A few days ago I blogged about a delivery problem I’d had. It wasn’t “run of the mill” and seemed to consist of a series of mistakes being made, none of which could be pinned on a specific part of the process failing. However, today, I’ve been contacted by one of their own delivery drivers, who will remain anonymous, to tell us why these issues occur – and it will surprise you!

But before I start, the discussion occurred via mobile messenger, so words were compressed, misspelled, etc, and grammar was pretty shocking so for the sake of clarity I will be re-writing the discussion to make it clearer. However, at no point will I change the meaning of the message.

There can be more than a single problem every day. The biggest problem for us are the SatNavs – these are on the same portable devices that we use for signatures and for reading delivery information. They are provided by Amazon, who are updating the software continuously. They are not perfect and are often giving us wrong delivery locations

The second problem is the sorting team. They work nights, which means they are often tired, so it’s easy to make a mistake and place a wrong parcel on a wrong route. If that happens, chances are that the parcel is never going to make it to the customer. Because that parcel is in a guys van, but not in his delivery system, that means no one knows what to do with it.

The driver here talks about the sorters being tired but when questioned about his own hours he admits that during busy periods he will be working 16 hours a day, rather than his normal 10 hours.

At this point I thought I’d ask him about the problems I’d been having to see if he could shed some light on what could have happened. With regard to the delivery not happening…

Possibly, on the first and second day it was attempted, the guy couldn’t find the address, and tagged the parcel as customer not being home instead of not finding the address. The third day the parcel was missorted, and ended up on a different route, but the guy who found the parcel in his van as not being his, he might take it for himself (not saying that really happened , but is the most likely scenario). Sometimes it is Amazon’s fault but it can be the driver’s fault too – there are drivers that don’t give a fuck about the job.

One thing that I was curious about is when Customer Services attach a note for the driver, do they actually get to see this?

Yes, twice actually. There is the popup special instruction when you exit the SatNav and enter the scan program and then when you press the button “arrived at stop” the instructions pop-up again. And the phone even reads them aloud with a synthesized voice.

So, when I attached special instructions for the driver to where to place the parcel on the 2nd day he DEFINITELY got it – I even had Customer Service read it off the next day to confirm it had been recorded (it had!). This confirms this guy’s theory that this was the fault of the driver – probably didn’t even attempt delivery. But, then, if you’re working a 16 hour day with a LOT of parcels to deliver, the temptation to skip difficult deliveries is surely there.