If it's importantly urgent I get goods sent to "DEPOT ONLY". That way it's there for me first thing next morning no excuses. And they ring and tell you. Also Courier Post will leave items at the nearest Post-Office if you're not home (thats closer than the depot) so generally I get things shipped to the Post-Office rather than a home address.
But I did live next door to a courier for a while... best service I ever had.
Yep, I've run into a lot of irresponsible couriers in my time. I have had at least two items 'lost' on their way to me via TradeMe sale and one admittedly stolen but the PBT lady said they would not reimburse me as it wasn't valuable enough. It was a length of CAT5 cable if I recall correctly.
I get quite angry when couriers sign their name (or a made up one) for goods that should be signed for by the recipient. I make sure to call their operations department every time and make a complaint. Nothing is ever done about it. I get a manager or supervisor who is very apologetic blah blah blah... I have considered calling them and saying I haven't received the parcel but can't stoop into such dishonesty; I just want to give them a shock.