If you work in an office with a door onto the street in a German city, you might well feel like you are a post office first, and a news site for expats in Germany second. Not that we’re speaking from personal experience or anything.
On an almost hourly basis, delivery men for private postal services probably knock, asking you to take a package for a neighbour who doesn’t happen to be at home.
Well, it seems like some of these delivery men are cutting corners.
A website set up a year ago by the Consumer Rights Centre (Verbraucherzentrale) called Paket-Ärger (package anger) has already received over 6,000 complaints.
“Consumers are always complaining to us about negative experiences with private delivery services,” the organization explains on the website.
“Damaged packages, late deliveries, packages left in the hallway, or an ‘unable to deliver’ slip left in the postbox despite someone being home – these are just a few of the complaints we receive.”
Many enraged individuals complain that they waited the entire day for the doorbell to ring, only to find a note in their letterbox telling them the package couldn’t be delivered as there was nobody home.
In one case – the complaint of the month in October – a customer called Max found that his purchase had not been delivered by DHL although he was at home.
When he turned up at the DHL office, they told him they could not hand over his package because the name on his ID card was Maximilian not Max.
After he returned with a letter he wrote 'from Max', giving Maximilian permission to pick up his package, the DHL employee said that he could not accept the letter as he knew that Max did not exist but was in fact Maximilian. The package therefore remained undelivered.
DHL responded by saying that they weren’t aware of the case.
Another angry customer reported that a delivery man rang the doorbell, but when no one responded, instead of dropping it off at a neighbour he threw it over a two-metre fence into the courtyard.
The Consumer Rights Centre encourages people to complain through their website so that a detailed, independent overview of the botched jobs of delivery services can be produced. In some cases the organization might even consider legal action.
It also points out that all complaints are anonymized.