I am Ralph Ferrand and I am the Managing Director of Biker's Toolbox Limited. We are a fairly small business selling tools to other motorcyclists around the world. We do our very best to offer a great service and are always ready and willing to proffer advice about our products. Because we are an on-line shop we are always in the hands of our couriers.
We at Bikers Toolbox have recently been treated very badly by DHL and as they are unwilling to put the situation right I feel I have a moral obligation to inform as many small businesses as possible about the sharp practice delivered by DHL Parcels. Legally we are probably stuffed because DHL have miles of terms and conditions to stitch up the busy small businessman who hasn't the time to read acres of small print before sending a parcel and just assumes that a business as big as DHL would value their customers enough not to cheat them; This turns out not to be the case. I have had issues with poor service from DHL formerly UK Mail before but never on this scale.
In January we received a large order from a chap in Italy, setting up a business working on Ducati motorcycles. We were very pleased and packed up his order. We decided to get a quote from DHL who handled all our domestic parcels. We even struggled to get them to decide what the extra cost of insuring it was and were never furnished with terms and conditions pertaining to insurance. We weighed and measured the parcel and then sent our new Italian customer quotes for shipping. Sadly, in retrospect, he chose DHL and we sent the package off on the 15th January 2019.
Imagine my feelings to receive an e-mail from our new customer telling me he had received an e-mail from a lady in Germany telling him that she has had his parcel delivered to her.
I telephoned DHL customer services who then informed me that they are unable to track consignments once they have left the UK, but not to worry it was probably just DHL e-mailing him. I wasn't convinced and asked my customer to forward me the e-mail he had received. I Contacted the lady in Germany who had no connection with DHL whatsoever. She contacted DHL in Germany and was instructed to take the parcel to her nearest DHL shop. What a cheek! But being a nice person complied with their unreasonable demand.
Even to get as far as I did with this, I had to repeatedly telephone customer services and nothing got done at all without my getting angry and demanding that it should be escalated given every delay was damaging my businesses reputation. One thing DHL are very good at is prevarication!
Eventually DHL put their hands up and admitted they had lost the parcel, probably, so suggested I best start their claims procedure. The word procedure started to ring alarm bells with me.
We were allocated a claims number and then it was demanded that we supply our itemised invoice to our client, fill in a scruffy photocopied form, which we were honoured to have e-mailed to us after a few more days of inactivity. It was made crystal clear to us that in future we would have to wait for it to be posted by snail mail. A more cynical man than me could be forgiven for thinking that all this was delaying tactics geared up to keeping other folks money in their bank account. Take a look at the automatic e-mail you get when messaging them. Interesting that what would appear to be standard e-mail signature permanently tells the punters that their claims line is very busy - that's quite and admission in itself!
Now biker's Toolbox Limited isn't a massive business but we do have sensitive data such as our price margins etc which we don't want falling into the wrong hands and the last thing I am going to do, is sanction handing over of such information to a company as inept as DHL who can't tell the difference between Germany and Italy. The way they have dealt with our claim leads me to believe that they have the business morals of the Kray Twins and so when they demanded that I spend hours digging out dozens of suppliers invoices for each of the 41 tools in the parcel they had lost, I saw red. They of course don't want to pay us 'profit' as it were. Nor do they feel any compulsion to compensate us for the hours of time spend trying to undo the mess they have caused or all the extra packaging, despite the premium we paid being a percentage of the retail invoice. The extra 'insurance' appears to either be a bit of a profitable scam or they lose/destroy a huge amount of packages.
We are now at an impasse because they hid some small print in their terms and conditions, that we weren't given prior to booking the parcel and if we want to be paid anything we have to give them information we don't trust them with!
We don't want other small businesses suffering the way we have, so we feel we ought to warn you all out there; it's tough enough with the business game being so seriously weighted in the favour of the big businesses, that we need to protect ourselves from the vultures.