DHL Express international couriers – NOT RECOMMENDED!

Here’s why. We used DHL to ship valuable and time-critical documents from Thailand to Manchester (UK). DHL’s agent got our package mixed up with another one. Thus our recipient in Manchester received a consignment from DHL, and upon opening it, discovered it was for an accountant in Portsmouth. (He immediately forwarded it to the accountant.)

After a lot of phone calls and chasing about, we tracked down the original sender of the documents intended for the accountant. We found out from him that DHL had sent our documents to his accountant in Portsmouth. (Meanwhile he’d been extremely concerned about what had happened to his own valuable and time-critical documents, and was relieved to hear they were back on track.) He told us that when the accountant received our package, he knew it wasn’t for him and immediately contacted DHL to take it away, which apparently they did – to their Southampton depot.

Armed with that knowledge, we got back to DHL to explain exactly what had happened, and asked them to forward our documents to the correct recipient in Manchester. Their response? “There’s no one to deal with that sort of thing at the weekend. Phone back on Monday.” Huh? An international courier company that doesn’t work weekends?

Anyway, it was a waste of time trying to get any sense out of them, so we phoned again on Monday. These are valuable and time-critical documents, could they please forward them to Manchester now? Only after they’d investigated, they told us – it’ll take 24-48 hours to redeliver them. We told them they didn’t need to have an investigation, we’ve told them what happened and all they need to do now is send our documents to the correct address. They can have a post mortem later if they like, but we need them to deliver our documents ASAP, by tomorrow by the latest.

Could they do that please? Nope, they can’t because our documents are in Southampton and there won’t be anything leaving before tonight. Could they at least guarantee that they’ll get the documents delivered by tomorrow? After all, it’s only 200 miles or so from Southampton to Manchester – you could drive it in a few hours. No can do.

I accept that everyone makes mistakes but when a major international company makes a botch up like this with valuable and time-critical documents, then you’d expect them to take action to correct their mistake promptly. Instead we’ve been confronted with a complete lack of any sense of urgency.

We have been appalled by the very poor service we’ve had from DHL, and recommend to all our expat friends that you don’t even consider using this company. If something goes wrong, they don’t seem to give a toss.

Please Tweet and retweet this story (with the #DHL hashtag). Help us to make them understand that we need those documents as soon as possible – they are valuable and time-critical.