Pass the parcel – part 3 “The way home”

14:00 02 OctoberLenovo ring to tell me the laptop has been repaired and is on its way back.  I got a new tracking number at 17:00.

08:00 03 October – tracking number returns no data on the website – I’ll try again later.

16:30 I embark on a lengthy, and ultimately fruitless, attempt to discover where my laptop is: DPD parcels has no record of the tracking number I have been given!  Despite the valiant efforts of Lloyd he suggests I speak to Lenovo.  James, at Lenovo, agrees to send an e-mail to Germany but the repair centre is  closed and he, James, is not at work tomorrow (4th) so he can’t get me an answer before Friday.  He concedes the laptop may  already be with me by then.  Let’s hope so, and that it works.

08:00 4th October.  The use of the tracking number still returns no data, more than 40 hours after it was issued.  I would have expected my parcel to have a unique number that followed it wherever it went, and however it was combined and recombined with other parcels to form larger consignments.  It appears that once an item is into the system it can attract layers of numbers which cloud, rather than clarify, the identity of an item, its destination and ultimate owner.

16:00 .  Lenovo explain that although my laptop/parcel had been given a tracking number two days ago, it was probably sitting on a pallet to make up a full load.  Nice of someone to tell me.  They suggest I check the (German) website tomorrow and, once it appears there it should be in UK within 24 hours.

09:30 5th October.  Checked the site.  My parcel was scanned, on pick-up for Kesselsdorf, at 19:29 (18:29 UK BST) last night but still does not show on the tracking system on the UK website 13 hours later.  At least the destination is shown as our postcode.  What is the point of a tracking system that doesn’t update and track internationally?  It’s ludicrous that you have to check the website of the country the parcel is (or may be) in at the time you check.  That’s a question for ‘James’ from Lenovo, who promised to ring me with an update today.

18:30 .  Guess what, no call from James (or anyone else).  The laptop parcel’s location is still where it was 24 hours ago, according to the website.  According to the site it still doesn’t exist.  GRR.

07:00 6th October.  According to the parcel was scanned into Unna Depot, still in Germany, at 02:34 this morning.  Still doesn’t exist on the UK site.

07:00 7th October. According to the parcel hasn’t moved from Unna and it still doesn’t appear on the UK site.

09:00 8th October.  Both DPD.DE and UK show no change.

12:45 . I ‘phoned Lenovo again because I’d had an e-mail from Medion Electronics inviting me to complete a customer satisfaction survey because I had now received my computer back! After apologising that James had not ‘phoned as he promised they told me what I already knew – they have no idea where my parcel is.  Ben promised to call back but “since he would have to contact Germany, it might not be today”.

06:30 9th October.  Hooray!  Suddenly my parcel appears on both websites:  it was allegedly scanned into Oldbury (Hub 3 Birmingham) at 20:42 yesterday.  This is a bit odd since I checked before I went to bed and nothing had changed then.  Still, mustn’t grumble eh?

13:01 .  It has arrived in at my local depot but is not marked ‘Out for Delivery’.  I think this means it missed the afternoon van and will be here tomorrow afternoon.  Let’s hope it works after all this.  I’m still waiting for Ben to call back.  GRR.

09:03 10th October. ‘Out for delivery’

14:00 AAAAARGGHHHH!  It has ‘misrouted’ – been put on the wrong van!! I don’t believe it.  (Actually yes I do).  of course, nobody let me know, so I waited in.  Chris, from DPD customer services in Swansea offers to “upgrade” me to a delivery before 12 tomorrow but, sort of, suggests they cannot track parcels being moved by third parties.  Since AJG in Inverness is acting for them, in primary pick-up and final delivery, I don’t understand his point.  The bottom line is that NONE of this is my fault.  I’ve done everything I’ve been asked to do, even when it was really up to DPD / Lenovo / Medion to do it.  Throughout, nobody has kept me in the loop and nobody has ever called back when they promised to.  I just hope the laptop works – I couldn’t go through all this again.

12:05 11th October Far from being here before 12 noon it is still showing at the depot, where it was returned to at 18:00 last night: not even ‘Out for Delivery’.  I rang DPD again, this time speaking to Tom in Liverpool who ‘phones Swansea and then the depot (Inverness).  Tom tells me they left it off the van for today!  He also says that the Inverness depot can’t deliver to us in the morning, despite Chris saying they would, because of our “remote location” (which all of 45 minutes from the depot).  Talk about being economical with the truth!  He PROMISES it will be here this afternoon.  This is SO infuriating – I was in Inverness this morning and could have collected it.

12:42. Miraculously the parcel is now marked ‘Out for Delivery’ – with the scan timed at 09:36!!  How do they think they can get away with changing their records like this?

16:30 It’s arrived!  Now for the laborious process of updating it with everything that MS and my Security programme has issued in the last 3 weeks.

Conclusion 17 October   Well, my laptop is working as it should.  I bought an item with a warranty and, when the item failed, the warranty was honoured.  The process has clearly been less successful.  It would be better to not give customers a means of tracking the progress of their repair if that system doesn’t work.  The major difficulty arose because MY supplier devolved responsibility for managing the process, and our relationship, to third parties.  This is a major systemic customer services failure :  as Lenovo’s customer I should NOT have been left (and sometimes explicitly encouraged) to progress chase or project manage Lenovo’s suppliers – even if those suppliers are subsidiaries.  I’m closing this blog now with one final comment: DPD promised that someone from their customer service team would call to discuss their failures (which they admitted): they haven’t.  Enough said.