Why Is DHL So Bad? (9 Reasons Why)

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Yasmin Fisher

Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

In a global economy, things need to be shipped. This can be scary, with the possibility of delays or items breaking, but it’s a reality that everybody involved in business must face.

Shipping anything can be a nightmare, but some companies seem worse at it than others. Every shipping company has its fair share of issues! Even shipping giants like FedEx and UPS have broken delicate packages or lost things in the mail. However, DHL seems to be one of the worst there is!

Why Is DHL So Bad?

1. DHL Is Extremely Slow

DHL is known for its extremely slow delivery times, often taking two weeks to a month to deliver what should have been delivered in one to two weeks.

While DHL claims that shipping within the continental United States may take two to eight days, many customers report being quoted upwards of two weeks. Not only does this seem dishonest, but it’s outrageously slow!

Not only is DHL slow, but their communication in that regard is poor- but see the next section for more on that.

2. DHL Does Not Communicate

Nowadays, it seems like every company has poor communication. It’s a pleasant surprise to get a company that tells you what’s going on, especially if it’s a shipping company!

Unfortunately, DHL falls in line with its competitors in this regard. Many customers report DHL delaying packages or extending shipping times with zero notice.

This lack of communication can be frustrating. When something you’ve paid for is in somebody else’s hands, you will want to know that whoever handling it knows what they are doing.

Unfortunately, in the case of DHL, it seems that they don’t!

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With all their shipping blunders and their lack of communication, all the condemnations of DHL being unprofessional seem to make sense.

3. DHL Experiences Too Many Delays

Delays may sound like the same issue as being slow, but it’s not! While these issues are related and can be intertwined, being slow is different from being delayed.

DHL is known for delaying packages an egregious amount, with packages arriving a week or so after they were supposed to.

When mixed with DHL’s lack of communication, this can lead to a lethal combination. Imagine waiting all day for your package to arrive, only to be told halfway through the day that it’s being delayed until next week.

This delaying is a downright shoddy business practice! With this practice of delaying, it’s no surprise that almost ten thousand reviews give DHL only one star out of five.

4. DHL Holds Shipments

DHL likes to hold packages at their facilities for seemingly no reason. This practice might seem similar to a delay, and in many ways, it is a delay, but at least you know where your package is!

One significant difference between a delay and a hold is that when DHL holds your package, DHL won’t tell you when they will release your item to be shipped again.

This practice of holding can be even more frustrating than a simple delay, especially if your package is time-sensitive.

Think about how poor DHL’s communication is regarding these things. That makes their holding packages even worse!

You could always call customer service about it, right? Unfortunately, you’ll want to think twice there.

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5. DHL Has Poor Customer Service

DHL’s customer service is notorious for being unhelpful, clueless, and often downright rude. In many cases, it may seem like a customer disservice instead!

Imagine your package has been delayed or is being held- or even, in the worst-case scenario, your package was lost.

Any reasonable person would call customer service to track their package, get some answers, or whatever they deem necessary.

Unfortunately, this seems to do nothing. Whether DHL hires people who don’t care or purposefully keeps their employees in the dark, their customer service employees are utterly unhelpful!

6. DHL Lies About Deliveries

DHL Lies About Deliveries

Many times, DHL will claim that they attempted delivery when in reality they never showed up!

A great many customers have complained about sitting home and waiting for their package all day, only to be told that the package will be delayed.

The reason DHL gives is that ‘delivery was attempted,’ but the customer was home all day and didn’t meet a single delivery person.

Errors happen once in a while, and that is a simple fact of business. An address may be input incorrectly, or a delivery driver may show up at the wrong house. Mistakes happen!

However, if a company’s mistakes are so frequent they become a part of its reputation, that’s a serious issue.

In many cases, it can seem like DHL may have lied about trying to deliver the package. You can see why so many customers would believe that!

Nobody wants to deal with a company that consistently lies about its activities.

7. DHL Loses Packages

Do you remember the theoretical worst-case scenario from earlier, with your package being lost? This is alarmingly frequent with DHL.

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DHL losing packages have gotten so frequent that some websites offer guides to dealing with these losses.

Some even go as far as providing legal services to get compensation for lost packages from DHL.

8. DHL Staff Is Underpaid

With how bad DHL seems to treat both its employees and customers, it’s a shock that anybody would work there.

This shock is magnified when you learn that many employees report that DHL’s pay is mediocre at best! Additionally, employees rate it as a horrible place to work in general.

9. DHL Is Understaffed

Whether because DHL treats its employees so poorly or just doesn’t pay them enough, current employees report that DHL remains understaffed.

It makes sense- who would want to work at DHL with how unprofessional they are?

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why UPS takes so long, why FedEx sucks, why AliExpress is so cheap.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, shipping can be a nightmare, and DHL doesn’t make it any better! You can easily see why so many people hate this international shipping giant, including its employees!

If you have a better shipping company available, using them may be a good idea! Some customers claim DHL Express fixes many of DHL’s issues, but not everybody can afford the price tag that comes with DHL Express.


  • Yasmin Fisher

    Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

3 thoughts on “Why Is DHL So Bad? (9 Reasons Why)”

  1. I worked for a major online retailer that used UPS until DHL made a “better” offer on service. Well they didn’t deliver…anything. Lost packages went up 32% and they promised us the best service and product. We NEVER got through to our reps or customer service. We gave them 3 months and then canned them and went back to UPS. As a fraud investigation officer and loss prevention it was a logistical nightmare for our company. I wouldn’t trust them to ship ANYTHING for me and any company that uses them for shipping loses my business instantly.

  2. I have had packages delayed before by multiple shipping companies, but only for 24-48 hours at the most. And, even then I was appalled at their unprofessional practices. However, I have been waiting nearly two weeks for DHL to deliver something I ordered that would have arrived within a day, or two at the most. It has been delayed three times now, and finally today it has been en route , yet I have not received it, and the day is nearing an end, so my hopes are not high for DHL’s redemption.

    It is just really frustrating to have to go through this when there are far better services out there for companies to use. Services that don’t take weeks to deliver a simple package.

    In this day and age of instant gratification, no one should have to wait longer than 3-5 days for any package, unless they’re ordering from overseas.

    So yeah, all in all DHL gets a big fat F- from me, and it is a wonder they still do business in the US with their track record of carelessness, and incompetence.

  3. Totally agree with whatever bad things said about DHL and including dhl express. I think they should change their service to DHL Turtle. That would definitely be closer to explain their shipping speed and mostly their customer care which more frustrating than package holds and delays. Whenever I have option to go fedex, I definitely would.


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