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Shipping with GLS Netherlands - continued

posted in Rants on February 15th, 2007

After having some trouble with GLS Netherlands last week, my package was finally delivered on Monday, undamaged even and I now finally have an OEM copy of Windows Vista Home Premium.

Now, one would think that this chapter is closed but there’s something else that annoys me to no end with GLS. When you receive packages from a courier, you normally have to sign for them. That is, the person who receives the package has to sign for it. Sometimes you have to identify yourself with a driver’s license or an ID card, sometimes you don’t. In any case, those people have your signature and you’re legally bound to the package at that time.

Obviously, this isn’t an issue if you or someone you know signed for it, it is a problem though, if the driver has the audacity to sign in your name, like the GLS driver did. Granted, he delivered the package and saved me the time of calling GLS (yet again) and getting them to redeliver the package, but if the package shows up damaged, he’s not liable for it anymore. I’m the last person to look for filing charges, but if I receive software that is damaged and I supposedly signed for it, what would GLS compel to solve this problem for me and make repairations?

Well, lesson learned - don’t ship with GLS if you want your package to be delivered in a professional way. Sadly, Perfect Systems has no intentions of switching carriers and as such, I don’t believe I’ll keep ordering stuff from them anymore …

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Shipping with GLS Netherlands

posted in Rants on February 8th, 2007

Ten days ago, I ordered a piece of software from a Dutch computer store. I’ve been a customer for a few years now and they have my exclusive business for anything computer related that I buy in the Netherlands. I normally don’t care about being loyal to a company, unless they provide me with something I’m looking for.

Perfect Systems does just that. They have great customer service, they will try to help you out on special occasions and they are quick to dispatch your order. Most of all, their prices are highly acceptable for a Dutch company. There’s only one downside - they use GLS as their freight carrier. A fatal decision because I’m starting to seriously consider switching to another store.

Ten days ago I ordered a copy of Windows Vista, Perfect Systems shipped it on February 6th and that normally means that the package would be here the next day. TNT Post, another freight carrier is capable of delivering packages next-day (at no additional cost) across the Netherlands, but GLS seems to be unable to do the job they are assigned to.

Yesterday the package was tagged as “returned from delivery” and my first thought was that the courier stopped by at a time when no one was at home (it happened before) but no, they just “managed” to sort the package the wrong way. This makes me wonder, how is it that a company like UPS is able to sort massive loads of packages and divert them to the right locations, across the globe and GLS is unable to sort a package so that it ends up on the right truck? I’ve probably received 50 packages via UPS now and I’ve never had a problem with one of them.

Today, on my day off, I thought I’d be able to install Vista. I got up early and checked the status of the package - no updates, then, at ten to 1:00pm, the status changed to “returned from delivery”. Once again, no courier stopped by. The initial message was that “the courier has reason to believe he might be unable to deliver the package during business hours”. Now, I don’t see how that would make sense. For one, the package is sent to a residential address and not to a business and even if it was sent to a business, my understanding is that they would have to at least try to deliver the package, that’s what a carrier is paid for, after all.

Half an hour later, the package’s status was updated: “missed connection”. Granted, it’s snowing out there, but the delivery vehicles should be capable of withstanding a little bit of snow and rain. Curiously, I also got a little package from UPS today, same weather conditions for them. It was delivered by a friendly courier (as opposed to the unfriendly people from GLS) who even had a minute to chat about the weather (he wasn’t the regular courier that delivers my packages) before he left.

Now, I’m not the first to complain about something like this, but this is the second time in two months that GLS is annoying me. Back in December, I ordered an external HDD, also from Perfect Systems and it was supposed to be delivered a few days later. The first time the courier supposedly stopped by and didn’t find anyone at home, which just happened to be my day off and I spent my time in proximity to the doorbell, just to make sure I could get the package. Nothing ever happened though, second day the package wasn’t even out for delivery and my mom had to go pick up the package from their depot. If you ask me, that kind of defeats the purpose of having a freight carrier. If I wanted to pick up parcels myself, I would just go into a store and grab them there.

That said, this is another lesson I learned - never use anyone except UPS for shipping. They are friendly, fast and their boxes don’t arrive wet and torn. It’s good to see that others are having more luck with their carriers.

UPDATE: GLS didn’t bother shipping my parcel out today either, the status remains unchanged, even though we had beautiful weather and someone was present all day long. At first I thought they were just having a bad day, but this is ridiculous and shows that GLS has no respect for their customers.

Very sad, especially for Perfect Systems, because I feel that I have to start looking for another eTailer, one that offers carriers that actually do what they are supposed to do.

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