Why I Hate DHL

Airborne Express used to be a great way to ship stuff quickly… and then they were bought by DHL. For that matter, DHL used to be a great way to ship stuff quickly; not anymore.

Friday morning I had a piece of computer hardware fail, and purchased a replacement from a major online retailer; I paid for “next-day shipping”, which turned out to be Airborne Express, i.e. DHL. I received the tracking number that afternoon – next-day, the DHL website said, with “Saturday Delivery”. Woo-hoo, right? Nope. Saturday came and went, and the package wasn’t delivered. In fact, it remained in the warehouse in it’s city of origin, as far as I can tell.

Monday, they did actually try to deliver… but I was at a funeral, and missed them. No problem, they try to redeliver the next business day.

Tuesday, they didn’t deliver. From 0930 to 1200, I was sitting in the kitchen with two relatives, taking and eating. DHL had said they were going to deliver in the “AM”, so at noon I went and checked the tracking number on their website. Imagine my surprise when I found out that apparently they’d tried to deliver again at five minutes to eleven. None of us had seen them show up – because they didn’t. Nor was there a delivery notice on the door.

I called DHL, and they said the driver had tried to deliver, but nobody was home. Bull; three people were here, the front door was open, and music was playing on the stereo. I explained how they’d failed to deliver on Saturday, as they should have, and how I’d missed them on Monday because of a funeral, and they said they’d try and contact the driver. A few minutes on hold later, I was told the driver was almost at the end of his run for the morning, and would swing by to redeliver the package shortly.

He didn’t.

So, here I am, four days after my “next-day” package was supposed to be delivered, and DHL has screwed up once and lied twice. I don’t know whether the local DHL outfit is a “real” DHL union-run hub (which would be bad enough) or an independant subcontractor outfit; either way, their driver lied twice, which I find inexcusable.

Presumably, the part is on it’s way back to the company. That’s fine; I’ve ordered another one from an outfit that ships via the more expensive but considerably more reliable, and competent, UPS.

Published in: Geekiness, General | on May 17th, 2006| 25 Comments »

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  1. On 5/17/2006 at 5:08 pm Ben Said:

    UPS is also known for failing to deliver to home addresses, though I’ve never had a problem with them.

    USPS, while slow and expensive, seems to be the most competent at it.

  2. On 5/17/2006 at 8:26 pm Nemo Said:

    I agree that UPS is far from perfect; they do, however, seem to be better overall than DHL. Heck, when I’m here, the regular driver in my neighbourhood just opens the front door these days and slides packages across the floor into the living room, no signiature required.

    USPS isn’t that slow, and they seem to be enormously reliable. They are, after all, in the business of delivering to pretty much every house and building, six days a week. I receive a lot of mail from overseas, and the USPS treats “express mail” packages from most foreign countries as domestic express mail, usually being so good as to affix – and live up to – stickers along the lines of “Deliver before 11am”.

    On the other hand, the USPS hires some pretty creepy people as postal carriers…

    Given a preference of shipping companies, I prefer USPS, followed by FedEx, with UPS third and DHL a far, far distant fourth.

  3. On 5/19/2006 at 5:11 pm Nemo Said:

    And just to further the point that even UPS sucks a lot, I present Mike LaFevers of Florida:


    At least UPS cares that they screwed the pooch…

  4. On 5/24/2006 at 11:23 am Entropic Memes » Blog Archive » (Why) I (Heart) FedEx Said:

    […] I wrote earlier of my horrible experience getting a piece of computer equipment delivered by DHL. Well, I got an RMA for the original piece and returned it; my warranty replacement was shipped FedEx. Alas, I’ve moved since the original piece of equipment was shipped, six months ago, but despite a note from me, the supplier shipped to my old address. […]

  5. On 6/18/2006 at 5:47 pm DHL Driver Said:

    Tools like you are the bane of our existence…fuck off and ship through someone else if you don’t like DHL- you panty-waisted, whining little Nancy-Boy.

    -Wow, that felt good !

  6. On 6/18/2006 at 7:06 pm Nemo Said:

    DHL Driver, thanks for, firstly, aptly demonstrating the exalting standards of professionalism and maturity I’ve come to expect from DHL. Secondly, thanks for demonstrating that not all Canadians are pleasant and intelligent people.

  7. On 5/29/2007 at 9:03 am former 361 Said:

    i have a few problems with DHL as well. reading the comment from the dhl driver tells me that one thing is consistant, they do not want to pay very much for drivers so they tend to get the bottom of the bucket when it comes to professional drivers. i have seen this firsthand at my old hub, and when i tried to get a position at diffrent hub, because most hubs are contractor owned most drivers don’t have the option of transfering, they offered me a very low wage to start with even with the 6 years of experience.
    the route they offered me was a route i was getting ready to take over with fed-ex ground/home delivery. it consisted of a town with about 2,500 streets 90% of which were dead end streets.
    at my old hub i really liked my old route and was really good at it. i liked my town and my customers and they liked me too.
    because DHL is useually contractor owned with DHL management to oversee DHL rules and protocol are enforced, sometimes they driver gets the shaft. i worked for a contractor who decided to “rework” my pay. it basically screwed me out of 200 dollars a paycheck. so i quit for obvious reasons and waited, soon there were conflicts between the hub manager and the DHL manager and before you know it there was a new contractor.
    i went to my old hub to take a pkg there to get shipped also because i was curious to what was going on. evidently the new contractor had at one time 4 people doing my old job, and doing it very badly at that. one of the drivers actually stole a truck that belonged to the landlord of the satelite hub which i delivered to, another example of the good and professional drivers they tend to attract. i walked in to send my pkg and one of the DHL customer service girls, instead of just making small talk and taking care of my pkg, just walked up seen it was me and said hold on, then opened the door and said come on in. she then said this is driver i was telling you about, he is here for a job, you need to hire him.
    i was offered my old job back with a raise and they had an airborne executive flown out to my satelite location to meet me and all he could say was it is a real pleasure to meet you. he had been hearing about me all over town from my customers.
    anyway i think i have some bragging rights on the quality of driver i was and would probably still be working for the DHL company but did not wish to take a job that payed that low. i mean they offered me a wage in 2006 that was at least .50 cents lower than what i started out as an unexperienced driver in 1999. i was currently working at a retail job that paid 1.50 more than the new hub wanted to pay me.
    when i worked at fed-ex they were very impressed with my abilities in a very short time. and always used me as an example of what a good driver is capable of.
    new potential drivers for DHL be warned, like the old saying goes, when you want to get a new job, go use their bathroom and see what kind of toilet paper they supply their employee with. if they use cheap toilet paper, that says, if they dont take care of your ass they probably dont give a crap about the rest of you.

  8. On 6/18/2007 at 12:21 pm Maddie McClintock Said:

    DHL flies stinking old DC-9’s over my house every night in the wee hours. Their jet pilots exhibit the same character and charm as their drivers. All graduates of the Wal Mart school of flying.

  9. On 8/13/2007 at 2:17 pm pissedoff Said:

    DHL is the worst shipping company I have ever used. I’ve never NOT had problems with DHL.

  10. On 10/26/2007 at 7:04 pm bob Said:

    hey i had the same thing happen… to me today

    i live in a gated community with security cameras and everything.. the dhl driver…. she claimed she came by and that the gate was not working that no one would let her in..

    i was on the 14th floor looking out at the entrance all morning long.. she never puled in the drive

    we even had the security guard pull the tapes of tat time.. no show

    then to make it worse

    i “just for the hell of it” called dhl’s tracking number at 1030 they said they had tried to deliver.. i called shl they said that she tried to deliver i said no she didnt…. i said i was at my front door with it open and loookine out the window….. so the ever so friendly dhl rep said they would call the tu**a,ok dispatch and call that driver and tell her to turn around and re deliver the package.. by this time is was 10:40… they said that she would be back there within an hour 11:45 came no one came i called dhl again they said that noone ever called the tuls* dispacth. i said CALL the DISpatch right now and get them to deliver my laptop… im waiting on the side of the street outside of the wate waiting…….. 5 minutes later i called the 2 return number and got a local rep and got him on the ball to call her so it was 11:55 they said 1 hour at the most. so one pm came around and they said that she would be here at 3 at the latest. them whatddya no at 3:06 pm the call say its gonna be 5:00 ish if not monday

    they called again asking whats giong on then we said we were pulling the security tapes right now and that w e would prove she never came.. thhen aboud 10 minutes later she came and wesnt very friendly

    we had paid for 10:30 air delivery…

  11. On 12/13/2007 at 2:59 pm Walter Said:

    UPS sucks, Fedex Sucks, USPS sucks, DHL sucks, ETC..
    It’s all about perspective.
    If you have had a bad experience with one of the above companies – you will get on the web and share that with the world – and make a generic statement of how “THEY SUCK”.

    God bless the web!
    What bother me are the statements from the Ex DHL driver.
    A lot of the things he said are in fact true. We do (yes I work for DHL) use contractors. We do have some drivers that should not represent our company. It is sucks to see our company lose a good one.

    But I will state that – IC vs. Company drivers (according to a 3rd party summary of service report) shows that within the IC markets, the couriers provide as good if not better service then the company drivers. So from a business standpoint – why the heck would DHL hire couriers if we could get the same if not better performance from a IC courier (IC’s save the company tons and tons of money). Just ask FEDEX who is moving to a IC business model.

    As an Ex-Station manager – I would say you have more flexibility with DHL then the competition. Meaning – the person who said the driver never showed up (which i believe they didn’t) – if you call DHL – you will get to the station at some point. DHL will try and do right and will spend more money to fix the problem. Just keep in mind you get more bees with honey then vinegar.

    For the DHL business model – there is no profit in Residential deliveries.. As a matter of fact we lose for the most part. But you have to have this service to be competitive. The money is made in the B2B business – and that’s where DHL excels. I think this is a general rule for FEDEX as well.

    DHL might suck – but the company truly has people that care about you (the customer) and the shipments we move. Also keep in mind without competition FEDEX and UPS could and would charge as much as they could get away with.

    Anyways.. have a good one people.
    If you ever have an issue with DHL – with a delivery or pickup – keep in mind when you call customer service – just let them know you work with local station and you need to speak with them. Your problem will get fixed a lot faster.

  12. On 12/19/2007 at 4:08 pm Danielle Said:

    DHL sucks they say they are going to deliver on a certain day and they don’t keep there word. Also there reps are extremly rude. I WILL never use this company as my personal choice. I don’t think my camera will ever arrive from DELL i’m still waiting. Was told next day delivery i’m on day two and its near closing time. Don’t think its going to be here today either…

    SO mad at freaking DHL

  13. On 12/27/2007 at 9:13 pm Michael Keeling Said:

    Just stick with USPS, it still works great

  14. On 2/15/2008 at 6:44 pm PHUCK DHL Said:

    I’m not going to take a day off of work to sign for a package because DHL Driver piece of shit is too stupid and/or stubborn to leave it in the leasing office as requested. DHL – GO TO HELL!

  15. On 2/26/2008 at 12:26 pm IC ASST MNGR Said:

    i am the asst mngr of a dhl ic. i am not here to defend the company (either the ic i work for or dhl as a whole) because i agree with everyone here. dhl does not want to pay the ic’s they contract for the work that needs doing and the ic’s don’t want to pay the couriers because if they did that, they wouldn’t be pulling a profit. who doesn’t love corporate america? i use the postal service near exclusively and wouldn’t dhl under any circumstances.

  16. On 3/1/2008 at 11:46 am LT Said:

    I’ve been perusing years worth of complaints online about DHL… you would think they would buck up their service policies by now or just shut down and go away!

    My issue with them is lack of Saturday operating hours. I’ve been eagerly awaiting a week for car magnet signs for my new business. Today is Saturday and I just got the email that my package has arrived at my local DHL facility but won’t be out for deliver till Monday. So I had the bright idea to call and arrange me coming to pick it up at the facility… no luck! DHL is closed for business on Saturdays. The customer service rep talked to me in a rude and condescending tone like I was some idiot to think life could be that easy! The fact she hates her job was pretty obvious. Either that or gets some sick satisfaction out of telling pleasant callers that they can’t have what they hoped for.

    It’s driving me crazy knowing I could be getting customers this weekend, instead my package is just minutes away from my reach and I can’t have it till Monday! I sure hope there aren’t any delivery issues or I will be flaming mad…

    So there’s my DHL rant.

  17. On 4/2/2008 at 2:49 pm nobobody Said:

    Ok well reading from above I guess I’m not the 1st to google ” Hate DHL”

    1st I would bet to say some of those people saying they work for DHL don’t really work for DHL (people love drama on the web)

    2nd AT&T ship with dhl, I never had Dhl, and I had just moved so when they couldnt find my home address I wasn’t upset (maybe someone should update there gps some time) Turns out because my home was built on a new road they didn’t have the road in there system (google maps does) so after a 10min phone call I told them I would just pick it up at there hub, very nice lady on the phone, but didn’t have a clue as to where the closest DHL Hub was… so I ‘m now waiting for a phone call as to when i can pick my product up..

    Also I would like to say if they had called me instead of me having to do all the work tracking it and seeing is stuck without address would have been nice

    2 DAY SHIPPING TOOK 8 AND I have to pick up

  18. On 4/10/2008 at 4:28 am wingless_fairy Said:

    that sucks that your having that many problems with DHL, im also an employee a driver for an IC, which means I get paid shitty. but I still take extreme! extreme care of My customers. I love it when customers have their cell number on the “sig req” pck because, duhhh of coarse their at work not at home, this way i can come find you where ever that might be. Ill deliver to their work (I have a littl notebook of peoples addresses and then where they work)and at xmas, its even better incase its a xmas gift you need to hide from your kids or your other half.

    it sounds like DHL on OK is not doing well, most of the complaints are from there, and its like that on other sites ive been too. yeah sometimes it can be that station thats crappy and run very poorly. huhhh hey you guys in OK does your routing code (wats written in the yellow part) say OKC I4P WSH ??? some of my pick ups go there, and Id be pissed to know that it was getting treated like shit and not delivered, , after all my work to get it out on time (im 2 n half hours away from the airport)

    I think it funny that all the DHL drivers that have made comments here and on the other site I found wont say anything to give out who are where, its like SHHHHHhhhhh
    this next xmas I want to drive my van through the xmas parade, throw out candy canes that say “go fed ground, go ups, go fed-ex” this way people will use the others, cuz OMG wasnt this last xmas soo crazy?? I was working 8-830 didnt have time for a lunch, never ate dinner with my kids.
    you know I still do like my job (although since Im so far away from the station my freight get brought half way up to me, ) i am a hermit in DHL land. lol but yeah would rather do this then be stuck in an office with a bunch of bitchy power-driven women, staring at the clock waiting for an eternity for just 5 minutes to go by. yeahhh you know, if we just got paid better and had a better future like if we were paid what the “real” dhl employees got, we’d b making just as much as ups—we wouldnt be complainin!

  19. On 5/11/2008 at 7:35 pm hmmmm Said:

    If you google Fed Ex and UPS… you will find the same complaints. I do not believe that DHL is a horrible company because they have some bad apples. As hard as large companies and employers try… there are always going to be employees who act inappropriately. Also, for the DHL driver’s that have been so vulgar on this website… shame on you. Do you really think you are helping??? It makes you look foolish. It is the few people like you that make a whole company look bad! Everyone who read this will now always have you as the image of DHL…

    All companies have issues. I have had similar problems with UPS. I have also had many good experiences with DHL, Fed Ex and UPS. I choose not to hold onto the bad experiences. Obviously if it was a pattern… that is different. I have had many more good experiences than bad with all three companies.

  20. On 8/24/2008 at 2:05 pm krystal Said:

    I too, somewhat dislike DHL. I really dislike that they don’t deliver on weekends! I’m leaving for school to Minnesota on Monday, and my laptop arrived at the place on Saturday when my brother called. But, since they don’t deliver, my computer will arrive Monday, while I’m on a plane to Minnesota. Now, i won’t receive it until i visit my family on the holidays. I’m not sure what I’ll do for a computer till than. Great, right?

  21. On 10/30/2008 at 9:45 pm Kristi88 Said:

    I paid for express delivery for a laptop….it was supposed to be delivered yesterday….well it wasn’t…i tracked it this morning and it said it was out for delivery…3 o’clock rolls around and it isn’t here so i track it online. The status says that it needs a valid address, the address they have is correct, they have delivered here before (not ontime then either) I called Dhl they said that it was a gliche and it was updated and that it would still be here today or in the morning….6 o’clock and no package so i track it again….the status says delivered….red flag goes up so i call dhl again and they say the courier hit the wrong button that it wasn’t delivered but instead was taken back to the hub because they tried to deliver it but no one was home….I was at my house on the porch or in the front yard all day…they didn’t come! So now the rep says that since i am in a rural area they only deliver to me on thursdays so i have to wait a week?!!! That is bull! I am so mad! I paid extra for this delivery too! i bet they don’t reimburse do they!

  22. On 11/17/2009 at 8:32 am Annoyed @ DHL Said:

    I am going through exactly the same story right now! Today is day 3 and I’m still waiting for delivery. According to the tracking a driver left a card at my house last night, I know this is a lie because I was in waiting and no card came through my door! Useless they are. Grrrrrrrr.

  23. On 11/21/2009 at 8:11 pm tracey Said:

    oh my god!!! i am glad to see you agree. i am still waiting 4 days after i presumed my delivery would arrive… heres my story… day 1. delivery man can not find my adress as it is a new build so i try to explain directions and he hangs up and no sign of my delivery, i go check tracking online and it has been sent back and down as inadequate address i then ring the delivery man and he promises it will be here the next day at 11. 11.30 i ring him and he says he isnt doing the delivery now so obviously the next person is not going to find my adress.. but does he ring me to ask… nope!!! so this has happened every day now for 4 days i send numerous emails and phone calls and not one person has managed to solve this so SIMPLE task. i mean how hard can it be?? now i am not longer ringing or emailing them just sending one BIG complaint (not like they will resolve it anyway) not a happy chappy

  24. On 4/21/2010 at 7:43 pm dhlhater Said:

    well at least your dhl tracking number works mines at least 40 numbers long and does not work at all and it has been 4 days sence i got the tracking number. The dhl tracking website is useless.

  25. On 8/28/2013 at 3:31 am Roberto Said:

    Those mothafuckers took my package and god knows what they did with it…