Aramex under scrutiny: customers and staff report widespread delivery issues

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 10, 2024 |

A investigation into Aramex Canterbury’s branch has revealed a courier service plagued with issues, including delayed deliveries, lost parcels, unresponsive customer service, and a breach of privacy.

More than a hundred emails flooded, highlighting concerns from frustrated customers, while former and current employees provided an inside perspective on the company’s operations.

One customer said, “I cannot say I have had positive experiences with them. A recent package of mine, which arrived in the Christchurch depot on June 6, has yet to be delivered. The package was marked as undeliverable on June 20, despite three people being home, no note being left, and our home security cameras showing no Aramex delivery vans passing by. I called customer service numerous times for an urgent re-delivery, but to no avail. In all of my interactions, I struggled to understand the Aramex representatives and could not get a proper answer.”

Another Christchurch customer shared multiple frustrating encounters: “First, they completely lost a parcel that was supposed to be overnight from Invercargill to Christchurch. I had to communicate with the supplier myself as the courier never returned calls or messages. On another occasion, a parcel took three weeks to arrive instead of the promised overnight delivery. The third time, a parcel showed as delivered in their system but was not received, and the driver brought a different parcel.”

Parcel left outside a property on a road.

Parcel left outside a property on a road. (supplied)

A local resident described a privacy breach: “Two strangers knocked on my door, asking if I had received their parcel from Aramex. They were from a completely different area, and Aramex had given them my home address. I was home alone with my three young children at the time. The company blamed their Filipino call centre for the mistake. This breach of privacy was absolutely disgusting.”

Misleading tracking updates

Another recurring issue among the complainants was the significantly longer-than-expected delays, compounded by what customers described as misleading tracking updates.

A Christchurch resident said “The tracking information showed it ‘out for delivery’ for three days. Customer service provided only automated responses. My package was finally delivered within two hours after I posted a negative Google review.”

A local online seller recounted their experience: “On June 11th and 12th, I booked 10 parcels for next-business-day collection, but they remained uncollected for a week.

I contacted Aramex and was assured they would be picked up that day. The next day, they were still there. After multiple calls and repeated assurances, the parcels stayed at my door for 10 days. Frustrated buyers began messaging me. Eventually, I asked if I could drop off the parcels myself at an Aramex location. They agreed, but when I arrived, my parcels were refused because they didn’t have printed labels. Only drivers can do this.”

Another customer said they had several transactions with Aramex, and all of them “were shocking.” “Specifically, undelivered parcels when we were home, to watching them pull up and throw the parcel over the fence. We live in Parklands and have to drive to Wigram to pick up the undelivered parcels (never ask for a redelivery; it just won’t happen).”

Another customer said he ordered expensive art pieces from Auckland, and they arrived trashed. “The delivery driver ‘attempted delivery’ for five days, claiming our business was closed each time. After reviewing camera footage, he would drive up to the back of the business and then leave without getting out of the van.”

A Rangiora customer added, “The guy that does the deliveries just throws the parcels anywhere. Sometimes we don’t find them for a couple of days. We have complained about him twice, but to no avail.”

Parcel thrown over small gate (supplied)

Another customer said they ordered a netball from Rebel Sports and was told it was delivered to a different address. “Two weeks later, still no sign of it. I called and was told they hadn’t picked it up yet but that it would still be delivered. Rebel refunded the sale, fortunately. The whole thing was complicated by language barriers during phone calls. I would never buy online from Rebel again if they continue to use Aramex.”

Another Christchurch resident said they had an item dispatched last Tuesday from Belfast to Wainoni, but they were still waiting. “They seem to have lost it. Another item from Palmerston North to Rolleston was supposed to take between 1-3 business days, but it took three weeks and was eventually delivered by an Uber driver at 1am in the morning because it set my cameras off.”

A regular online shopper said, “I dread when companies use Aramex. I have constant delays on any online orders and always have to chase up my parcels. They shouldn’t be in operation, in my opinion.”

Another customer said, “My parcel was onboard for several days before I called them. The representative was confusing and eventually said the parcel was damaged, which was why it hadn’t been delivered. I insisted on getting my parcel, and it arrived the next day with no damage.”

Driver throwing parcel over fence (supplied)

Another common theme among complaints were packages being marked as “delivered” when they weren’t. “I emailed and called them repeatedly, but they kept insisting my package was with the delivery driver and refused to question the driver about its whereabouts” a customer said.

“When I asked to speak to a manager, my request was denied. I had to get a refund from the sender and repurchase the item through a different courier service. I was extremely disappointed with their service.”

Canterbury business frustrated “Customer service is virtually non-existent”

A large Canterbury business customer said, “based on our experience, they have been extremely difficult to deal with.

“Unfortunately, they are the delivery partner of UPS in New Zealand, which a few of our suppliers use. We are currently trying to persuade our overseas suppliers to switch to another provider due to ongoing issues. One of the major problems we’ve encountered is with goods marked as delivered but not received by us.

“The courier often delivers to a neighbouring business instead, and retrieving the packages is a nightmare unless the neighbouring business realises the mistake and brings them to us. Despite having correct address labels and clear signage on our building, the deliveries are sent to the wrong address. Customer service was virtually non-existent,” he said.

“Just last week, the courier left a calling card under our warehouse door stating he could not deliver, despite there being a bell to ring for couriers and the door being unlocked. He only had to open the door. Additionally, two weeks ago, they claimed they could not deliver even though we are open from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm with someone always on site. We only found out by checking the track and trace on the UPS site. Due to these recurring issues, we have had to send staff to pick up our last two deliveries from the depot.”

Chris Lynch Media has seen videos where parcels are thrown over the fence. Video footage shows a driver walking to a customer’s letterbox and leaving a ‘calling card’ instead of walking to the front door of the house. The customer said, “He took two steps from the van, turned around, returned to the van, and filled out a card, a task that would have taken longer than knocking on the door.”

Video footage shows a driver walking to a customer's letterbox and leaving a 'calling card' instead of walking to the front door of the house to deliver parcel. (supplied)

Video footage shows a driver walking to a customer’s letterbox and leaving a ‘calling card’ instead of walking to the front door of the house to deliver parcel. (supplied)

Positive experiences 

In contrast, positive experiences were shared, though they were sparse. One customer said, “My experiences with Aramex have always been great. They are very timely, and our courier always has a smile and happy demeanor.”

A business from Darfield said, “We use Aramex for larger parts. While NZC is faster and more reliable, Aramex provides a necessary economical freight option.”

Another customer said they “had an amazing experience. We booked a pickup through Trade Me. The cost to deliver to Auckland was under $5. My husband had written the wrong address on the small package. We were contacted by Aramex after there was nowhere to deliver it to. Aramex delivered it again, and quite quickly too, at no extra cost. So we were thrilled.”

NZ Trust Pilot review website rates the company 1.2 out of 5 with 1,602 reviews, while Google reviews provide a 2.0 rating from 1,257 reviews.

“They just give customers false information to get them off the phone” – former driver

A former driver revealed one of the problems was that “the territories were far too large to cover, which led to parcels not being picked up or delivered.

“The call centre is overseas and they have no clue what’s happening, such as ferry delays that cause freight disconnections.”

He alleged call centre operators would give customers false information to get them off the phone. “They pretty much tell customers what they want to hear and move on to the next call. When parcels couldn’t be delivered due to the unmanageable volume of freight, they would use a subcontractor.

“The real downfall was when they took on the Temu contract, which offers very little money but involves a huge volume of freight. As a result, customers like Briscoes and Rebel Sport can’t get the attention they actually require.”

“Panic” from inside unstaffed” Christchurch Depot

A current employee, who spoke to under the condition of anonymity, shared their frustrations: “We have turned off any phone calls through to the office, so you end up in an offshore call centre in the Philippines, which is less than ideal. The miscommunication from these calls is horrendous; they feed customers the wrong information, leading to numerous walk-ins daily who want to collect parcels.

“It’s then up to the customer service staff to attempt to locate these parcels in the couriers’ bay, which can take up to 30 minutes depending on freight levels. If you return with the parcel, you then have another five people in reception, and you’re like a yo-yo trying your best to please customers.

“On many occasions, we don’t locate the parcel, and then it becomes a panic, calling the driver to see if it’s on board with no scanning. Often, we have to turn people away because we have no idea where the item they paid for is. We get a depot scan every day, so we can see where items are if something has arrived overnight.

“However, the last 2-3 weeks, this scan has not been completed, and we are swamped with freight. We are understaffed and spending 30 minutes at a time finding customers’ parcels.

“Many couriers within the Christchurch depot are new, adding strain to the Canterbury depot. These new couriers can’t handle the same amount as the old drivers, they don’t know the areas as well, scanning is being missed, and general mistakes are being made, which is then up to the customer service team to try to fix. Our management doesn’t seem to care about the pressure this adds on us; they only think of the money the couriers are making them” the worker said.

“A prime example is that not one courier was spoken to about Aramex taking on this Temu contract. Aramex agreed to do this job, and it is the couriers who are drowning in the deliveries for less than $1.00 a parcel. Having seen it from both the inside and from the couriers’ perspective, it is horrible the way they treat the owner-drivers. The worker said they hope the article wasn’t necessarily aimed at the couriers as “this is their livelihood, and many couriers are great.”

“The issue is management from my point of view. Don’t get me wrong, we have a few bad egg couriers, and those who make an honest mistake, but without anyone for the customer service team to escalate these issues, we find ourselves stuck. Some days we just hope the issues solve themselves, and that doesn’t happen often.”

Commerce Commission receives 151 enquires over Aramex 

Commerce Commission Fair Trading General Manager Vanessa Horne told Chris Lynch MediaThe Commerce Commission has received a total 151 enquiries about Aramex New Zealand Holdings Limited. 48 of these enquiries related to the issue ‘Non-delivery’.

“In general, businesses must not give false or misleading information or create a misleading impression about the goods they sell.

“Claims made about goods must accurately reflect the facts you hold and not stretch beyond what is known at the time” Horne said.

“These general rules apply to claims made about stock availability and delivery timeframes.

“The Commerce Commission encourages consumers who are experiencing issues with deliveries to let the trader they bought from know about it – traders are the ones who hold the contract with delivery providers and may not know of issues their customers are facing.”

A Privacy Commission spokesperson said they had not received complaints relating to Aramax in Christchurch or their operations elsewhere in New Zealand.

“If people have concerns that their privacy has been breached, they should contact the relevant agency in the first instance. And then if they’re not satisfied with their response, they can complain to us.” asked ConsumerNZ what customers can do if they don’t receive their parcels.

A spokeswoman said, “Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, if a parcel doesn’t show up or doesn’t arrive within a reasonable time frame, you can request a refund from the retailer. The retailer is responsible for ensuring your product arrives.

“We have had complaints about Aramex. We would advise customers impacted by poor service from Aramex, or any delivery service, to make their complaints known to the retailer.

“If a retailer receives complaints about the delivery/courier service they use, we would hope the retailer would re-think who they use in order to keep their customers happy.” emailed the local Aramax branch and received an automated email response saying it would respond in two days.

Mark Little, CEO of Aramex New Zealand, featured in a sponsored article promoting the company on Stuff and the New Zealand Herald

In a sponsored article on the Stuff website, Aramex New Zealand CEO Mark Little said  “our driving force is ensuring your freight gets to where it needs to go. Whether that’s getting one or thousands of deliveries across Auckland, inter-island or international, we have the network footprint and capability to look after both small and large New Zealand businesses.”

Aramex responds through top PR company 

Chris Lynch Media contacted Mark Little, and through a top Auckland PR company, Little responded to some questions after two days.

Little said  “Aramex takes pride in delivering a quality service for our customers in the Canterbury region and across the country.

“We are not experiencing an unusually high volume of customer enquiries at the moment. We are never happy to learn that a customer is dissatisfied with the service provided. We are committed to continual improvement and aim to address all enquiries within 24 hours”. Little said.

“Aramex has not received any complaints from ConsumerNZ. If we do, the complaints will be thoroughly investigated.

“We ask any customer or consumer who needs assistance to lodge an online enquiry at We remain committed to investigating each case and providing a fast resolution.

“The first point of contact for customers lodging an online enquiry is our local Customer Service team, based in Christchurch. During peak times, some of these enquiries may be handled by the team at our offshore call centre. We also provide a phone number (03 341 1090) for customers who prefer to reach us by phone. Calls to this number are managed by our offshore call centre.”

Chris Lynch Media also asked what the reason was behind incorrect tracking information being displayed online, as confirmed by multiple sources, Little said it the company would investigate further if tracking numbers were provided.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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