It is no secret that I am a massive fan of N26. I signed up to N26 black around a year ago and have used it as my primary bank account since. There have been some small issues but overall I have been very happy. A month ago I was in America for three weeks due to work and took an Uber to and from the office each day. I’d often also get UberEats delivery in the evening. Each time I would also tip the driver. The way Uber charges the tip comes up as a separate transaction. This meant each day I’d have 6 transactions from Uber. I didn’t think anything of it and my N26 Black Card was working perfectly.
I have always been a big fan of Parcel Motel from the beginning and would tend to defend them during the busy periods. I feel some people are unrealistic when they expect no delays during the Christmas rush, – as it is a locker system there is a finite number of parcels that can be stored in a motel at a time. With this in mind there are certain things Parcel Motel could consider doing to improve the experience.
If I was in charge I’d try to improve customer support during the busy periods. I seem to be in a minority but I find their customer support to be very good although it does slow down hugely during December. I’d also store multiple parcels for one person in the same locker, but still charge for two stays as you’re processing two parcels. There are times where I’ve gone to collect four parcels which would have fitted in one locker, but instead took up four. I’d also allow uses to select what days to accept deliveries to a motel. This would allow people who know they won’t be near a motel at the weekend to block weekends for deliveries. Their parcels would be held until Monday opening up space for other customers. I know there would be a lot of logistics and processes would need to be put in place for this to work – and now is the time to start thinking about it when you have almost a full year for development and testing before the next big rush.
I’ve always been a bit surprised with just how expensive sending a one off parcel is with An Post at a post office. To post a 20KG parcel within Ireland costs €30.50, to the UK costs €61.50 and the rest of the world costs €82 for their Standard Parcel Service. I understand that this is for a one off parcel and if you are posting in bulk you will get significant discounts. However, what always struck me as strange is that An Post allows you to send a parcel under 10KG anywhere in Ireland for €13 (previously it was €11) by Express Post. What is annoying is that you need to ring them to order it and the parcel is collected from your address. I’d find it much more convenient to drop it off at a post office, but they said this wasn’t possible.
I’ve been a fan of Parcel Motel since the very beginning. As I buy online a lot, I find the UK delivery address very handy. I also like the fact that it is a locker based system, which means I can collect at any time fo the day. Unfortunately, the locker based system has its drawbacks – there is a finite number of lockers in each Parcel Motel. To make the situation worse, Parcel Motel have recently closed my closest Motel. My closest Motel now is twice as far away.
It is well documented that Parcel Motel (and pretty much all courier services) get overwhelmed during Black Friday and the run up to Christmas. Parcel Motel in particular is vulnerable due to the limited capacity. They have tried to stay on top of the Christmas rush this year by opening up a ‘pop-up’ collection point in Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club. I received an email early November announcing this location and encouraging me to switch. However, it is quite out of the way for me so I decided not to.
Parcel Motel allows you to return items to a whole bunch of retailers. Some of these retailers are actually couriers including Royal Mail, Collect+ and Hermes. A lot of online shops in the UK will provide a prepaid label to allow you to return the item free of charge. However, often this label is only valid within the UK. So with Parcel Motel return service, you drop off the parcel at a Parcel Motel, they collect it and bring it up to Northern Ireland where it is handed over to the courier. It is extremely good value starting at €3.50
When using this service you need to put two labels on the parcel. One is a Parcel Motel label which is used to tell Parcel Motel where to drop of the parcel, the second is the prepaid label provided by the retailer. Recently I reviewed returning with Collect+ and Parcel Motel and I found it to be very good. However, Hermes was another story.