Becca Jane St Clair

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Archive for the 'Shipping and Mailing' Category

More DHL/Yodel Problems….

I placed another order with Boots recently. They had the rechargeable batteries at 3 for 2 again, but the shop didn’t have any, so online ordering to the rescue. I also ordered a few other toiletries I needed that also happened to be on sale, including an aerosol can of deodorant. My order was delivered on Monday, but I was out of town. I suppose it was my fault for being away for the delivery, but I wasn’t expecting the delivery until Tuesday.

I also was expecting a few Amazon packages – a birthday present for my mom, a book Tim ordered for me, and some DVDs. I assumed any packages delivered while away would either get put in the shed (they usually are) or left to be picked up at the depot.

Imagine my surprise when I got to my front door after being dropped off by my mother-in-law to discover my order SITTING IN FRONT OF MY FRONT DOOR? For those of you NOT in the UK, Monday was the hottest day of the year here and temperatures topped 36C (89ishF) with a feels like of even hotter. Not a good day to leave a package containing batteries and an aerosol can outside in! Not to mention, we had rain as well, so the box was pretty much falling apart by the time I got home.

Ironically, the packages from Amazon were in my shed, and a note from Yodel put through the letter slot telling me they put packages in the shed…so…one driver put the items in the shed, and the other by the door?

I rang Boots. I had to. This is the third time I’ve had a delivery where something went wrong — I know it’s not Boots’ fault, as they aren’t delivering it themselves, but they need to know the issues with Yodel.

As soon as the woman I spoke with on the phone looked up my order and saw that I had ordered batteries and an aerosol can, she was pretty upset that it had been left outside. The can of deodorant could have exploded! The batteries could have burst! Fortunately, neither happened and the only damage appeared to be a melted tube of concealer (which I told her about) and the lid of the deodorant can had come off. The woman I spoke with decided not only to send me replacement batteries, deodorant, and concealer, but also has refunded me the cost of the batteries. How amazing is that? Go Boots customer service (this is the third time I’ve spoken with them about a problem, and all three times they have been WONDERFUL)!

I sincerely hope Boots can claim the cost against Yodel, as it’s entirely their fault!

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Delivery Woes….

I have issues with delivery drivers.

As I’ve mentioned before, our house is a farmhouse from the 1800s (oldest house in the village) that was divided into two in the 1930s. As a result, you can only see one house number from the road, and it’s the neighbours. Our road also isn’t recognized by SatNav or Google and is mislabelled, so you cannot get accurate directions to our house from either. A friend once drove around our village for a half hour because her SatNav kept taking her to the wrong street. And to complicate things further? The road we live on runs from our village into the next village, where it keeps the same name but the house numbers re-start. The people who were delivering our washing machine nearly took it to the next village over last year. I got a phone call from the delivery driver saying “I’m knocking on your door, but no one is answering”. To which I replied, “I’m at my door and there’s no one here!” So now I ALWAYS leave notes in the delivery instructions saying things like:

-House is attached to number x
-Behind green fence
-Go up the long driveway
-Look for garden railway
-Yellow farmhouse on bend
-Don’t use SatNav
-There are two 11s, one in Dunholme and one in Welton. We are the yellow house with the black door in Dunholme.

Etc, etc.

And usually, drivers don’t have any problems.

Except for DHL and ParcelForce.

ParcelForce is fond of taking my packages to my in-laws. They live around the corner from us, share the same last name, and even have the same house number. But it’s a different street and post code! My MIL is very good at refusing my packages and telling them how to find our house. And to be fair, ParcelForce rarely gets to see the detailed directions, since they generally act as a courier for Royal Mail, particularly overseas packages. So, I can kind of forgive ParcelForce for not being able to find our house.

But DHL? No excuses. The extra directions are PRINTED RIGHT ON THE LABEL!!

I put in an order for Boots online, something I do on a semi-regular basis, especially if I don’t feel like going into town or if I know what I want might not be available in store. I got an email two days ago that said my order was processed, and the expected delivery was today (Thursday). Since the email included a tracking number, yesterday morning (Wednesday) I decided to check the tracking to see where the package was. DHL’s tracking information said “delivered – left on porch” for the day before (Tuesday). But I didn’t have my package and we had been home all day. Not to mention our house doesn’t have a porch!

I rang DHL. They couldn’t do anything for me and said I needed to call Boots. Rang Boots and would you believe the person I spoke with had to put me on hold while he called DHL to find out the same information I asked DHL for 10 minutes previous? Crazy. Anyway, the person from Boots came back on the line to tell me that DHL “couldn’t contact their driver” and he would follow up with me later in the afternoon. The plan was for the driver to go pick up the package from wherever he had originally left it and bring it to me later in the day or the following day. At this point, I have no idea where my package is (no slip through my letter slot), Boots has no idea where the package is, and DHL has no idea where the package is.

I had a nurse appointment that took us away from home for a while, and after it Tim and I decided to run some errands and deliver a birthday present to my FIL. We returned home in the afternoon, to find a slip from DHL through our letterbox telling us that they had put a package in our shed. Sure enough, it was my Boots order.

I rang Boots back to let them know the package had arrived, and the person I spoke to checked to see if DHL had added any delivery notes to the order. Nope. We still didn’t know where the package had been.

Cut to about an hour later when we saw our neighbours in passing. They told us that last night they had found a package for me in their enclosed porch on the side of their house when they were going out for the evening, but as it was late, they didn’t want to knock on the door (good thing too, since I went to bed at 9:30!). They left the package where it was and figured they would catch us the following afternoon, but by the time they went to get it, the package was gone from their porch. They panicked, thinking someone had stolen the package and said they were afraid to tell me they had had a package.

Seriously? DHL put my package at number x, which is attached to our house, and didn’t bother leaving us a note through our letter slot? We clearly have a distinguishable border between our homes (a green fence) and the fence is clearly labelled with our house number, and we have a number next to the front door. AND DHL had even circled the delivery notes mentioning that our house was up the long driveway attached to number x. But not only that – but DHL hadn’t even bothered to knock on the neighbour’s door either time – when delivering OR when picking back up the package. If they had, my neighbour would have pointed them to our door straight away. And leaving it at their side door and not their front? Stupid. I could understand if the side door was more prominent than the front, but you have to practically go to the back of the house to access it! I didn’t even know they had a side door for MONTHS because it’s not obvious.

And the fact that everyone was home on Tuesday makes it even more of a mystery. Tim and my neighbour were both working out in the gardens, and myself and my neighbours gf were popping in and out of the house regularly. How on EARTH did DHL even manage to bring a package onto our joint properties without anyone noticing?!

But I have my package. And Boots is awesome and even rang me again in the evening to make sure it had actually arrived and assured me they would be taking things up with DHL. I have no idea if this means I’ll get any kind of compensation or not. The problem is, I want DHL to pay, not Boots. And if I ask Boots for a refund on the shipping, I’m sure it would have to come from them and not DHL. OH well. But the important thing is that I did get my package in the end.

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Broken Memories

As most of you know, I’ve recently moved across the ocean to be with Tim. In addition to shelling out nearly £600 for my visa (close to $1000), plus extra for the expediting, we also spent a fairly decent chunk of money shipping most of my personal belongings across the ocean.

Since I wasn’t moving an entire house or taking any furniture, I contacted a shipping company who would take my boxes and seal them on a pallet and put them inside on of their containers to ship it across the ocean. We paid over $600 for this service (I think it worked out to around £400 on the credit card)….and I’m very disappointed.

The whole thing went seemingly painless – I did all my packing and used well over 300 sq ft of bubble wrap on my breakables. Most of my boxes were the same size, having come from my mom’s office the last time they ordered envelopes. Nothing weighed more than 50lbs (even my book boxes), and everything was clearly labeled. Two of the boxes were labled exactly to the specifications of the shipping company for fragile items – “FRAGILE” on all sides, and “TOP LOAD” in large letters on the top and two longest sides.

I had things covered well. Tiny things got wrapped in bubble wrap and went inside larger things, plates were wrapped the whole way around and stacked on their end, anything hollow (like a pitcher) got filled with clothing or plushies, and each box of breakables was lined with both bubble wrap and blankets/clothing.

Would you like to see the state of some of my boxes? Just scroll down to the gallery.

Yeah. Now, before I get into this further, let me talk about delivery.

I received a phone call on my mobile on Thursday while I was at the GPs from the delivery company. The man I spoke with on the phone told me that he had sitting in front of him my instructions for delivery (which mentioned things like our narrow driveway and that you couldn’t see the house number from the road, so look for number 9 and we’re attached). The man assured me the delivery driver would bring along a dolly (I’m not sure what it’s called, but the thing used to move pallets around in a warehouse) to get the pallet up our driveway (which is pretty long). Yeah….no dice. The delivery driver plopped everything at the bottom of our driveway (our very wet and slighyly muddy drive) and said he didn’t have room for the dolly so did we have a wheelbarrow? We did, so Tim dragged it down to the end of the drive. I thought for sure the delivery man was then going to ferry my boxes up to the house (as this was the service I paid for!)…nope. My husband had to move all the boxes 100ft between the driveway and our walkway. It’s a good thing he had been home from work that day or I’d have had an interesting time trying to move everything before the rain/snow started!

Boxes inside, I decided to rip into the two most important boxes – the fragile/top load ones. Oh, and did I mention that the top load boxes did not go on top? And one of them had a box of books on top of it? Honestly, what was the point in writing in large letters “TOP LOAD/FRAGILE” if it was going to be ignored? On first glance, I thought things were fine, as two of my nanny’s plates appeared to be fine, and all my regular dishes looked okay. Off I went to the GP (again. still having arm issues), and then out to Tesco for our weekly shopping.

When we returned, I started unpacking, and boy, was I in for a lot of heartbreak. All but THREE of the antique dishes (my nanny’s dishes I specifically asked my aunt if I could have before I moved because I liked them and wanted something of Nanny’s) are broken. Also broken is the base to a very large brandy glass (it#s supposed to be a candle holder), BOTH Princess House* cappuccino mugs (that my mom and I specifically bought off eBay so we’d both have sets!), the infuser to my glass teapot (shattered beyond repair or even recognition. Only knew it was what it was because that was missing!), a salad plate from the everyday dishes set, and several other items.

At this point, I’m really upset, so I fired off an email to the shipping company, forgetting that Monday was a federal holiday in the US. Fortunately, someone was in the office and wrote back to me requesting photos of the damaged boxes. All he could tell me so far was “I have learnt that all your boxes were placed at the top of the container when it left Charleston.” and “Seriously this does not normally happen when its packed correctly which seems you did exactly right.” I haven’t heard back yet, but since I paid for insurance on my items, I’m expecting to be able to claim some money back. Not the same as having your belongings, but a nice gesture as an apology.

*Princess House is an expensive glass sold in the US. AFAIK, it’s not available in the UK.

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UPS is Teasing Me…

We used UPS again for my birthday package since we can track it every step of the way.

I just checked, and here’s the stats on my birthday package:

In Transit – On Time
Scheduled Delivery: 29/08/2008
Shipped To: DAUPHIN, MB, CA
Shipped/Billed On: 25/08/2008
Weight: 1.90 Lbs

So….not only is it scheduled to arrive the day *after* my birthday, it’s scheduled to arrive the day we leave for camping….which means I won’t actually be able to get it/open it until Monday….which also means it might sit outside with no one around…I *really* don’t like that. Does anyone know if I can call UPS and tell them to hold it until Tuesday, when I know for sure I’ll be home?

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Why I Dislike UPS Right Now

My mom put together a package for me with some US-based food items I couldn’t find up here that I wanted – pizza dough, some powdered drink mixes, my favourite brand of iced tea, etc. I suggested she use UPS because I thought it might be cheaper since international postage seems to be skyrocketing lately (seriously, I sent a light manilla envelope to Tim before I left and it cost $14!).

She sent the package on the 15th, and was told I’d get it on Wednesday (today). My package made it all the way to Winnipeg by the 16th according to the online tracking, and I was sort of puzzled about that because if it was in Winnipeg….why was it going to take it four more days to get to me? I checked online a few days later, and the package was no longer in Winnipeg…it was in Minneapolis. Yep. Somehow, my package went to Canada then back to the US. Yesterday, it said the package was scheduled for being “on time”, but then a few hours later,it was listed as being in Winnipeg with an “exception”. UPS customer service have no idea what they are talking about and the person I spoke with had no explanation for me. Finally, the exception changed to “Pending clearing house”. Okay, that’s customs. Then, it was “Expired: Unable to resolve exception”. Again, I called UPS and the girl I spoke with didn’t know what that meant. I told her it looked like I might not be getting my package if “Exception” was going through customs and the package couldn’t make it through customs. Someone from UPS was supposed to call me back yesterday (they didn’t). This morning, I fired up tracking to discover my package was “on time” and said it’d be delivered today….but usually on the UPS site it says “out for delivery” on the day it’s getting delivered, but I thought maybe UPS in Canada was different, so I ignored it. A few minutes ago, I loaded the tracking again to see what it said, and it once again says “exception” and “SHIPMENT PENDING RELEASE FROM CLEARANCE AGENCY / RELEASED BY CLEARING AGENCY. NOW IN-TRANSIT FOR DELIVERY”….and still in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is 200 miles away from here. So….my package is going to get here today, but at 2PM it was just leaving Winnipeg? Something doesn’t add up here. Even better? Now when I check tracking it completely took away half of what I had tracked the past few days and now it only shows the package as going from East Petersburg, PA to Minneapolis to Winnipeg….and none of the other crap is listed in the tracking.

The person I spoke with over the phone even verified the address the package was going to….so I have no freaking clue what’s going on with this package, but it’s frustrating me because I want to go out and walk around or go to the library, but I feel like I can’t leave the house just in case the package shows up!

I think I’m going to advise my mom if she’s sending another package to me here to send it via USPS….unless the package does miraculously show up today and all this “exception” stuff doesn’t mean anything.