Postwatch, which is one of Consumer Focus’ predecessor organizations, published a research study entitled “Understanding social customers’ mail habits and behaviors.” They surveyed residents of Great Britain and attempted to outline guiding principles for social mail services in the future. The report identified customer concerns over the delivery of parcels. Findings showed that the customersperceived the parcel delivery system as inflexible and not able to meet consumers’ needs. Deliveries are often delayed because some parcel operators only deliver items Monday through Friday, and they will deliver on Saturdays only if a surcharge is paid. One of the hugest barriers in providing efficient services is delivering to rural areas. Some of these areas are difficult to reach in a timely manner. If the resident is not present when the parcel is delivered, the resident, oftentimes, has to travel long distances to retrieve the parcel. Additionally, some delivery service companies charge more if the delivery location is difficult to reach. The research indicates that the Royal Mail standard parcel delivery service, which is part of the universal service obligation, does deliver parcels on a Saturdays, at no extra charge. Another benefit of being part of the universal service is that all consumers in the UK can post letters and parcels to any other part of the country at the same rates.
Issues with Receiving your Parcel
Another hardship that is posed to consumers is that they have to be home in order to receive their parcel. This can pose a challenge to consumers who are working and not able to be present for the delivery. It is best to do your homework and find a delivery service that has a plan for processing items which are unable to be successfully delivered. Most operators use a variation of the following process: If a customer is not at home to accept delivery of an item, the parcel will be returned to the depot for collection. A card will be left at the premises to inform the customer that the item awaits collection or at the customer’s request can be redelivered. Upon customer’s request, the parcel couriers may leave a parcel with a next-door neighbor for collection or in a safe location at the customer’s premises. Even though this is a great option for most people, it still poses a challenge for customers who live in rural areas in which their closest neighbor could live miles away. There are some delivery companies that are willing to work out the best time for delivering a parcel to a customer. The growing prevalence of on-line shopping has increased the demand for delivery services which has made the demand for more efficient delivery services.
Parcel Logistics Companies
Some parcel logistic companies are beginning to send their customers a “pre-text” on their cell phone that outlines when the delivery will be attempted. This allows the customer the option of texting or calling back the delivery company to arrange delivery at a more convenient time. This method reduces the environmental cost and financial costs associated with repeated delivery attempts. Companies such as Parcelforce and Royal Mail parcel services offer the option of delivering parcels to local post offices. In addition to using local post offices, some pubs and local churches have been designated as delivery places which gives the costumer an alternate time for pick-up when the post office is closed. The additional benefit is that some of these locations are closer to people’s residence or place of employment. Another possible option is using drones to deliver parcels. Amazon, which is one of the largest on-line retailers, will be implementing this in the very near future. I’m not sure how they plan on dealing with getting a signature before delivering the parcel, but I’m sure they will find a way around this.