Dear Purolator Courier:

As a freelance writer who works from home, I deal with a number of different companies and organizations on a daily basis. Because a good deal of my business is focused on product reviews, I also receive shipments from a variety of couriers on a fairly regular basis. For this reason, I have a fair amount of experience with such shipping companies as Fedex, UPS, and DHL, as well as Purolator Courier.

All of these couriers effectively offer the same service, but they differ vastly in the area of customer service. I don’t expect any of these companies to go beyond the call of duty, but I do expect them to do their jobs well. For example, I appreciate how I can quickly and easily schedule a pickup through the UPS website. I’ve also been very pleased with the telephone manner of the operators at Fedex. However, I have yet to have a positive customer service experience with Purolator. Allow me to describe two incidents that I have experienced with Purolator.

Some time back, I needed a replacement satellite box shipped to my home. I arranged for this delivery through my satellite TV provider and their courier of choice happened to be Purolator. The satellite set-top box was to be delivered to my home and while the shipping time was a little longer than expected, I still felt positive.

My family missed the first delivery attempt, because none of us happened to be home at the time. We called Purolator to ask if the second delivery attempt could be made to a different location, my parents’ workplace, because it is more likely that someone would be there during regular business hours. The Purolator customer service rep on the phone said that this was fine and the shipment would be redirected. We confirmed the new address and expected the delivery to be made the next day. It never did.

We called Purolator back to inquire about what happened. The customer service representative said that we never gave the unit number for the address, so the delivery was not attempted. I am 100% positive that we provided the unit number and the business name, so there is no way that the driver could not deliver the parcel. The rep remained adamant that we did not provide the unit number. Not only did Purolator provide a poor customer service experience, but it also called us liars. Fed up with the experience, we asked the shipment to be sent to the closest Purolator centre instead and we would just pick it up ourselves. That’s what we did, but needless to say, the experience left a very sour taste in our mouths.

More recently, I was expecting the delivery of a product that I will be reviewing. Again, the delivery took longer than I expected, but I’m not entirely positive if part of the delay was caused by the original sender. In any case, I had to follow up with my client and the sender to see what was going on. They said that Purolator would be coming on Friday, but they would call first to make sure that I am there. This sounded fine.

So, instead of going out for a cup of coffee or a walk in the neighborhood, I made a distinct effort not to leave my home that day. Purolator never came. Instead, I got a phone call from a Purolator representative around 5pm, informing me that there was a package there for me and he asked when I would like to pick it up. What is the point of a courier if the item is not delivered to your door? Unlike the previous incident, I knew that this shipment was a much larger one and there was no way the box would fit in my car.

I told him that I would prefer for the box to be sent to my door. The representative’s tone of voice sound very disgruntled and negative, as if he was very frustrated with the fact that I would like to receive a proper shipment. I asked if he would still be able to complete the delivery that day (Friday) and he said, “No, it’ll have to be Monday.” Again, later than I expected, but I said Monday would be fine. Monday came, I stayed home all day, and — you guessed it — no delivery. That’s frustration. The delivery was finally completed the following day, Tuesday. The driver was perfectly friendly, but as expected, he had no knowledge of what had transpired thus far.

Purolator Courier, it amazes me that you are still in business with such horrid customer service practices. I haven’t dealt with you as the shipper (only as the recipient), so perhaps you offer better rates than the competition. If I did need to ship something, though, I would happily turn to the company with better customer service (and higher rates) than to ship through you. I highly suggest that you make some adjustments to your business model.

Respectfully yours,
Michael Kwan