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    Do not use Hermes Paketversand for packages delivery in Germany

    2nd September 2014

    Note: this is a rant. Unless you are specifically interested in the subject (keywords: delivery, hermes, failure, amazon), you should not read this.

    I buy a lot on – this is easy and convenient. Most of the time it also works good, with items arriving as promised or (mostly) earlier. Sometimes there are minor problems, but nothing worth remembering or mentioning. However, my latest order, “delivered” by Hermes Paketversand, was such a spectacular failure, that it deserves a blog post.

    My item was expected to arrive on Tuesday, the 5th of August. In the evening of that day we found an important message from Hermes in our mailbox, saying that We were unable to deliver your package, we come again tomorrow, on the 6th of August. Hmmm. That is strange. My wife was at home in the 1st half of the day, when Hermes, supposedly, was delivering my package (I learned about their delivery time later from delivery tracking page). This is what I would call a minor problem, not really an issue. Maybe, for some reason, the door bell wasn’t heard, and our delivery did not reach us. But it comes next day, right? Right?…

    There was absolutely nothing – not even a note – delivered in the following 4 days. On Saturday I started worrying. I checked Amazon package delivery status (detailed), which said that we have missed 3 (!) delivery attempts between 9:00 and 13:00 on August 5-7. I could have believed one miss, but three in a row, with my wife at home… that is extremely strange, to say the least. Anyway, I was ready to forgive this, as long as I get the package.

    Previous packages, when their delivery failed, were usually left at the nearest Paketshop (pickup place), which is about 7 minutes walking from where I live. There were absolutely no notes left about the whereabouts of my package, so I assumed it is in that Paketshop, and walked there. But the package was not there.

    I then explored the Hermes Paketversand website, and did find a form to ask about the location of the package. I had thoroughly, as I usually do, filled in the form, including my email and phone number. I have explained the absence of any notification about the package whereabouts, and asked to deliver the package to that Paketshop not far from me. I have never received any response to that form.

    To be extra safe, I also enabled Amazon‘s SMS notifications about delivery status changes. Never needed them before, but this was already a special case.

    After a day or two, I received an SMS from Amazon, saying that delivery requires my interaction to proceed. On the I was told that delivery failed and I need to contact Hermes to resolve the issue. Amazon does give the phone number. Interestingly, on the Hermes Paketversand website there are no phone numbers, only the (apparently ignored or dysfunctional) feedback form.

    The phone number costs up to 0.6 EUR to call from cell phone. I had already paid for shipping when ordering, so it is really surprising that I have to pay again to ask where the shiny paradise my package is.

    Anyway, it was a small gift for a friend, so I called and arranged the delivery to that Paketshop I like.

    I was already deeply unsatisfied with Hermes, but had this failure ended here, I would have never written this piece.

    On the 14th of August I get 2 SMSs from Amamzon saying that my package is ready to be picked up. “Hurray!”, I think. Next day was a holiday, so I planned the pickup for early Saturday. After getting the package I intended to have a haircut, and then depart for my vacations.

    The package was not there. Not in the Paketshop I was told it will arrive to, making a toll phone call.

    I had no choice other than to call Hermes again. (Hermes seems to enjoy leaving customers no choice.) This time, I was told that the package is in a different Paketshop. I kept, in vain, asking “But why is it in a different Paketshop?…”, only to be told again that I can take it there. In response to my complaint that I go on vacations today and, thus, may have no time to get the package, I was informed that the package will then be returned to the sender, and was suggested to print some proxy/trust form from Hermes website for someone else to get the package. Well, thanks! 2 hours before I leave, and I need to think about some stupid form, and where to print it, and who could get the package – all because of Hermes delivering the package to a wrong Paketshop.

    I ended up walking to that other Paketshop (~3km further from where I had already been) and getting the package.

    Obviously, I no longer had enough time for a haircut. I was also quite angry and destabilized – just what I needed before a day-long trip. Thanks, Hermes.

    I will be contacting Amazon and the specific shop to report this failure of Hermes, and to ask to never use Hermes for my deliveries.

    A friend of mine had similar experiences with Hermes, so I guess this is not a one in a thousand failure.

    I have three simple questions to Hermes, if it ever bothers to answer them:

    1. Why do I have to seek contact with Hermes to find my package? Why Hermes delivery left absolutely no notifications about the package whereabouts when it failed to deliver for the 3rd time?
    2. Why was there absolutely no response to my feedback form?
    3. Why was the package delivered to a different Paketshop? Why wasn’t I notified about the change?

    I have come to a conclusion never to use Hermes, even if the alternative is more expensive.

    I wish you timely and successful deliveries.


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