Sending Document Home

It is quite reasonable to suppose that everyone knows the importance of a document or a letter. Although the computer has supplanted the act of sending letters to loved ones by post, sending document and other customised solutions still remain life, breath, or spirit that can never be replaced by the computer. Document is so essential that postal across the world have special delivery system which means quick and secure delivery. In turn, they charge exorbitant prices for such services.

 Leading among these postal services are DHL, UPS, and EMS. DHL derives its name from the first letters of the last names of the three company founders ÔÇô Dalsey, Hillblom, Lynn. It was founded in 1969 just months after the world had marvelled at Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon. The Deutshe Post world and UNICEF have launched a global partnership under the motto "We deliver help." UPS was founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States of America. EMS was launched by China Courier Service Corporation in 1980. Its motto: Your Satisfaction, Our Pursuit.

I have decided to produce the above short information in order to show that the aim of postal services is people's satisfaction. It is obvious that quick delivery and safety are paramount to the success of this business. It seems to me that customers' trust must never wane in this regard otherwise a map of alternative would be sought. Across the world, people use the services of quick delivery system because they distrust the normal Postal Service which is slow and unsafe in some circumstances.

Here in Hungary, I normally use EMS because it seems to be the least expensive out of the three. But I have been disappointed each time. In 2004 I sent a document to my fiancee who was in Nigeria then. I was given assurance the addressee would get the document in three days. We decided to allow one day extra for unforeseen circumstances, so on the fourth day the addressee went to Shomolu Post Office, Lagos, to collect the document. It was not there and nobody cared to trace the exact location of the document, which was needed the following day.

EMS Hungary apologised and even ready to compensate us but only if its Nigerian counterpart would forward the details. Till today my people never forwarded the details to the branch in Hungary for administration purposes to enable the refund. If I had the option, I would have stopped using EMS.

But since DHL and UPS are twice as expensive, I am forced to stuck with its shortcomings. However, this time around I must find out where the problem lies. I must know which branch of the EMS is slow and unreliable: Nigeria or Hungary. Before I embarked on this, my wife had already prejudged the issue. She knew who the culprit would eventually be and she didn't hide her strong views.

So on August 15 I sent a document to Lagos, Nigeria from Budapest, Hungary. The forwarding fee costs 8840 HUF (47 US dollars), seven times normal postal charge. As usual, I was given the assurance that the addressee would receive the document in three days. I winked and asked, "What if it's more than three days?"

"Then you must call our customer service".

To cut the long story short, the addressee did not receive the document in three days as promised. I was not furious for I knew it was impossible to deliver it in three days, after all, it was not the first time. But as mentioned earlier, I was determined to know why they always chew three days instead of eight or 9 days which is the usual delivery time to the addressee in Nigeria.

Meanwhile we had asked my mother-in-law to send a document from Nigeria by the same EMS. Its Nigerian staff also gave assurance that the addressee would receive it in three days. Behold we received it in three days. We were as happy as we were surprised. EMS staff in Nigeria must be apt at their job than their Hungarian counterparts, I challenged my wife who had thought otherwise. See, EMS staff in Nigeria promised three days and it's three days. I was really proud. I wanted to tell the world. But thank God I didn't for I would have made an ass of myself.

This is the fact of the situation. The document we sent from Hungary on August 15 actually reached Shomolu Post Office, Lagos, Nigeria on August 18. Exactly three days as promised by EMS staff in Hungary. However, the EMS staff in Nigeria did not contact the addressee until August 23 ÔÇô five days after. I was ashamed, even sad to know eventually that the problem does not lie with the Hungarian EMS but with the Nigerian EMS. How could I vouch for my people

Copyright 2007                              

Re: Sending Document Home
Akinlaw posted on 08-29-2007, 20:39:10 PM
I sympathise with you but congratulate you that your people eventually got the document even after one month. Thank your stars that the document did not get missing because if that had happened, you wouldnt have been able to do anything.
Re: Sending Document Home
Ochi Dabari posted on 08-30-2007, 00:12:00 AM

I went through your piece with apprehension; that you were going to find the Hungarian Post more slack than NIPOST. That would be a miracle. NIPOST, I must admit really improved under their late director, Argungu, but it still remains a hit or miss organisation. Parcels out of Nigeria would largely get to their destinations in time and safely but it is not always that way around. The main reason is that any parcel into Nigeria is viewed by workers there as containing money, so they are always itchy to open such. If it contains money, fine, they may remove the money and destroy the rest. Even if it does not contain money, they are still likely to destroy it, as it is risky to take it back into the sorting room, after tampering with it. However, this is not to say that NIPOST is not much better than in the past - I would give them more than 60 %. My brother actually advised me to use EMS now, as NIPOST is more secure than DHL in Nigeria. I got that confirmed when a parcel I sent home in 2005 by EMS was delivered in Nigeria through DHL. The DHL staff removed the mobile (cell) phone that I had enclosed and had all kinds of story to tell. I advised the Post Office here and they seem to have reverted to EMS to EMS service, and I have not lost anything since then.

Not that there are no dubious postal staff overseas. Far from it. I recall an incident in the 1990s, while I was in Nigeria. My friend in Australia used to send money to his wife through me, every month, by EMS. It went well for about a year and then the money failed to arrive, even though the extra secure (tough glue) envelope of the Australian EMS system was intact. I wondered if my friend forgot to enclose the money, but he insisted that he did not forget. So, I did a check on the envelope again. I saw that it had too many "Merry Xmas" stickers on it, which were pasted by Australia Post. I carefully peeled the stickers, and low and behold, there was a clean cut under one of the stickers! So, the money was removed and stickers placed on the cut, to fool us that it was not from Australia. I knew better and did not complain to NIPOST. I can't remember how my friend sorted it at the Aussie end but I did send him the envelope as evidence.

Re: Sending Document Home
Exxcuzme posted on 08-30-2007, 09:01:26 AM
Postal system in Nigeria has improved since the late 90s. I can recall sending numerous mails and parcel to Nigeria and not being received. I can confidently send stuff without having any qualm about it. Even customer service my NIPOST has improved. Once I sent a document to Nigeria and it was late, my niece went to their office and he was shown the tracking system that it has not gotten to them. Couple of days later, the document was received. I havent lost anything since 1998. I think most of the bad eggs was thrown out long time ago. I also believe they have camera installed at their processing center preventing some people who might have itching hands from stealing>
Re: Sending Document Home
Adisa posted on 08-31-2007, 09:03:02 AM
It is indeed embarrassing when one is abroad and has the Nigerian factor slap them in the face. As much as we are wont to defend the honor of our homeland, we know in the deep recesses of our minds where the problems lie, and in fact, we are part of the problem. By not admitting our shortcomings openly, and suggesting that fault lies elsewhere, the embarrassment is increased substantially when the truth is finally known.

Sorry for your experience, but you are not alone my brother.
Re: Sending Document Home
Keem posted on 09-26-2007, 14:09:31 PM
Dear all,

EMS Hungary has refunded our postage money as promised after we complained that the addressee did not receive the package at the appropriate time. we got the money today 26 sept. 2007. My wife, even my very self could not believe it. We are happy and we pray and hope that something of this nature would one day happen in our land of birth. The money arrived at the right time being the end of the month. salary is monthly here and not weekly or bi-weekly as it applies in other countries. It is as if it is more than 50 dollars equivalent.

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