The last of the main stream UK mail forwarding addresses that I haven’t reviewed is Parcel Connect offered by Fastway. This review is out of date as the last time I used the service was in April 2015.
Parcel Connect allows you to send and return items, as well as receive parcels to various shops offering Payzone services. There are 1017 locations in Ireland which is a lot – far more than Parcel Motel. This post will review just the receiving side of things using their UK Virtual Address. In my experience, once the parcel is received in their Northern Ireland depot it will be ready for collection the next working day at your chosen location. Once it is ready for collection you are sent a 4 digit pin via email to use to collect the parcel.
The service costs €4.50 and the maximum weight is 20KG. They don’t advertise a maximum parcel size for their UK Virtual Address service that I can see. Their maximum length for the send service is 1.5m so I presume this is the same. I received a 39″ TV via Parcel Connect and it arrived for the fee of €4.50. They do not mention anything about oversized fees on their website. In fact, there is very little information about their UK Virtual Address service there. This is one area that they really let themselves down on.
The main issue I experienced was the staff at the shop had no idea what was happening. I am not sure if this is a Fastway/Parcel Connect or a Payzone issue. Either way, I hope it has been fixed by now. The first time I arrived in the shop I explained I was to pick up a parcel and gave them the 4 digit code. They said they had no idea what I was talking about. I kept trying to explain the service, and described the parcel was a large TV. She then took me down to the basement and there was my TV. The lady said she thought it was for her. Eventually after showing her my name and mobile number on the label she gave me the TV and sent me on my way. It was only when I got home I realised I never paid. I returned to the store the next day with the label. It turned out they had been in touch with Fastway and now knew how everything worked and took the payment. I then received 5-10 other parcels without issue. It appears from boards.ie I was by no means the only person to experience this issue.
I have always found with couriers and similar services, it all comes down to your local one. Once the shop worked out what to do they were very efficient and friendly. However, there are reports of shops losing and damaging parcels on boards.ie
I really think Parcel Connect should be a lot bigger and popular than it is. It is much quicker than Address Pal and has more collection points than Parcel Motel. They have done some good work on their website, it used to be awful but they need to explain the UK Virtual Address better especially when it comes to oversized parcels. If they have sorted out the issues with the shops not knowing what to do, I can see myself moving to Parcel Connect over the Christmas when Parcel Motels can sometimes get full. I may have to do another order soon….