International freight parcel missing in Dublin
January 27, 2009 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Posted my daughter her excess luggage by Parcelforce (UK to Ireland) when she went back to uni (UCD) last week. Now there's no trace of the suitcase although it is logged as having been received in Dublin. It's now one week behind schedule, and An Phost's customer service is completely useless (didn't ring back as promised, hung up/disconnected, can't get through with 15 minutes waiting, etc.). Registered a complaint with Parcelforce who are working on it, without a result to date. Is this par for the course? Helllllllllllp!
posted by kairab to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (6 answers total)
parcelforce is basically the royal mail, which is -unbelievable but true- even more fucked up than the us postal service. tracking information from them is essentially useless. if you're lucky you can expect this package within the next month. I'm serious here, a package I gave to them a week prior to departure in london arrived in hamburg a week after I had gotten there and it didn't look too good either. they must have shipped it to africa and back.

I realize I am not raising any hopes here but there is a reason fedex and ups are so successful. next time please use their ground services if the shipment matters to you at all.
posted by krautland at 4:23 PM on January 27, 2009

Yes, this is very par for the course. Parcelforce is a nightmare (I won't go into my own experiences would take too long.) A quick google will relay many a sob story.

My advice (especially after reading all of these stories online) is to find out WHERE in Dublin the luggage has been received - which central depot. And then have your daughter go there in person and start demanding some answers with valid ID etc. You're not going to get anywhere on the phone or by email. Ever.
posted by meerkatty at 4:32 PM on January 27, 2009

Hey now - don't bash the Royal Mail! Particularly in comparison to the US post office! When first class post dropped off at a pillar box at 10PM gets your letter delivered the next morning on the other side of the country, they're doing something right.

Parcelforce isn't really like the normal Royal Mail, though. It is and isn't, which is why dealing with them is such a bitch. Their websites aren't updated regularly, and their customer service has been outsourced to the worst call centre on the planet. I don't know why they're so crap, but they just are.

It sounds like you're complaining about An Phost more than Parcelforce. Sending something internationally is always going to introduce a possibility of delay. Clearing customs, for example - that's out of the carrier's control.

Any chance you can get in touch with your local Parcelforce office, explain what happened, and ask them to take a look around for the parcel? They might be able to track the parcel down for you, or call you if it mysteriously arrives. I've had some pretty solid luck with my local Parcelforce office when things coming from the States have been delayed.
posted by Grrlscout at 12:33 AM on January 28, 2009

Response by poster: thanks guys, problem is with An Post we believe, as Parcelforce say it was delivered at 19.22 on Tuesday, yada-yada.... but can't tell us where exactly in Dublin it was delivered to! An Post can only tell us it was not received in the D4 depot. Lesson learned but I don't want to give up yet.
posted by kairab at 2:00 PM on January 28, 2009

Response by poster: To cut a long story short - Parcelforce's Irish contractor received the parcel without a destination label, so couldn't deliver (note: when the parcel was collected here we were told the label would be added at the depot...!) and didn't wait to research electronically or by telephone with UK Parcelforce HQ where it should go to (we had supplied detailed identifying info on both parcel and recipient by email to Parcelforce). They simply decided to return it to sender (how did they know that info if the label was missing?) and did so using FedEx (!?) so the returning parcel could not be intercepted at the UK depot before being returned to us. Interestingly, Parcelforce's conditions of carriage don't deal in any great detail with "failure to deliver", and their reimbursement claims conditions are designed to make your blood boil (we were offered a refund of 25% of the delivery charge upon written application within 30 days of collection...)!!!
Anyway, the good news is that the item has not been lost, there's nothing perishable inside, and the delivery was not time-sensitive. After several phone calls, a senior customer service manager (who said he had never come across this set of circumstances before...) agreed to arrange a re-delivery from our house for free. Hope it works this time round!
posted by kairab at 8:28 AM on January 29, 2009

Response by poster: Just for closure: It did work this time round...
posted by kairab at 1:00 PM on February 21, 2009

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