UPDATES ON COVID-19
The UK government has announced a second lockdown from 05.11.20. VOCLA will continue to dispatch orders but there will be a reduced level of customer service available – we will be relying on e-mail communication as employees work from home. There may also be some delays with deliveries and we have removed the option to Click and Collect from our Manchester warehouse.
All our parcels are being dispatched everyworking day.
There are minimal delays in the UK postal network.
There are some minor delays in getting parcels onto a flight for International deliveries, but these are not large delays. However, we are seeing delays in parcels being processed through customs in the following countries (these are not delays with VOCLA or the postal service, they are delays with government customs departments clearing parcels):
- Hong Kong – delays of several weeks
- Some USA airports, but parcels are being re-routed to other airports to clear back-logs. The majority of USA parcels arrive in a reasonable time
- Australia – delays of about 1 week
- Canada – unpredicatable delays
The UK government has imposed futher restrictions on the Greater Manchester area. We are still dispatching orders, but we have a reduced phone support as we have increased the number of staff working from home, rather than at our office.
We have been informed by Royal Mail that there are significant delays being experienced on parcels to Canada but they have not said what the length of the delays are.
We are aware of issues with delays to deliveries in the Swindon UK area but again, we have not been told what the length of the delays are.
- We are seeing improvements in the time taken to deliver International parcels. We estimate the timescale to now be between 8 and 10 working days.
- The Royal Mail are implementing a temporary surcharge on parcels going outside Europe from 1st July, of about £4, so we will be temporarily increasing delivery prices on 1st July.
- UK parcels are generally arriving on time, with only some minor delays.
- DHL Express services have improved and are now normal timescales for Europe and delays of a couple of days for International parcels.
- Our warehouse is planning to be fully re-opened within the next two weeks. It has been fitted out with hand santizers and other protective equipment. Measures have been put in place for staff to work at appropriate distances.
- We will be resuming the Click and Collect service at our warehouse this week – this will be a non-contact service, your parcel would be left in the entrance area for you to collect. Hand santizer is available in this area.
- We continue to see delays of about 1 week in parcels being processed through customs in Australia and USA, although the situation in Australia appears to be improving.
- We have changed the estimated International delivery timescales at the basket/checkout to reflect our current best estimates, taking into consideration any patterns in delays which we are seeing. Please note that they are still estimates.
- We have resumed delivery to Thailand.
- Our DHL Express International delivery options are seeing delays of a few days. We have therefore adjusted the delivery timescales at the basket/checkout to reflect our current best estimates.
- UK parcels are mostly being delivered on time or with a minor delay.
Delays with International parcels generally occur due to Customs processing and not the couriers. It seems that some Customs teams are holding parcels and taking quite some time to clear them, probably due to reduced staffing levels and being told to give priority to essential goods such as medical equipment. We are unable to contact Customs teams so unfortunately it is a case of having to patiently wait for a parcel to be cleared. Please note, VOCLA will have dispatched your parcel quickly and on time and the parcel will have been put onto a plane quickly by the Royal Mail, it is simply a delay with Customs processing by a government department, which is outside our control. Please do not shout or threaten us, we know it is annoying and it is very difficult to manage, but we have no control over Customs or the COVID situation in each country. The parcels will eventually clear. We chase and chase the parcels on your behalf and with a reduced staffing capacity ourselves.
All our orders continue to be dispatched each working day at 4pm for orders placed before 3pm GMT. The are no delays with VOCLA processing parcels.
UK Orders: The Royal Mail service is generally doing exceptionally well with the vast majority of parcels being delivered in the usual time scales. We really have a lot to thank them for. We are noticing delivery delays with a small number of UK parcels but this is very ad hoc and inconsistent, possibly due to local staffing issues at some smaller Royal Mail depots.
International Orders: We are noticing delays in parcels being processed through customs authorities in the following countries:
- Australia, delays of around 1 week whilst parcels are processed by a reduced capacity Customs service
- The Western side of USA (parcels are being held up at Chicago Airport Customs and those parcels appear to not be being processed by Customs – we are trying to find additional information but it may be that the service has been suspended and that parcels will be moved when a lockdown is relieved)
- Singapore, delays of a few days
We have re-introduced delivery with DHL as they have their own Customs clearance teams. Parcels can therefore be processed quicker. We therefore recommending using the DHL delivery service for the above countries, particularly USA.
European Orders: We are not noticing any major delays with parcels going to Europe.
We continue to reply to all customer e-mails every working day. We are available on the live chat system whenever someone can be available during the day, evenings and weekends. Our office line is currently unanswered as all our office staff are working from home. Please therefore contact us by e-mail at email@example.com or on the live chat system.
We have put a number of measures in place to protect our customers, visitors and staff and we continue to add to these measures:
- Only one person attends the warehouse each day to dispatch orders, that person continually uses hand sanitizer throughout the day
- All office staff are working from home and have been doing do since March
- All surfaces in the warehouse and anything that someone may touch (eg door handles) are cleaned daily
- The entire warehouse and office are thoroughly cleaned once a week
- The only visitors to the warehouse are currently any couriers delivering parcels or the Royal Mail to collect our outgoing parcels. No other visitors are allowed. Our Click and Collect service is currently suspended
- All returns and incoming parcels are left for one to two days before being opened and processed
- We have face masks on order, which will be available for our staff when we return from lockdown
- Hand sanitizer gel and liquid is provided throughout our warehouse and office, including the entrance for any visitors
Until further notice, our deliveries will continue to be dispatched each working day Mon to Fri at 4pm for orders placed before 3pm GMT.
If you require customer service, please contact us by e-mail or by using our Live Chat system. Our office staff are currently working from home and unable to receive phone calls.
Our deliveries will be dispatched as normal at 4pm GMT for orders placed before 3pm GMT.
So we have Carl in the warehouse all day today picking, packing and dispatching all the orders. He’s probably dancing around the warehouse with classic Whitney hits blasting out! He’s also going to be available on the Live Chat system.
We’ve launched the Spring sale early so anyone who is bored self-isolating at home can get some barginas. Or maybe just make their day a little more interesting by looking through the half naked men on our site!
Normal Service: VOCLA currently remains open and is expecting to dispatch orders at 4pm GMT as per usual. The Royal Mail has not cancelled our daily collection, therefore we are assuming a normal service.
Express Delivery Services Cancelled: Express UK delivery services are currently available at the checkout, along with Express DHL International services as our couriers can nolonger guarantee the timescales on these services.
Homeworking: All our office staff are working from home and one person attends our warehouse each day to dispatch orders, until further notice. If you require customer service please use either our Live Chat facility or e-mail us.
Click & Collect Cancelled: Our click and collect service at our warehouse is currently unavailable.
COVID Cases: There have been no examples of members of staff contracting COVID-19. Our warerhouse continues to offer sufficient hand wash gels and soaps. The number of visitors to the warehouse has been reduced to couriers only.
International Deliveries: Whilst we are still able to dispatch International orders, the situation in each local country is different and we are unable to guarantee a delivery timescale for International orders.
Returns & Refunds: We are currently processing returns & refunds once a week as these are delivered to us by the Royal Mail once a week.