If you read my last article about myHermes entering the international shipping game you will know I was not best pleased about the price disparity between booking a Parcel Force delivery direct with them or at the Post Office and with a reseller such as Parcel Monkey.
I did some quotes to sample the price difference on 5 different international parcels and found that by using Parcel Monkey to book Parcel Force deliveries I could have saved £65 on the 4 items that Parcel Force would carry. One was too heavy for their network if you were wondering!
I was curious as to why the savings were so great or more importantly why booking direct was so much more expensive for exactly the same service so I tweeted Parcel Force.
.@parcelforce why so expensive to book a courier with you direct? I’ve saved £65 using @parcelmonkey to buy the same services today!
A white lie you may notice as I didn’t actually book any deliveries but I had to fit it on a tweet.
I shortly afterwards received a reply, or rather 3 tweets.
@TheEbayGeek Hi, buy (sic) sending through a third party company you are entering a contract with the company you have used and have agreed to … the terms and conditions of this company not with parcelforce. You will find that the terms and conditions will be … different to the terms offered by ourselves including compensation included on your delivery.
So what I take from that is the only difference is in the small print terms and conditions. You’re paying a premium for Parcel Force customer service and compensation. And a very large premium at that.
While I’m not about to delve into those terms at this point I do know from past experience that when there is an issue with a Parcel you must take it up with the reseller who will if you’re lucky act on your complaint and resolve it with parcelforce.
I had quite a to do with Parcel Monkey last year and vowed not to use them again, I soon went back on this because they’re just so cheap! You can read about the terrible customer service I received back then on my old website.
It’s worth noting that I did notice that the terms and conditions did differ between both Parcel Companies in that the amount of time in which they will look into issues is different, also Parcel Force will not respond to any queries unless they come via the reseller.
So you really do have to weigh up if you want to deal with extra red tape if there is a problem or hope for the best and go with the cheapest price. I’ll choose cheap more or less everytime!
If you read the article I link to on my old website you will be glad to know months after sending the item and having battled to find out where it ended up I received a card from the postman to pick a Parcel up from the depot, it was the item which had gone missing! Apparently the recipient had neglected to pick it up within 28 days after he himself was left a card and it was then returned to sender!
I received a further tweet from Jonny at Parcel Force stating that “Contract customers” send thousands of parcels and therefore get a cheaper rate, rather than individual customers who buy direct who pay the full price.