DHL Express Netherlands Courier Appalling Service Example (Disgusting).

Update to: 25th (was 3rd) August 2014.

I have had earlier experiences of the (non-)service of the DHL courier, without recording or tracing these events. However the last one is worthy in my mind of some record (disgustingly rude behaviour, lies, ignorance...) - so I have enclosed in this page some e-mail contact I exchanged with a supplier (of excellent repute, I may add) who used DHL as the courier for the shipment of their goods to my location, together with some evidential screen-shots of track-and-trace events from DHL. My supplier was my first point of contact concerning the shipment of my orders (no sensible DHL one being available) therefore it was logical that I took up correspondence with them. In any case, the only contact point I had for any DHL resource was their (badly-named) 'Customer Service' contact which was of no use whatsoever and quite obvious in their lack of care and their stupidity.

Note: On the 21st August I received, after a long period, a written apology from the back side of the Dutch 'Customer Service', the letter is scanned and shown below.

The account here is of my own experience(s) together with my own opinions of the services rendered (or not) and of the people involved. I do not claim to present this on behalf of or in the interest of other parties even though I have heard accounts of a similar nature from other parties: what is presented here is based solely upon my own recent experience without input from or recourse to any other parties.

I should also state here that my experience of both 'Selektvracht' drivers (now under the DHL wing) and one of the DHL delivery agents from a different department of DHL has been excellent, friendly and efficient - the exception to the rule - they very clearly have a different and responsible attitude to their work but equally clearly they work for a different subdivision of the DHL outfit. The 'professional' part of DHL, if that is what it is supposed to be, is anything but professional.

So here the story began - As an engineer designing and testing prototype modules I made an order for a range of engineering components with a company located in the United Kingdom, which I refer to here as '****' in the name of privacy, which was confirmed to be delivered via DHL having been collected from their premises on 13th June 2014. Names in e-mails quoted here are also redacted, presented just as '*****' etc., in the name of privacy. I also show here some of the tracking screen-shots, redacted for privacy and highlighted as appropriate as illustrated below:

I was advised of the tracking number, which I used on the DHL tracking page to find the expected delivery of Monday 16th June, and I was at the delivery address for the whole of that day ready for receiving the shipment. The tracking information indicated that the shipment had made its way to the Netherlands in reasonable time and came on-route to my address as expected. I was aware that there were some possible roadworks at one end of my street, however other traffic was clearly passing along without undue obstruction; in any case there are 2 approaches into my street which meant that if one were to be completely blocked then the other could be easily used by another route only 1.5km away, hence there was no reason to expect any significant delivery delay.

I occasionally re-checked the DHL tracking page during that day (see the screen capture pictures around here), observing that the shipment was still on the way to me right through 4:11pm that day.

Eventually the time came to past midnight when, after still receiving no delivery, I checked the DHL tracking page yet again, only to read the indication that a 'delivery attempt' had been made at 14:50 [the previous day now!] with the 'recipient not present'... whilst both I and my partner had in fact been present the whole day long.

We had been well within earshot of any door knocking or the door bell (which is also repeated in my workshop and in my desktop working area). Yes, the doorbells did work, too(!). In fact for the majority of the day one of us was in sight of the entrance and delivery door; at the stated time of 'delivery attempt' I was actually in the room viewing the entrance path to the street, and no DHL vehicle or chauffer of any kind arrived anywhere near the entrance. In addition, although when a 'recipient not present' event occurs then the chauffer should leave a non-delivery advice note, no such note was left at all, which is not really surprising since there wasn't any driver to leave such a note in the first place! Clearly the information from the tracking page was at best incorrect and at worst a downright lie, with no attempt and no advice note.

Telephone contact with the DHL 'customer service' desk only resulted with the answer that a delivery attempt had been made and I should see the information on the advice note left behind despite my saying no delivery had been attempted.
Bear in mind that I am virtually bi-lingual in Dutch and English... I informed them again that there had been no delivery attempt and that there was no advice note.

So I was told to use the information on the advice note [again!] to arrange a time to collect this shipment. (Yes, here she began to descend into further stupidity). Such ignorance is unbelievable for an adult, especially for one supposed to answer simple queries over the telephone - you'd expect at least a 'oh... uhhmmm.... dunno.....' even from an idiot.

Oh yes, and the Dutch tracking page showed the same information (see below) so at least that followed suit...

Again I said there had been no delivery attempt, so I was told to either use the information on the advice note (I started to wonder if this woman had ever been to school, surely they would have noticed if she needed psychiatric help) or arrange to pick up the shipment myself(!) by driving down to one of their main centres.
Finally I gave up on their customer shafting desk and through further e-mail contacts with the supplier company back in the U.K. it was arranged through their efforts that DHL would repeat their delivery.

DHL could not do that the following day, no, they had lost that day so it might now get delivered on 18th June... if I had not had further contact with the supplier I am sure that this shipment would have gone down some 'black hole' or some other dirty DHL route. My supplier also found that this course of events was extremely bad 'service' by DHL and also complained to them at their U.K. branch.

The shipment did eventually arrive on the next day, the 18th, luckily undamaged and untampered but that is not the end of the story. I was ready to accept the package which was presented to me as I answered the door to the DHL delivery person, I cannot say 'driver' since I could not see any DHL vehicle present at all - it is quite possible he had to walk from one end of my street with the package since there were then some roadworks... if he had not worked out the easy alternate route to the other end of my street. I would suggest it might have been good exercise for him! In any case I was given his portable computer-log to 'sign' for the delivery... after which he promptly yanked the machine from my hand, and as he turned before walkling away he commented 'damned prick' or 'stupid prick' with his face half in my direction...in Dutch; the difference between 'damned' and 'stupid' in this context was not easy to be sure of ('verdomde lul' or 'domme lul', similar pronunciation, it could have been either)... and I am using the polite version in translating what his comment was, and I choose to quote his language not for dramatic effect but rather to illustrate the depth of his rudeness... Some people may think this behaviour should simply be ignored and forgotten; I find such offense unacceptable, deplorable especially from someone who should be providing a good customer service as part of his job. Perhaps others would have reacted to that offense right there and then, but my civility and common-sense told me that would be improper even if such an action had become 'physical', as he was only some 70-75% of my height and weight!!!
(Common-sense told me that the police might not take a kindly view if someone else saw such action, for example!).

I did, however, report this all back to the supplier in the U.K., who had contact with the U.K. DHL office, and it got relayed along the lines and I was promised that DHL would examine this event and behaviour and I would be sent a formal letter of full apology... This seems to be something that the little Dutch DHL office has no idea of, or no capability of doing or else they have no care whatsoever how they treat their customers. It may well be that since many customers do not make complaints regarding this sort of occurrence that they merely 'carry on regardless'... which means they operate regardless of their customers experiences. (*** A form of apology has since been received and is shown below, eventually received on 21st August... ***)
Quite some time has passed since the last promise of apology, and whilst some people might think of this as a 'storm in a teacup', I think it is actually something which represents a general bad attitude which needs to be brought to peoples' attention and which needs to be addressed and fixed properly. People such as this 'delivery person' are the face of the company that they work for, the face of that company which people see, communicate with, and experience the service of. Their 'presense' is seen and felt by both 'ends' of the company-client relationship, in this case my supplier and me as their customer.
Respect for what one does in any job or function is something which is earned. A reputation is something which is gained through ones' actions. I need not say that I have no respect for such DHL delivery people, and their reputation especially if this is repeated is something to be totally ashamed of.

A colleague conveyed their impression:...

As a descriptive reference, I quote here below the relevant e-mail exchanges between myself and the supplier company. My tip for others - Avoid the use of DHL 'express' courier services (especially Dutch) even at extra cost: as a vendor you may well risk losing your customer(s) due to perceived 'bad service' and lack of response due to (in-)actions of DHL; as a customer you face the possibility of non-delivery with no explanation and payment for goods you do not receive - think, if in this case I had not (a) spent time waiting for and tracing the shipment regularly, (b) had good contact with my supplier who put effort into solving the puzzle, (c) received all help from the supplier whilst I had zero documentary evidence about the shipment from DHL [remember I saved the screen-shots of my tracking visits] then I could still be trying to find a solution whilst being out-of-pocket of some significant money and probably also trying to locate a different supplier to buy a second lot of the components I wouldn't have received...

From:   	*********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Mon, June 16, 2014 09:26
To:   		tgale@tgale.net (more)

Good morning Mr Gale,

Hope you had a lovely weekend. Please be advised your DHL shipment left us on Friday
and your tracking number is ** ** ** ** **. [** Note, this was 13th June **].
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 09:40
To:   		****@****.co.uk

Good morning ******** *******,

Thanks for the information and update. I finally managed to successfully
track this DHL Express shipment; over here they have not been teaching
their drivers to drive nor to follow the language of the road signs. It
would not be an exception to find they simply do not deliver.

For your interest I have attached the screenshots of some tracking: note
the actual time of the tracking in the top right corner, versus the time
quoted by DHL in the 'events'; on the Monday 16th I was present the whole
day doing electronic test and measurement work, whilst their last track
data suggests they 'attempted delivery' at 14:50, even though their track
data for 16:11 shows it to be still with the courier. Also there was no
'non-delivery' note provided in the mailbox, which should be provided if
that is the case. As of this morning right now, their tracking still shows
no further movement... The screen-grabs are in the attached files.

With my friendly regards - Trevor Gale.

Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 09:56

Dear *********,

Further to my previous e-mail just,  there is clearly no reason why DHL
should be hindered in delivering to my address since in the last 10
minutes I have received packages from GLS and one other courier; there are
obviously no serious traffic obstacles preventing delivery!

-- Trevor Gale.
From:   	*********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 10:01
To:   	        tgale@tgale.net

Good morning Mr Gale,

I have passed on your email to our DHL account managed to look into. Not sure why
they are having trouble delivering to you if other couriers are not.

Thank you for your feedback.

Kind regards, *********
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 16:18
To:   		*********@****.co.uk

Dear ********* *******,

Again I have been 'in' so far for the whole day, it is past 16:00 here now
(1 hour ahead of U.K. time) and it seems that DHL is on-track to its'
reputation of Delay, Hold, Lose (being in the Hold phase now!).
I attach more screenshots: 4a and 4b show earlier this morning, 4nl shows
the Dutch DHL site equivalent information (at least they are the same) and
4c is the current state; I do hope the screenshots are viewable for you,
and if not please tell me and then I can convert them into another format
as I have naturally saved these to disk files. In the meantime later
during the day the normal post including a large wad of documentation has
been delivered successfully - therefore there is still no traffic

With my regards - Trevor Gale.
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 17:21
To:   		*********@.co.uk

Hello again ********* *******,

Further very frustrating news, I am sorry to report as I can get no
further from this end...  I have telephoned what DHL call their 'customer
service' central number, quoted the waybill number, and they say that
their driver either delivered the package or left a note saying why he
could not deliver it.

No such attempt was made, and no such 'note' was left, and when I stated
that to the service representative she suggested that I schedule a date to
pick up the package myself using the form on the note supplied. 

As I said, no such note was supplied. The representative only repeated that 
I could use the information on it to schedule a date to pick it up myself. No
"second attempt" (there was no 'first attempt' in any case) will be
carried out. As to where I should pick this package up, this could be
Rotterdam or the Hague as there is an accident somewhere near.

In short, with all the inherent delays in attempting to purchase this
package of components which are necessary for me, it is proving to be a
totally lost cause despite my prompt payment and following the procedures
as best I can be aware of.
From:           *********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 17:09
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Hi Mr Gale,

Apologies for these delays. As per below we did forward your email to our DHL rep
and they have been investigating what has been going on with this. We have spoken to
DHL in the Netherlands and they have advised the below....

They will be delivering the goods to =-----------weg 000, R--------g, tomorrow. If
Mr Gale is not available there, they will deliver to an alternative address, however
they need to be advised of any changes by 7:00pm (Dutch time) today.

Please can you confirm for me the delivery address you are expecting it to arrive at
and also an alternative address should they not be able to reach you?

Kind regards, *********
From: 		tgale@tgale.net
Sent: 		17 June 2014 16:46
To: 		*********@****.co.uk

Dear *********,

Our previous e-mails crossed each other in time.  However what DHL have told you is
definitely not what DHL have told me. The address for delivery you (they) quote is
correct, i.e.:- =-----------weg 000,  R-------g.  The postal code is 0000AZ.
I would have been in all day tomorrow as well as today; however what is really the
plan now?

-- Trevor Gale.
From:   	*********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 18:03
To:   		tgale@tgale.net
Cc:   		*****@****.co.uk>

Hi Mr Gale,

I have had a response from the HL depot in the Netherlands. I have explained this is
unacceptable service that they are claiming you are being carded when you are not.
They are investigating this from there end.

As for the parcel, they have confirmed to me in writing that this will be with you
tomorrow without fail.

I am about to leave for the evening however I have copied my colleague @**** into
this email as he will be here until 7pm (UK time) this evening should there be any

Apologies again for the delay in you receiving your goods. This is not how ****
normally operate and all issues that have been experience by yourself are being
investigated to ensure this doesn't happen again.

Kind regards, *********
From:   	*****-****@****.co.uk
Date:   	Tue, June 17, 2014 18:43
To:   		*********@****.co.uk, tgale@tgale.net (more)

Dear Trevor,

As per our conversation you are happy to accept delivery providing DHL come through
on delivering tomorrow. Our DHL UK account manager has confirmed that she is
attempting to ensure this is out for delivery on an AM delivery however this has not
yet been confirmed by DHL Customer services she will of course keep us updated. I
have also advised that if god forbidding this delivery attempt is failed again then
this order will be cancelled and DHL will need to return this shipment back to us.

Once again please accept our apologies for the inconvenience this has caused.
Kind Regards ***** Sales Desk
From:   	*********@****.co.uk>
Date:   	Wed, June 18, 2014 12:03
To:   		tgale@tgale.net (more)

Good morning Mr Gale,

I have just checked the DHL site and it is showing that your parcel has been
delivered. Please can you just confirm to me that this is correct?

Kind regards, *********
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Wed, June 18, 2014 12:14
To:   	        *********@****.co.uk>
Cc:   		******@******.nl,*****.***@*****.net

Good morning ********* and *****,

I am pleased to be able to report delivery of the package which we have
been mailing about. I have yet to open and check the contents but
presuming this to be as you packed it then I would like to revoke my order
cancellation since the matter would seem to be resolved successfully.

I've talked with a couple of people and it appears probable that yesterday
the DHL driver found one end of this road blocked for work and instead of
turning to an alternate ruote to the other end of the road he simply gave
up, ate a sandwich and went on.

That would appear to be quite likely, since this morning the driver (with
an 'emergency' "DAY" label on the package) had to walk from his vehicle
one end of the road to my door to deliver it. 
He was most certainly annoyed at having to do his job, after I signed for 
the package in his handheld computer he immediately yanked it from my hand, 
turned and muttered either "domme lul" or "verdomde lul" on his way from 
the door. He spoke not one other word.

I am English but I am bilingual having spent the majority of my 32+ years
ex-pat life in the Netherlands; despite his comment I can assure you that
nobody else I am aware of refers to me as a "stupid prick" or a "damned
prick" which are the polite translations of the above.

I would still be very wary of a service involving DHL in this country,
this and other experience leads me to the thought that if I were to read a
newspaper headline stating that DHL had gone and sacked all its' drivers
with no compensation fund I would smile at their predicament!

On the other hand, you in your efforts have proved exemplary, especially
for a smaller customer amount, and despite this handling of the order I 
would like to remain as a satisfied customer with you. 

Is there a way for future orders (I have another I should prepare in
a week or so) where the delivery could be handled using some other carrier
than DHL? They are more likely to remember this affair and purposely delay
or damage a delivery than otherwise (this has happenned to an antique
dealer I know), hence my question?

However all said and finally done I thank you for all the efforts that you
made and pressure you brought to bear for the successful outcome, and I
wish you a happy remainder of the week and a good weekend to follow. With
my kind regards, Trevor Gale.
From:   	*********@****.co.uk>
Date:   	Wed, June 18, 2014 17:02
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Hi Mr Gale,

Thank goodness! This was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this 
morning - I am glad it's finally been received. 

The way the driver behaved is totally unacceptable. I have forwarded your 
email to our DHL rep and asked them to send you a written apology for the 
appalling service you have received.

With reference to an alternative courier, I am awaiting a response from the
warehouse supervisor to see if there is another courier we can use for export
orders. I will come back to you as soon as I can.

Thank you for your comments - I am glad this was resolved eventually and you have
remained a satisfied customer of **** ***********.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions.

Kind regards, *********
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Wed, July 9, 2014 14:45
To:   		*********@.co.uk

Good afternoon *********,

Nearly two weeks ago I was telephoned by a lady at DHL (UK) who told me
they were going to follow the issue up with DHL in the Netherlands and
that she was going for a written apology from that DHL office/department.
Up to today I haven't had any further response from DHL; however I have no
contact details for the lady in the UK, so I couldn't ask her how this is
proceeding! Do you have any contact information for them, and/or any
"case" reference for me to follow this with?

Thanks in advance, Trevor Gale.
From:		*********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Wed, July 9, 2014 15:09
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Good afternoon Mr Gale,

I hope you are well. I am so sorry to hear that you still have not been issued a
formal apology from the Netherlands office. I have emailed our contact at DHL and
advised she needs to contact the office and get this apology issued. I will let you
know once I have had a response from her. Unfortunately I do not have a case
reference number as it was all handled via emails between myself and DHL.

With reference to ordering more components from us that's fantastic news! We can set
it up so this doesn't go via DHL.

Kind regards, *********
From:		*********@****.co.uk
Date:   	Wed, July 9, 2014 16:37
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Hello Mr Gale,

My contact at DHL UK has just acknowledged my email. She is going to chase the
customer care department now.

Kind regards, *********
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Fri, July 11, 2014 21:51
To:   		*********@****.co.uk>

Good evening *********,

Thank you for the information and confirmation for the (next) order. 
As regards DHL, I have had no further response or contact from them at all, either
from the U.K. or the Dutch end.

To be expected I suppose, you cannot expect *them* in the Netherlands to keep 
any promises....

With my kind regards - Trevor Gale.
From: 		*********@****.co.uk
Sent: 		14 July 2014 16:46
To: 		tgale@tgale.net

Hi Mr Gale,

[... ... ...]
With reference to DHL - I have put another chase in with our account
manager and also asked that this be escalated to a senior manager as this
is poor customer service on their part.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further

Kind regards, *********
From:		*********@***.co.uk
Date:		Tue, July 15, 2014 10:50
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Good morning Mr Gale,

I have spoken with DHL this morning and they have advised a letter has
been sent to you. She is going to send me a copy so as soon as I have this
I will forward this on to you. This should then resolve the matter.

On behalf of DHL I would like to apologise for their slowness in dealing
with this matter.
Kind regards, *********
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Tue, July 15, 2014 11:48
To:   		*********@***.co.uk

Good morning *********,

I'll be interested to see if this letter is from the U.K. branch of DHL or
from the Dutch office... somehow I doubt the Dutch office will admit to
anything! Maybe I will be surprised, who knows....
Thank you for all your efforts in persuing the matter in any case,
however, and you have nothing to apologise for, it is purely DHL which is
at fault.

Thanks again and my regards - Trevor Gale.
From:   	tgale@tgale.net
Date:   	Fri, July 18, 2014 02:25
To:   		*********@****.co.uk>

Good evening *********,

I would just like to say thank you again for the efforts made; I have
received the [new order*] shipment (at around 13:10 this afternoon) with no 
problems and a very polite shipping driver delivered it. 

No response yet from DHL but we'll see how that goes.

Thanks and my regards - Trevor Gale.

*** The above 'new order' was a follow-on order I had with this same supplier and which was delivered correctly and with no delay or other problems by a different courier.

From:   	*********@****.co.uk>
Date:   	Fri, July 18, 2014 09:30
To:   		tgale@tgale.net

Good morning Mr Gale,

Thank you for your feedback below - I know I have done my job properly when I turn
an unhappy customer into a happy customer :-)

With reference to DHL - I am not giving up on this one! I will chase them again for

Glad your parcel was received and the driver was a lot better than the DHL.

Kind regards, *********

>Finally, as the latest screenshot shows, there is NO further action or update to the DHL information regarding this shipment...!
Also of note is that there is still, to date (3rd August 2014), NO APOLOGY OR RESPONSE IN ANY FORM from DHL!

*** Update: A written apology has at last been received from the back side of DHL 'Customer Service', and is reproduced below; although it gives as its reference a 'telephone conversation on the 15th of August', giving the impression that they are quite fast in responding, the real facts are that I echoed some of my complaint to DHL via their Twitter and Facebook contacts much earlier, plus the beginning of the matter goes further back than that. It is also noteworthy that no mention at all is made in the apology of the actual shipping date which would clearly show how long it took them to finally admit to their actions.

If I were not already a resident ex-pat of 34+ years standing I might be asking whether this represents the typical way that business goes on in the Netherlands or whether this just represents the bad transport sector in that country - fortunately my experience tells me that this issue is largely down to DHL Netherlands. Clearly they've Delayed it, Held back, and then Lost Interest.

Delay, Hold, Lose.