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

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