What can, must and shouldn’t be done by a courier when delivering or picking up a parcel?

Couriers work under time pressure. They are held accountable for the speed of delivery and the number of shipments delivered within a specified time. Living on the run and under constant stress means that they are not always a perfect model of self-control and impeccable manners. Also there is plenty of “difficult people” among customers who are claim-oriented or eager to blame couriers for any problems. Mutual contacts would be much easier if customers knew what duties and rights couriers have. Find out what couriers are obliged to do and what is just from their own goodwill.

It is worth knowing what couriers should do because they are not going to present their rights to the customer. More importantly – there is no such obligation.

Remember: time is everything

The couriers’ reluctance to chit-chat is not due to their manners. The reason is simple and always the same: each talk means time not spent on delivery of the next package. Minor slips can add hours to the working day, which in the case of couriers almost always lasts over 8 hours.

That is why couriers do their best to spend the shortest time possible at the customer’s premises. And they consistently refuse to perform activities that are beyond their obligation.

Do not confuse the courier with a porter

Couriers do not carry heavy packages, unless such service has been ordered and paid for. The courier may refuse to carry a parcel above the standard weight (so-called sortable parcel), i.e. in most cases about 30 kg. Only packages below this weight limit are delivered in a door-to-door system, which means that the courier will place them by your door – even if you live on the 10th floor. Except for a block of flats with no lift. In this case, the couriers can ask for help or tell you that they are not going to carry the package  – even to the 1st or 2nd floor. And by no means is this their bad will – on the contrary, they may be afraid that safe delivery of a shipment weighing about 20-30 kg to your door is not possible.

When ordering goods on pallets, e.g. bathroom fittings, furniture or large electronic equipment and household appliances, you should take into account that the board-to-board service will work. This means that the courier will deliver the parcel as close to the destination as the delivery van can get. After unloading, the parcel is left at your disposal.

When you cannot cope alone carrying your package, and the courier is not exactly altruistic, you may always try offering a small tip for assistance in unloading and carrying the goods. However, you should assume the possibility that the courier will refuse, even when offered a generous payment. Couriers have every right to do so.

Waiting and looking at the door for three days? No way!

The courier is not obliged to wait and may simply leave if the customer is not at the delivery address. It is the customer’s responsibility to submit such a time and place of delivery as to make it efficient.

There is no point in finding excuses, for example that the courier arrived too early, that you left for shopping only for 5 minutes or you didn’t hear a knock on the door.  Couriers do not have to wait and so they do not. The courier will try to deliver the next day or you will have to go to the parcel depot and pick up your parcel – it depends on the terms of service of a courier company. The majority of problems are solved by the parcel tracking system which keeps on informing you about the status of your delivery.

The courier does not have to wait for us to unpack the package and check the condition of the goods. Unless the packaging is damaged or shows signs of repair (e.g. tape repair of torn cardboard). Then you have the right to ask the courier to wait until you inspect the goods inside the package. If it turns out that they are damaged, you can ask the courier to draw up a damage report (“How to collect the package from the courier?).

I will not call you

Not everyone knows and some may not like it, but the courier is not obliged to call the customer. So notification of the estimated delivery time, although not an obligation, is often chosen as the strategy of a specific company or courier. Most couriers avoid talking to customers so as not to waste time, while others believe calling customers enables easier and, therefore, faster delivery. So in different ways everyone is aiming at saving precious minutes and hours.

Respecting both your own time and that of couriers helps to avoid most misunderstandings, sometimes so banal as a problem with change. If you selected cash on delivery, you should have the exact amount of money or payment card to hand if such payment method is accepted by the courier company. Couriers are not obliged to give you change or wait for you to run to the nearest shop to change money or borrow from your neighbour, or to recall the PIN for your card. If you respect me, I will respect you and you will be served professionally.