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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A better courier experience
I haven't had the best experience with Purolator courier in all of my years of sending and receiving of packages. I've had packages lost for weeks, outrageous custom brokerage fees, and confused and unhelpful CSRs to name a few of the annoyances. Whenever I see one of the trucks on the road, my blood pressure usually rises up a notch.

I'm currently awaiting delivery of a shiny (ok more like matte) grey Dell quad-core PC. The trouble with couriers and home delivery is typically the customer needs to await delivery of the package during business hours (9am - 5pm) and it is often difficult to know exactly what day a package will arrive.

More often than not, I miss a delivery and have to drive out to a shipping depot near the airport or some other obscure location in order to pick up my package: certainly not convenient considering the premium one pays for courier service.

But yesterday I actually had a good experience thanks perhaps to some combined ingenuity with Dell: I received an automated phone message indicating that my shipment would arrive January 14th (still between 9am - 5pm) and allowed me to directly reach a Dell representative or receive additional information from Purolator on delivery options if I am be unable to accept the package as scheduled.

Sure enough, checking my Purolator tracking information the shipment in on a truck for delivery today. While I still need to physically be at home today, at least I knew what day it would show up: a step in the right direction. Hopefully the couriers think of more novel ways to please the non-business customer: perhaps provide after-hours shipping (for a premium), or provide package drop-off in partnership with large chain stores (e.g., Staples, Shoppers Drug Mart, etc.) allowing convenient local pick-up of parcels. Given the growth of online shopping these types of innovations surely are in demand and would be welcomed.


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