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Poor customer service from Parcelforce
Member Name: julwhite
Advantages: Tracking system was good, I could see that they weren't delivering my parcel
Disadvantages: They didn't deliver my parcel
This is a review of my most recent experience with Parcelforce, and I understand that others may have had positive experiences, but I found the company to be inefficient and unhelpful.
I was the recipient of a parcel which had been sent by Parcelforce next-day delivery (also called Parcelforce 24 I understand), so I can only tell of my experiences as the customer expecting delivery, rather than having arranged the delivery.
The item was sent next-day delivery, and after a few days of wondering what they'd done with it the seller provided me with the tracking number. The item was marked as being held at the Romford depot as they couldn't find the address.
I was surprised they couldn't find the address as they'd delivered there before, no other courier had had problems and it was a well signed location. However, I understand these things do happen, so I got in touch with Parcelforce to provide them with more details of how to find the address and a contact phone number, in case they wanted further assistance.
I have to say that the tracking was efficient, so at least I knew where the parcel was, which was a positive aspect of their service. I contacted them on a Friday afternoon via the e-mail form on their web-site, and I received an automated acknowledgement e-mail back saying they'd reply in around 12 hours.
I understood that this likely meant I wouldn't get a reply until Monday, which seemed fair enough. The item wasn't important and didn't need delivering quickly, but it did occur to me that items sent next-day delivery would in many cases be urgent, so I expected a reasonably fast reply.
I did receive a reply by e-mail on Monday, which effectively said that they understood I must be disappointed, which I wasn't particularly, I just wanted the parcel delivered. They however appeared not to be able to contact their own depot, so provided me with details of a number to ring.
I was a little disappointed that this was an 0845 number as these cost me 15p a minute rather than free, but I tried this number, only to find that no-one answered from the Romford depot. I'm sure if I had waited long enough someone might have answered, but I wasn't prepared to wait 20 minutes whilst paying additional charges, especially when I had already sent the details by e-mail. I assumed this was also why their own customer service team couldn't get hold of the depot.
I e-mailed again asking if they could just try a re-delivery, confirming the address, saying where it was, and giving a phone number they could call. I explained they could deliver any time from 7am to midnight, which seemed to be a more than fair delivery window for them. They didn't reply, despite saying they'd get back to me.
I noticed today, without any communication from them, that they had just returned the item to the sender.
I understand that consumer reviews should take into account the whole service, but it was the entire lack of customer service which for me was the most disappointing. I didn't have expectations of Parcelforce, as I have recollections from several years ago of them being quite poor, but I was disappointed how little had changed.
My only suggestion would be that although some other couriers are more expensive, they might be worth using, especially if a business is keen to impress a customer, or it's an eBay sale which could end in negative feedback. From my experience, and obviously different people would have had different experiences, is that the Royal Mail parcel service is very efficient, they can find address and it's easy to arrange a re-delivery. I've also been very impressed with DHL from my experiences.
Obviously I understand others may have much better service, but from my experience, I'd advise against using Parcelforce, and if another alternative is available for a few more pounds from a different company, it might be less hassle to ship it with them.
Summary: Poor customer service, poor delivery, overall, disappointing
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