I’m getting seriously, seriously disgruntled with some of the parcel delivery services in the UK at the moment. I’m not talking about Parcelforce or Fedex (though they have their moments), I’m talking about these shoddy little local services that employ people in unmarked vans who post scraps of photocopied paper through the letterbox without ringing the doorbell to see if you’re in. The people that collect in my area for a certain huge clothing etailer can barely be bothered to leave their vehicle half the time – I once saw the little van stop, look at my house and then drive away. I had ordered a collection, and I knew it was them because they had picked up before! They didn’t come back, and they didn’t return for the subsequent three collections – the etailer informed me that the couriers had stopped coming to my address because I was never in. (Though on all three occasions I had been in all day accepting deliveries, including from – wait for it – that very same online clothing store.)
And then we come to the delivery service who won’t be named. I’d like to give you a clue and say “rhymes with”, but it doesn’t rhyme with anything. Ironically, it looks a bit like “model” but it definitely doesn’t rhyme with it… Anyway, they didn’t deliver on the right day with my huge Amazon order, and then on the day that they did try to deliver, they told Amazon that I had refused the delivery! Funny, when I was IN PARIS THAT DAY. Lies annoy me more than anything, especially when I have to sort out the mess that results from them. I tried to phone them, but couldn’t get through on their ridiculous phone system because I didn’t have the 8-digit code that the driver had failed to write on the slip. Frustrating? You bet! I can tell you, it’s a good job that they don’t have a face-to-face service centre because people would have riots in it. I feel truly sorry for their Twitter people – it’s not their fault. They seem to do quite well at keeping tempers relatively soothed, but boy – I hope they’re paying them handsomely.
What annoys me most, I think, is the fact that these big companies are employing these rubbish delivery services in the first place. Because, no doubt, they are dirt cheap. I can understand, to a certain extent, that you’d want to keep delivery charges down for your company if you’re offering free delivery on orders, that makes sense. But when a customer is paying a yearly fee for prime/premier delivery services? No. If I pay, then I expect the deliveries to be smooth and efficient. I’m all for supporting the smaller businesses but only if they can actually deliver the goods! I have a feeling that this cheapo delivery strategy is going to start backfiring – the girl at Amazon seemed completely unsurprised that there had been a problem with my “doesn’t-rhyme-with-model” delivery.
Your own stories below, please, I very much enjoy hearing them. Mattress through the letterbox? Lost sofa? Parcel left in the recycling bin? Get typing…
(Image from freedigitalphotos.net, artfully altered by Yours Truly, using the Mac equivalent of PC Paint.)