Courier service a lifeline in time of enforced isolation

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

It cannot be denied that the courier service has become a vital connector for Malaysians in a time of enforced isolation due to COVID-19 and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

It has become a lifeline especially to those celebrating Aidilfitri who are living apart from family and cannot balik kampung (return home) because of the government’s interstate travel ban, and instead await a special Hari Raya delivery.

A higher parcel volume would have therefore been expected yet people still kept patronising courier services and ended up feeling dissatisfied when expectations were not met and parcels were delivered late.

In view of the situation, GD Express Sdn Bhd (GDEX) chief executive officer, Caren Chong Hui Chuen, posted a ‘reminder’ on the company’s website on May 8 to tell clients that there would be a peak period delivery delay starting May 18.

She said that the courier’s parcel pick-up service would operate as normal, but that delivery to locations throughout Malaysia would take a longer time.

With the holiday period now over, we can see delivery vehicles zipping around to ensure that parcels reach their destination promptly and clients’ expectations are met again.

City-Link Express put out a similar notice on May 20 to alert clients of the very high parcel volume because of the CMCO and long stretch of public holidays.

Their message to customers read: “However, we are still committed to providing service to the best of our ability. Thank you for your patience and continuous support. We will do our very best to have your shipments delivered as soon as we can.”

Pos Malaysia Bhd, too, told people to post their parcels preferably before May 18 so that they will reach their intended recipient before Hari Raya.

A City-Link Express employee who only wanted to be known as Danny told Bernama, however, that almost 80 per cent of the parcels sent through the company’s Jenjarom branch reached their destination at the peak of Aidilfitri.

“We expect the rest to be sent out by this week. Clients should understand that their items have not gone missing or astray, but because there are damaged items, they need to be returned to the seller for a replacement.

“The damage is because the shipper has defiantly sent a prohibited item, like glass, so clients shouldn’t get mad that the courier service is slow, inefficient and so on. There are actually a lot of challenges to deal with to ensure a damage-free delivery,” Danny said.

Line Clear Express & Logistics Sdn Bhd client, Suziela Che Mat, said she sent a box containing food and kuih Raya to her husband who was unable to be together with her because of the travel ban.

“I sent it on May 8 from Ampang (Selangor) and it reached him in Butterworth (Penang) on May 12. That’s fast and I’m happy it reached before Aidilfitri. At least it can help reduce his feelings of homesickness,” she said.

But many have not been as lucky as Suziela, and based on the comments on social media, dissatisfaction with the courier service is evident.

Many, too, left the parcel tracking number for the courier company social media manager to update them with a parcel delivery status, which was duly performed.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA) president, Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason, said the public should pick a company they can trust and practise patience at peak periods like the festive season.

“We’ve received complaints almost every day and we’ve found that people are using less popular courier services because they are cheaper and so on.

“Just go for a reliable courier service. We’ve received almost 100 to 200 complaints per month, but what about those that go unreported,” he said.

While recourse is available through the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia (TTPM)Dr Marimuthu recommends people use a courier company that has a proper parcel tracking system and “avoid patronising the less popular and cheaper services”.