Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dad's Review - Sending your documents from abroad to Philippines through DHL? Think twice!

DHL is e a global brand when it comes to parcel and courier services. My previous employer's sponsor in Abu Dhabi is an owner of DHL in UAE thus I am not surprised anymore when it has been designated by UAE embassy in Manila as courier for its document attestation jobs thus I hold this company in high esteem until yesterday.

Yes until yesterday, because this morning my patience ran out due to grave errors that happened in both of their Manila and Dubai Gateway Hubs.

My story goes like this; my company in Yemen sent my working visa through this company. Processing at DHL Sana'a Yemen was quite fast. My document was collected, processed and sent to DHL's Gateway Hub in Dubai on 14th of May. However, it was stuck in this place from 15th up to 19th of May without any given or valid reasons. You may refer to the cropped illustration below:

I was able to monitor my document through the tracking number sent to me by our company's liaison officer. Interestingly, for five days there was no update or movement of my document at their Dubai's Gateway Hub. It was showing "SHIPMENT ON-HOLD."

I started calling DHL Manila customer service center daily starting 15th of May. Their CS representative referred me to a certain Edward who tried to coordinate for several days with their Gateway Hub in Dubai. The reason for the delay given by their Dubai's Gateway Hub was due to lack of direct flight from Dubai to Manila according to Edward. I reasoned to him that Emirates has daily flight between Dubai and Manila if I am not mistaken since I traveled the same route every month. Anyway, I had no option but to accept Edward's apology.

By the way, to save delivery time I informed their Manila's customer service staff on 18th of May that I would personally collect my document from their Gateway Hub at Andrews Avenue near NAIA terminal 3. I need to do this because I have been told that once my document arrives at their Gateway Hub in Manila they need to send it to DHL Express in Angono Rizal for delivery to my place in San Mateo, Rizal. The distribution process might take another day according to their customer service staff.

Unfortunately, on my supposed flight back to my work in Yemen on 19th of May my visa was still at their Dubai's Gateway Hub thus I informed my company to cancel my flight and re-book it on a later date. This time it was Edward who was coordinating this matter with me by phone. He was apologetic and courteous. I reiterated to him that I would personally collect my document from their Gateway Hub in Andrews Avenue to save time since I need to go to POEA to process my OEC on the same day. He confirmed that their system was already showing that my document would be for pick-up and it won't be delivered to DHL Angono, Rizal anymore.

While monitoring my document through DHL tracking system I noticed that it was sent to Manila on 20th of May. I received a call the following day from Edward informing me that my document was already on transit. Again, we agreed that I would collect it personally today 22nd of May.

To save time I woke up early and drove to DHL Gateway Hub at Andrews Avenue for an hour and a half. It was pretty easy to locate their Gateway Hub since it was quite near to NAIA terminal 3. I arrived at their main building at almost 10 am. Their bespectacled male receptionist asked for my tracking number. After some time he reverted back to me and informed me that my document was already on its way to their DHL Express Angono, Rizal branch. I got ballistic and was fuming mad. I threw my bull cap and cursed their nincompoop staff who sent my document to their Angono branch regardless of my repeated request that I would collect it personally - not to mention that their system was showing that my document was for pick-up. I lost precious time and expensive fuels. The guy profusely apologized since it was their staff's fault. He contacted their Angono, Rizal branch by phone and sent emails so as to expedite my document. In fairness, their two male receptionists were polite and courteous as well.

In short, I received my visa at exactly 1:50 pm today. The messenger was ordered to prioritize the delivery of my document thus he was also aware of the complications of my situation. Notwithstanding, I have no more time to travel to POEA to process my OEC today thus instead of preparing for my flight back to my work I need to travel again tomorrow. Moreover, I lost several days from my pay slips; I just hope that my company would not deduct my absences from my payslip since it wasn't my fault.

Due to the nature of their business, it is obvious that their system has been designed to avoid mistake but if their staffs don't follow their established procedures then grave errors will surely occur that will definitely affect their customers. Nevertheless, a complaint handled professionally would reduce the negative impact to their clients.

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