Quite a while back, I placed an order for the iPad 2 on the Apple store. It shipped on the 17th of May.

Unfortunately, it did not arrive on time. As you can see below, the DHL tracking results. Basically, the problem lay with our stupid Malaysian customs and perhaps DHL. As a company that focuses on global logistics, the delay in customs is unacceptable. I wouldn’t have cared much if it was delayed a day or two. To spend seven days in customs is unacceptable. Corruption issues aside, I think a company like Apple would partner with DHL to provide shipping for their online stores because of certain service levels and proven track record in managing the complexity of global trade. Looks like a big fail here.

May 24, 2011 13:41 Kul – KUL Arrived at delivery facility – Kul – KUL
May 23, 2011 21:38 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 22, 2011 20:23 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 21, 2011 22:08 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 20, 2011 22:03 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 19, 2011 21:26 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 18, 2011 21:19 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 20:28 Szb – SZB Clearance delay – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 09:26 Szb – SZB Processed for clearance – Szb – SZB
May 17, 2011 01:02 Szx – SZX Departed from facility – Szx – SZX

No point in dwelling on the failure of DHL here but the key take away from this is that if you have a online business dealing with products, the delivery is as important as the rest of your business. My experience shopping at the Apple store is now poor due to this delivery delay!

However, I’ve some good news. I’ve never talked to a more sincere, upbeat and concerned contact center staff as I talked to Apple this morning. He came across as sympathetic but not condescending. I felt assured and he promised to follow up. I don’t think he knew that customs would clear it but still I felt better and I got a free iPad dock to boot. Would I buy from Apple store again, probably. Hopefully they sort DHL out quick!

Update 6:20pm : Apple actually called me up to say that DHL has delivered my iPad 2! Now that’s GREAT customer service!

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