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I shipped a time-sensitive, envelope-size package via DHL from USA to Germany. I chose DHL because of claims of experience with fast, international transport.

Although pay-on-line system could be improved, that went OK. Should have expected trouble from get-go. No manned DHL centers near me, so I drive 25 miles to go to one of those storefronts that accept shipments from many carriers. The woman at the counter was quite rude and not at all knowledgeable, but all I really needed was to slap the label on an envelope and get it going.

That evening, noticed through on-line tracking that the item had been shipped to a West Coast hub instead of an East Coast. This was bound to delay the shipment, which was supposed to be 2 days. If the delivery wasn't made in 2 days, it would hit the weekend which meant no delivery until Monday, leaving my son stranded without the items I was sending.

I called and spoke to a customer service representative who was polite but clearly just wanted to tell me that the item would "probably" be delivered on time.

Foolishly, I accepted that. I should have spoken to management instead. ALWAYS speak to management immediately with any problem at any company.

The next day, I saw that the item had not even left the country, so I called again and spoke to a very rude customer service rep. I became all the more furious because he seemed totally unconcerned that their mistake meant a lot of anxiety for me and meant that my children, who had been pickpocketed, would be stranded in Germany without proper documents.

I insisted that the customer rep tell me how to fix this problem, because now the item needed to re-directed because the recipient was going to change locations. The rep gave me some screwy story about how I would have to fax information to my "local DHL office" (the location of which he didn't know). I explained that this sounded crazy and I didn't have a fax, so it was going to be very difficult. I asked for a phone number of the location and the rep said they didn't have a phone!

When I said, What?!? Then how do they get faxes? He said that the faxes were actually sent to the headquarters then converted to email internally. Anyway, it was all ***. I really blew my lid when the rep then said that this was going to cost me an additional fee!

At that point, I had the snap to ask to speak to a manager. The rep couldn't get rid of me fast enough. First time I ever had a customer rep not try to gate-keep me from talking to manager.

Anyway, I was directed to some kind of transit specialist who was much more sympathetic and seemed to have more snap. In any case, from that point forward, DHL did rectify the problem, although the package still didn't get delivered on time. It did, however, arrive at the new location on Monday, which was a relief, but didn't alleviate all the trouble and anxiety.

It would have been nice to get a refund or even a written apology from DHL, but, clearly, that's not the way they do business.

Always, always, always, go directly to management. And if that manager doesn't help, go on up. Always.

Review about: Dhl Delivery Service.

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