"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, March 03, 2011

Voting and Royal Mail

It's a misty day here today, quite unlike the lovely sunny promise of approaching spring that yesterday brought. Paddy and I have been out to cast our vote (OK, I cast my vote!) on possible increase in Wales' law-making powers, which you can read more about here. Someone commented that the expected turnout will only be about 35%, which, given the dearth of information and campaigning, round here at least, is not surprising.
On then to go head to head with Royal Mail on Dad's behalf, or at least to try to.
When I was there last Friday, a parcel should have been delivered but, as we were out living it up at the local garden centre, it was taken away again and a "Sorry you were out" card left instead, in spite of the fact that, when he placed the order, he stipulated that it could be left in the porch, but that, as it turns out, is a minor detail. Friday afternoon, when we got back, the local office was closed for the day; well it was 2pm after all, so Dad completed an online application for redelivery and received an email, eventually, to say that his parcel would be redelivered on Monday.
You can probably write the rest of this yourselves, I know!
Since then, he has tried, and failed, to speak to any living person connected with Royal Mail and is still waiting for the parcel, but he has managed to send a complaint email and received an automated reply that it would be dealt with in 5 days. By then, the tea and coffee in the parcel will no doubt be sprouting leaves.
Today, I decided to have a go. When you ring the 0845 number, you have the pleasure of hearing, at your expense, that it would be much easier for everyone if you came and collected your parcel yourself or you could arrange a redelivery online. They have obviously decided that, on no account, will you be allowed to speak to someone on the number dialled because, after telling you of the 'high call volume' they are experiencing (I'm not surprised), they allow you to leave a message and then cut you off.
So, I decided to do another online application, which took three attempts because the 13 digit number on the card was evidently not the one they wanted, but I eventually left that space blank and was then allowed to complete the form.
The earliest they would agree to deliver was Saturday (Why not tomorrow?) so we will wait... without holding our breath.
"You sound a bit fed up," said Dad when I was speaking to him on the phone.
What I am really fed up about is the inescapable fact that customer service generally is going down the pan. We are inundated with assurances about 'customer care' and 'your custom is important to us' but all that really means is 'We are out to make as much money out of you as we can and if you don't like our service, tough!'
The country is going to hell in a handcart and if that sentiment puts me in the 'grumpy old' category, so be it.
We need a revolution, folks!

8 comments:

Mick's Page. said...

Hi Jenny.
You’re not the only on who suffers with this “Sorry you were out.............” card for a delivery. I have it from a reliable source [Relation who works for Royal Mail] that the delivery driver possible ‘running late’ will pass by and just write out the card for posting next day. - true.
I have a ‘lot of stuff’ delivered and when ordering on the internet I ask who the ‘shipper’ will be if they say Royal Mail then I don’t order and go onto another supplier.
What customer service, since long gone - Bah!!!!! - Mick

Dad said...

I have had items dekivered marked N/A which presumably means No Answer when I know that no postman has ever been near the house. Thankyou for the tip about enquiring who the carrier is.
The letter post has reached new depths to being receied up to Three in the afternoon.
Perhaps it will be better when DeutchPost takes over.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You're right! We do need a revolution. Let's take a leaf out of the Libyan rebels' book and storm the call centres! The fact that they offer 0845 numbers also seems insidious - creating extra call costs for customers.

Jennyta said...

Thanks for that tip, Mick.

Jennyta said...

YP, all I can say is 'Lead on MacDuff!' or in Yorkshire parlance, 'Eh up, lad, I'm reet be'ind thee!' :)

Shooting Parrots said...

Totally agree about the state of the country, at least as far as the PO is concerned. The postman doesn't bother ringing the bell once, let alone twice, and just posts a 'you were out card' even though we're in.

Jennyta said...

I have to say that our local postlady is very good but the exception rather than the norm, I think, SP.

flightplot said...

I agree with all you say about Royal Mail as I've my share of problems with them! Flighty xx

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