Not fit for purpose

By | September 15, 2018

This is the detailed e-mail that I sent to Martijn de Lange.

In summary, if you order something for next day delivery you expect it next day, or possibly next day plus one, particularly if you know you won’t be able to receive the delivery after that and keep telling them.

Dear Mr de Lange,

Please forgive the length of this e-mail but, I assure you, the time it will take to read it is considerably less than the amount of time I have wasted trying to take receipt of a ‘Next Day Delivery’ from your Company.

It was not your Company’s fault that I was not able to purchase the items I wanted to at Sports Direct on Sunday 12th August and had to order them on-line, paying extra for the Next Day Delivery option as I could only guarantee to be at home on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th.
Nor was it your fault that Sports Direct chose to send the Order as two separate Consignments, rather than consolidating them into one.

The rest of the debacle however is solely down to the actions, or inactions, of your employees and sub-contractors. So much so that I now wonder who actually decides which lucky Customer will receive their order whilst the remainder have to resort to writing to you.

Let’s start with the easy one: Consignment 2355275034799485 that arrived on Tuesday 14th August.
Given that I placed the order at 14:30 on Sunday I think it acceptable that ‘Next Day’ delivery was actually Next Day plus one.
The order was delivered at approximately 15:15 and I asked the Courier where the paperwork was that I should sign to acknowledge receipt.
He told me there wasn’t any, which somewhat shocked me.
The following entry then appeared on your Tracking System: 14/08/2018 16:25 Delivered, signed by customer.
The only accurate information on this is the date. The time is incorrect and the Status is a lie.

The second Consignment, 2341198017982582, makes me believe that your Company, with it’s current Business Model, is not fit for purpose.
Alarm bells started to ring when I received the third Tracking Status: 13/08/2018 05:20 Routed to incorrect depot
As an ex IT Consultant who has worked on Tracking solutions with a number of reputable Companies I was horrified to see you don’t have even the most basic validation processes in place.

At 15:08 on Tuesday 14th I contacted your Customer Services via Facebook Messenger (your preferred mechanism as you can answer queries quickly) with the message:
“Where is the rest of my delivery!
2 Golf Clubs have arrived, but no Golf Bag.”

At 15:35 I received a reply:
“HI Richard,
1 parcel has been delivered and the other one is at the depot and will be out for delivery soon, Please allow 24 hrs

At 15:37 I responded:
“I don’t have 24 hours.
I’m not at home for the rest of the week.
Please call me urgently on 07952 370096 so we can make alternative arrangements.
Thank you.”

Now, looking at the numerous other complaints about your Company’s lack of service, here’s another regular occurrence that seems to happen. You are very quick at responding with non-helpful scripted responses, but if an informative or useful response is required you ignore the question.

I finally received a response to the above message at 09:37 on Wednesday 15th:
“Hi Richard, we are sorry for the late reply. We have tried calling you but couldn’t get through. The parcel has been manifested this morning so should be out for delivery. Thanks, Suly.”

Frankly, I don’t believe you even bothered to call. My phone is on 24/7 and had no missed calls.
As you will see shortly the next person in this saga had no problem phoning me.
Also the response has totally ignored the fact that I won’t be at home to receive the Delivery.

I checked the Tracking Status:
15/08/2018 10:41 Delivery will be attempted between 12:00 and 16:00 today

I thought it courteous to respond to the earlier message and at 11:09 replied:
“Thanks. I have received the notification.
I won’t be in but have asked my neighbours to look out for the parcel.”

My next message was sent at 14:20:
“I’m tracking my delivery and it says
13:36 Delivery attempt made, allow 24h on 16/08/2018.
What does this mean?
If you have not left the delivery then call me on 07952 370096 as the whole point of me paying extra for Next Day Delivery was because I cannot guarantee being at home after Tuesday.
It is your error that has caused this problem and I need it resolved.”

At 15:47 I received a phone call from Paige (who had no trouble getting through) and I thought we were getting somewhere.
She said the Courier could not return that day, but we agreed a plan of action which would guarantee that the parcel would be delivered today, Thursday 16th, and this was confirmed by her at 16:04.
“Hi Richard, just to confirm we have sent the email off as discussed. Any issues call us on 03303336556 and select option 1, 5, enter the tracking number followed by the # key then option 3. Paige”

I replied at 16:15:
“Thanks Paige.
Hopefully I won’t need to call again.

On returning home I was further disappointed to find a “Sorry I missed you” card through my letter box that had no details completed apart from “This is my 1st delivery attempt” and “I will re-attempt delivery on 16/08”.
No Courier name, contact number, reason for non-delivery etc.

At 09:23 this morning someone, not Paige as she said she wouldn’t be in, sent a “Thumbs Up” emoticon in response to my last message.
Personally, I find that very un-professional and would have preferred written confirmation that everything was sorted and I needn’t worry anymore.

That said, things were still looking promising according to the Status update:
16/08/2018 11:00 Delivery will be attempted between 10:00 and 14:00 today.
But here’s another strange thing. The time stamp of the update is 11:00, but delivery will be between 10:00 and 14:00.
Why are you advising me of the delivery time one hour after it could possibly arrive?
This, and the hour discrepancy between me receiving the other Consignment and it appearing as ‘signed for’ makes me think your Server is either not set to the correct time or is based in mainland Europe.
Either way the information cannot be relied on.

The final straw was this afternoon and my last message was sent at 14:13:
“Please be advised that I am now escalating this as a formal complaint against your Company.
I would be grateful if someone could ring me urgently on 07952 370096, hopefully before I send my complaint.

The Courier was given 3 options to deliver my outstanding ‘Next Day Delivery’ that should have arrived on Tuesday:
1] Deliver the package to my work address
2] Deliver it to my neighbour
3] Leave the parcel outside my Garage and another neighbour would look out for it and take it in.

I received the following notification:
16/08/2018 12:50 Delivery attempt made, allow 24h on 17/08/2018.

I have had to return home to speak to my neighbours and find that the Courier has done none of the agreed options.
They haven’t even had the courtesy to put a ‘Sorry I missed you card’ through my letter box.

I am going away tomorrow so will not be there to receive the delivery and want to know what you are going to do about this.”

This message was read at 17:59 and it should come as no surprise to hear that I have not had a response.

So, in conclusion Mr de Lange, what are you going to do about this?
You have my goods that I have paid for and have spectacularly failed to meet your obligation to deliver them to me.

I will also be forwarding this e-mail to Sports Direct to see if they too think such a poor level of service is acceptable.