Outrage over botched Dunedin diamond delivery

An Auckland businessman is fuming after a $16,000 package of jewellery was delivered to the wrong Dunedin address.

CourierPost apologised for the ''mistake'' yesterday, which involved a courier self-signing for a parcel of diamonds and then accidentally delivering it to the wrong street address.

''The dispatch took place on November 7 and it had to be there by the morning of the 12th. But, it never turned up. Eventually, it was discovered at an address three doors down the road,'' Auckland brand consultant and trademark agent Murray Stott said yesterday.

''These packages can only be dropped off if someone has signed for it. The courier has forged a signature on his touchscreen device and then just dropped it into a mailbox. It didn't come to light until the afternoon of the 12th, when it was found in the wrong mailbox.

''To me, that's reprehensible. They've completely failed in their duty of care. That's instant dismissal, in the real world. My client is a pre-eminent Auckland jeweller and diamond trader and he has lost his Dunedin client as a direct result of this.''

Mr Stott, who represents 150 Auckland jewellery brands, said a lot of business was now done on the internet, rather than in jewellery stores.

''Hundreds of jewellers are sending thousands of jewellery courier packs around New Zealand every week. They're usually specialist pieces for consideration, or date-specific pieces, for a special event or anniversary,'' he said.

''But, reliability is imperative and this is one of three non-deliveries by CourierPost that I know of. It's not being addressed satisfactorily. They just left a wishy-washy message on my client's voicemail, saying `It appears that there may have been a breach of protocol', or something. The response has been woefully inadequate.''

CourierPost parent company Express Couriers Ltd southern general manager Craig Churchill apologised yesterday for the error, when contacted by the Otago Daily Times.

''We apologise to the customers who were affected. Although a mistake such as this is extremely rare, we will make every effort to ensure it is not repeated and this includes providing additional training for the courier involved,'' Mr Churchill said.

''CourierPost takes complaints extremely seriously and investigated this issue thoroughly. The courier took full responsibility for their actions and the investigations team is satisfied that nothing untoward took place. Providing customers with excellent service is a top priority for CourierPost.''

However, Mr Stott said he was still not satisfied and described the apology as ''limp''.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

Flawed process

I think even a signature alone is highly insecure, because no other details are ever recorded. I ordered an iPod Touch a few years ago and I wasn't home but someone hanging around the area signed for it  - thankfully it happened to be a contact of mine who handed the consignment to me after taking it home earlier (as I wasn't going to be home). It all worked out but I thought there was a hole in the system if anyone could sign for it (that happened to be at the address). Courier companies, if you are reading, you should demand photographic I.D's and record the name as well! I also find online shopping is hopeless if you are a bachelor as you have to make a trip back to the depot or arrange a redelivery if you are not home. I'd rather just buy what I need on my lunch break and not have to wait.

You are lucky

glad girlyswot is a good customer......

Honestly do you think we didn't follow their tracking system and make calls? The tracking system says it was delivered and after lots of bungling found one package a month later!

All the courier companies in this town are the same. Deluded and not an ounce of common sense.

There are obviously issues but...

I get a lot of parcels delivered and have only had to sign a couple of times.  I leave delivery instructions for most parcels and they are followed to the letter.  I understand protocol wasn't followed, but there are the written rules and then there is reality.  I hate it when I have to sign and am not home - I then have to go to pick it up which I find annoying.

Mr Stott is spewing a lot of vitriol here, understandable I suppose.  But was it a good idea to tell us all that thousands of dollars of diamonds are floating around the courier trucks, possibly on a daily basis?  And where is the tracking system or even the simple phone call - did it arrive safely?  I ring and check, and have tracking on all parcels.  I can usually tell when they are due that way and I double check all is received and unbroken.  With thousands of dollars at stake, as well as reputations, maybe part of the drama could have been avoided.

And Courier Post - tut tut, it is OK to sign yourselves...until it all goes horribly wrong!

Blame the government

CourierPost is owned by New Zealand Post (through Express Couriers Ltd).

Probably the Government should not own a courier company.

Courier 'tracking'

Recently had a package sent from Rangiora to Palmerston North via Fast... The so-called "tracking system" which I paid for, could only tell me when it left Rangiora. The "tracking" then ceased until arriving 4 days later. The "track" was then lost until the package arrived. Be warned!

No good

That's the point, there are no good ones.

I mean seriously not one of them understands the concept of shipping or courier and when we say shipping we don't mean by ship! Nor do they understand the word next day or immediately.

It's so warped. I would rather courier my stuff to Timaru and drive up to get it - that would be faster.


I have never signed for a courier package, the kind delivery people always take it upon themselves to do this for me, such a wonderful service... but really, they always sign it themselves, always, at least for every single package I have received that has required a signature. I assumed this was normal, but it's poor quailty service.

Courier botches

Seems to be a common problem. I have had a couple of parcels recently that were to be signed for and the courier has just left them in the letterbox, signing it themselves or just putting 'letterbox' as a signature.

Someone needs to start up a courier service in Dunedin that will actually get the owner's signature. 

It's so common

Yes.. Dunedin's couriers routinely leave (abandon) items at our door (as opposed to delivering them or even pushing the doorbell) even though there's a big sticker on the box proudly stating this item is "signature on delivery"...

Better ones?

The question has to be which courier company(s), if any nationwide, is a better bet for safety and security of our property. If there's no answer to that then an industry shake-up and greater regulation has to happen - or new competitors providing honorable and efficient service. With NZ Post services reduced to shreds for 'low value' mail (not diamonds...) and unsatisfactory delivery times we're too much reliant on unsupervised courier cowboys. Franchise owners and drivers need a kick. Naming the good ones is swift.

Extremely rare

Yeah right.......I've had parcels at christmas left on the front doorstep four feet away from the footpath, left hidden behind pots and all needing a signature...but cases like this are extremely rare........ yeah right.....

Couriers' impressive speed

...as they gallop down the path having rung the bell and slung a card under the door.  Wait for householder to get to the door?  And then have to wait while they sign their name?  No way, in that time they could be in the van and on their way to the next loosely-defined "delivery". 

How strange

That this could happen is not a great surprise. My courier story involves an expensive item that was tracked from its dispatch and according to the website had been delivered to my address and signed for. I made frantic enquiries and eventually found it sitting in a couriers office in Dunedin. [abridged]

Tui Board

Courier isssues very rare, Yeah right!

We have had couriers dump stuff even with a dog around. Dog has eaten a parcel that had chocolate.

Rang every company explaining to please leave a card, so we can pick it up.

We have had them leave Correspondence School stuff with DVDS in the rain, in the drive, self signing, and even sworn at by a courier in earshot of kids.

My sister has to look for her parcels in a bush, cause they're too lazy to walk down some stairs.

In a time where online purchases are increasing rapidly, eventually, and with social media, we will weed out companies that don't have customer service as a priority. [abridged]

Same old, same old

There is no reliable courier service in this town.

One time I had a bolt of material come from the USA and it took a month to come from the Dunedin courier service to my house because they lost it.

Couple of other times a 4-day courier service turned into a 2-week debacle. None of them seem to be able to read the consignment orders or understand what "courier" means.

Oh one time I had an order from an organic shop and all the fresh fruit died before they got here.

There seems to be no recourse because there is simply an attitude of dismissal and righteousness for the way they service.

Extraordinary really.  [abridged]

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