In January 2019, my 14 year old son ordered all the parts he needed to build his own gaming PC – imagine the excitement!
Now imagine the disappointment, when one of the courier companies failed to deliver some of the crucial parts.
The company was Fastway Couriers – ‘an Aramax company’, whatever that means.
After multiple phone calls and several days, they finally turned up at the door… ironically, within an hour of their switchboard operator telling me it would be delivered the next day.
Oh God, not Fastway again!
Fast forward eight months. To Fathers Day, Sunday 1 September.
My younger son orders a new mouse from eBay. I helped him place the order. I omitted to check who would be delivering. My heart sank when I realised it would be Fastway.
So it was a very pleasant surprise to receive the following email on Tuesday morning, about 36 hours after placing the order.
Obviously our previous experience with Fastway Couriers must have been an isolated case, I thought. And I looked forward to receiving the order – less than two days after ordering. Wow!
But Tuesday came and went. No parcel was delivered. And nobody from Fastway Couriers contacted us with an update or an explanation.
So close, yet so far away
5.17am Wednesday. Another familiar looking email…
I checked the calendar. Nope it was definitely not Groundhog Day. Hmm… OK, give them another chance, I thought.
With a considerably lower level of expectation, I waited. And waited.
I left the car in the driveway so the courier driver would know someone was home and I kept my ears tuned for the sound of a van. But nothing came.
My son arrived home around 4pm, asking if his new mouse had been delivered. ‘Sorry mate!’ Time to contact Fastway Couriers.
So I also checked their online tracking and was encouraged to see their driver, ‘Tony’, was less than 5 minutes away.
When I spoke to the call centre, who were clearly ‘offshore’ somewhere, I was told that it would be better to speak direct to the driver to get a more accurate ETA. So they gave me the mobile number of ‘Wyman’ (ie. not Tony).
I called Wyman, who was barely able to speak English. But I understood that he no longer drove for Fastway Couriers. In fact, he told me he hadn’t driven for them for a ‘long time’. WTF?
So I called Fastway Couriers again. I tried to establish who my driver actually was. I was unable to get this clarified.
I pointed out that I could see on the app a van with the name ‘Tony’ nearby. But was told ‘that driver’ might be picking up, rather than delivering.
Strange, I thought. Even though I had entered my tracking number into the app, it has chosen to show the location of a different driver!
I then tried to find out why the package hadn’t been delivered the day before. No luck there either. Just some story about it being ‘scanned’, then the ‘scan had been removed from the vehicle’.
Trying to understand what had happened, I asked ‘was the parcel put on the van, then removed for some reason? Why would they do that?’
‘He scanned it, then removed the scan’, they repeated. Enough with the ‘scans’ I thought and put that aside.
I also tried to establish if the drivers were employees or independent mavericks/contractors. No straight answer there either.
Unsure if they were being deliberately vague and evasive, I realised the conversation was going nowhere, so gave up.
Although I was assured that the parcel would be delivered by 5pm… But if it wasn’t, I was to call back. Not much assurance then!
4.53pm and no sign of anyone from Fastway Couriers. Or any communication at all.
I checked the online app again. What the…? The van is now halfway across Sydney!
Back on the phone to Fastway Couriers and a third call centre person. They told me they were unable to contact the mystery driver themselves, but they would get in contact with their ‘ops team’ and speak to the manager.
They wanted to check that they had my email address, so I could be ‘kept informed’. I reassured them they had the correct email address.
Could this be the day?
Another day. And another email telling me our parcel is ‘nearly there’. Nearly where? Where did Tony/Wyman take our parcel?
Could this be the day?
4.20pm Thursday. Still no sign of (or communication from) Fastway Couriers.
Having remained grounded for three days now waiting for the imminent arrival of the package, I was starting to get cabin fever! But I also had to take our son to his cricket practice.
Fearing that the moment I leave the driveway a Fastway Courier will pull up outside the house, I was reluctant to leave the house. Thankfully our older son arrived home in time to be briefed on what to do if they turn up.
Sure enough… 50 minutes later my elder son rang to say Fastway Couriers had just turned up.
Their tracking app shows their three day struggle to deliver a small parcel. Two ‘Failed delivery’ attempts, followed by ‘Delivered’.
Without any alternative explanation from Fastway Couriers, I can only conclude that the reason for the first two ‘delivery failures’ was because the independent contractor charged with delivering the parcel: ran out of time, forgot, misplaced the item on the van, couldn’t find the address, or simply couldn’t be bothered delivering!
Whatever the reason (we’ll never know), Fastway Couriers are without doubt the most unprofessional band of shonks I’ve ever dealt with.
Fastway Couriers, you can’t call yourselves ‘fast’, you can’t!
Lessons to be learnt
Fastway Couriers: Your system is broken. You need to fix it. Your drivers are unreliable and your customer service appalling.
Ecommerce merchants: Your best efforts to provide excellent customer service can all be undone in the last kilometre. Choose your delivery company very carefully.
Online shoppers: When you place an order online, make sure you check to see who will be delivering your package. Buyer beware!
And finally… it seems this may not be an isolated incident. I found this other example, from SoftFern.com, which sounds like they had an even worse experience.