Volumio Rivo Fedex shipping issue to the UK (and maybe elsewhere)

I write this message so that other potential purchasers may be aware of issues that may impact them.

I placed an order for a Volumio Rio on Sunday Nov 26th via the Volumio shop. I received an email with a Fedex tracking number the following day. The Fedex tracking intially reported delivery to the UK scheduled for Wenesday November 29th.

The Fedex tracking info does not report any further progress of the parcel since November 28th, with the item still in Italy. The tracking states the parcel is “Delayed” and no scheduled delivery date is given.

As I am the recipient of the parcel I have little leverage with Fedex to find out what is going on (their contract is with the sender of the parcel). I have emailed Fedex and received no reply. I have contacted Volumio to ask them to find out what is going on, and received three emails from Bruno in support. The account of the delay has been different each time I have contacted him, the most recent iteration being that there is a “customs inspection” taking place, and while all documentation relating to my parcel is in place, we are subject to “bureacratic delay” owing to the operation of the customs authorities.

I have asked Bruno whether this issue is specific to my order or affecting multiple parcels, and will relate any response here.

It is fustrating to have commited significant funds to purchase this item directly from Volumio and not only not have receipt of the package within the expected timescale, but also to have no ETA for it at this point.

While my response may not directly address your order and is based solely on personal experience unrelated to Volumio, I’d like to share that Brexit continues to pose challenges for customs. I encountered a similar situation when receiving orders from the UK to Europe. Prior to Brexit, deliveries typically took 3-4 days, but now the process extends to 3-4 weeks.

Hi @malcolmbarr thanks for sharing your experience, and I am sorry that your Rivo is not with you yet. Maybe does not help to know, but by analyzing the situation I think you’re just having some bad luck for a series of reasons.

On monday we shipped approximately 20 units, all all of them in Europe have been delivered timely. And generally we found that the shipping estimations done via our carriers are extremely correct.

Currently, your package seems to be delayed at the customs. After brexit unfortunately all the shipments to UK need to go trough customs (to have the duties added on top, which are on us).

What I believe is holding your package is simply the extra load on customs due to the black friday shipments (which is the busiest time of the year) and probably they have a huge backlog of shipments to handle.

We have been pressuring Fedex as much as possible and requested info on that, but unfortunately this
is not something that we or Fedex have any control on, but rather it’s on customs.

But in any case, don’t worry. You will have your Rivo with you, just a little later than you expected. We will not leave any stone unturned and if there should be even more delays we are thinking on plan Bs to let you have your beloved Rivo.

Wheaten and Volumio - thank you for replies.

I understand that if the issue is Italian customs then that is a constraint imposed on Fedex and Volumio by extension. But Fedex should at least be able to provide better information than “delayed”, and in my first contact about this via Bruno I was told incorrectly there was a “logistics issue”.

I very much hope the Rivo will be “beloved” when I finally get it!!

@malcolmbarr I definetely understand how frustrating is to wait for the new toy, and its getting delayed… I’m really sympathetic about that…

We’ll do everything we can to speed up the process. Let us know how you like it when you get it

The parcel was released from Italian customs on Monday AM, and the tracking info reports that Fedex had it at Fiumicino at 2.46pm on Monday. Since then there has been no update to the tracking info from FedEx.

It appears that after being held up by customs from Tuesday through to Monday AM, the parcel has not moved for a day and a half.

I contacted Bruno (Volumio support) yesterday to chase this and have received no reply.

Please address this.

This is not a good experience.

I know you’re frustrated, but since Brexit ended the free movement of goods, this is the reality. Intended and unintended obstacles to hinder the free movement of goods and not enough manpower, money or political will to sort it out. I have had parcels sail through customs, whilst some sit there for weeks. Nobody, including Volumio or the carrier, has any influence or additional information once a parcel is in customs’ black box.

Hi SimonE

You are right that Brexit means EU to UK exports are subject to the customs regime, and that adds an element of randomised bureacracy that can catch anybody.

Given the potential for that to occur one might hope that Fedex (and by extension Volumio) would maximise what little information there was about the parcel. In this case the information I have received has been conflicting and fustration inducing.

Yeah frustrating it is. But keep in mind that it easily takes up to 2-3 weeks.
Sending from Volumio,
receiving by Fedex,
reporting to UK,
receive OK,
send tax bill to Volumio,
Payment by Volumio,
processing payment by Fedex,
announce for shipment,
transport to UK,
customs clearnance,
out for delivery.


You are right that all of those processes can take time, and the customs agencies have the ability to be a law unto themselves. But those who have day to day experience of this are Fedex and Volumio, and you would expect them to have in mind processes to manage this. For example

(a) Fedex initially reported an expected delivery date of Wednesday last week for delivery, and the information they have provided to Volumio has been confused and contradictory

(b) Given the processes you highlight, you might expect Volumio to sell through a UK based retailer with who holds stock of the item. That way customers are not exposed to the vagaries of the customs process. I made the assumption that the fact Volumio were offering direct sales with free worldwide shipping meant that the shipping process was working smoothly. I regret doing that now.

I can’t answer this for @Volumio, but keeping local stock is very very expensive. It’s just money wasting on a shelf.
There is however a local reseller in the UK, with 2-3 days delivery.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to recognize that the process of export/import entails significant time and can be cumbersome to manage. In a similar vein, over 70% of small businesses based in the UK ceased selling to Europe due to Brexit.
Another frustrating aspect is that you only receive updates from FedEx when the package is physically touched or moved.

Let’s hope that upon receiving your package, you’re so impressed by the product that it makes you forget about the earlier hassle.

Wheaten - you are hinting at why I am somewhat exercised by this.

I was aware I could have purchased the unit through a UK based reseller. But I decided to buy direct from Volumio partly (a) to offer support directly to a small, independent hifi manufacturer, and (b) because the offer of tax free shipping worldwide suggested Volumio was confident in “cutting out the middle man” in the distribution process.

If I had gone to the local reseller I would have had the unit in the middle of last week. Perhaps Volumio should be encouraging customers to go down the local reseller route where units are already in stock to avoid the issues I have encountered.

I’m not implying anything, and if it seems that way, I apologize. English is not my first language, and I’m simply attempting to clarify the situation.

Another day passes and it does not appear the unit has left Italy, and it looks increasingly unlikely I will get the unit in time for this weekend.

Good news - it has finally arrived with me here in the U.K. so the whole process eventually took two weeks. I will post impressions etc. elsewhere.

Thanks you to Bruno and Volumio for their efforts in dealing with this.

Moral of my story is that you may be exposed to a delivery delay by purchasing directly from Volumio if you are unfortunate with the customs processing. I could probably have saved a week and a half of waiting for the device if I had purchased directly from a U.K. stockist rather than Volumio in Italy. As best as I can tell there is no price difference.

@malcolmbarr we ship plenty of units to UK and they are always delivered timely. We have established a really efficient shipping pipeline which minimizes friction and provides accurate estimates (you never want to give expectations to customers and then don’t fulfil them)

As I already said, in your case, you were just penalized by the extra workload on customs for black friday… Shall you have ordered in normal cases you would not have had to wait that much