Tuesday, October 12, 2004

DHL/Airborne: I’ll Have Its Guts for Garters

The niggling worry that I might be out $1000 has been interfering with my ability to concentrate today. Last week I sent off via DHL/Airborne a package of completed work to a client in the U.K. I spent at least an hour sorting out their Byzantine international shipping procedures and making sure I wouldn’t screw up my end of the transaction.

DHL collected the package and I thought no more about it. Yesterday, I went to their Web site to check that the package had been delivered and discovered to my horror that after the package left Portland the trail goes cold. I called DHL and asked them where they thought it might be. Hovering over the Atlantic Ocean somewhere north of the Azores? They offered to put a tracer on it and assured me that someone would get back to me.

When $1000 of my earnings are at stake, the squeaky-wheel approach is in order. I called them at 9:00 AM today. Long story short: They don’t know where the heck the package is, but they are “researching” it and will call me by tomorrow at 5 PM or sooner (yeah, right).

I should mention what’s in the package: a giant stack of edited documents that I marked-up by hand. If the client weren’t so retrograde, I would have done all my editing electronically and could resend and resend and resend ad nauseam until DHL finally managed to pinpoint the location of the United Kingdom. It could be (and probably will be) argued that I should have made photocopies of every single page in the giant stack. In other words, I should have expected that DHL would blunder. Following that logic, anyone who sends a digital camera or a computer via DHL should buy an extra one (at least) and have it waiting in the wings just in case DHL can’t be bothered to deliver.

Suppose the package is at the bottom of the sea (and it most likely is). What to do? Will DHL believe that the documents represented $1000 worth of editing services and be pleased to reimburse me by the end of the week? Of course. Expect payment the next time there is a cold day in hell. Will my client be willing to pay me twice if I end up having to do the work twice? Gosh. I don’t think so, but you can bet your boots they’ll want me to re-do the work, and, oh yeah, could I please turn it around instantly since it was actually due last Friday? Gaaaaaaaah. I don’t see how I can come out on top with this one.

Really, the last thing I should be doing right now is writing a ranty blog entry. I have another work deadline that is fast approaching and at least two dozen nonwork (but still important) tasks in various stages of incompletion and some still waiting idly on my To Do list.

I need a beer.


Blogger Jamie said...

Oh. My. God. That is brutal. I'm so sorry.

Maybe it will still turn up...?

You know, now that I think of it, DHL is the carrier that left an entire MACINTOSH COMPUTER on my front porch without ringing the doorbell or seeking a signature. It's really lucky I was home.

UPS at least has the sense to chuck things into the back porch and knock hurriedly as they scurry away.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Uh, twice. Jeez.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Something wrong with Blogger's commenting system, I think. No worries.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DHL is of the devil.
I've had similar experiences and only ship with FedEx now.
Live, Learn and then get mad.

10:24 AM  

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