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Here’s an odd one for you. I had to overnight some documents via DHL yesterday. Apparently the concept of the shortest distance between two point being a straight line is totally lost on them.

My shipment was going from Houston TX to Baton Rouge LA. Via ground, it is about a 4.5 hour journey. By air, it is about an hour. Instead of going the direct route, the package went from Houston to Wilmington OH and then to Baton Rouge. According to Yahoo Maps it is about a 2000 mile journey for a distance of 300 miles.

dhl.jpg

Of course this is the same outfit that took several weeks to return several Dell laptops my brother-in-law refused shipment on, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised by this one.

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August 22, 2007 - Posted by | Off Topic

6 Comments »

  1. You obviously didn’t do your homework on this before you blabbed your own ingorance. DHL along with all the other overnight express companies have hub locations where all overnight packages go to, to be sorted and sent to the station closest to the delivery address all before 4am. Yes you could drive your 1 package there yourself in 4.5 hours and I recommend you do just that next time, especially when you think a company that’s been around for 30+ years along with its competitors don’t know what a straight line is.

    Comment by FedExMan | August 22, 2007

  2. I totally understand the concept of hubs (done enough air travel to be painfully aware of the concept in the airline industry), but to have a package going from Texas to Louisiana route through Ohio? Surely there has to be a more efficient way to do that?

    I’ve never been terribly impressed with DHL service. Too many lost packages, delayed shipments, etc. If it makes you feel better FedExMan, I actually think very highly of FedEx. Never had a problem with their services, either as a shipper or recipient. Of course seeing your IP log info, I have my doubts as to whether you affliate with FedEx or DHL…

    199.41.197.24 , ssf024a.dhl.com
    OrgName: DHL Systems Inc.
    OrgID: DHLS
    Address: 700 Airport Blvd.,Suite 300
    City: Burlingame
    StateProv: CA
    PostalCode: 94010
    Country: US

    NetRange: 199.40.0.0 – 199.41.255.255
    CIDR: 199.40.0.0/15
    NetName: NETBLK-DHL-BLK2
    NetHandle: NET-199-40-0-0-1
    Parent: NET-199-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Allocation
    NameServer: NS2.DHL.COM
    NameServer: NS4.DHL.COM
    Comment:
    RegDate: 1993-10-28
    Updated: 2001-05-07

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | August 22, 2007

  3. I have had nothing but problems with DHL.

    I deal a lot with Dell and would order, on average, 20 laptops a month, and various electronics such as digital cameras. Dell used to ship laptops through UPS and accessories through DHL. I never had any problems with UPS delivering shipments on time and right to my door no matter how large. DHL was hit or miss with delivery times. On one occasion, the delivery driver tossed the item at the front door. On another occasion, DHL mis-delivered 30 digital cameras to our neighbors house, which was unoccupied.

    Currently Dell has switched all of it’s shipping service to DHL for laptops and accessories. What a nightmare!!! I have had 3 shipments of 20 laptops from Dell “delivered” since the switch. Each one was a struggle to have the driver come when someone would be there to sign for them. On each occasion I was asked if I had a truck and could come get them myself! On each occasion the driver showed up without a dolly and made no effort to unload the laptops. I had to climb in the truck/van and unload them and then carry them inside myself. There have also been laptops that have been mysteriously lost after they arrived at the local hub.

    One order of laptops was so severely delayed that I was able to order newer laptops for less money before they older ones were delivered. As is typical procedure with return Dell shipments, I refused delivery of this shipment for them to return to Dell. Five different people from DHL called trying to get me to reschedule the shipment after it was denied. After I finally made it clear to DHL to return the shipment, DHL sat on the shipment for two weeks after Dell authorized the return. After that their tracking system didn’t show they were returned which further delayed Dell issuing a credit. So two months after the order was placed I am scheduled to receive credit back on Aug 27th all because DHL can’t handle delivering items that UPS and FedEx have never had problems doing. There is a lack of communication between DHL and it’s customers on both ends of a shipment that make the whole experience pretty terrible.

    Comment by Brother In Law | August 23, 2007

  4. Its human for us to favor certain brands / companies.
    Like they say….. If you did one thing right, you wont be able to wipe out all the things you did wrong. But if you did one thing wrong, thats enough to wipe out all the right things you did.

    DHL is a very competitive company in the worlwide express logistics segment and has a presence in more countries than many of the largest organisations in the world.

    Here are a few links that would may be change your opinion:

    http://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~jjb/wh/package-race/2007/2007.html

    http://www.economiclogistics.com/2007/04/29/dhl-bags-six-top-awards/

    N hey, u dont need to check my IP…. i work for DHL

    Comment by Fraud Strategist | August 24, 2007

  5. Thanks for the full disclosure there, Fraud Strategist! I am also thankful you didn’t use any swear words, unlike the previous DHL poster did in one of his comments I deleted (was from the exact same IP as “FedExMan”). You are right in that it is natural to favor certain brands and allow initial impressions to taint our views for a long time.

    I’m sure that in many ways DHL is a decent company to deal with, but at least from my observation there is no denying that operations in Houston need attention badly. There is no reason that a delivery person should ask my obviously pregnant wife to come out to the truck and carry in her own packages.

    The links you provided are interesting, especially the GT one. However, I would guess most of my readers aren’t shipping to remote islands off the coast of Brazil or to Iraq, to the relevance of the GT competition is minimal in this situation.

    BTW, I hope your handle “Fraud Strategist” is a reference to prevention work and not the commission of frauds. =)

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | August 24, 2007

  6. In response to Fraud Strategist’s comment, I have had a few bad experiences with FedEx and UPS but my opinion of them is still rather high based on how these situation’s were consistently handled by their employees. Mistakes (billing, delivery, etc) were corrected in a timely manner and shipments were delivered.

    DHL, on the other hand, has consistently messed up shipments (not just in one instance that has wiped away all of the good deeds) and compounded the problem by delaying resolution, placing the burden of delivery on myself, or not communicating at anything at all. This was not just restricted to Houston. I had the same troubles in Baton Rouge.

    I think, Fraud Strategist, that DHL should focus on improving their customer and delivery service rather than hiding these problems behind rather inane awards that have no relevance the situation.

    Comment by Brother In Law | August 28, 2007


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