Hi, here at Pharos Parcel we are very fond of our student customers who ship with us all over the world. We love your zest for life, your honesty and that when you find a good thing you share it around and tell your friends about us.
We have sent thousands of items home for our valued student customers. Here are some handy tips which we hope will help you when posting your belongings home. These are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked. First:
Yes we can send suitcases, and bags, only if they are in a box. A lot of people find some recycled boxes from their local shops and with lots of parcel tape, construct a box round their suitcase. This is fine as long as your baggage is securely wrapped in cardboard and the label stuck on well.
PLEASE! PLEASE don't send a bag or suitcase on its own. Trust me, the label will come off in transit and your belongings will be lost!
It is better to spend some time and box it up and then securely attach your label to the outside of your box.
2. FLYING HOME.
Please don't leave sending your belongings home until the day before you fly home!
We don't want your last memories of staying in Britain to be spoilt by the stress of frantic phone calls and panicking because the courier driver hasn't found your address, or has missed collecting from you. So send your parcels home a few days before you head home and have a plan B, perhaps a good friend or flat mate who will be willing to take your parcels if there is a problem with your initial collection day.
3. COLLECTION OF YOUR PARCELS.
We cannot contact the individual drivers and ask them to collect at a time to suit you, I really wish we could.
The drivers will download all their collections to do and then work out the best route so they may collect at 10 in the morning, or at 6pm at night. In most cases they tend to collect in the afternoon after they have made all their deliveries, but if they have a parcel to deliver in the same street as yours they may call in the morning to save them coming back later. We cannot contact the drivers for you and ask them to collect at a specific time. The driver will NOT phone you before he calls to collect, so you can nip home from work, and he will not wait for you if you are not at home, or your doorbell doesn't work.
Most drivers have about 100 parcels to collect in one day and they are under too much pressure to hang around waiting.
4. TRACKING YOUR PARCEL
Once your parcels have been collected, please track them so you know when they are due out for delivery.
Please fill in a local Spanish contact number or Spanish mobile not a U.K. Mobile for the delivery address details. The courier companies will only attempt once or twice to deliver. Then they will drop them off at a local collection point for you to collect and leave a card, or return them back to the UK. The cost of a parcel returned back to the UK is over £60, so please track your parcels! If there is problem with them finding your address it will show up on the tracking and if you contact us, we can help or give you the courier company's number in Spain so you can arrange delivery with them.
5. BIKES AND TVs
I am sorry we cannot send bikes, they are too large to ship with the carriers we use. TVs have to be transported upright and your parcels will travel down conveyor belts at speed and may have heavy parcels stacked on top of them in transit. Please check our list of prohibited (banned) items and restricted ( not advised) items before you book.
6. PERSONAL BELONGINGS
These are any items older than 6 months old and belonging to you. They are not covered for transit cover. Even if you take out transit cover it is not valid for personal belongings.
If your parcel is lost (a very rare occurrence if labelled properly) or damaged (again, very rare if packed properly) there is no compensation. You are sending your personal belongings at your own risk, so pack carefully and don’t send valuable items in your boxes.
I once spent a whole summer trying to find a lost parcel containing a student’s final dissertation, he hadn’t taken a copy. We were heartbroken for him when the carrier couldn’t find it.
If you take time and carefully pack your belongings in strong double walled cardboard boxes your parcels should arrive safe and in good condition. You can buy boxes in out of town storage centres, Ikea, and some larger stores such as B & Q. I believe Amazon sells double walled shipping boxes. We use a company called Macfarlanes who have an online website but you have to buy in quantities of 10 or 20 so if you club together with friends you can order bulk shipments of boxes from them.
Please use lots and lots of strong parcel tape.
Your boxes will travel down conveyor belts at speed and be handled by at least 10 different people all under huge time pressures.
So pack well so nothing can rattle around in your boxes and use lots of tape to seal it and protect the edges. If you are sending something fragile wrap it well with lots of cushioning around it in the middle of your box.
We have seen 30 Kg shipped in an old crisp packet box designed to carry 1.5kg. The only thing holding the box together was the tape!
8. WHICH CARRIER DO I USE TO EUROPE?
With Pharos Parcel, You have a choice of three different courier companies to send your belongings home. Here is our honest opinion on their services.
these are the cheapest and if sending more than one box, the second and subsequent boxes are a bit cheaper. If you book with us the day before and give a U.K. Mobile number or email, you should get a text telling you at what time the driver will call to collect. The same should happen when your parcel is out for delivery. You can converse with DPD on their app on your phone and use it to track your parcel.
Most of the time they are great, but occasionally we have problems with drivers not calling to collect when they say they will, or if you have a lot of boxes saying they don't have enough space on their van. You cannot take out transit cover with DPD, you send your parcels at your own risk, so please don't send valuables such as laptops and jewellery, take them with you on the plane.
Our feedback from customers has been varied, they use a company called SUER in Spain and sometimes there are problems with delivery especially in the Balearics.
A very efficient courier company and a big favourite in Europe. Great for small boxes but may be a bit more expensive for sending large heavy boxes and there is no transit cover, but we have never had a lost or damaged parcel with them yet. Our business customers love them because they are so good. They are owned by Deutsche Post and are run with typical German efficiency.
American owned they are the world’s largest carrier. You can send up to 30 Kg for the same price to Spain, they are generally very efficient, but they are ruthless at charging if your parcel is 1 gram over or 1cm larger than the maximum allowed and being American couldn’t possibly admit if they get something wrong!
9. HOW BIG A PARCEL CAN I SEND?
We do not recommend sending more than 25Kg.
If the parcel is too heavy for you to carry down the street then you can be sure there is more chance of it getting damaged.
With DPD and DHL the longest parcel you can send is 100cm, with UPS you can send longer but over 120cm it is an extra £7 for handling.
The maximum size you can send is 325cm in volume. This is worked out by the formula:
1 x length + (2 x width) + ( 2 x height) = no bigger than 325cm.
So if you were sending a parcel 50 x 50 x 50 cm. This would be 50 + 100 + 100 = 250cm which is fine.
10. CAN I DROP MY PARCEL OFF?
All of the carriers also have drop in points, most of which if you live in a city might only be a few meters away, they tend to be small local shops and newsagents. Once you have booked your parcels with us you can drop your parcel in and save having to stay at home all day for collection. Make sure they give you a receipt for your parcels. Just contact us and we will give you the nearest location to drop your parcel off.
The maximum weight they will accept at these drop off points is 20kg and maximum length of 100cm.
So there you are 10 tips on sending your parcels home. We do love to hear from our customers and I personally read all feedback good or bad. We very much appreciate when you tell your family and friends about us. We have grown our company through recommendation and I wish you a good journey home and happy memories of your time in Britain.