Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a medium-sized European city with around one million people residing within the city limits. The quality of life is great and postal services, on average, work quite well. Both international and domestic package delivery times here are, in my opinion, acceptable - the package within the country normally takes 2-3 business days to reach me, EU delivery times are not much longer and for overseas packages it varies.
When it comes to the last mile delivery, the most common scenarios are:
- Delivery to a pick-up point. Delivery companies usually partner up with supermarkets and convenience stores and you fetch your packages at the same place where you'd buy groceries or tobacco. Postnord and DB Schenker most often do this.
- Actual home delivery with a courier arriving at your house/apartment and handing over the package. DHL and UPS are some examples.
- Home delivery but with a fallback to a pick-up point in case of a failed delivery. This is what Postnord does sometimes.
Pick-up points work well in my experience, they are densely located in the city, the closest one for me is at a local supermarket less than five minutes walk distance. The procedure there is painless and involves showing ID or authenticating using mobile BankID.
Now the problem I have is with how home delivery is handled: the courier basically shows up at your door at a date which you may or may not know in advance and rings the door phone. Now, if you don't know the date, chances are you're at work, so naturally you get a message about a failed delivery attempt and, of course, they only make one delivery attempt per day and it's not possible to get it delivered to another address instead.
To be fair, UPS allows some control over the date and final destination, however, you only get one attempt a day and their one and only pick-up point is about 50 minutes away from the city centre, which, by Stockholm measures, is extremely far.
Home delivery with Postnord is fun too. Say that you are at home, fully aware of the upcoming package arrival and waiting impatiently. It turns out, the driver may decide not to be bothered with calling the door at all. The message is in Swedish but you can get the gist from the pictures; the note goes something like "Hey post, I'm home, just call", the driver, clearly, does not even leave the car, and the SMS is a failed delivery attempt notification saying that the package will be at the pick-up point the next work day after 4 pm.
Here's a story on another candidate for the Postnord's employee of the month award, sadly with no photos.
DHL is not much better in this regard, just last week my wife stayed at home to receive a parcel she was waiting for, and the postman did ring the door, except he gave up after approximately 15 seconds. That time the driver actually came back the same day, after she called customer service and complained. This is still very not OK.
When experiencing poor service, it's sometimes easier to go elsewhere than to argue for improvements. Unfortunately, with delivery services, the end customer often doesn't have a choice.
Swedish delivery companies, if you are reading this: call your customers on the phone when attempting a home delivery. Call them before to save yourselves a trip. Call them on the spot to get ahold of the recipient. Stop being incompetent fucks, all the parties will benefit from that.
While we're on this topic, I don't want a fucking paper notice about a delivery attempt in my mailbox. Definitely not when you have both my email and mobile phone number.