Dutch Service The Seven Deadly Sins of PostNL

A man attends a job interview as a postman.

Interviewer. “So what if you arrived at the home of a recipient with an expensive package, for example, a brand new TV only to find that they weren’t at home? What would you do?”

Candidate: “Let me see. I think I’d find try and force one of the neighbours to accept it.”

Interviewer. “What if there were no neighbours at home?”

Candidate: “I’d leave it in the communal entrance area of the building, propped up against a wall. Time is money and ik heb haast.”

Interviewer” “Goed zo! You’re hired! welcome to PostNL.”

Which brings me to the subject of today’s post, the seven deadly sins of PostNL.

Nowadays it takes a lot to shock the Shallow Man, however, the incredible and consistent incompetence of PostNL leaves me stunned! After yet another bad experience with this organization, I created and posted the following MEME.

PostNL never ring the doorbell for long


This led to a barrage of feedback from my readers, many, or shall I say most of whom have experienced one or more of the following seven deadly sins of PostNL.

1. Pretending recipients are not at home

Perhaps the Shallow Man was a little naive in believing BOL.com that my order would be delivered between 18:00 and 22:00. Nevertheless, I patiently remained at home waiting for my package. Imagine my surprise when at 23:04 I received the following message.

There was no one at home, if you don’t make any changes then we’ll try to deliver it a day later.



Looking at PostNL’s Facebook page and the feedback received from some of my readers, this appears to be a common occurrence.

2. Leaving packages with complete strangers

If you live in a small building where you know all your neighbors, wat leuk! However, if like the Shallow Man, you live in a large apartment complex then PostNL leaving packages with complete strangers is a pain in the buttocks. Or perhaps it’s part of a cunning strategy to get people to know their neighbors better.


Jeroen was happy when PostNL left a package for a neighbor at his home

3. Track and Lie App

PostNL’s track and trace app should be renamed Track and Lie. Most of the time it’s completely inaccurate. With the aggressive cost-cutting measures they’ve carried out in recent years, the app was probably programmed by a member of the cleaning staff while on a lunch break. The information contained therein is totally misleading. In fact, I once called PostNL as their app showed that a driver was ‘onderwegs’ (on the way) from less than a kilometer away for several hours. When I called them to ask if the driver had taken a detour via Bucharest, I was told outright not to believe the information provided by the app. It had a few issues and they were working on it.

Skeleton waiting for a delivery from PostNL

Patiently waiting for PostNL to deliver my package

4. Ringing the doorbell then giving up after a couple of seconds

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a bloody PostNL courier speeding back to their van after having rung a doorbell and waited for 2.2 seconds for a response.  All over the Netherlands people are gaining extra exercise sprinting out of their properties to chase after PostNL couriers that ring the doorbell and then run away faster than a speeding bullet.


A PostNL courier running away after ringing the doorbell via GIPHY

5. Delivering post to the wrong address

You’d think that as PostNL has allegedly been in the postal delivery business for over 200 years, that delivering packages to the correct address wouldn’t be an issue.  I’ve received post addressed to people living in completely different streets. Apparently, it’s enough for PostNL that you share the same apartment number with someone that lives nearby. Their motto appears to be ‘let them work the rest out for themselves.’



PostNL drivers often lose packages

PostNL delivery man in training

6. Losing packages

Dutch social media is full of stories of packages sent via PostNL that simply fail to arrive. The Netherlands appears to have its own Bermuda Triangle which makes packages simply vanish into thin air.


When packages I’ve ordered do arrive on time (or at all) I find myself doing the following:




7. Not giving a damn

The worst sin of them all is not really giving a damn about their customers. Klacht.nl a website that deals with consumer complaints in the Netherlands report that the organization they’ve had the most complaints about is none other than Post.nl. The consumentenbond website has had 4000 complaints about PostNL in the last two years. PostNL’s standard response to this is that as they’re the largest delivery service in the country, that naturally, they receive more complaints.

PostNL customer service personnel are trained to respond to all customers that complain about missing your delayed packages as follows:

“Wat vervelend dat je het pakket nog niet hebt ontvangen.” /How annoying that you’ve not received your package yet.”

So even if your package was due to arrive three weeks ago, they cover themselves by hinting that it could still be on its way. They then ask for the delivery barcode and repeat back to you the information that you can see for yourself in the track and lie app.

“The package left our depot in Amsterdam in January 2015, it should be with you soon.”

PostNL suck like a newborn baby on a nipple.  By aggressively reducing the pay and conditions of its frontline employees, PostNL has created a situation whereby many of their delivery drivers quite simply couldn’t give a stroopwafel whether or not packages reach the intended recipient or not. Perhaps they should rename the company ‘Post and Hope.’ It’s catchy and accurate.

None of my neighbours were hurt during the writing of this post.

Till next time, hou je snavel!