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The Memotech MTX Series

SDX

   

Original Memotech "flyer" for the SDX

SDX Controller from ebay.de

 

I bought an SDX controller that was advertised on ebay.de in March 2013, the seller dispatched the item very quickly and provided a Deutsche Post DHL tracking number, which, to me, sounded like it would be a pretty fast shipping method, however, as I monitored the DHL tracking system, it appeared that shipping was going to be much longer than I expected. Admittedly, this shipment spanned Easter Monday, but it looked like the shipment had stalled in Cologne. I was a bit worried that it might have gotten "lost", so I did a bit of surfing for feedback on Deutsche Post's performance, and shipping delays seemed to be pretty common.

DHL Express is the brand of "DHL" that I was most familiar with and past experience of DHL Express is what set my expectations of delivery time for my SDX from Germany. What I had not appreciated, was that DHL Express is actually a division of Deutsche Post DHL which has four corporate divisions including Mail and Express. Deutsche Post's "Paket" service is a low cost, non-express parcel service, built on the infrastructure created when Deutsche Post was formed by the privatisation of the German mail authority, Deutsche Bundespost. Based on some cursory "Googling", the Deutsche Post "Paket" service seems to be a bit hit-and-miss, with variable and often extended international delivery times. Unless you use the DHL Express delivery service, if you are in a hurry for something from Germany, there are almost certainly faster, though more expensive, couriers than Deutsche Post DHL.

DHL Track & Trace Results for my Parcel

Date / Time City Status
Thu, 28.03.2013 09:15 h  -- The instruction data for this shipment have been provided by the sender to DHL electronically
Thu, 28.03.2013 09:41 h Germany The shipment has been posted by the sender at the retail outlet
Thu, 28.03.2013 20:25 h Rodgau, Germany The international shipment has been processed in the parcel center of origin
Sat, 30.03.2013 06:25 h Köln, Germany The international shipment has been processed in the export parcel center
Sat, 30.03.2013 06:27 h Köln, Germany The shipment will be transported to the destination country and, from there, handed over to the delivery organization. (Homepage / online shipment tracking: )
Over Easter Monday, but still, not much action in Cologne!
Wed, 03.04.2013 18:18 h United Kingdom The shipment has arrived in the destination country

(This was the last status update posted on the "DHL Track & Trace" system)

Fri, 05.04.2013 11:30 h Delivered By Parcelforce UK
 
The package was not delivered by DHL - it was handed off to Parcelforce, the courier service of Royal Mail, although the package had an international tracking reference in the same format as used by Parcelforce, because it was not a "signed for" shipment, it was not entered into the Parcelforce tracking system and was not traceable after arriving in the UK.

At the end of the day, the item took just over a week to arrive in the UK, this it not unreasonable, but only being able to partially track its progress is a bit disappointing.

 

 

If you have read this far, you are probably thinking that I was being very impatient (which is probably true) and may have had unrealistic expectations (which may also be true), but as I said, I was worried about the parcel's apparent "freeze" in Cologne.

Various threads on the internet which reported Deutsche Post delivery times running into weeks did not inspire me with any confidence that I would receive the SDX any time soon. However, once the system had been updated to show that the parcel had arrived in the UK, I did feel more confident that it would be here in a few days.

With hindsight, it is obvious that I was being unduly concerned, the rarity of this item probably had something to do with it and I should maybe have specified and paid for a more expensive shipping option.

I have shown the full tracking data to show how my shipment progressed, but also to point out the difference between the Deutsche Post DHL and DHL Express shipping options - I was unaware of the difference and this information might be useful to others.

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