It’s your process, not mine!

Over the past two weeks I have had an interesting “experience” dealing with a courier company over getting a package containing training materials delivered to my home address. The saga started when I was away in Sydney when they tried to deliver the package (1st of August). My wife and I got back from Sydney on the 4th of August and on the 5th of August she contacted the courier company to arrange re-delivery. The company wouldn’t deal with couldn’t help her because she was not the addressee of the package the department that looked after that didn’t work on the weekend.

The following Monday (7th of August) I called them and requested that the package be re-delivered and told them that the authority to leave would be signed and on the door, and that chances are someone would be home anyway to sign for it. They confirmed that the package would be delivered, and based on the discussion I assumed it would be the following day (8th of August). It turns out that there is a 48 hours turn around time for re-delivery, I found this out after I called the courier company after the package wasn’t delivered on the 8th(my wife knew this but I had missed that detail somehow), so in fact the package should have been delivered on the 9th of August – no problems, I can handle that.

When the package didn’t arrive on the 9th I started getting a little bit frustrated and decided to call the courier company again. At this point in time the operator informed me that “they had attempted delivery on the 1st, but I wasn’t home” – I then explained to them what had happened and they told me that there was not “enquiry” in the system – I’ve got no idea what an enquiry is, its probably some kind of record in a database which supports an internal process. Once again I asked them to have the package delivered, and they said it would be there on the 10th.

On the 10th, the package did not arrive. Frustration was giving away to anger at this point. Once again I decided to call the courier company. They told me that “they had attempted delivery on the 1st, but I wasn’t home”. By this point I had started to believe that I was caught in the Groundhog Day movie.

As calmly as possible (not actually that calmly) I explained the entire saga to the operator, they mentioned that there wasn’t an enquiry in the system. Once again I requested that the package be delivered the following day (the 11th of August).

By about mid-afternoon Friday the 11th of August I was starting to get a bit concerned that the package hadn’t arrived. I called up the courier company and they told me that “they had attempted delivery on the 1st, but I wasn’t home”. I was furious – I told them that I wanted the package delivered that night. They really only committed to creating an enquiry (there is that word again) but hoped that it would be out on the truck that evening. Hope fading fast. Obviously – over the weekend I was packageless.

On Monday morning the situation was getting critical, I needed that material for a training course starting Wednesday that week and nearly two weeks after the package reached Canberra it still wasn’t in my hands. I called the courier company several times on Monday and each time I was told that “they had attempted delivery on the 1st, but I wasn’t home”.

By this stage I was beyond listening to them tell me about their enquiries and I explained to them that an enquiry is one of their own internal processes and that I don’t really care about them, I only care about the package.

Eventually I got the package delivered on Monday afternoon, but its not before I, others at Readify, and the sender wasted a few hours each chasing this up. It probably would have been cheaper for me to jump on a plane to the supplier and pick it up myself.

Process Stupidity

Unfortunately the problems I had dealing with this particular courier company is all too common, and not just with courier companies. The problem is that we are using process to absolve people of the responsibility of representing the company that they work for – so when a customer rings up and is having a bad experience – they don’t need to deal with it, the just need to invoke the next step of a re-entrant process.

This time I decided to had to write something about it, and while this post afford me the opportunity to vent, its also something that I can link to when I attempt to contact the CEO of this particular courier organisation. I haven’t mentioned the name of the courier company, but if I am successful in contacting the CEO – they will know this post is here, and they will know its about their company.

Update: Naming Names

Originally I wasn’t going to name the courier company involved but Frank has convinced me via the comments that it is the way to go. So – the name of the company is TNT Australia.


12 thoughts on “It’s your process, not mine!

  1. Mitch Denny

    Hi Frank,

    You think? I’d like to think that the CEO will read this and take corrective action, on the other hand they might just ignore the e-mail.

  2. Rohan Fernando

    Just make sure you don’t use them for delivering your new Fujitsu LifeBook T4210. If their process is that unintelligent, the frustration and anger may cause you to spontaneously combust. 😉

    With regards,


  3. brendan murley

    I feel your pain. I had a similar experience with Dell. Despite guaranteed delivery before Christmas I got my goods delivered in February. And somehow Dell claim it was all my fault that they couldnt deliver it. Along the way they told me that there was absolutely no one in australia I could contact or complain to. Anyway, I am not sure complaining does anything in this country. Unless you end up on sixty minutes or a current affair businesses just dont give a shit.

  4. David M. Kean

    The funny thing about Dell is, that to make an official complaint you need send (via snail mail) a letter to their headquarters in the US (I know because of previous dealings).

    I assume they do this to reduce the number of complaints they receive, and hence, look better to upper management and the board.

  5. Kieran Jacobsen

    Hi Mitch,

    I recently had the same issues with Toll, and the package was a signle envelope (yes thats all it was).

    The first time a rang after seeing the evil “sorry we missed you card”, they told me that they wouldn’t allow me to change the address, it had to be signed for, and that they couldn’t even specify a time, they couldn’t even say “delivered in the morning/afternoon”. I said, well, get the driver to ring me, but of course, they don’t carry mobiles (how primitive).

    Anyway, my anger subsides, I contacted the sender and he confirmed that no signature was required. So I rang toll, they said ok, fill in the card and we will leave it. LEss than 20 minutes later i get a call saying that even though in the system, and the sender have said that no signature is required, they need one. I said, “what the”, their response was “thats what the sorting room tells us”. I of course, explode.

    Anyway, I rang back later, after our work mailroom suggested I got it delivered to here (work). While i didn’t like doing this, frustration was kicking in. After 40 minutes, i convinced them to deliver it to work.

    The next day, it was finally delivered, but worst of all, the box marked “signature required” was not ticked on the sticker, and the parcel would have fit in any letterbox (it was only a fibre cable).

    The point is, they are totally useless.

    A friend of mine mentioned the other day that TNT dropped his new QUAD XEON server, man, that must suck.

  6. Samiuela LV Taufa

    Read your saga, but is this also part of our own doing (like the warning against using WalMart in the USA?)

    If we don’t pester for quality after-sales service, then price is the only metric that companies deem valued by customers. Of course, the few of us that fall between the cracks and actually get a shoddy product then gets routed to some overseas call-center (as an example) where the process is the method of solving our problem. The under-trained, under-paid employees (wo)manning the phones have little connection with the broader ‘goals’ of the company, and even less with you the customer.

    I’m looking at getting a Toshiba Tecra M7 (finally beginning to show up on catalogs in Australi) but can’t buy the things because any support reviews I’ve seen on the ‘NET for Toshiba’s Tablets are abysmal. I currently have a Dell Inspiron 5150 3.2Ghz bought at a great price but would definitely warn against buying Dells from my experience with their after-sales support.

    Best of luck with your Fujitsu Laptop and please blog your experiences so I can droool.

    Sam T.

  7. Mitch Denny Post author

    Hi Keiran,

    That must be frustraiting. On the bright side I had a pretty good experience with AAE recently when my tablet was delivered. It arrived in under 24 hours. Certainly impressed. I like things where I get tracking details because it makes things a little bit more transparent.

  8. Mitch Denny Post author

    Hi Samiuela,

    I think the reason people keep going back to Dell is the sticker price. Price performance they are much cheaper. One of my frustraiting experiences with Dell was ordering a simple ink cartridge for a rebadged Lexmark that they sold to us with a new computer. They refused to let me order it based on the part ID, instead they wanted the service tag. I was at work and couldn’t do that.

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