Why I decided to reduce the days I work as WMG Parcel Walker.

 


I've "rejoin" WMG as Parcel Walker for a while now, and I've decided to greatly reduce the number of days I work with them. Why, you may ask. Well, there are a number of reasons.

 

Having to make more calls and text

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we're encouraged to do NCD (None Contact Deliveries) now, and there are a whole lot of procedules we have to follow.

- Call/text the customer to ensure they'll be home

- Go down to their home, knock to confirm they're home. When they answered the door, leave the parcel outside the gate, do not pass to them personally

- Take a NCD photo of the open door with unit number and the parcel (preferrably can see the address). This one I always fail, very difficult to get all that into one frame without something being cropped or blurred. Note that I only have 2 hands.

- Upload call log and photo

Well, I can understand that there'll be changes, and I do think they're neccessary to ensure the safety of both the receipient and me. What I cannot agree with is these changes are on my expense.

I mean, this will definitely use much more sms and talk time than before. It can get quite a lot if you've many parcels to deliver. Remember it's 1 sms or call to each receipient. Just imagine you've 5 parcels (receipients) a day and that will be 5 texts or calls already. My mobile plan only have like 100 minutes of talk time and 100 free sms.

Furthermore, my talk time and sms are shared between Parcel Walker and Grabfood. If you ask me, I'll prioritise GrabFood anytime.

 

Unpredictable Collection Time

We're expected to be ready and waiting at home or have someone able to receive the parcels from 5:30pm - 8:30pm. Yes, this is the dinner time peak hours for GrabFood. 
 
What happen is, most drivers will text/call you like 5-10 minutes before he arrives and you're expected to go down to the carpark and collect on time. Note that the driver have many places they have to dropoff and also that there is only a 10 minute grace period in most carparks. 
 
Anyway, on days I'm working as Parcel Walker, I'll basically miss the whole dinner time slot for GrabFood if the driver comes later (say after 7:30pm), if he does comes earlier (like 6pm), I still have about an hour or so to work for the dinner time slot.

But there is of course solution for it - I always get my mother/father to go down to collect for me if I'm in process of delivering a GrabFood order. Also, some of the drivers are very accomodating, if you contact them early enough, they don't mind dropping at your place at a later timing. But of course, not at your timing, just a later timing that they can accomodate.

They do have some very nice drivers. 


Heavy Punishment 

I think I've mentioned this before (or have I not?), WMG have quite a heavy punishment for "last minute" cancellation. Now, they expect the walkers to give 3 days notice or else have a valid reasons like MC (medical certs) or other forms of "proves". Failure to do so, will face a penalty of SG$8 deduction from your pay, which I think is quite heavy given that you don't earn much as a Parcel walker.

And I was not told that there'll be such penalty when I agree to get onboard. I was only told to give 3 days notice, and in case of emergencies, contact them to arrange for back up.
 
Let's not forget that you've to give your schedule a month earlier... no one can predict emergencies like 3 days prior, not to mention 30 days! Also, this is supposed to be a Own time own target (OTOT) job, which from my understanding, OTOT = you don't work, you don't earn, it doesn't come with Penalties!

Also, you're expected to have a buddy, whereby when you can't work for any reasons, you've to activate your buddy. But just imagine this, maybe your buddy is a close neighbour. So you tell her to standby in case you couldn't be home on time to deliver the parcels. For a month or so, she diligently stayed at home on the promised days only to have those time wasted. Do you think by the 2nd or 3rd month, she'll still be willing to do that? For an empty promise of $8 per day? Or maybe by then she would already have forgotten totally about this buddy system of yours.

Moreover, most of our buddies are family members who ... well, will have their own commitments or won't be home during family trips. I'm very sure my buddy, have already deleted the WMG app from his phone ... lol


Random Assignments

You'll be in a for a surprise when one day, you received a text message telling you that you've parcels to deliver on a day whereby you've clearly didn't scheduled for. Meaning, they just throw a job to you for a certain day that you did not state that you're free to work.

The good thing is that they don't force it on you IF you respond to them quick enough for them to arrange to pass it to someone else. But well, if you did not check your phone and it's dispatched, you'll get a surprise call from the driver asking where you're because he is waiting at your carpark already... you're pretty much causing inconvenience to the poor driver, who was just as clueless.

Thankfully, on the 2 occasions whereby I was given such sudden tasks, I was able to respond in time and the job was reassigned. And the other time, I was free so I accepted the job.


Horror Stories

There have been horror stories going around, from those who were being ask to leave for no good reason or given any chance to explain.

I can somehow relate to them as I was once put on hiatus because of a missing parcel that was sent to me when I was overseas. (I've given them 2 weeks notice prior to going on holidays). They have ample of time to prepare and avoid such hickups.

So when an ex-walker told me that she was ask to leave via a text message because of a missing parcel (apparently quite expensive), I kinda do buy her story. But of course I could be biased because I know her personally and find her quite friendly and chatty.

She didn't give me much details, only that she didn't know what happened ... she clearly didn't know about the particular missing parcel but was blamed for it. Her last conversation with the company was that she lost an expensive parcel and they don't want her on the team anymore. The decision is final, no need to explain.

But of course, I'm not sure if there are some missing details in between. Or maybe that WMG did have solid proof but didn't want to disclose. Either way, I know very well for my case, they're being unreasonable.


Well, these are just Personal reasons as to why I'm cutting down on Parcel Walker. That doesn't mean it will not be suitable for you. It is just that it's not compatible with my GrabFood schedule and my mobile plan. A part of the reason would also be that I feel it's not exactly what I signed up for, in terms of OTOT, whereby I didn't want to have so much commitment.

Asking for MC is a little too much. I mean, I don't see a doctor for every "sickness" I get... for example, when I sprain my back, I won't go see a doctor. But that doesn't mean I'm well enough to deliver parcels. Also, wasn't MC something "unique" for full-timers? Actually I don't understand why people have to prove they're sick at all

On the good side, they almost always pay on time. On rare occassions that they don't, they keep you updated about it. (Like days whereby the banks have maintence and the transfer is delayed). 

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