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Today, I made a mistake with DHL. I believed in common sense

Posted in News

Today, I had a meeting at Adukrom to attend. I needed to be there by 9 am. That was the initial blueprint plan. A package that was scheduled to arrive on Friday, finally came in the following week’s Tuesday.

At this point, the 9 am meeting had turned to ‘beans’. Fortunately, I asked for pushing ahead to 12 pm, with the goal that, when the package is delivered in the morning, I prep, then embark on my 1 hour journey to Adukrom.

Now, listen to this and judge. If any of this makes sense, kindly enlighten me.

By default, my package was supposed to be delivered by DHL. They have this ‘door-to-door’ delivery. I’ve enjoyed this service many times. However, for today, instead of having the delivery person pull up to my spot, I said to myself, ‘Well, lemme just go grab the package from the office. That way, it’s faster and everybody wins. I get my package immediately, and delivery person wouldn’t need to drive/ride all the way to my place.’

In the morning, this thought made sense, and seemed like a no brainer. By 3 pm in the day, and looking back, I realized how dumb I was. Playing by common sense these days is a hard bargain.

I gave DHL Ghana a quick call in the morning, just a few minutes after 8 am. My request? Please don’t give my package to the delivery person, because I’m on my way to pick it up myself.

This conversation was a double confirmation that my package is in, scanned, and ready to deliver. It’s possible to have your package all indicating as arrived and ready to be delivered, yet to get you outta their hairs, they don’t mind bouncing you around their various offices.

As smart as they are, all their offices in Accra are indicated as “Accra, Ghana” (which I believe it’s deliberately done), therefore, if a package moves from Airport to Annex/Headoffice, all you see on the system is something like, ‘moved from Accra Ghana to Accra Ghana’. Absolute Nonsense!

Well, my first mistake, I didn’t ask ‘where’ DHL office I should go. I made a stop at the Accra Airport DHL. I was redirected to the Head Office, and here I thought the airport one was the head office. My naiveness can be immeasurable sometimes!

The redirection was the most painful part. But because of covid, you know the drill. You wash your hands, sanitize and all, only to be told you’re at the wrong place.

At the headoffice, same experience. I wash my hands, sit for about 10 minutes, only to be told, I’m at the headoffice annex. Oops! Hand washing go brrrrr

Finally at the DHL headoffice headoffice, like the real headoffice, that’s where I waste 3 hours straight for absolutely no reason.

I walked in, hoping my package, that was almost put on a truck or motorbike to be delivered to me, was, perhaps left at the front desk or somewhere easy to access, because like I told them, I’m on my way to pick it up.

Common sense! I believed in common sense. I spent 3 hours.

You spend time and energy and resources delivering packages. Once in a while, a customer wants to rush in to pick up their package, saving you, I repeat, your time, energy and resources. Yet, DHL made an absolute fool of me.

They spelled, right to my face, through their actions and how the day played out, exactly how dumb I was. I do not remember the last time I’ve felt so stupid.

Me, wanting to simplify the entire process, ended up spending 3 hours at DHL Headoffice, to pick up a package, that was almost put up on.

After multiple calls to the Customer Care, I was fortunate enough to have 1 good samaritan by name, Jaina (?) actually take the initiative to go to Operations whatever, according to her, to ask another one named Aaron, to look for my package.

Now, that took about 30 minutes too. That’s the last minutes leading to the culmination!

It was an absolute nightmare, one that baffled me, and I still can’t seem to process, because it overwhelms my brain cells anytime it comes to mind.

Remember, without my multiple phone calls, there was absolutely no clear cut resolution to my problem. Did I even have a problem? I only wanted my package.

I left DHL office, re-evaluating my sanity, and wondering if something was wrong with me. How do I end up punished, as well as my time wasted, for trying to simplify and speed up a process?

Not the first, and likely not the last

Last year, I had a similar experience, this time with FedEx. In comparison to this from DHL, maybe this DHL experience was “better”.

Long story short, I spent 2 days at FedEx HQ here in Accra before I could see how much I need to pay to clear my package at Customs.

Juxtapose with my experience in Kenya, where I paid for my customs duty in the night, on my bed, using Mpesa. The folks here in Ghana wasted 2 days of my life, before they showed me how much I was supposed to pay.

Guess why? Because I wanted to go by the book. Going by the book (or in this case, computer) means your package is captured on the system, and thus, how much to pay is automatically generated. Any package/product entered onto the system means, there can’t be any corners cut.

The system captures it, it needs to be accounted. Fair. Except for those of us who wish to go through the system, which I’d imagine is the ‘right’ thing to do, end up being penalized.

‘Backdoor’ claims were happening every now and then, yet I could not have my package looked at. Many I had gone to queue earlier than, through ‘backdoor’, got their package released, bargained and off.

Come to think of it. You are presented with 2 options of claiming your package, and you are asked by the agents. Depending on the path you choose, determines how much your time will be wasted.

Choose backdoor, and you’ll be out in no time. Mr. or Mrs Righteous who wants to go by the book? Duh! You’ll sleep there!

In case you’re wondering, ‘backdoor’ approach allows some coins into the pockets of some at the customs. Which means, having everybody go by the book can be ‘bad for business’.

To discourage the use of the system, which is ‘bad for business’, persons who opt to go by the ‘book’ have their time immensely wasted. Wasted to the point to hopefully force their hands to go the ‘backdoor’ route.

Remember, switching to backdoor will get your package checked and released in the shortest time possible, because why not. The more backdoors, the better for pockets.

After everything, I was ‘advised’ by someone to come see him whenever I come back to claim a package. You know what that means, aight?


I never imagined trying to streamline and simplify a process would cost me 3 hours of my time.