Monday, 2 January 2012
Hooptedoodle #38 - Shoot the Messenger
I tell this tale without anger or malice. I feel that the attention to detail and level of customer service I describe here should be more widely known.
I live on a farm, miles from the nearest street light, and I've become aware recently that the steps at the bottom of our front path are potentially pretty dangerous when it gets dark. We have had some elderly visitors over the holiday period and, naturally, I am concerned that someone might fall and hurt themselves. It could even be me, for goodness sake. Our solution was to order up some solar-powered spot lights, which should be bright enough, even with the limited charge they get during the short days, to help make the steps visible. I ordered them online and, since we were getting close to New Year, paid the extra whack for guaranteed next day courier delivery.
It all looked very promising. I got a series of emails from the courier, DPD, which gradually built up the story of the progress of my package. I could see when it arrived at DPD's Birmingham "hub", then the following morning when it reached their Edinburgh depot. Then a note to say that the package was on the van, and would be delivered between 14:25 and 16:25, and could we please make sure someone would be in to sign for it.
Then around 14:10 there was an additional note which said they had attempted to deliver the parcel, got no answer, and left a "You Were Out" card - would I please contact them to arrange to collect the package from their depot (40 miles away) or to arrange re-delivery. It goes without saying that they had not been here - you can see a good way down the farm lane toward the public road from our windows, and there had been no sign of a courier. I phoned the seller of the lights - they were very sympathetic, said that there had been a number of similar complaints, and that they would chase it up and someone would phone me back. They did. The card had been left "at a brown door" and DPD would contact me to arrange delivery. No brown doors here, I said, and - since we were likely to be out the following day, could the driver please leave the package in the woodshed behind the garage?
We heard nothing from DPD. Next day, I came home in torrential rain to find the box had been left on the front doorstep and was rapidly dissolving. No damage done, these are outside lights and weatherproof, but it might have been a delivery of books, and we might have gone to Florida for the Winter. Anyway, I have my lamps, with which I am pleased, and I have abandoned any hope of getting a refund of the extra shipping charge, but it wasn't very much, and they probably need the money, poor souls. It is a bit depressing though, isn't it?
In keeping with this general theme of the convenience of home delivery, here is a celebrated CCTV clip from YouTube of a FedEx driver delivering/breaking a computer monitor. Heart-warming.