Mornin' all.... I have finally started popping in to folks' blogs again, leaving comments when I can. Of course the usual identity crisis hit last night, as it does, when you notice how much creative work has been going on whilst you've been away.... the world still goes on without you, like it or not. Oh well. You've all been upto some interesting stuff!
The main reason for posting this morning (apart from the attempt to make up for my recent slackness) is 'cos I need to get this off my chest. If I mutter the words ROYAL MAIL to you, what kind of emotion does that invoke? And can ya tell what's coming next?
Feck me man, they've seriously pissed me off this week. Big time. And that ain't easy to do. Basically, 4 parcels are missing. All posted from different suppliers from different parts of the UK, all sent 1st class on Monday 24th January. One was sent recorded as it was a replacement for a previous item that went missing 5 weeks ago. A bit odd, don't ya think, that they were all posted the same day and have *all* gone missing?
First off, I check with each of the sellers and they've all got proof of posting. Nice people. Then I go to the Royal Mail website and end up in a tangled loop, being sent all over the place in an effort to find a complaints procedure or number. A deliberate ploy on their behalf, me reckons. Finally get a phone number, so I gives 'em a ring. Lot of bloody good that was. The poor woman on the other end of the phone just quoted the book at me, telling me that Royal Mail's policies won't allow a claim for lost post until 15 days have expired from the moment of posting. Like, even if one of 'em is recorded? Yep, even for the recorded items. She checked the transit/ID no. for the recorded item and just told me it's "still in the system somewhere" Great, cheers. Ta. The point I was trying to make about 4 parcels being missing, not 1, and the coincidence of them all being posted at the same time (and pressumably reaching my local office at the same time) fell on deaf ears.
So I emailed Watchdog. Oh yes. And listed all the other problems I've had in the last 6 months that I could remember. Not that Watchdog will get back to me but it felt good to do it.
1) The most recent parcel to make it to me was left on my doorstop. No delivery card, no safe hiding place. Just sitting there on my doorstop waiting for someone to pinch it. Thankfully Tom found it when he came home at lunchtime.
2) Obviously there was an item sent 5 weeks ago which never made it here; no interest from Royal Mail about that either.
3) One parcel of woolly fibres for spinning was sent. Got a delivery card, got to the sorting office, they couldn't find it. Went back a week later to collect something else, and the said missing parcel had been 'found'. It was ripped open, and had been emptied into a plastic bag. No apology for that either.
4) And of course the inevitable flexibilty of the sorting office. It's totally logical of course, to deliver parcels to customers during the day when the greater percentage of the population are at work. Even more logical to have the collection office open for a few hours in the morning when said customers are again at work. If I wanna collect anything, I have to be late for school. And having it sent to school doesn't improve the odds of me getting it either, as I've tried that...
5) My 1st order from the states, some while back. The lady sent it all via Airmail as I asked. It was being sent to school and I was reassured that there was always someone on the premises to take deliveries. 4 weeks after sending, I start investigating. Should have been with me in 14 days. 2 months later, it arrives back at the seller. It never reached me; no delivery card or anything. A mystery.
6) In a vain attempt to get said parcel from the states, I paid again for it to be delivered via Airmail. This time to my home address, where previously postie had been good at leaving cards. Or so I thought. Yep, you guessed it, several months later it ends up back at the seller and this time I opt for a full refund. Now, explain that one, Royal Mail? The sender at her end checked the delivery status each time and it definitely reached these shores. It even had notes written on it about delivery attempts. Erm, come again? What delivery attempts?
7) The xmas pressie from my mum nearly didn't get to me. She posted it several days before the parcel 'last post' date. It got to me on xmas eve. Hell knows what happen to those poor souls who posted any later, yet still within the said time.
8) The guys at Woolwich Sorting Office (gotta name and shame) are particuarly unhelpful. You'll normally only find one on the counter on a saturday morning, which btw, has shorter opening hours than a weekday (go figure!) There'll be a queue of at least 30 people that goes all the way round the block at opening time. If you hand over your delivery card and they ain't got it, they give the excuse that it's been put back into the system and to try again tomorrow. Yeah man, 'cos you just love queuing up outside the sorting office (actually I make sure I have my knitting with me as I know I'll be there a while) So, does 'going back into the system' mean that the postie has re-posted it? Is that because he couldn't be arsed to take it back to the office and wanted to knock-off early?
9) Oh yeah, musn't forget the general advice given - "have you tried phoning your local sorting office?" Have I heck. Do you really think they're gonna answer the phone when they are under-staffed and have that many people to deal with during their limited opening hours? Actually, I have tried, and it just kept ringing. Gotta love their customer service.
Can anyone tell me when exactly, they stopped delivering twice a day? And why hasn't this company cottoned on to the fact that online ordering is now big business, that folk are sending more parcels than they used to, and probably sending more parcels than letters? And why the hell they haven't realised that most people are out when they deliver and they should at least change the opening hours of the sorting office, or deliver in the evenings?
I've paid for these items to be sent to me, to my address, my front door. I've paid good money for this service; it has my name on it and it's personal. I order online, as many do, 'cos I need specialist supplies that just can't be found on the high street. I also have a problem with shopping centres as they induce panic attacks. Shopping from home over a coffee and a fag, at whatever time suits me, is far more comfortable. We live in a modern age now, Royal Mail. Even the banks have realised this.
So I now have to wait until tuesday before I can officially complain to Royal Mail and bite someone's head off. What do ya reckon the odds are of a) my goods arriving before tuesday? and b) Royal Mail actually giving a shit and doing something about it?