I ordered the latest version of the Encyclopedia Britannica on DVD sometime last week. They shipped it from Ohio using DHL just before midnight on the 17th. It was supposed to arrive at my place on Monday.
It reached Fresno by 10:00 pm on Friday the 20th. And there it sat.
Tuesday morning I called to find out why it was still in Fresno. They told me the status would be updated shortly, and that it was in Redwood City. An hour later, I checked again and the status was indeed updated: it said it was out for delivery.
But Tuesday evening, the out-for-delivery line had disappeared; now it was "scheduled for delivery."
And this afternoon, there was no change to that. So I called to find out when it was scheduled for delivery.
They told me there were unspecified "driver-related problems" and no record of whether it had been delivered or not. Maybe it was delivered while I was at work, maybe not. (On arriving home, I learned that the answer was: not.) But if not, then definitely first thing tomorrow morning.
Which is all mildly frustrating. But not really that big a deal; I'm not in urgent need of having the very latest Britannica.
The reason I'm posting about it is that both times I called, the customer service people I talked with were great. They were polite and friendly and apologetic; they went out of their way to get more information for me; the second one even offered to help me file a formal complaint if I wanted to. (I declined.)
While I was on hold today, the recording talked about how DHL had great customer service. I'm used to rolling my eyes at such statements--I mean, PacBell (home of some of the worst customer service I've ever encountered, and that's saying quite a lot) claims to have great customer service.
And, sure, having no idea what happened to a package two days after it was supposed to be delivered isn't the best customer experience ever. But the fact that this was one of the few times in my life when I've come away from a customer-service phone call feeling better about the company than when I started goes a long way toward excusing any trouble the company may have with actually getting things delivered.
DHL: We may not get your package to you on time, but we'll be nice about it, which puts us ahead of anyone else in the shipping world.
(Except for the USPS, which--despite all the horror stories friends have told me about them--remain my standard for excellence in shipping, for reasons too numerous to recount.)