United Breaks Guitars; DHL mangles packages

On December 6, 2010, I took a mailing tube containing three posters to a post office in downtown Berlin, paid €13,90, and was assured my package would arrive by Christmas. It arrived today.

Now I expect Germans to be efficient. My wife is German. We’ve lived in Germany. I drive a German car. But next time I have to mail something from Germany, I will go to France or Italy to do it.

Not only was my shipment two and a half months late, the mailing tube was crushed on both ends. The sturdy package had been twisted until it split at the seams.

DHL disaster

DHL disaster DHL disaster

If this were an isolated case, I’d chalk it up to “stuff happens.” However, this is the third shipment I’ve sent via DHL. In each case, packages have arrived way after they were supposed to and were damaged (See DHL.)

DHL does not answer email inquiries. (The previous time I tried to reach them, I was asked for my shipment number. I put in the number from my DHL receipt. It was rejected. No other way to get in.)

If anyone has connections at the Deutsche Bundespost, send them a a link to this post and a copy of the Cluetrain Manifesto for me. Customers have a voice now. Bureaucracies that don’t listen are not long for this world. One of my wife’s uncles worked for the Bundespost; he’s probably rolling in his grave.