So, you order a product online, exciting! The carrier (UPS, FedEx, Postal Service, etc,) is going to deliver it and all is well that ends well! Well, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Taking time to research the company’s shipping and delivery conditions is the key to a good buying experience.
If the instructions are unclear always call the company and ask. Having placed, paid and shipped the order does not guarantee transit times or delivery to your actual location, where on your property the order will be placed or who and how it will get off the truck.
If you live in a remote area or even a small street, imagine yourselves driving in a large truck getting to your location and delivering the order within a given 15-20 minute time line. The important questions to ask are: Is the transit time guaranteed? Do carriers call before small package deliveries? Where on my property will the carrier deliver my package? How will it get off the carrier truck? How do I check for damages? Who is responsible for damages?
Is the transit time guaranteed?
Most freight companies set an internal goal to achieve their stated transit times and strive to get it there in the allotted time. They will tell you that they can deliver a certain size package within so many days from point A to point B. There are different levels of service depending on the urgency of the delivery and have various price tags attached to those services. Most often that works out. But, even if you have paid for the fastest service, bear in mind that transit times are never 100% guaranteed.
Weather, Customs or destination location challenges can always delay transportation and delivery and your money paid or lost contractor times will not by reimbursed. Before ordering, check the transit services offered with the seller, discuss a realistic delivery date and most importantly order with plenty of time to spare!
Do carriers call before small package deliveries?
The seller should offer a tracking number for your shipment which can be tracked online and you can find out when the actual delivery will occur. These types of carriers do not usually call before they deliver. Either way, make sure you offer the phone number you can best be reached at, at the time of ordering your product. This way if the driver runs into any problems they can reach you immediately and get further instructions.
Where on my property will the carrier deliver my package?
Most often courier deliveries will be made right to the door, porch or garage. Make sure you have a clear path for the truck and driver to manoeuver your package onto your property. Be aware what day your shipment will arrive and expect it to be at your door the day you come home.
How will it get off the carrier truck?
Many of us order items online and expect them to be ‘just delivered’. Unfortunately not every delivery is the same. When ordering your product check the ‘shipping/delivery’ and clarify the fine print. Even though your order is accepted and shipped, the driver may not be able to get it right to your front door.
The obligation to deliver can quickly end if they driver cannot even get onto your street. Keep your tracking number and the carrier’s phone number on hand and check with the shipping company if there are any restrictions if you don’t see your parcel at your door on the day of the delivery.
How do I check for damages?
Upon receiving, be sure to check all the address label and confirm that the shipment was truly intended for you. Count the parcels and make sure you received all the packages included with your shipment. Most often it will say Box 1 of something. Walk around the packages, check for corner damages, dents, rips and most of all are all the staples and tape still secured tightly to the package. Turn the package over and repeat.
Take pictures, make notes and copy down the tracking number. In case of damages, call the carrier, give them the tracking number on the boxes and advise them that you have found damages. Call the seller next and advise them of the same, offer them pictures and ask them what the next step is.
Who is responsible for damages?
That is a good question to ask when placing the order. Every carrier has a different shipping agreement and insurance values with the seller. A good seller will require the notification damage and take care of the claims process themselves. You should be sent replacement parts or a new product free of charge as you have done your due diligence.
You open your package and it is damaged
Now you have done your due diligence in receiving the product. You open it, excited to enjoy and realize the contents is damaged. Call the seller and tell them what happened. If it is a reputable company, they will do their utmost to rectify the situation.