Tony, Caretaker.

Hermes, wake -up before it’s too late. (An Open Letter)

Hermes, wake -up before it’s too late. (An Open Letter)

Dear Mr Dessing, Chief Operating Officer, Hermes Europe.

Very recently I was privileged to be on the receiving end of Hermes Europe Parcel Services in the United Kingdom. I say this with great humour, as I’m still waiting for the parcel to arrive. But that’s not the main reason I’m writing.

My experience of using Hermes has left me somewhat dismayed, and astonished. I have never used such technologically inept service in my entire life. I understand for reasons apparent that the majority of your drivers (couriers) are self-employed. While this is hunky-dory for yourself, and no doubt your couriers, your customer (me) has to suffer, a lot.

In my recent experience, there were three unsuccessful attempts at delivering my shiny new iMac, from a retailer it would be unfair to mention. Each time I was faced with nonsensical ‘undelivered’ messages on your website, that’s hardly tracking anything but how many times I refresh the page.

My concierge; Tony assures me; ‘I’ve been waiting all day for your parcel, Mr Kaye’.

The thing is Mr Dessing; I trust Tony more than I can imagine. He is always on hand to help welcome my parcels from other delivery companies; he even has a garden party in the summer where he invites residents to donate old clothing to his favourite charity. Now that’s one nice guy.

After I had ruled out Tony taking my shiny iMac home, I began to ponder, digest and dig deeper into why a company such as Hermes can live in the day and age of amazing technology, yet fail to utilise any of this to help deliver parcels to eagerly patient customers.

My issues:

  • No time slots for deliveries. (Ok, kind of a biggie, most other distribution companies do this)
  • No day of delivery. (Ok, this is serious stuff. Are you telling me my delivery can arrive anytime between now and 5 working days?) (This is, even more, confusing as some of your drivers work Saturdays, yet Saturday isn’t a working day).
  • No way to call Hermes. (Okay after a bit of digging I found a number, but I was hung-up on when the automated messaged said that there are floods in Cumbria and you’re super-busy.) FYI, I’m 100 miles away from Cumbria.
  • Live Chat. (Categorically does not work)
  • Hermes Couriers. (Cannot contact them, Never leave calling cards, Don’t like Tony)
  • Delivery updates. (Generic messages, Delayed on your website by 6 hours, well that’s useless information right there)

Mr Dessing, there are failures here that are seriously damaging your reputation, retailers reputation and as COO of Hermes, it is up to you to put it right. If you cannot deliver a more than satisfactory delivery service, then Hermes really shouldn’t be offering a something it cannot deliver. I understand the reasons for not giving time-slots, delivery days or having a reliable way to get through to your Customer Service, and I appreciate that entirely.

When you can order an Uber from pretty much anywhere in the world and have a driver pick you up in minutes, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Technology is advancing in so many wonderful and magical ways and so fast that it’s irresponsible for you to tell a customer ‘your parcel will be delivered within 5 days’.

Conclusions.

I know that as your couriers are self-employed you cannot just hand over their phone number, locations of their vans, but the same way Uber has equipped every single driver with a means of staying in touch and communicating with their customers, yet the drivers use their own phones. I find it astonishing that you cannot replicate Uber’s model with your delivery services. I recently wrote an article on companies failing to embrace technology as a core part of their service, and by not doing so have had a miserable fate. If you get chance, please take a read.

This is usually the happy ending, but my friend Tony has kindly informed me that my parcel still has not arrived.

Happy Holidays & a Prosperous New Year.

Mylo Kaye
Head of Digital, Dreamr

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