Just as I thought that I’d never get to deal with PHLPost again, it turned out that they’re the culprit to my latest debacle.
Just a few days ago, I received a parcel from abroad. It was delivered by a postman. Apparently, because of the new rounds of lockdown, they took the initiative of delivering the packages they received instead of asking recipients to pick them up. This may sound strange to those who haven’t tried receiving anything from abroad to the Philippines via regular mail—postal services should deliver your mail to you, right? In the Philippines, that’s not the case. The nearest post office will receive those packages and they will mail you a notice to pick them up. They will then scrutinize your package to figure out how much duties they will charge you. That means you will not have any privacy with your items and you’re at the mercy of their assessor on how much extra fees you’ll pay. The last one I received costed me an extra 58% of the items purchase price. Even donations (which are realistically free) would be charged duties to be paid for by the recipient. They won’t be able to claim them until these duties are paid so if you’ll send donations to the Philippines, don’t use our postal services.
While I was thankful of their initiative, I realized that they actually didn’t do their obligation in the first place. They never sent me a notice that I had a package to pick up so how would I know? And when I looked at the date they received it (stamped on the package), it was dated October 15, 2020. Unbelievable! They received it five months ago and never sent out a notice! And the content—my finisher’s entitlement from last year’s Star Wars Virtual Run. The same one that I thought the organizers never sent because they didn’t say verbatim that they sent the entitlements. It was then that I realized how costly it was for the organizers to resend the entitlements via a different courier because I did not receive it after months of waiting. It must’ve been a painful lesson for them how not to send packages to the Philippines. And with so many participants from this country, I’m sure that this wasn’t an isolated case. I’d think that they won’t bother using the Philippines’ postal services again!
I’m not sure if the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) is a for-profit organization but they’re definitely burning bridges with potential future clients. Me as a recipient, I swear that I’d never use them again to get items from abroad: their charges are exorbitant, you have to pick them up yourself from the post office (imagine if its something big or heavy), and they’re not reliable when sending out these notices, if they send them at all. I’ve heard first-hand accounts of lost packages sent through them. And now, because of the numerous undelivered items sent through them by this Singapore-based event organizer, they’ll probably save their trust elsewhere.
For what it’s worth, this is not a story to shame PHLPost—on the contrary, I’d like them to realize the gaps in their processes to encourage use of their services. With my consistently dreadful experience with them, I hope they’ll be able to formulate process improvements. Some of the things that I can suggest is more transparency on how the duties are computed—if the formula is publicized (like how our salaries are taxed) then we’d know beforehand how much duties we’re expected to pay. Another one is the urgency to send the notice to claim—they never sent me any notice in the more than five months they have the package in their possession. But I really do appreciate that they delivered my package home even if it took almost half a year.
To LIV3LY, I do apologize that I did not believe you sent the entitlements the first time and you had to incur extra costs to send them by trusting our postal services. Thank you for resending another set when I followed up and for using a much speedier courier that delivered them to my door in days.