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!