Online retailer Dabs.com has told customers to hang fire for a few days while orders due to be delivered by Amtrak are reassigned to another courier. Netfold Ltd, trading as Amtrak, went into administration last Friday (22 August). It’s the second time in two years that the company has ceased trading. The Aldridge, West …
I've always wondered
Why the founders of the parcels company thought that using the name of the US national passenger railway company, whose reputation makes that of British Rail of late memory look stunning, was a good idea.
Its been a long time....
since I used Amtrak. I dont deal with any company that does.
Their 'Crewe' depot (in Warrington FFS) looks like it was abandoned some time ago, even thought it was (at the time) still trading.
Add to the fact that they proved themselves to be inept, and had staff of such calibre they needed a sign that basically said "Do not p*ss on the parcels" up in the fron office and Im not suprised they're dead.
Big pity that, as Amtrak were a good carrier. Actually offered delivery times for when you were in the house, unlike shitylink which at most offer morning or afternoon (if they can be arsed) between when you leave for work and before you get back.
Amtrak? Going bust?! SURELY NOT!
Jesus, the amount of fun I had with those guys. They were the worlds worst couriers, why dabs even thought of using them god only knows.
I need to phone up and find my parcel... oh wait, no phone number... anywhere... oh here's one... ah, you can't actually talk to anyone... Bugger...
They were crap, and this can only be good news for dabs customers.
Personally I would have switched couriers after the first time they went into administration, but then they probably can't get the same rate from anywhere else.
A bad company gone bust - woo yay! They were one of the main reasons that I stopped buying from DABS.CON
Dabs delivery sucks
They also use HDL (Home Delivery Network) who suck ass. They leave parcels at random houses, sometimes on random streets, they take signatures from anyone in the general vicinity of your house and they never ever post a card to say where they've just left your £1000 consignment.
At least 3 times I've had to follow up a week later to say "where's my order then", only to find that someone 5 houses away signed for it and has just been waiting (presumably hoping that I never find out) with it in their kitchen.
Unfortunately Amtrak going bust probably means that HDL will get the opportunity to mess up even more Dabs deliveries.
"declined to comment on their fate beyond that"
Bagged, I'd imagine.
They were the worst courier I ever dealt with
I consistently had trouble with them and they were very awkward about getting my stuff to me.
It's a shame to see lots of people losing their jobs, but some of those 1000 people were the ones making life hard for me.
Who still uses Dabs?
I stopped using Dabs years ago, main due to their awful courier system. It was always Amtrak in my area, and as we all know Amtrak are the bottom feeders of the courier market; they wouldn't take alternate instructions, they wouldn't leave without a sig, they wouldn't deliver on Saturdays...
Also, these days, the Dabs website is so slow, it's like navigating through a river of treacle.
To be honest I'm surprised that Dabs are still going.
I always held Amtrak in rather high regard.
What do u mean??!! It always goes titsup
There 'redefine' their next day delivery and it is a complete CON!!!
Bunch of slackers - next day delivery is WHEN they dispatch the goods and the process of dispatching the goods takes more than few days.
Next day delivery - means 'THE NEXT DAY' in customers term. Which part you don't understand??!!
well I can only speak of shitty place where brother worked, you get crap pay, are forced into overtime, in fact you sign to say you wont refuse it, then they work you upto 18hrs a day, and give you 20 hrs work to do, insist you meet impossible deadlines so you have to break speed limits, and i know in york we often see crashed vans, wonder why....
no they need to really look at there way of doing things and sort it out.
you cant blame the drivers, the problems is with the depot bosses, who wont tell their bosses to ... off
Have to say Amtrack were great for me. Order from dabs previous evening, normally on my door by 9am. The driver even figured out that quite often I'd be in the office in the garden and would come round if I didnt answer.
I guess Amtrak went down hill over the years since I last knew of them. There was a time (late '90s, I suppose) where I wouldn't use anyone else if I had the choice. I always thought highly of Amtrak as a good and reliable courier company.
Ah well, RIP Amtrak for the good times.
At all the rage against dabs here, I've always found them very professional and all my orders have been delivered VERY promptly. Weird.
Dabs, company of the past
I used to use Dabs all the time and spread the word of just how good they were , prompt delivery and outstanding prices.
However , Long before BT took them over, all the reasons for selecting them automatically, have gone.
Delivery to Ireland can take weeks and the value just isn't there any more.
I rather used to like the Dabs points and collect a travel mug every now and again.
BT, a company rather fantastic at turning diamonds into smooth bits of beach glass.
The coat , it's for Amtrak.. ( BT would need a family sized tent with a hole at the top )
I love amtrak since they effectively guaranteed me a buy now pay in a year deal with dabs, after they lost £200.00 worth of registered ram for my server board. their mistake meant I was able to shoehorn 8GB into my mobo for a year, since they apparently "lost" my ram, when delivering it to my door. DABS caught up with me in the end mind, but it was nice while it lasted at 0% interest...
shame to see people losing jobs, but if we all want our free packaging then i suppose someone has to provide the kind of half arsed service companies like amtrak and Home Delivery Network continue to 'provide'...
I can never work out.....
....why website sellers and couriers never deliever on Saturdays, Sundays and between 18:00 to 22:00 hours?
OK it's a none social days and hours but, what about us having to work and worry about collection. We are the ones earning the money to spend after all. I know satuday delieveries are done by some places but you usually only find out when you start ordering the object. I once ordered an expensive acoustic guitar (the item was on sale and too good to miss) and I was on tenderhooks as there was no-one at home to collect and no saturday delievery.
Arh, now I remember! We're British....we'll put up with any old sh*te and accept it.
what a disappointment...
...was hoping that Home Delivery Networks had breathed its last. They are really, really appalling. When we order from Dabs I always pray that someone else does the delivery.
The Amtrak guy in our area was good, but I was surprised at his clapped out truck.
Sometimes I forget how tiny England is - a place where a courier with a fleet of only 2,000 trucks can anger so many people.
You guys should get you one of them UPS or FedEx things over there, or maybe do a deal with our USPS. It'd be good for everybody.
The lesser of 2 evils
I stopped buying from Dabs when they started using Home Delivery Network. Unbelievably poor, enough so that I will never shop with Dabs again until I hear that they have changed their delivery service.
Least I suppose they live up to their name, they deliver to the home, just not necessarily the right one.
One down...a few more to go
Hopefully this Amtrak problem will force some other couriers into a rethink.
I recently ordered a camcorder from Amazon, it was after 8pm in the evening on a Saturday. At the checkout I was offered next day Delivery. "But that's Sunday?" we though. Maybe it means next working day. I looked closer, it really meant Sunday. It cost something like £20 but I was guaranteed it would arrive while a) i was at home b) I wasn't at work.
I chose the option and checked out. I got an email at 8:30am saying my order had shopped.
It arrived around noon on Sunday, delivered by a man in an unmarked van. The courier was apparently Royal Mail...this shocked me a lot.
This was truly excellent service, I got what I paid for.
Comparitively you can order from Scan and pay £10 for a Citylink delivery about a week later. I know which I'd prefer.
I've used Dabs for business many times, and their 1-3 day delivery service normally turns up the next day - even for orders made late in the day. This is to London though, so the delivery network around here is probably better than average. They even managed to get the right address, unlike some other firms I might mention who confuse us with the offices down the road.
Perhaps business accounts get better service than residential orders.
Amtrak (round here at least) were a bunch of absolute amateurs. Parcels turned up days late (even on 'next day' delivery) and were often damaged.
I also wonder (along with a previous poster) WHY someone chose to name their company after the American nationalised passenger rail operator. Is there a 3rd-rate courier firm in the USA called "British Rail"?
Dabs aren't that bad!
I used to use Dabs but wanted to start using ebuyer, but then they asked me for a copy of my passport and proof of address before they'd sell me anything so I'm back to using Dabs!
Although most courier companies are terrible, Business Post have to be the worst. I'm assuming everyone rejoicing at this either missed that Business Post were taking over the deliveries or have never had the misfortune of using them.
BillyG, to remind us that there's always something worse (balmer).
Your mileage may vary ...
but everything I've ordered from Dabs (quite a lot) as always arrived next day -- EVEN when I've only paid for the 3 day delivery service.
Perhaps they're more efficient when dealing to always-open business addresses.
It doesn't make sense for people to order things and expect them to be delivered to a house that might be empty.
I worked IT in the transport industry
and you wonder WHY service is crap - its because the mega high fuel prices mean there is no money to be spent on customer service...
get real people - and wake up and smell the nu labour feck up of everything...
paris - cos she is dumb enough to vote labour
It's all down to the Depots
Around Cardiff, Amtrak was one of the least unreliable couriers.
Citylink are the the local bottom feeders. I no longer order from anyone who uses them.
Target (RIP) were the best until Citylink bought and closed them.
Dabs - why bother?
This is the company that puts everything (last thing I bought from then was an SD card) into an 18"x12" cardboard box, and then charges £7 surcharge to send said box of air to Northern Ireland and/or remote corners of Scotland?
Why am I not upset to hear they've got problems in the delivery department? Couriers have their place, but so does ye olde humble Royal Mail, at 26p to anywhere in the UK.
I thought you said
"The Register asked BT, which bought Dabs.com in April 2006, for £30m" instead of "The Register asked BT, which bought Dabs.com in April 2006 for £30m" - somehow managed to read an extra comma in there.
As for couriers, the best one I've used is ANC
Thank god for that. Citylink in our area will actually leave parcels with next door (my great aunt) if I'm out, know that she's in her 80's and will go to her back door with the parcel because she never uses the front door. Amtrak refuse to deliver to me unless they carry the box into the house through the front door because "it's a requirement of credit card orders". Why, for God's sake? Especially as it's dabs4work, and I'm ordering off a county council invoice only account? No wonder if they employ muppets like that.
Having experience of both...
Amtrak & Business Post. Really folks you are not improving by much.
Service, is about the same. (shite) Although this is true for all the lads, DHL, Citylink, FedEx. because they all underpay, undertrain and over work their staff.
From the side that matters to the customers: BP do have a reasonable home delivery service if the sender fills in the despatch info properly (we never do this because we can't be arsed and only care about my final point)
In my experience are a bit cheaper than Amtrak.
IT angle icon because Business Post wrote their consignment software using FoxPro and...well seriously, FoxPro?. [Flame on]
I'm happy with DABS and Amtrak
I'm happy with DABS, and Amtrak were reliable to me. DABS have improved might I add, on a service that was damn god anyway. As for delivery times, card is left, you go and collect it, same as 95% of all other parcels I get delivered from couriers!
HDL was grim but you get what you pay for
Delivery costs (and many other commodity costs) are being pushed relentlessly down by competition with people choosing the cheapest of anything to save a small, even trivial, amount.
This relentless pressure brought about by the consumer[*] who wants ever more for less means something gives, so first it's quality (often with concomitant worsening working conditions for the shopfloor/delivery staff) then it's the actual existence of these companies - they go bust.
If you want decent service/components/anything, it's going to cost a bit more. You can't magic that away, and the price comparison sites and endless magazine articles comparing items (eg. pcs in the mags I read) predominantly by price just ignore that fact and drive assorted industries into sickness, and their employees with them.
[*] I hate that word
Couldn't agree with you more about Dabs, their customer service has been abysmal for a long time now. I remember once to get a refund I guessed the email address of the CEO so I could complain to him to get my money back (this was back before he was out attacking women). It took nearly 2 months to process the refund...
Of course, Micro Direct is 50 times worse than Dabs, and I wouldn't use them again ever because even if something is faulty they won't give you a refund... until you take them to small claims court anyway!
Me I use Royal Mail
Much maligned I know, but if I'm not home the drop it at the local Post Office where I can collect it, that evening, or at the weekend.
The village I live in is a long way from any depot, so if I miss a delivery, it doesn't matter.
In my experience all the couriers are just as bad as each other, and in many cases it's down to the driver. I've been caught a number of times by couriers ringing the bell, and departing because I haven't reached the door within 30 seconds. They also deliver at the wrong time, leave it with neighbours but fill in the card with the wrong house number. I've also had them chuck parcels over my back garden fence, leave a cardboard box outside on wet days. I think I've been the victim of just about every courier company there is, and the most reliable and professional service has always come from Royal Mail Letters, I exclude Parcel Farce from that designation.
I've also noticed that quite a few couriers now use plain white vans with no identification on them. Wonder why?
Re: Dabs aren't that bad!
Oh yes they are! I stopped using them (pre BT) when Dabs refused to take back an order incorrectly supplied simply because they had no record that it had been delivered! Yes it was Amtrak, but as I policy I boycott any company that I have to write registered post letters to and then threaten with the small claims court. Dabs never had the courtesy to acknowlege that they or their couriers might just have made a mistake. Fools.
As for Ebuyer wanting proof of your address/passport, I would suggest that you probably wanted your first order delivered to an address other than the cardholder's address. GOOD for them! It's a simple security policy that works - unlike the idiots at Dell and Misco who delivered againt my cloned credit card (Thank you Shell).
Let's be careful out there ....
What a shame
I initially thought that Dabs had gone tits up and not just a courier. I did a little jig and everything but then I saw Dabs was still going and I was a little sad.
Pre-BT or post-BT Dabs are arguably not the worst company to buy from but they are so bad you would have to be cognitively challenged in order to do so.
> I also wonder (along with a previous poster) WHY someone chose to name their company after the American nationalised passenger rail operator. Is there a 3rd-rate courier firm in the USA called "British Rail"?
Na, it was in the UK, they just couriered people instead of items. Still 3rd-rate tho...
I occassionally use Dabs, have had both positive and negative experiences with them. Slightly frustrated that they seem to have dumbed down their product information pages - previously you could get wads of info on there. Delivery was always a joke - as mentioned above, massive box with bugger all in it. Think they've stopped shipping you free air in plastic bubbles now though?
yoyotech all the way for me... only cos they're local though, and generally helpful if you wander into the store on TCR
BEWARE ROYAL MAIL/PARCELFORCE.
Royal mail/parcel force is about right for small stuff...BUT BEWARE...do not get heavy items mailed by them.
I had a laser printer delivered and informed them of the size and weight.
(It clearly takes 2 people to lift the box as it is large.)
SO, the postman turns up at the delivery address and asks the person accepting it IF THEY WILL HELP HIM LIFT IT OFF THE VAN. She refused as she wasn't strong enough, (quite right to as well, as if he had of dropped his end the insurance wouldn't have covered the damage because she would have been helping to bring it in from the street??).
The postman took the huff.(they don't like delivering non-letters generally)
He then dragged it from the back of the van and deliberately let the other side of the box slam down onto the concrete road with a crunch(there is no tail lift on postoffice vans-remember)......he then dragged the box up the small path (they don't use the trolley things that proper delivery drivers use).
Then out of spite he ROLLED the box numerous times over the doorway into the office hearing it smash about inside, despite there being signs on the outside of the box saying "FRAGILE, THIS WAY UP ONLY, GLASS INSIDE"(glass=optical laser drum).
Once i heard about this i complained to royal mail, who then sent out a form to fill in and said it might be months before someone comes to inspect the damage for repair etcetc, heard nothing from them, and couldn't be bothered chasing it up as i had learned they were useless by then. £150 lost)
SO don't use royal mail/parcel force for heavy/big/fragile stuff. They are rubbish at that.
Have never had problems with Dabs but have gone right off yoyotech.
Their promise of 'paying the internet price instore' is, I suppose, technically true; they also try to add on the same 'shipping and handling' charge as you'd pay online for shipping and handling it, er, all the way over the counter to you.
When I asked the man to justify this he said they had to 'because we all know that you're all out there watching the internet and then coming in here to save money'
Bit of a lottery I think...
The only two couriers I use are CityLink (UK) and UPS (international). I guess it is luck of the draw, since CityLink in my area are superb. Always the same guy (unless he's on holiday) and he is more accurate than the atomic clock - always 8.30am on the dot (regardless of the level of service I use)! When I order from companies, I ask them which courier they use. Point black refuse if they say home delivery network which really is a POS.
talking of bad names........
Not wanting to dance on anyone's grave...
...but anyone fancy a knees-up at the Amtrak memorial?
Horrible company, practically uncontactable, parcels routinely delayed day after day because drivers didn't complete their rounds, goods damaged, dropped off at the wrong address or vanished.
Perhaps I can now start shopping again at some sites who used Amtrak to (not) deliver their goods.
They are both here although FedEx only deliver within the M25 London orbital Motorway or they did.The main courier Co. in the UK are Securicor/Omega ,TNT
Bussiness Post also there are probibly thousands of pureley local Co that use any thing from motorcycles to 40' semi's and anything inbetween sometimes they are subcontracted to the big players.Chopper cos there is probibly a Co.using one
Re: @Solomon Grundy and Solomon Grundy himself
Guess what, we have UPS, AND FedEx AND... DHL. All three deliver outside the M25 too, thank you very much. All three have large depots in larger cities and towns, so it's not just Securicor/Omega/TNT who are the main couriers.
DHL has branched into Staples as well (so you can DHL stuff from your nearest Staples branch), and UPS and FedEx do home collections on request.
FedEx used to be franchised out to BusinessPost (part of Deutsche Post), but since Deutsche Post bought DHL to merge some of their other UK acquisitions into one, FedEx has expanded rapidly too.
My courier experience has varied wildly... in some cases it's been crap, only for the same company to bend over backwards to accomodate your request a week or two later. At times the experience from DHL/UPS/FedEx has been absolutely horrendous, way beyond below par from what one expects. So it's all dependent on the depot that your parcel arrived at.
@Anonymous Coward @Solomon Grundy
Bit out the loop mate.
DHL own Securicor/Omega (long time ago now) all the vans are rebranded
FedEx now own ANC and I believe have also rebranded.
yep... I'm sad.
Dabs are OK, until..
.. they bill your card and misplace your delivery before it's left the depot.
Then try talking to them. If you can.
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