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Aria cancels City Link for poor service – appoints DPD

Online shopping is all about fulfillment. While you might spend time researching your purchase – from the time you hand over your credit card information, all you care about is getting satisfaction. One of the UK’s most popular online resellers has spoken with KitGuru about its decision to upgrade from City Link to DPD.

The UK has the oldest functioning post office – one that’s been serving customers for over 300 years. In other words, it was delivering letters 50 years before the United States existed. We might be a nation of shop keepers, but we’re also a nation of delivers.

Which means that we’re equally experienced as receivers. And the online shoppers are the ones with the strongest opinion about what makes a good courier. Search Google for City Link Problem and you will get back over 830,000 results. Sure, they are not all going to be ‘specific problems with City Link’, but the most popular entries do include a lot of ‘customers venting their anger at the courier’ type language.

Thomas Rawes is the marketing guru up at Aria and and he explained some of the issues that led his company to cancelling City Link as a supplier.

“It’s not something we take lightly”, he explained. “This business is all about customer satisfaction and City Link was a huge hindrance to our business”.

Thomas illustrated the point, “Back in December, everyone saw the comedian Chris Higson’s rant on Twitter where he said ‘Cannot wait to see my son’s face at Christmas when he unwraps his gift only to find a note from City Link saying ‘We lost your present, get over it'”.

What about Aria’s specific problems with City Link? Why the decision to move to DPD?

“It’s a huge game of postcode lottery”, said Thomas. “City Link have let us down almost every day and in return we get jack from them when something goes wrong. They always leave us to take the flack from our customers, who are often left in the dark by City Link”.

“As such, Wednesday 13th March saw our last ever shipment by City Link – despite having worked with them for seven years”, Thomas told KitGuru. “From tomorrow morning, Aria will officially be using DPD, and DPD only for parcel delivery”.

“DPD not only offer services which allow delivery to be tied down to specific times, they also have excellent overall corporate ethics – including a commitment to being a carbon-free organisation”, said Thomas.

DPD is one of the leading time-sensitive courier services and, according to their site, they are able to deliver anywhere in the world.

“It’s not just the sense of trust that we feel for DPD as an organisation”, said Thomas. “It’s the fact that they have all of the SMS and email alert systems in place to keep customers informed. That will be a huge benefit to us. We can’t wait to make the change”.

If DPD carries on casting a giant shadow over City Link with customers like Aria - can the green and yellow company survive?

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DPD began life in the UK in 1970 as Courier Express, changing its name to Parceline in 1984. La Poste bought the company in 2000 and in 2008, Parceline became known as DPD. La Poste has invested substantially in DPD’s infrastructure and in 2008 a new 27 acre superhub was opened at Oldbury in the West Midlands. DPD has a sister company in the UK, Interlink Express, a franchised network that focuses on express parcel services for SMEs.

KitGuru says: If City Link reads this, then maybe it will help them evaluate their service and think about how they must evolve, as an organisation, to compete in the 21st century. Not every City Link customer will feel like killing themselves, but a quick look at Google shows just how many times they have failed badly. School report? Must try much, much harder.

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