dispatched which now includes a tracking number that only works after logging in to Amazon.
DPD email me saying they’re delivering that day, delivery should be expected between very precise times like 12:37 and 13:37, the driver’s name and a link to track the van the package is on using GPS. Amazon Logistics are happy with the email Amazon sent earlier to track your parcel, but after logging in you find the details are limited to ‘on the van’.
If DPD cannot deliver, they photograph your front door to show they’ve actually been there, and email you while the driver walks back to the van. Amazon sends you an email saying ‘We tried but failed to deliver your package today’ without even a card through the letterbox!
What annoys me is that there has been no knock on the front door. I have CCTV footage of Parcelforce passing the door and knocking on the front window because there’s been a light on [their delivery driver said he wastes far less time returning to properties after knocking on a window instead of a door – clever guy].
Amazon also has my mobile number for SMS updates about deliveries. No text message has been received. Nothing saying anything is to be delivered today, nothing from their driver saying he’s approaching or at the door, no calls, nothing.
This isn’t the first time Amazon Logistics have claimed to have knocked. With such little communication, and no evidence at all to say they’ve bothered at all, it’s difficult to say whether they don’t know what they’re doing, don’t care, or the driver finished his shift before finishing his deliveries.

I really hope Amazon Logistics is nothing more than a trial. If not, they need to get their act together or leave it to a company that knows what they’re doing.

But to anyone who delivers anything at all, and I cannot stress this enough, don’t try to blag. Following an RTC, I’m unable to go anywhere without assistance. I need help to get out of the street. Our son gets excited following a favourable school report / parents evening because he’s always rewarded with a little something; to us it’s just a Hexbug Nano but to him it means so much more. We even take in things for neighbours because they know there’ll be someone in.

If you’re going to claim you’ve been to the a house and had no reply, make sure the package isn’t valuable to its recipient, make sure you have no phone numbers, make sure the customer isn’t disabled, and above all, make sure you’re not delivering something to a hyperactive child who’s on tenterhooks about a knock at the door!

Why you should use DPD

More often than not one person loves a company while the next will have nothing to do with them.  It’s a level of customer service that can vary massively depending on who your interaction is with.  It’s the same with every company providing a service of some kind.  Or so I thought.

Most of the time we don’t give much thought to how or why something works.  We overlook good service because we expect it as standard.  It’s only really when a company lets us down that we sit up and take notice.  Every now and then we give a conscious thought to the good service we’ve received.

It started a while ago, I can’t recall when exactly, but I’d expected a few items that day.  One arrived with the postman.  I’d queried if there was anything else for us.  When Parcelforce delivered the second, again querying why there weren’t more.  His response, and I’m paraphrasing here, was “Don’t ask me mate, that’s all they’ve given me”, as he kept walking not only towards the gate but past it, not closing it on his way.  The missing item was apparently lost somewhere in the postal system.  I had to wait in case it turned up late.  It didn’t and its replacement arrived by second class post, at the cost of the seller. It made me wonder how much money is lost by having to send replacement items because the customer hadn’t received the first.

A short while later I got an email from DPD.  They’d notified me that an Amazon delivery was with them and they’d be delivering it the following day.  I could track it on the day of delivery.  Having used delivery trackers in the past, my apathy knew no limits and I thought no more of it.
Delivery day, and I’d received an email saying the item would be delivered within a one hour window of hh:mm.  Not at some point that day, if the weather’s nice and we can be bothered; not that morning or that afternoon, but a one hour window.  That stood out.

I’ve now had a few things delivered by DPD.  Without exception, they’ve always stood out above other couriers.

  • The drivers are courteous, polite and friendly.  Even passing you in the street.
  • Their web site lets you track your parcel, properly.  I don’t mean you refresh the page to see “in transit” showing, I mean you get to track the van it’s in on the map.
  • You can even see which member of staff is delivering your parcel, where in the queue you are and approximately how long it will be before your package is delivered.
  • Their twitter staff can see your account and advise you, in a very timely manner.

They’re just professional.

Today I had cause to contact them.  I was expecting an SD card.  The trouble is, in the past Amazon have sent something the size of an apple in a box that could comfortably fit this computer, all cables, and the monitor in.  Because of Amazon’s inconsistency with packaging, not knowing what size packaging they’d used this time, I got in touch with DPD via Twitter.  I asked if the delivery driver could wait a little longer for me to get to the door – I normally need a wheelchair but I get away with crutches to get to the door.  It wasn’t a problem, DPD got in touch with the driver.  Problem solved.
Thankfully Amazon had used an envelope, not a box far larger than its contents, so the driver didn’t need to wait for me to get to the door.  He posted it through the letterbox.  [Additional kudos to the driver for using common sense here]

What really stood out for me is that by the time I’d retrieved the envelope, there was a photo of our house (taken near the gate) and another of the envelope being posted through the letterbox, both on the tracker page of DPD’s web site.

This folks, is why it pays to use DPD.
Most companies say they’ll deliver it within 24 hours.  Some say within 6 hours.  DPD say within 1, and even let you change that if it’s inconvenient.
Some staff walk away from you while talking to you.  DPD’s drivers said hello when passing in the street.
Some companies have policies to make customers wait on the off-chance an item is delivered later.  DPD haven’t lost or misplaced anything of mine.
Some companies tracking system says ‘In Transit’.  DPD’s let you see where the van is on the map, where you are in a queue and roughly how long you have to wait before their driver pulls up.
Some staff push cards through your letterbox saying they couldn’t catch you without even ****ing knocking!  DPD got in touch with the driver while he was making deliveries.
Most companies say they’ve delivered your item.  DPD took photos!

From the customer’s point of view, nobody else even comes close.

What a difference two days make

Two days can make such a difference.  You can fly abroad, pass your driving test, or simply master that recipe that’s been frustrating you for the last six months.

Having previously been a Virgin customer I’m aware of the speeds available on fiber-optic broadband.  We’ve used it at my soon-to-be in-laws.  The shock of its capability has long since worn off.

Four years ago I moved out of a Virgin area and instantly noticed the difference.  Email seemed to be sent and received by carrier pigeon, photos suddenly seemed as though they needed to be developed and I could get faster internet on my mobile than I could at my door.  The change from Virgin’s 20Mb to Sky’s 0.8Mb was laughable, or it would be had it not been so painful.  The thing is Sky had promised me 3Mb, they just couldn’t deliver.  So five weeks after being connected, I was free.  Even penalty free.  O2 carried the torch, delivering on the promises they’d made.  Sky bought out O2’s home broadband service, and our speeds slowed again.

No more!

Two days ago I did a broadband speed test.  I did another today.  [If you’d like to test your broadband speed, click here]

Sky vs BTIt’s costing £8 per month more but you can see the difference for yourself.  [It’s worth noting that this is the first speed test since the line was connected.  The line has not been calibrated yet so the speed may increase over the next three weeks]


2015-02-06 13.25.55aBT did everything without even needing a coffee and a Jammy Dodger.  I received a text from them saying the line was connected [11:42], and another a short while later [12:02] saying the fiber-op was up and running.  What made the whole lot that little bit sweeter was the text I received from Sky [13:03] over an hour after BT’s last text saying they’re sorry to see me go and they’ll write to me with the details of any charges.  They didn’t even bother to proof read it. (don?t)

Good riddance!

Apology to @DPD_UK

It would appear I owe DPD couriers an apology.

I’d ordered three items via Amazon for Ian-Ogri’s birthday. Amazon had emailed me saying one had been despatched, and the other two were despatched within a minute or two of each other. One of those items was delivered by Parcelforce, another by DPD. My partner, @Carole29, signed for the DPD item.

When checking DPD’s tracking facility I could see that the item had been delivered, although the signature showed my surname. Amazon emailed me, advising me that an item had been delivered but the signature differed from that of DPD’s site. It showed ‘D FOR [my surname]’.

Leaping to the wrong conclusion with great haste I’d assumed that the tracking number was for two items (it made sense, especially as they appeared to have been despatched together). I’d also tweeted as much, mentioning DPD in the tweet. DPD looked in to the complaint and respecting privacy, this continued privately via DM. Their last message to me (at the time of typing this) was “Thank you. We do only have the one parcel, I am sorry.”

Something didn’t ring true. I had two different digital signatures, one [my surname], the other D FOR [my surname] and neither Carole’s name. I needed to take this up with Amazon themselves.

It was only after complaining and wasting DPD’s time that I checked Amazon’s order page. Much to my surprise, the missing item, the discrepancy, turned out to not have a tracking option! If DPD is the courier, it would appear to be completely coincidental.

I’d like to apologise to DPD for my mistake. I’ve wasted their time and sent an embarrassing tweet which no doubt has resulted in bad publicity. I hope this blog post will in some way rectify this.

What Sky says vs what Sky means

Yes, Sky again. It’s only a month since the last issue with Sky was resolved.  How quickly Sky reneges on their promises time flies. There’s a letter on my desk from Sky.  They say when my account is transferred from O2 to Sky I’ll be on a discounted rate for twelve months.  I received an email last night saying that it’s coming to an end on the 1st of March. In real terms that’s not even twelve weeks, much less twelve months.  I’m going to call them this afternoon so this can be sorted out.  There’s obviously a reason why they’re the cheapest. To be honest, if I had to pay £23 a month for a 4Mb service I’d be tempted to spend the extra £7 for EE’s fibre-optic (around) 40Mb service.  I really don’t know if they’re purposefully trying to annoy customers, scam them or if they’re just completely incompetent.
Sky says vs Sky means