When we stared a hardware startup, I hoped that at least the logistics and shipping would not be a problem – from all the global shipping companies to all the fulfillment companies surely it’d be a breeze. Oh how wrong I was.
Since then I found out that delivery guy ignorance and package mishandling doesn’t only happen here, it happens elsewhere too. I’ve even been told that the “this side up” sign is ignored, they only care where the label is so it can be scanned fast and automatically.
The prices on their price lists are also out right ridiculous. Most companies I’ve seen only offer fast shipping (1-2 business days in Europe), if you want anything cheaper/slower you go the way of the local post, which is unreliable and can’t guarantee anything (and will usually take 5-10 business days in Europe).
Returning packages is another thing that is far from solved – from the delivery companies to customs officers, so it’s really hard to create a good experience for the customer to return an item free of charge.
As usually with these huge systems you need to get to the people level to get things working – when you’re calling a person not a number, when you call the delivery guy by name everything works. For everything else you try to hack the system to get what you want…