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The Truth About … Failed Deliveries

You’ve ordered your catering appliance and are eagerly awaiting receipt of your purchase. While the majority of deliveries are made without a hitch there may be occasions when things don’t exactly go to plan. Commercial deliveries work a little differently to domestic ones; there must be clear, ground floor, level access to the property and no low bridges or narrow lanes approaching your premises which aren’t suitable for a vehicle around the size of a double decker bus. Any traffic restrictions or pedestrian areas which may impact your delivery or cause issues must be highlighted at the time of order. Failure to outline any potential areas of concern could result in the transport company refusing to complete delivery. In cases such as these a failed delivery charge will be applied. These fees will range from manufacturer to manufacturer and may be dependent on the size of the unit. As the customer is liable, it is important to get the details right from the start.

Learn the truth about failed deliveries and how you can avoid them!

  • Ground floor level access means ground floor level access.

Most delivery companies will provide a basic, ‘no frills’ service. This involves pulling up outside the property (you must highlight any parking restrictions, pedestrian zones and access times), unloading the equipment from the vehicle and taking it to the nearest access point. If there are any steps or obstructions this delivery will not be made and a failed delivery charge will be applied. When ordering you should be made aware of delivery protocol and failure to highlight any potential issues regardless of how small and insignificant, could throw a spanner in the works.

  • Deliveries are made to kerbside unless an additional service is paid for.

Don’t expect the delivery company to turn removal team just for you. They are there to deliver and not set up your kitchen. Position and unpack services are available from some manufacturer’s for an additional cost however if you haven’t paid for this then you will need to move all equipment yourself. Arranging for a team of willing helpers to be on site is a necessity especially when dealing with some of the larger catering appliances.

  • Make sure people onsite are kept in the loop.

On a number of occasions orders have been placed by head offices or managers and when delivery is made, the people on the floor don’t know a thing about it. Naturally they turn away the delivery drivers, perhaps suggesting they have the wrong address. This would unfortunately mean that the company is charged for a failed delivery and possibly a redelivery fee also. The moral of the story – make sure that everyone knows what’s going on!

  • Can you fit catering appliances through access points?

While deliveries are generally kerbside only there are instances when appliances may be taken into the premises for you. You’ve measured your kitchen with the utmost precision but don’t forget about access points. If you can’t get the equipment into the building and subsequently turn the delivery away, a failed delivery fee will be charged.

  • Make sure you’re at the premises to receive delivery.

When you place an order you are accepting a standard delivery slot between 8am and 6pm. Some manufacturers can offer a timed delivery slot for an additional fee which narrows this window down for you while other couriers can provide a booking in call approximately one hour before the delivery is due to take place. This can be handy when you are away from site and have other pressing matters to attend to. It is important to remember though that not all courier services can facilitate this and so it is vital that you are available at the premises between the stated times. If you miss the delivery, you get charged!

  • Sometimes events happen that are out of human control.

It isn’t only customer mistakes that can cause failed deliveries; sometimes external factors just get in the way. Whether that’s traffic hold-ups, break downs, lack of driving hours or adverse weather conditions, there are certain things that will prevent delivery from taking place. Although these scenarios are few, they can happen and while your supplier will try to keep you informed of progress, a delivery may just be impossible on the stated day. In situations such as these the customers will not incur any extra charge although understandably it is very inconvenient. It is for exactly this point that it is advised to not pre-order any stock nor book any trade installation services until your equipment is in place. Neither the manufacturer, supplier or delivery company are obliged to reimburse any losses.

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