Let’s talk about courier services, shall we? Particularly… Aramex.
You can probably tell from the title how my experiences were with this courier service. I bought an item off Ebay (a Galileo Thermometer*) which was shipped to me as part of its Global Shipping Program – a program hosted by Ebay to allow international customers to purchase items within the US.
The program requires the seller to ship the item to Ebay’s hub in the US. Ebay then finds a courier service and ships the item to you. Ebay will automatically calculate your custom duties and shipping fees at the time of purchase, so there are no surprise costs upon arrival. It’s a really great system as it provides international customers access to items sold within the US only. But there’s a small hitch: the courier service being utilized is critical. Find a courier service that is incompetent (hello, Aramex) and you’re in for one hellish experience. I will also add that the customer does not get to pick the courier service. This is decided by Ebay.
First, let me show you the tracking log of the item in question:
My package was shipped out (from the seller) on the 2nd of July. So, not too bad. It took about a week for the item to leave the seller’s house, get to the Ebay hub, get processed and given to the courier. So far, so good.
My issues start on the 12th of July. After a failed delivery, I called them up to see why the delivery was delayed. The response I got was something along the lines of “we put it on the wrong truck”. Really? Isn’t a courier service supposed to know the general vicinity of my house, given an address? Anyway, I provided them with additional information and a landmark so that the would not “put my package on the wrong truck” again.
On the 13th, the delivery fails again. This time, at 7:30PM. I call them up again, and surprise, surprise, no one picks up the phone because they’re on their Iftar break. Funny how a courier service doesn’t have any CS representatives that aren’t fasting. I know it’s not true because the person I spoke to the day before was non-Muslim. Anyway, the recorded message on the other end of the line tells me that they resume duty at 8PM, and will be opened until 10PM. I tried calling more than five times during that time bracket, with no response.
I called them back, first thing in the morning on the 14th, and the CS representative apologized for the delay in delivering the parcel. Upon asking for the reason, I was told that “the driver did not have the time to deliver the parcel”. Yes, really. So, they tell you a parcel will be delivered today. You stay at home and adjust your schedules according to ensure you are at home when the parcel arrives, and then they say they can’t deliver it because they “don’t have the time”. Very professional.
She then said that she would “contact the operations department to see if they could arrange an urgent delivery and that they would get back to me within 45 minutes”. I informed her that the parcel being delivered was fragile and that constantly loading it and unloading it onto the truck would not end well. That phone call never came. After calling them back and being put on hold for close to 15 minutes, I was informed that the package “was damaged and could not be delivered”.
I was not the happiest panda at that point. I told them “So you broke it. Despite the fact that I pointed out it was fragile”. I got a response along the lines of “it was damaged at the US hub”. Again, another lie. If the item were damaged at the US hub, liquid would be leaking out of the parcel and the item would not have arrived at Dubai in the first place. They said that they were not responsible, but they were willing to open an “investigation” if I wanted.
Needless to say, Aramex are either extremely incompetent, or just don’t care. I believe both are true. Point I am trying to make is: if you intend on using a courier service, dish out the extra money and use a proper one (DHL, FedEx, UPS are all great) if you have the option. As of now, I intend on getting a refund from Ebay for this mishap.