Which couriers to use

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ClassifiedsModClassifiedsMod Frets: 1
edited January 2016 in Misc £
Most of the operations of any courier take place way beyond our view - our experience is usually limited to the person who collects or delivers our parcel, and our opinion is usually based on whether they manage to get that tricky task right.

Almost like a "good traders" thread, this is a thread for posting experiences of the different couriers.

From that pooled experience, you may get an idea of which couriers are particularly good - they deliver an undamaged package, on time - or bad.

If you've taken the time to read the small print on the insurance exclusions, add that info there too.

Most of us are aware of the intermediaries to use when booking couriers, but I'll add any more to this list.

Interparcel.com
Parcels2go



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Comments

  • TTonyTTony Frets: 15891
    If the parcel weighs less than 2kg, Royal Mail parcels is cost-effective.  Anything heavier though, and the RM cost goes up dramatically, meaning that a courier can be a lot cheaper.

    In my experience, 2nd class RM takes little longer (if any) than 1st class.
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5932
    I have used Parcelforce 24 many times, including maybe a dozen guitars. The process I follow is this:
    1 Well packed guitar, see other thread.
    2 Take it to my local Parcelforce depot around 6:30pm. This means its not sitting in a truck or post office back room or warehouse all day where inquisitive folks can be working out how it could get lost.
    3 It will be put on the main overnight truck to the relevant Hub between around 7pm and 8:30pm, along with all the other parcels.
    4 Depending on distance it should be on a local delivery van by 8am and with the recipient later that morning.

    This approach minimises the 'standing still' time which is when the bad stuff can happen.
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  • Royal Mail 1st and 2nd class (unsigned) - £20 insurance max. Cheap, 2nd class a day or two slower in my experience. 

    Royal Mail 1st and 2nd class (signed) - £50 insurance max. Same as above. 

    RM Special Delivery - a pedal above 500g will cost you £8.45. 1kg to 2kg is £11.00. The safest method around. Big stuff like the DMM in the wooden box will be over the 2kg threshold and will cost a fortune to send.  

    Parcelforce - I don't care if taking it to the depot is safer, you're still hampered by the £150 insurance limit. Breakers of two amplifiers coming to me, have lost several items for days previously, flat out lied to my face on several occasions when visiting in person. 

    Interparcel - use the UPS or DPD service. I did send out an old Roland JC-60 which arrived at the buyer's place with a fault. Fair play to Interparcel, after watching the demo video of the problem and receiving all my details, they refunded me within 28 days for the cost of the entire Ebay sale including delivery. The amp was returned to me and I sold it out as parts and pieces... by far the best courier company I've dealt with. Even their customer service is human rather than call centre slavebots. 

    Now technically UPS did deliver me the most busted item I've ever received But what do you expect when the seller put an Epi Dot into a thin gig bag and then covered it in brown paper? The neck was proper fooked and Jooky ended up having it to furnish with his magical love. Hardly the fault of the courier in that instance. 

    Yodel - I'd rather have anal thrush than use Yodel. As with Parcelforce, watch the restrictions with regard to insurance on musical items. 

    Hermes - all of the above but somehow they seem to be quite reliable around Bristol.
     
    Weirdly the most reliable I've ever used was RM Standard Parcels. Back in the day, they would take up to 20 kilos for sod all. You could just about post an AC15 for well under £20. I once sold an Antoria ES-355 to a guy in Russia. The only way getting it to him was to make my own crate and to place the guitar inside it, suspended running from corner to corner diagonally. It was a work of absolute art, completely absurd, but the only way to get under the Russian size regulations. Because Russia was also a corrupt place back then on the same scale as the Italian postal service, I could get no insurance above £50 on a £600 guitar. So I told the buyer that this would be on his head (ah, Ebay back in the day when buyers would have to take some responsibility when asking for cheap postage!)....

    It took less than five days to reach St Petersburg. Perfect condition. How that happened, I do not know. 

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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6184
    edited January 2016
    Chalky said:
    I have used Parcelforce 24 many times, including maybe a dozen guitars. The process I follow is this:
    1 Well packed guitar, see other thread.
    2 Take it to my local Parcelforce depot around 6:30pm. This means its not sitting in a truck or post office back room or warehouse all day where inquisitive folks can be working out how it could get lost.
    3 It will be put on the main overnight truck to the relevant Hub between around 7pm and 8:30pm, along with all the other parcels.
    4 Depending on distance it should be on a local delivery van by 8am and with the recipient later that morning.

    This approach minimises the 'standing still' time which is when the bad stuff can happen.
    DO NOT use Parcelforce for a guitar worth more than £200. They wont pay out for any more than this amount if it gets damaged or lost in transit. Yes, you can buy extra insurance, but it's worth sod-all as the limit is fixed at £200 for musical instruments. Also you MUST pack the guitar in a hardcase or they wont pay out at all. This is in their T&C's.
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  • robwrightrobwright Frets: 620
    No, no, no to My Herpes! Left a parcel in the rain and didn't get a signature! (In Bristol too Andy!)

    How very dare they!



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  • robwrightrobwright Frets: 620
    Agree with Andy - UPS through Interparcel is the best and cheapest service. Won't use any other!



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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9245
    Chalky said:
    2 Take it to my local Parcelforce depot around 6:30pm. This means its not sitting in a truck or post office back room or warehouse all day where inquisitive folks can be working out how it could get lost.

    My local parcel force depot is an hour and a half drive away. The royal mail one is close, but has odd opening hours

     

    I often use the local post office, its owrth speakign to them about their collection times.   Mine has its last collection at 5:30pm, used to be any parcel an size would be picked up on that colelction.  However, last guitar i posted they refused 24 hrs because I had missed the midday collection.   I asked what had changed and they told me the 5:30 collection was now done in a small van and couldn't accept parcels over a certain size.

     

     

    Anyway - moral of the story, try and understand that service levels for any of these comapnies vary depending on the location you are in.  

     

    Parcelforce have always been very good for me, if a bit pricey. sendign stuff from the Midlands to th rest of the country seems pretty quick, i know its much slower the other way though 

     

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  • boogieman said:
    DO NOT use Parcelforce for a guitar worth more than £200. They wont pay out for any more than this amount if it gets damaged or lost in transit. Yes, you can buy extra insurance, but it's worth sod-all as the limit is fixed at £200 for musical instruments. Also you MUST pack the guitar in a hardcase or they wont pay out at all. This is in their T&C's.
    The compensation with Parcelforce depends on the service used:


    Express24 and Express48 have standard compensation cover of £100. Musical instruments are excluded from enhanced cover. 



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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6184
    Heartfeltdawn;945147" said:
    boogieman said:



    DO NOT use Parcelforce for a guitar worth more than £200. They wont pay out for any more than this amount if it gets damaged or lost in transit. Yes, you can buy extra insurance, but it's worth sod-all as the limit is fixed at £200 for musical instruments. Also you MUST pack the guitar in a hardcase or they wont pay out at all. This is in their T&C's.










    The compensation with Parcelforce depends on the service used:

    http://www.parcelforce.com/sending-parcel/parcel-delivery



    Express24 and Express48 have standard compensation cover of £100. Musical instruments are excluded from enhanced cover. 

    http://www.parcelforce.com/help-and-advice/sending/items-we-exclude-compensation
    Wow. Worse than I thought then.
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5932
    edited January 2016
    What's the insurance level and cost with UPS and DPD then?
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 14185
    edited January 2016
    Let's do Interparcel then who use UPS and DPD.

    -They don't have musical instruments on the restricted list


    Maximum cover is £1000. 







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  • JookyChapJookyChap Frets: 4209
    I've tended to use Interparcel/UPS most of the time and have had (iirc) 6 guitars knackered by them. Which sounds a lot but is probably <2% overall. ;)

    Interparcel have been good and always paid out on the insurance, as long as there was a hardcase and fotos that show proper packaging. Like Heartfeltdawn, sometimes I've had the guitar back as well as the compo, other times not.

    I've received two guitars via Direct Courier Solutions who aren't cheap but will insure upto £3K. The delivery guy rang both times to ask what time I would like the parcel delivered, and then actually turned up when he said he would, which was pretty cool, though don't know how usual that is. 

    As for the rest I had Fed-Ex flatten a Hiscox which was quite impressive, Hermes throw a parcel into a pond, and yodal basically seem to just disappear anything they are meant to bring. DPD seem good though, Post office special delivery is great for pedals but nothing much bigger



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  • @JookyChap I haven't heard of DCS before. Noted for future use. 
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  • FreddieVanHalenFreddieVanHalen Frets: 691
    edited January 2016
    JookyChap said:

    I've received two guitars via Direct Courier Solutions who aren't cheap but will insure upto £3K. The delivery guy rang both times to ask what time I would like the parcel delivered, and then actually turned up when he said he would, which was pretty cool, though don't know how usual that is. 

    @Heartfeltdawn @JookyChap had a nasty experience with Direct Courier Solutions unfortunately so would not give them a good review at all.

    I booked them to collect a guitar. They did not come to collect and then charged ME ten pounds for their failed collection.

    They claimed they had transponder evidence that they'd visited and nobody there.

    Their claim was bullshit because there are two concierge staff 24x7 at the collection address and there is CCTV all over the doorway and parking area - at the time they said they visited no van was in evidence on any of the pictures and both concierge guys were visible at the front desk on the CCTV.

    DCS refused to budge on their charges and and called me a liar on the phone.

    Utter shysters.

    On a positive note, I've had much better results with Interparcel. The only time I had a problem their insurance paid out in full quickly and without hassle.
    Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 11958
    I've used Interparcel a lot, and honestly the only issue I ever had was when a TNT "Before-9am" delivery turned up at 9:45am. A quick email to Interparcel and I was refunded whatever the contract said I was due. 

    All the delivery guys working around London E3 (up to a couple of years ago at least) were friendly and helpful.
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  • JookyChapJookyChap Frets: 4209
    @FreddieVanHalen - Ah, so maybe they are better givers than receivers then, good to know ;)

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  • @JookyChap haha. It turns out that both giving and receiving is required for a fulfilling experience :D
    Link to my trading feedback: http://thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/58787/
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  • "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • https://www.overlandexpress.co.uk/instrumentcourier They cover musical instruments up to £3000,providing they are packed in a hard case.
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