Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A bit of a grumble

I am feeling just a tad negative at the moment. I have just cancelled the long-planned holiday in Austria that we should be flying out for in a few days time. I can't direct any grumbles at the cause of the cancellation because that would be adding insult to the injury my husband has suffered to his back but we are both very disappointed and that makes other things seem more irritating than they would normally appear.

Therefore, I'm going to do a 'grumpy old woman' moan about something other than cancelled flights, travel insurance that isn't worth the paper it is printed on and the lost delights of visiting my brother and walking in the Alps. I turn my attention instead to Amazon and the Royal Mail.
My electric toothbrush died and I saw a really good offer on Amazon and ordered one. An email told me that it would be sent by Royal Mail's tracking service and would arrive on Saturday 23 May. Fine. Saturday passed with no delivery but it was the May Bank Holiday so I thought it was not unreasonable for it to be delayed until Tuesday 28th. As Tuesday wore on with no delivery, I checked the tracking status on my Amazon account and saw that the package had supposedly been delivered on Saturday. Here is where my grumble begins.

The Amazon Help page told me that if a package has not arrived but shows as having been delivered then it is up to the customer to contact the carrier. Why, I ask? Amazon took my money, surely Amazon should ensure the goods are delivered. At this point, I was just a little miffed.

The Royal Mail website had my package registered as having been delivered and signed for on Saturday 23 May at 1.30pm. (A time when both I and my incapacitated husband were at home). The Royal Mail Help page informed me that I should check with my neighbours to see if one of them had taken in the package. Miffedness grew as I trudged around the neighbours in the pouring rain and found no-one had taken in the package. Back to the website help page to find out what to do next: check with the person who signed for the package. Ha, ha. No helpful information on how to find out who had signed for it and no card left by the postman to say where he had left the parcel.


Tetchiness setting in now as I try to locate a phone number for Royal Mail and then spend 45 minutes working my way through their lists of options and recorded messages telling me how wonderful  their service is and how I could find all the help I needed on their website. Eventually, I arrived at a human voice, the very carefully chosen voice of Royal Mail's Complaints Department. A voice that undoubtedly belongs to the most handsome, caring and charming young man in the world. How could one possibly feel aggrieved or angry or even the teeniest bit annoyed? Well done, Royal Mail; you should be put in charge of peace negotiations around the world!
Handsome Young Voice apologised profusely and assured me that all would be sorted. And lo, it came to pass that a Royal Mail van arrived this morning, with a Royal Mail postman bearing my package. Would you believe it (well, would you?), it had been delivered to a house in a completely different street on Saturday, the homeowner had signed for it, presumably she had been expecting a parcel from Amazon, had the same name as me and didn't notice the wrong address on the label. Then, this morning she rushed out of her house, hailed the passing post van and handed in the parcel. And here it was, better late than never! Oops.

Displaced frustration, I know. But little things niggle when you are feeling out of sorts. And anyway, shouldn't we expect more than and inefficiency and blustering excuses from the Royal Mail and shouldn't Amazon have chased up that non-delivery?

10 comments:

  1. I hear your frustration! I'm frustrated for you, but especially for that amazing trip that is not to be at this time. I hope you'll be able to do it another time. And that your husband's back feels much better soon.

    I'm glad the lady who received the wrong package was caring enough to try to send it on its way. And that you talked to that nice man at Royal Mail. Goes to show what kindness can do for our spirit, doesn't it?

    But I would have really liked to have seen pictures of the Alps....

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  2. Oh Dewena, I think that "kind lady" was a figment of the postman's imagination. After 40 years of teaching, I can tell when a boy is fibbing and not making a very good story! Still, I got my toothbrush.

    I am really disappointed about the trip to Austria, we were to have had a wonderful itinerary. We just have to hope that this back problem will respond to treatment and not need surgery. Perhaps we can do the holiday next year and I'll post those pictures.

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  3. How good of that kind lady to hurry the package on its way to you and how disappointing your trip to Austria was cancelled. I hope your hubby's back is healing quickly.

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    1. I'll pass on your good wishes, Terra. We have had so many phone calls today from family members and friends offering to help and giving useful advice that we are quite overwhelmed. My grumble about the parcel was just a distraction from the situation here!

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  4. I would've been miffed too..and especially on top of the holiday disappointment.

    Hope the world looks brighter soon and the back heals fast.

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    1. Thanks, Val. The sun is shining today and the garden is looking lovely so I will stop grumbling!

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  5. It's enough to drive you bonkers when these delivery problems happen. I'm not surprised you feel grumpy about it... with good reason in my opinion!

    Sorry to hear about your husband's back, what a terrible shame your holiday had to be cancelled. I do hope it heals quickly.

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    1. It's always a good idea to have something trivial to complain about when big bad things happen, don't you think, Cath? Thanks for your good wishes.

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  6. I'm glad you managed to get your parcel in the end, one of our postmen just leaves them out on the doorstep. He knocks on the door and immediately moves on to the next house without bothering to see if anyone is in or leaving it with a neighbour. This happened 3 times with things I'd ordered and I only realised it because 2 of those times I was home and saw him doing it!

    I'm sorry you had to cancel your holiday and hope your husband's back problem gets better soon.

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    1. I'm afraid we have to be realistic about the postal service, Paula. Since all the systems changed and we lost our lovely postie who knew us all and would alert us if any of the elderly neighbours was sick, things just ain't what they used to be. I was certainly at home when he supposedly delivered the package. His explanation is so implausible as to make me laugh now that I've stopped feeling grumpy!

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