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Good Retailer; Bad Courier – What Can You Do?

When it comes to online shopping, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You can find the must-have item you have wanted for months is out of stock. The site can crash, your card can be rejected through no fault of your own— it’s tough.

However, there is one element of online shopping that can make you feel truly helpless. You find your items, add them to your cart, go through the checkout process… and then you see the retailer’s chosen courier. Your heart sinks. You know that courier; you’ve had problems with them before; and those problems have been so severe that you suddenly have cold feet about ordering.

The above is an all-too-familiar scenario. Most of us have had an experience with a courier that we found so disheartening we swore to avoid them again. There’s a couple of companies (who shall remain nameless, for the sake of decency) that have poorer reputations than most. Of course, it seems sensible to want to avoid these companies in future; after all, the adage “once bitten, twice shy” very much applies here. So rather than making your purchase as you intended, you walk away.

Electing not to purchase from a retailer just because you dislike their choice of courier is a sensible decision. However, it’s also rather restrictive. Some courier companies serve a huge number of retailers. If you choose to boycott them all, your online shopping options are hugely restricted. There’s also something that feels unfair about choosing not to shop with a retailer because you dislike the courier. Could there be an alternative to just looking elsewhere?

Realistically, the answer is “not really”, but you do have a few options. First and foremost, contact the retailer. Feedback is vital in these instances, especially if you have a long, established history of purchasing from the company. Send a friendly note saying that you wish you could buy, but you’ve promised yourself that you won’t use the courier company they have chosen to use. You can make this a simple statement, or you can ask if they will provide alternative courier services that you’re more confident will be able to perform a better job. You could even volunteer to arrange the process yourself, so you can be sure a reputable company is selected.

While the retailer is unlikely to change their courier provider based off one piece of feedback, it may give them pause for thought. For example, some companies offer a range of shipping options using different couriers. Some options are more expensive, but they tend to be the better, more reputable companies. If you’d rather pay more for a courier service that you can rely on, then more stores implementing this kind of choice would be hugely beneficial. Your feedback could help to contribute to that.

In the meantime, it’s worth trying to place an order and seeing what happens. If there is an issue, remember that you shouldn’t address it with the courier company. (Let’s be honest, some of the worst courier companies are nigh-on impossible to contact anyway). Instead, address all issues with the courier to the retailer. Eventually, if they get enough complaints, they might consider changing to a more reliable provider.

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