Friday, 24 August 2007

Sending Document or Letter Home

by Hakeem Babalola
It is quite reasonable to suppose that everyone knows the importance of a document or a letter. Although the computer has supplanted the act of sending letters to loved ones by post, sending document and other customised solutions still remain life, breath, or spirit that can never be replaced by the computer. Document is so essential that postal across the world have special delivery system which means quick and secure delivery. In turn, they charge exorbitant prices for such services.

Leading among these postal services are DHL, UPS, and EMS. DHL derives its name from the first letters of the last names of the three company founders – Dalsey, Hillblom, Lynn. It was founded in 1969 just months after the world had marvelled at Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. The Deutshe Post world and UNICEF have launched a global partnership under the motto "We deliver help." UPS was founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States of America. EMS was launched by China Courier Service Corporation in 1980. Its motto: Your Satisfaction, Our Pursuit.

I have decided to produce the above short information in order to show that the aim of postal services is people’s satisfaction. It is obvious that quick delivery and safety are paramount to the success of this business. It seems to me that customers’ trust must never wane in this regard otherwise a map of alternative would be sought. Across the world, people use the services of these quick delivery system because they distrust the normal Postal Service which is slow and unsafe in some circumstances.

Here in Hungary, I normally use EMS because it seems to be the least expensive out of the three. But I have been disappointed each time. In 2004 I sent a document to my fiancee then. I was given assurance the addressee would get the document in three days. We decided to allow one day extra for unforeseen circumstances, so on the fourth day the addressee went to Shomolu Post Office to collect the document. It was not there and nobody cared to trace the location of the document, which she needed the following day. EMS Hungary apologised and even ready to compensate us but only if its Nigerian counterpart would forward the details. Till today my people never forwarded the details.

If I had option, I would have stopped using EMS. But since DHL and UPS are twice as expensive, I am forced to stuck with its shortcomings. However, this time around I must find out where the problem lies. I must know which branch of the EMS is slow and unreliable: Nigeria or Hungary. Before I embarked on this investigation, my wife had already prejudged the issue. She knew who the culprit would eventually be and she didn’t hide her strong views.

So on August 15 I sent a document to Lagos, Nigeria from Budapest, Hungary. The forwarding fee costs 8840 HUF (47 US dollars), seven times normal postal charge. As usual, I was assured the addressee would receive the document in three days. I winked and asked, "What if it’s more than three days?"
"Then you must call our customer service".

To cut the long story short, the addressee did not receive the document in three days as promised. I was not furious for I knew it was impossible to deliver it in three days, after all, it was not the first time. But as mentioned earlier, I was determined to know why they always chew three days instead of eight or 9 days which is the usual delivery time to the addressee in Nigeria.

Meanwhile we had asked my mother-in-law to send a document from Nigeria by the same EMS. She was told the addressee would receive it in three days. Behold we received it in three days. We were as happy as we were surprised. EMS staff in Nigeria must be apt at their job than their Hungarian counterparts, I challenged my wife who had thought otherwise. See, EMS staff in Nigeria promised three days and it’s three days. I was really proud. I wanted to tell the world. But thank God I didn’t for I would have made an ass of myself.

This is the fact of the situation. The document we sent from Hungary on August 15 actually reached Shomolu Post Office, Lagos, Nigeria on August 18. Exactly three days as promised by EMS staff in Hungary. However, the EMS staff in Nigeria did not contact the addressee until August 23 – five days after. I was ashamed to know eventually that the problem does not lie with the Hungarian EMS but with the Nigerian EMS. How could I vouch for my people.

No comments: