Frivolous/Arduous

Tuesday December 28th : Whilst trying to get my digital copy of Inception onto my PSP I realised something. I had an old PSP (1001). It’s not a ground shaking development nor something that would change my outlook on life, but I just hadn’t realised it. A short bout of research later, and feeling somewhat spurred on by a mixture of post-Xmas blues, no holiday between Xmas and New Year, and the knowledge that I was in for an unseasonably excessive workload, I decided to give myself an expensive treat.

Wednesday December 29th : I popped into Croydon in my lunch break hoping to pick up my new toy. Game was a total bust, the sales and upcoming VAT hike meant that the queue literally went out of the door. I almost had success in HMV, but the only one they had in stock was a returned, broken one. I decide to just order it online. “If order it from Game I can get myself some reward points and with free express delivery have it by the New Year”, I thought. A few moments on their website and the deed was done. All I had to do now was sit back and wait…

Thursday/Friday December 30th/31st : I knew I was being a little optimistic. I figured that they were still recovering from the Xmas rush of online ordering, besides it was between Xmas and New Year, and like where I worked, a lot of people were either on holiday or off sick.

New Year : HURRAY! Everyone drank and was merry. No need for treats or stuff like that, I was having fun and people weren’t working. We all need a break sometimes.

Tuesday January 4th : After a hard day at work I was hopeful that I might have a package waiting for me. I phoned Michelle before I left and did ask, but there was nothing waiting for me. Not even a “we tried to deliver your package when you were out” slip.

When I got in, I went online to check my orders status. “Oh it’s been shipped” I initially cooed. “It was being shipped today” I said a bit more puzzled. A few clicks more and I was on the Parcelforce website checking my delivery’s status. It was dispatched today. It had also, according to their website, been successfully delivered.

And signed for.

BY ME.

OK. Maybe a little bit of a mistake, it can happen. But their website helpfully has a way of looking at the signature of the signee. Maybe I was starting to get a little annoyed by now, but did that signature look like someone had tried to just write my name?

I went door to door with all the nearest neighbours. No-one had taken any deliveries. Everyone wished me “good luck in finding out what had happened to it”. When no-one had taken delivery of it, I went from puzzled to full-on rage. I went on both Parcelforce’s and Game’s websites and made complaints, noting down a few useful phone numbers to give a few angry phone calls to.

(OK, at this point I started writing things down. Names of people – replaced with initials in this post to protect the “innocent” and to prevent any potential for legal gubbins – and dates and times and what was said. I’ll try to keep it brief.)

Wednesday January 5th : Wasted some time navigating around the confusing Parcelforce automated menus and then 15 minutes listening to a loop of Coldplay. Eventually I spoke to a nice woman (didn’t get her name!) who was helpful and apologetic. She gave me the phone number for the depot my parcel had shipped from.

I then spoke to W. W wasn’t rude, just disinterested. He told me that he would phone the driver to find out what had happened. This was 10:10. At 14:40 I phoned back. Was cut off once, but eventually got W again. He told me that the manager was dealing with it and would be speaking to the driver the next morning and that he, W, would give me a call.

“Good, the manager’s involved, this might shake things up.” I thought. I was wrong.

Thursday January 6th : Didn’t hear anything all morning so called W back at 11:50. He tells me he needs to get some paper work from the manager and would call me back in 5 minutes. At 12:30, N (the manager) calls me back but directly from his mobile. He was very nice but had failed to speak to the driver that morning. The driver was apparently ignoring his mobile and any texts so he was unable to find anything more out. N asked me exactly what I had lost and I tell him. He tells me that they will either find out where the item is, or just tell Game it’s lost and I can get a redelivery or a refund. N promises to speak to the driver the following morning.

Friday January 7th : Again no call back, so at 12:30 I call N myself.

“Oh I was just about to call you”, N tells me. 😡

N tells me that the driver “swears blind” he did deliver the package but must have just not updated the console properly. N then tells me that the driver would be in the area of my home again at about 13:00 and was going to try to jog his memory about what had happened. (?) Michelle was in, so I tell the manager this, thinking that it might help.

At 14:25 I get a voicemail from N. He hasn’t heard anything from the driver. I end up managing to get to speak to N again at 16:40. N tells me that he doubts he will be hearing back from the driver that day. I say, “OK, I’ll call Game”. N says, “I’m sure they will send you another one.”

Saturday January 8th : Speak to Game. S tells me that one of her colleagues (A) had sent Parcelforce an email that morning in response to my online complaint from the 4th. Unfortunately, as it was a Saturday, I would have to wait until then before any more could be done about it. She tells me that A would call me back on Monday. I confirm my mobile number with S.

Monday January 10th : 16:00 and no call from Game. I call them back. I speak to N who was very helpful. She actually phones up Parcelforce whilst I’m on hold to find out what’s been going on. After 5 minutes she’s back talking to me. Apparently Parcelforce were telling her that the driver said he knocked on the door, but there was no answer, as he was walking away someone came to the door and signed for it. The driver couldn’t remember what the person that signed for it looked like. Parcelforce then added that it was upto Game to decide what this meant. (?)

N then tells me that sounds like it’s lost to her. She says “we’ve been having a lot of trouble with Parcelforce” and we exchange ancedotes about the problems we’ve had. (At last a kindred spirit!) She offers redelivery or refund. I decide for redelivery, thinking it will be the least amount of effort for me, but ask if I can have it delivered to work instead. She says thats ok and asks me to confirm my work address over the phone. She tells me that she will organise a redelivery and call me back the next day with an order number.

Wednesday January 12th : I give them the benefit of the doubt again and let Tuesday slide, figuring that they are probably still a little snowed under. I call them back at 14:30 and speak to A2 who says she will ask N about what’s happening. She then comes back and tells me that their website order team is very short-staffed so it was a bit held up. She then tells me that she will send them an email to make my order a priority. She tells me that I should receive an email with the order number in it that evening. (I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I should just give and get a refund now.)

When I get home I find I was sent this email at 15:50 and not only that but my order was now preparing for packing.

Thursday January 13th : It finally gets shipped again using a 24 hour business delivery. I then just check the delivery address. DISASTER. It’s being sent to my home address again! I fear the worst.

Friday January 14th : I spend the morning checking the Parcelforce delivery tracking service every 15 minutes or so. I stop doing this at 11:00. I then check again at 13:00 and find that it’s been delivered. The signee this time is what I think is a neighbour, although i didn’t really recognise the name.

That evening I got home. Again no failed delivery attempt note through the door, but I had guessed the neighbour right and hip hip hooray I finally got it. (It’s a very lovely PSP 3003, MUCH lighter, smaller, slick-looking, with a beautiful new display and faster loading times.)

If there was a moral, or a lesson to be learned, I cannot help but feel it’s this.

DON’T TRUST PARCELFORCE. Even when they did manage to get the package to near my house they left me to work out where it was!

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Published in: on 15/01/2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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