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Parcelforce or DPD

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peak428/10/2020 21:47:01
1256 forum posts
146 photos

I can only speak as a recipient for the most part.
DPD, Parcelforce and Royal Mail in no particular order, though if I had to express a preference it would likely be for the latter as delivery times tend to be the same time on each occasion; DPD's tracing is narrower in delivery window, but it can be at any time of day.
The tracking works fine for me and estimated delivery times seem to be about right.

Yodel are a nightmare and Hermes can be.
Hermes particularly seems to depend on how seriously the local courier takes their job.
In Buxton our local Hermes courier is excellent, but I'm always concerned about their distribution network, based on past experience. (I appreciate you're not asking about Hermes, but just mentioning this for the benefit of others.)

Before you commit either way, I probably don't need to mention this to you, but again it might be of value to other readers; be very careful of parcel contents exclusions. Some of the couriers will happily carry your goods, but if you need to claim off them they will obviously need proof of cost of contents.
I've read numerous reports of one particular courier, who regularly lose parcels, and when the sender puts in a claim, they manage to interpret the description into one of their excluded items and thus refuse to pay out.

Also from your point of view, much of the perceived reliability will be down to the receiver's individual delivery courier.
Not a problem now we live in Buxton, but when we lived in Sheffield, I essentially refused to do business with any company which used Hermes or Yodel, as well as a couple of others (DPD was one, though they did improve).

I don't know how much it would inconvenience your business, but would it be possible to give customer's an alternative courier option, maybe at greater expense to be covered by the customer, if they know some of their local delivery staff are unreliable.


Edited By peak4 on 28/10/2020 21:48:01

Hillclimber28/10/2020 21:56:05
174 forum posts
38 photos

Both are very reliable.

But I would prefer DPD for the same reason mentioned by others. The comms with the user, and tracking on the day are just soooooh much better.

Cheers, Colin

stevetee28/10/2020 23:48:38
138 forum posts
14 photos

UPS are hopeless. I live on an unsurfaced bridleway and whilst all the rest of the couriers are happy to deliver to my address UPS will not. ' I don't fancy taking my truck up there' translates to the sender as " 3:38pm
Our driver requires security access for this delivery. We are attempting to obtain the access information.
15 Oct 2020
Our driver requires security access for this delivery. We are attempting to obtain the access information. / Delivery will be rescheduled.
etc This information is not conveyed to the recipient , but back to the sender who assumes it's a block of flats or something. If the sender does not contact the recipient the parcel is returned. Hopeless.

mgnbuk29/10/2020 09:00:11
850 forum posts
61 photos

Recent experiences with deliveries to work :

Parcel Force seem to have gone downhill since the start of the virus situation. RS Components & Zoro/Cromwell both use PF Next Day and I rarely get them next day now. 2 days is more normal - sometimes longer. Work also had poor service when a "must get there next day" delivery to a customer was sent PF - booked online for collection from the local post office, it didn't arrive & tracking showed it still sat in the post office the next day. Turned out that the PF driver didn't turn up to collect it - the driver was notified that the collection was waiting, but "got lost & ran out of time" so didn't. We did get the delivery charge refunded & the parcel service upgraded to Before 9 am - for the day after it should have arrived.

DPD are used by Cutwel and their Next Day deliveries have continued to be reliable throughout the current situation. An e-mail early on the delivery day tells us a 1 hour slot when the parcel is expected to be delivered & it is usually delivered within that slot.

Our company used to use Fedex for shipments, but after Fedex merged with / were taken over by TNT the service deteriorated badly. Collections for supposedly Next Day delivery could be sat for up to 3 days before they were collected. The local depot was closed & contact could only be made with remote call centres - they were almost impossible to contact to chase things up. So we changed to DPD and - so far - we have received a good service.

With Hermes / Yodel it seems that the level of service received is very dependant upon the "final mile" driver - the drivers that deliver to work have been doing it for some time and the service is good from both.

Nigel B.

Dave Wootton29/10/2020 09:44:54
85 forum posts
8 photos

I had an experience with Parcelforce last year which made me vow never to use them again,I sent a classic motorcycle crankshaft, rods, pistons etc, not priceless but of significant value, to the engine balancers, who are on an industrial estate in an easy to find location, and are there long hours day in day out.

It didn't arrive, tracking showed it delivered and signed for ( pre covid) with an unidentifiable squiggle as signature, Parcelforce were hopeless both online and on the phone. they must be trained to repeat " it has been delivered and signed for". I wasted hours on the phone trying to raise a claim on the insurance.

Eventually the package turned up, but only because it was found in the loading bay of another company nearby, who had the sense to call the balancers to tell them it was left there. Turns out that the Parcelforce driver had to hunt through his load for a parcel and in turfing things out looking had left it in their loading bay. To cover his mistake he just signed for it I presume.

Never heard anything back from parcelforce, absolutely useless. Rant over ,ooh I've got all cross again!!!

I like the parcels I get from Arc they give a time window which is very useful, but as it's parcelforce I always worry they will mess it up somehow.

Dave ( calm again now!)


Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:45:43

Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:46:30

Edited By Dave Wootton on 29/10/2020 09:49:49

Nicholas Wheeler 129/10/2020 10:15:17
412 forum posts
22 photos

The only time I've not had to collect a package from Parcelfarce in over 10 years was because I was standing by the door when their driver quietly slipped the We can't be bothered to deliver the parcel you've paid us to, so you need to collect it from the 'delivery centre' before we lose, break or steal it. But we no longer allow you to collect it on the same date on this card(they NEVER put a time on the card, and rarely bother with the date), we need at least 24 hours to get it back to the centre a mile away card through the letterbox. He had the right hump when I made him get the delivery out of the van and bring it to the doorstep without any help - it was the middle box for my toolchest.

Parcelfarce should stop pretending to deliver stuff, and just send the cards out with the postman, who does ring the bell and wait for someone to come to the door.

So Ketan, when I next order something from you, presumably you'll be paying me the the Parcel delivery fee? wink

Ketan Swali29/10/2020 10:18:49
1314 forum posts
105 photos

Thank you everyone for your response.

Ian Davidson - our Sales Manager and I will take these comments into consideration.

On the one hand it seems that the gap between Parcelforce and DPD is little, but DPD still comes out better due to its notification system, which seems to be working better than the PF notification system in terms of reliability.

Bazle makes a valid point about checking what happens when things go wrong. Various posts have been made about current delays with PF which is also a concern. One issue has also been raised about DPD.

As a seller, we have to weigh up the increase of parcel cost if we move back to DPD, against the cost of time it takes my team to resolve delivery problems. In this respect, our analysis shows that the increase in cost to move back to DPD is much higher than the cost of time to resolve the problems with PF.

However, at the same time, we have to take parcel receivers views into consideration, which I am doing by creating this thread.

If and when we decide to use DPD again, there will once again be the back office question about checking what happens when things go wrong, and how DPD will deal with it, in comparison to PF.

Ketan at ARC

Bo'sun29/10/2020 10:38:26
234 forum posts

As above, DPD every time for me. Have always delivered to me in the time slot given. Labels like FRAGILE and HANDLE WITH CARE are the proverbial "red rag" to Parcel Force.

Ketan Swali29/10/2020 11:07:38
1314 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by peak4 on 28/10/2020 21:47:01:

I don't know how much it would inconvenience your business, but would it be possible to give customer's an alternative courier option, maybe at greater expense to be covered by the customer, if they know some of their local delivery staff are unreliable.


Edited By peak4 on 28/10/2020 21:48:01

Hi Bill,

We did consider this option. When negotiating with couriers the rates they give us are based on volumes we can push through them, and this would be based on a daily collection basis. This courier would be our default courier of choice to expedite dispatch of orders.

If we consider the idea you suggest, we would first have to figure out if our website shop providers could implement the idea. Probably easy enough to do, but there after the processing time for us would increase as:

  • we would have an alternate option to look out for during order processing and chances of error could increase depending on various human factors
  • the alternate option would cost the buyer more, because the quantity we would move through the alternate provider would be less,
  • Most importantly: the collection of goods by alternate carrier would be ad-hock rather than a daily collection, and we would have to book in the collection. Depending on the time of day the order is processed and collection is booked, the parcel could be collected on the same day, or the day after.

Although the idea is good, implementing it would bring in a new set of issues which we would like to avoid.smiley

Ketan at ARC

Adam Mara29/10/2020 11:10:16
124 forum posts
8 photos

We use Royal Mail for smaller parcels, but for medium to large ones we have used TNT for many years, and we have had the same driver for a long time. We gave up on DHL after an urgent parcel for one of our German customers spend 2 days at East Midlands Airport.

Ketan Swali29/10/2020 12:34:58
1314 forum posts
105 photos

Hi Adam,

We too used TNT for larger parcels 30kg to 70kg.. I knew our TNT driver Darren from 1996 until he left TNT in early 2018,,, frustrated by the changes post takeover by Fedex. He knew most of the small and large Syston business owners and their teams on personal name basis. After he left, TNT replaced the service in our area with sub-contract operators, and the service has failed to meet certain expectations. With a few exceptions, we stopped using them a few months ago.

Ketan at ARC.

Sam Longley 129/10/2020 13:06:48
800 forum posts
28 photos

DPD every time. Always deliver in notified time slot. Same regular driver, who on one occasion noticed the wrong address (wrong village) & managed to knock me up & check it was my parcel because he knew my name & recognised it was a marine item from the suppliers name on the parcel.

As for Herpes they regularly deliver the day after the day they say they will. Possibly because we are at the end of the round & driver cannot finish on time

Edited By Sam Longley 1 on 29/10/2020 13:07:25

Bill Dawes29/10/2020 18:18:57
370 forum posts

We are always pleased when we see that a parcel is being delivered by DPD beacause we know that it will be deliverd safely and on time by a friendly driver, they seem to be a bit more fussy over there staff selection, maybe they are better paid, I don't know but it works for me.

Bill D.

Bill Phinn29/10/2020 20:43:05
385 forum posts
70 photos

I hope Arc does not make the switch to DPD after my latest experience with them only yesterday.

Ian B.30/10/2020 17:19:57
95 forum posts
2 photos

I very recently had excellent service from ARC via Royal Mail for a small quantity of spares. It was through my door 9 o'clock next morning. So thank you so I now have back up if my fixes go wrong.

However as regards DPD v Parcelforce. I have found them both much of a muchness. During the crisis I allow 3 to 5 days minimum for deliveries. Both companies have surprised me and orders have arrived next day. Other occasions tracking has been way out and I have to chase over a week later. I have with Parcelforce been told its on the van but it has taken a further 2 days to arrive.

DHL can be a real problem with their administration. In fact a nightmare. I imported an expensive item from the southern hemisphere via a shipping agent. I paid all the known fees up front expecting a further duty payment. I had to pay the driver at the door in cash a lot of money otherwise lose the shipment. Then ended up with court threats because they had in paperwork tied our shipment in with another shipment to South Korea who hadnt paid their bills. DHL this wonderful German organisation were incapable of sorting out their own mess. It took a serious counter threat from ourselves and the agent to sort out "airman the Jairman's" screw up right up to issuing an harassment writ. So please don't use this mob.



Edited By Ian B. on 30/10/2020 17:22:08

Henry Brown30/10/2020 21:53:29
340 forum posts
90 photos

For what its worth we had a second garden sprayer come from DPD today, we were home all day but the thing was left on the front door step. I say the second because the original order didn't arrive, the seller immediately sent a replacement that arrived the next day.

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