: It cannot be denied that the courier service has become a vital connector for Malaysians in a time of enforced social distancing because of COVID-19 and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
It has become a lifeline particularly to those celebrating Aidilfitri who are living away from the family and have been unable to balik kampung (return home) because of the government's interstate travel ban, and instead, await a special Hari Raya delivery.
Although higher parcel volume could have been predicted, people still kept patronising the courier services and were ultimately left dissatisfied when their expectations were not met and parcels arrived late.
The situation led GD Express Sdn Bhd (GDEX) chief executive officer, Caren Chong Hui Chuen, to post a 'reminder' on the company's website on May 8 to inform clients that there will be a delivery delay during the peak period starting May 18.
She informed that the parcel pick-up service would run as normal, but delivery service across Malaysia would take more time than usual.
Now, with the holiday period over, we can see delivery vehicles zipping around to ensure that parcels reach their destination promptly.
City-Link Express put out a similar notice on May 20 to alert clients of the very high parcel volume due to the CMCO and long stretch of public holidays.
"However, we are still committed to providing service to the best of our ability. Thank you for your patience and continuous support. We will do our very best to have your shipments delivered as soon as we can," their message read.
In view of the situation, Pos Malaysia Bhd, too, advised people to post their parcels before May 18 in order for them to reach their destinations before Hari Raya.
A City-Link Express employee who only wanted to be known as Danny told Bernama, however, that almost 80 per cent of the parcels sent through the company's Jenjarom branch reached their intended recipient during the peak of Aidilfitri.
"We expect the rest to be sent out by this week. Clients must understand that their items have not gone missing or astray but that there are damaged items that need to be returned to the seller for a replacement.
"The damage is because the shipper defiantly sent a prohibited item, like glass, so clients shouldn't be angry if the courier service is slow, inefficient and so on. There are actually a lot of challenges to overcome to ensure the item is delivered undamaged," Danny said.
"I sent it on May 8 from Ampang and it reached him in Butterworth on May 12. That's fast and I'm happy it reached before Aidilfitri. At least it can help reduce his homesickness," she said.
But not many have been as lucky as Suziela, and based on the comments on social media, dissatisfaction with the courier service is evident.
Many have left their parcel tracking number for the social media manager to update them on their parcel delivery status.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (FOMCA) president, Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason, said the public should pick a company they can trust and be patient at peak periods like the festive season.
"We receive complaints almost every day and find that people are using less popular courier services because they are cheaper and so on.
"Just go for a reliable courier service. We've had almost 100 to 200 cases per month, but what about the ones that aren't reported," he said.
While recourse is available through the Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia (TTPM), Dr Marimuthu recommends people use a courier company that has a proper parcel tracking system and "avoid patronising the less popular and cheaper services".