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customers

I (Andrei) created this page as part of a larger article and as a quick way to avoid problems in bike deliveries and also to allow you, my customer, a way to learn more about me, if you so wish, in the hope that this would increase your satisfaction with my services and minimize the time spent, preventing unnecessary delays.
A note from Andrei to Food Courier customers
In an effort to provide a good customer service experience, in my first week of work I would leave with each order a note handwritten on my personal stationery, but I ran out of notes and writing them takes quite a bit of stationary time - so I created this page instead!

If you are a client from one of the food delivery companies I work with and have come here at my suggestion, please see the following for a smooth and fast delivery!
  1. The number one cause of delays that can be easily corrected is the absence of a full address. While the client may have entered their apartment and/or buzzer number in their profile, all apps (except Favor) pass on only the bare street address to couriers (not sure why - either bad design, poorly understood privacy concerns or so that Google Maps does not get confused when mapping) and only their first name, not their last, for privacy reasons. As such, couriers cannot look the customer up in a directory and neither can the concierge. 
    1. If only the buzzer is included, the customer might forget to provide the apartment number and cause the courier to have to repeatedly buzz until the customer listens before opening and hanging up; when the customer tells the number, it may sometimes be misunderstood over the inter-phone and without coverage inside the building, the delays could be substantial.
    2. If only the apartment number is included, the courier may have difficulties getting in. Relying on the concierge is not always a good idea as they often go on patrol around the building or may have to leave their desk for emergencies or other issues.
    3. If your address includes an apartment number or special instructions, please text it to me via the app or directly at 416-NEURONS (638-7667).
  2. Calling / SMS. Texting is preferable. I focus on getting orders fast and am mostly on my bicycle. This makes it difficult to answer phone calls. It is best to text me at the number above. I always try to make a phone call if I have to wait longer than expected for food at a restaurant. Often, during inclement weather, I have to keep my phone protected from the elements and that makes it impossible to answer inquiries immediately.
  3. Office address. Double-check given address. Sometimes the customer has more than one address or their profile has an address (e.g., home and office) and they order from another. When that happens it may be impossible to fulfill their order, as couriers often get several orders queued and going to a different address takes time away from the next customer, who might get upset this way. Please be sure that the address in the app is the address you want your food delivered to.
  4. Feedback. Please do. If you would like to give me feedback, please do! You may use the rating system of the app itself, although your comments might not reach me and in some cases it is impossible to leave separate feedback from the service in general. I always appreciate an opportunity to improve my service and the apps seldom allow for feedback to be passed on to me, so if you have the time, email me (firstname at lastname dot net) or text me your thoughts, good or bad, but hopefully good! 
  5. Delays / Problems. I didn't do it :D Behind any successful (and even unsuccessful) order there is a team of people and quite a bit of luck. 
    1. I am not licensed to handle food, so even though I always check that I'm getting the right food order, I am forced to mostly rely on the restaurant staff for that. Some restaurants may be swamped in orders and provide your food with delay. 
    2. Occasionally, I get orders that may have been refused by others and as such are late already when I get them (in one case, a far-away order had been placed for more than 1h by the time I got it). Some reasons couriers may repeatedly refuse an order include locations North of Bloor (which means uphill pedaling and a loss in revenues, especially at peak hours) or because it's an order that is already late, resulting in an irate customer no matter how hard the courier might try. When I receive queued orders (a set of several orders stacked) I fulfill them in the order they appear in my app. This may show in your app that I am taking long time to deliver your order, but that is usually because I have to pick up other orders and deliver them before yours.
    3. I bicycle fast, but sometimes traffic, street closures, sport or concert events, accidents, construction, sink holes or multiple orders and delays outside my control could possibly interfere with delivering an order on time. Occasionally, food may spill due to shoddy packaging or simply too many potholes.
    4. I always text when I get a late order and / or when I leave the restaurant. If you feel that you have been waiting too long, it is best to let me know right away and contact customer service to cancel the order and/or ask for a refund. Please note that as a contractor, there is very little I can do to change anything. The best I can do is ride as fast as I can, but I do this by default, anyway.
  6. Pizza. Vertical. I am using an insulated backpack designed for food deliveries (it is like an over-sized lunch box). It does not deal well with pizza boxes as most such boxes may be slightly bigger than can fit in it, especially if there is more food for other orders. Placing the pizza box vertically in the bag (the only way I can) may cause toppings to fall off and not being able to fully close the bag may cause heat loss and the pizza to go cold. I usually do not see that it's a pizza order until I get to the restaurant, and by that time it's too late to warn you, so if having your pizza delivered in a proper pizza bag (which I don't have) is important to you, please contact support or customer service and ask for the order to be assigned to somebody with a proper bag.
  7. Tipping. Cash is king. I have spoken to a number of couriers and for all, cash tipping is always preferred to tipping via the app. Some apps may force customers to tip in advance, which defeats the purpose of tipping and also depersonalizes the act. Some customers prefer tipping via the app as they do not carry change and do not like to ask for change, yet most couriers carry quite a bit of change, don't mind breaking bills or giving change and would even take a smaller cash tip rather than a large tip via the app. This might also be because all companies that provide minimum income guarantees (e.g., Favor, DoorDash) count tips against such guarantees. Personally, I do this for fitness and fun and I never expect tipping. I also know better than to refuse a gift; I see it as a measure of customer satisfaction and a less involved way to provide feedback. 
  8. Questions. If you are interested in or have questions on doing deliveries yourself, I am happy to answer them but not when I work. Please see the riders page for some quick info and if you decide to apply or have more questions, please feel free to contact me by email or text later.
  9. About. If you would like to learn more about me, you may visit andrei.zodian.net

Some friends who have heard about my new part-time adventures asked me if I could deliver for them. My first impulse was to refuse and refer them to one of my partner companies, but as far as I know, none of them allow for specifying a special person to fulfill an order. I thus decided I should provide them with a more standardized opportunity to use my services. To that end, I created an order form in Google and, though I've never received an order or promoted in any way, one of my partner delivery services Toronto manager claimed that I am "promoting my own delivery business", so I removed it.

(this page may be reached via j.mp/ridec and go.zodian.net/courcust)
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