Bad Godesberg Senior citizen Rita Fricke likes to shop online, after all, she then gets the packages delivered directly to her home - theoretically. But lately, only notification slips land in her mailbox, even though she is at home.
Rita Fricke is annoyed. Once again, she has found a pick-up note in her mailbox from Deutsche Post DHL asking her to collect her book package at the headquarters on Koblenzer Straße. "Yet I was definitely at home at the two times indicated on the card," says the 84-year-old. Fricke lives in a Pennenfeld apartment building. She understands that there is an enormous amount of work for overworked parcel carriers during the pandemic, she says. And that it is no joy to scramble up the two floors to her house with parcels. Unfortunately, the house has no elevator and no intercom.
But the old lady says she has had to pick up her parcel post herself at the Godesberg headquarters half a dozen times in recent months. "And there was a line of customers outside all the way to the dm store," Fricke says. She is afraid of that. Several neighbours in the building had the same experience.
They, too, were given collection cards, even though they claimed to have been at home at the time of the delivery appointments. And then a resident observed that a DHL messenger did not even drive up with the goods, but by bicycle, in order to insert collection cards. Fricke reports that she then complained to the DHL service center. The result: DHL employees asked for understanding in difficult Corona times.
Parcel carrier must attempt delivery
Achim Gahr, director of the DHL press office in Duesseldorf, promises on GA inquiry to examine the case in the Pennenfelder multi-family house in detail. For this purpose, the head of the parcel carriers on site in Bad Godesberg is involved, he said. "We take the complaint seriously and apologize should it be justified," said Gahr. In any case, he said, the employees' job is to deliver parcels and packages properly and only to notify the customer by pickup card if he or she cannot be found. Parcel delivery staff receive regular training. Regarding the observation that the parcel carrier may have arrived by bicycle, Gahr assumes that it could be a case of mistaken identity. The resident probably saw the letter carrier, who also delivers small-format items.
The Bonn consumer center is not aware of any cases in the city area where deliverers insert only pick-up cards. "This would undoubtedly mean that the messengers would violate work regulations," explains advisor Yvonne Schürmann. She added that it was known that deliverymen in the pandemic tried to avoid direct customer contact and therefore left their deliveries at the entrance of apartment buildings. "If they inform the customers directly, that's fine," Schürmann shows understanding. In the case of complaints, Schürmann advises informing not only the delivering company but also the Federal Network Agency, which checks compliance with the legal requirements for postal delivery, and the Bonn Consumer Center.
The Federal Network Agency, on the other hand, states on its website that the parcel carrier must attempt delivery at the address of the recipient unless the sender or recipient has given instructions to the contrary. If the delivery person does not ring the customer's doorbell and only leaves a notification card, the customer should contact the postal company. "This is the only way the company will be notified promptly and have the opportunity to help you with your specific concern." In the case of persistent deficiencies, he said, one should submit the incidents to the Federal Network Agency, which would request the respective postal company to remedy existing deficiencies in a timely manner.
Original text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu
Translation: Mareike Graepel