Friday 26 February 2021

Customer service delivery companies ‘terrible’ as complaints mount: Consumentenbond

Photo: PostNL

The number of complaints about package delivery services has increased by 44% this year, with hard to find contact numbers and unwillingness to solve the problem as some of the main gripes, consumer organisation Consumentenbond has said.

The organisation received over 13,000 complaints about delivery services in 2020, up 4,000 from the year before. Most complaints were about parcels that were never delivered (24%) followed by incorrect ‘not at home’ notices (21%).

PostNL, whose capacity was stretched to the limit as its parcel stream hit 1.5 million a day in December last year, and DHL were complained about most, with 8,833 and 2,876 complaints respectively.

Delivery services with a smaller market share showed a strikingly disproportionate increase of complaints compared to 2019, the Consumentenbond said. DUP, for example, chalked up 1,339 complaints, which is double what might be expected based on an estimated market share of 5% and represents an increase of 84% on 2019.

The organisation also conducted a survey among 1,200 panel members about their experiences with parcel delivery. Most said they were sympathetic to the problems caused by the coronavirus crisis and bad weather.

They were less understanding about ‘terrible’ customer service, however, saying the companies were difficult to contact and unwilling to take action to solve the problem.

‘It looks as if companies are actively discouraging people from complaining by hiding away phone numbers on their site and keeping clients dangling for hours using chatbots, endless menus and putting them on hold for extremely long times only to refer them to the web shop because it has contracted the delivery service,’ director of the Consumentenbond Sandra Molenaar said.

Shifting the blame onto the web shop must stop, Molenaar said. ‘Delivery drivers who say clients are not at home when they are definitely don’t fall under the responsibility of the shop but of the service.’

The organisation has said they will be contacting the delivery services involved about improving customer service. It also published a handy list of delivery service contact numbers.

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