There are infinite delivery services around the world, and in Berlin alone there are more delivery services than you can count. I refer here to package delivery services, not food or anything else. We have the usual big players like DHL, Hermes, DPD, UPS, and then a plethora of smaller ones. The quality and efficiency of each of them varies according to zone, and so far I have been very happy with the fellows assigned to my area from DHL and Hermes, one being a giant teddy bear and the other a human walrus. They really care about the packages reaching the owners and will go out of their way to ensure that it happens. Mayhem breaks out when the Bear and the Walrus go on holiday and the sub is on duty is a shifty Meerkat who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the client and is just interested in dumping all the packages so he can be back at the warehouse for quitting time. It drives me nuts when the other courier services will simply dump the items at a mail service station without even bothering to try leaving it with a neighbour.
Then there are the new delivery people in training, young and inexperience racoons who have no clue about the finer points of customer service, and as has been the case recently, many of them new to Germany with very limited language skills. They memorise the lines but don’t end up doing what they promised to do. For example, SOP is that if I receive a package for a neighbour, the delivery man will drop a notice into the recipient’s mailbox informing them where they can pick up their package. This past month almost everyone in the building has been engaged in a game of cat and mouse with the packages. There is an apprentice Racoon who was set loose on us and he dumps the boxes on unsuspecting apartment dwellers who happen to be home, recites the line that he will drop the notice in the mailbox but just takes off. So the package owners are clueless about the arrival of the items and the package foster parent is stuck with the items for several days.
It gets really frustrating when the package ends up in another building and sometimes those are almost impossible to track down. These ware the days I could swear the Mole was on duty because he couldn’t even get the names straight. In any case, the Walrus delivered a package this afternoon and I teased him about not bringing any sunshine with him today. He looked at me and sighed, saying that he ran out of sunshine and the number he has for requesting more sunshine doesn’t pick up. Customer Service just isn’t the same as it used to be he wailed.