Can I just give a big thumbs up to the online retailer Play.com and two fingers up to Royal Mail…
A few weeks ago I pre-ordered the hilarious book “Family Guy – Stewies Guide To World Domination” from Play.com. It was shortly dispatched and Royal Mail attempted to deliver it on Thursday 20th October. As they came so late in the morning (had it in fact been any later it would be the afternoon) I was out at work and would have missed the delivery.
I rang my local sorting office the next day (Friday) to arrange re-delivery for Saturday when I would be at home. The phone just rang and rang and rang, eventually it cut to the answer phone. I was unable to leave a message though as their message box was full!
Postman Pat – the last honourable employee of The Royal Mail
I then rang the national line for Royal Mail. After pressing a dozen or so buttons on an automated telephone system I finally managed to speak to a human being. I was told that there was no other way of contacting the local sorting office by phone although they would e-mail them for me. I was told that it was too late to get my order in for the next day as they rarely check their e-mail so I would have to wait to the following week! Working full time I had to opt for a delivery on Saturday 29th October.
Saturday 29th came but my book didn’t. I rang Royal Mail tonight to complain and was told that my parcel had gone missing. They did not know where but they suspected it had been returned to sender. I found the operator was harsh, unhelpful and quite frankly clueless.
I rang Play.com and was greeted by a far friendlier operator. When asked what I ordered I was told I had “excellent taste” (well Family Guy is very funny). They were also very helpful and apologetic (even though it wasn’t their fault). The operator said she would look for my order and personally call me back. No more than 15 minutes later I was called back and told that they could not find my order (did Royal Mail really send it back? hmmmm….) but would send me a replacement free of charge immediately. Howzat for service?
Not going to lodge a complaint with Royal Mail as it won’t make a blind bit of difference, not like anyone who gives a toss will see it. I would LOVE it if a rival delivery service was introduced to the UK. It wouldn’t be long before Royal Mail would end up bankrupt.
I went to Reading yesterday for the Leeds game. I have only been to Reading once before, in 2002 for the music festival. Both times I went I got lost. Yesterday, following the instructions from MultiMap I ended up outside “Reading Town F.C.”. Not to be confused with the Championship side. Reading TOWN F.C. appear to be some Sunday League club who play on a muddy field with a tin box as a stand.
Reading was how I remembered it, full of long, seemingly endless roads lined with tacky second hand shops and dodgy looking takeaways. The streets were full of chavs wearing stereotypical Burberry baseball caps. No disrespect to Ricky Gervais or anyone else from Reading but I wouldn’t like to live there.
The Majeski Stadium (where Reading play) was superb. Went to get a bite to eat in the hotel attached to the ground, while a little expensive the facilities were excellent.
The seating was top class as well, although the stadium is smaller than Elland Road (smaller club to be fair) the quality of the stands and seats were very good.
The first half of the game was dire. Reading totally dominated and really should have scored. Some poor finishing by their strikers and excellent goalkeeping by Leeds’ Neil Sullivan kept the scores level.
Leeds picked up more in the second half but Reading still kept bombarding their goal and eventually scored. The Leeds players reacted very well and when striker David Healy came on as a substitute looked like a totally different team. They strung pass after pass together and took the game to Reading. Healy then grabbed a much deserved equaliser for Leeds.
Following the Leeds goal both teams had their chances to grab a late winner. Leeds had a lot of superb attempts saved as did Reading. The save of the day had to go to Leeds defender Gary Kelly who painfully caught the ball between his legs on the goal line.
Final score 1-1, fair result against a team second in the league, don’t think either side can complain. This extended Leeds’ unbeaten league record to six games.
The only downside about the whole day was getting out of the car park. At Leeds there are lots of small car parks spread across Elland Road. While it is still difficult to get out you can expect to be on the main road within 20 minutes. There is only one car park at Reading and it’s huge. We parked at the rear and were waiting for almost an hour and a half to get out! I was kept entertained listening to the commentary for the Man United – Middlesbrough game. ManUtd lost the game 4-1 which is very funny.
Leeds play Blackburn in The Carling Cup tonight (should have just kicked off as I type). Have very mixed feelings about this game, while I always like to see Leeds win games, especially against stronger teams (like The Mighty Blackburn Rovers) however I think a long cup run would be detrimental for Leeds’ season.
Teams who have been chasing promotion in the past and also had successful cup runs have ended up not being promoted ( Sunderland in 2003/4 and Sheffield United in numerous seasons are good examples). Some Leeds players are also carrying injuries and although can just about manage their league games, I think a cup game could flare up any potential problems.
Chelsea can keep their Mickey Mouse Cup for all I care
Therefore I am pleased to see that Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell has fielded a somewhat weaker team for this game.
Anyway, good luck to Leeds, hope you can do the best with the team you have fielded. Not too bothered of the result though, would far rather beat Reading on Saturday, a game which I will be going to!
So the infamous Grrrrrant and Phil Mitchell returned to EastEnders tonight. This is after major hype from the BBC desperate to recoup ratings to make their major soap’s viewing figures respectable compared to ITV’s Coronation Street.
I used to be an avid viewer of EastEnders since the early 90’s although I completely stopped in late 2003/early 2004 when Barry was pushed down the hill (that was FUNNY!). The reasons I stopped viewing were predictability and boredom.
Still, I gave tonight’s episode a go (well, I only watched the last 10 minutes!), I have good memories of storylines involving The Mitchell Brothers. Said to a friend that Grant and Phil would turn up, surprise Peggy, say “’ello Maaaa!” and that would be the end of the episode. Anybody who watched it tonight will know I guessed right – just too predictable isn’t it :o)
Needless to say I will not be watching it tomorrow. Sorry Beeb you’ll need to do better to get me back.
Well it’s been a whole week since my last blog, not that good as I usually like to keep Sparkster.net as up to date as possible.
In the week I went to see the Wallace & Gromit movie “The Curse of the Were Rabbit”. Lots of people have been raving about this movie and having enjoyed the previous TV outings I was expecting a lot. While I did like the movie I wasn’t overly thrilled, maybe I expected too much from it.
It was however full of gags, film references and lots of laughs. I would recommend taking the trip to the cinema and watching it. Maybe I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have done because Leeds were playing at the same time and I was worrying about them!
The Mighty Whites have been doing well the last week. They beat Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday and drew 1-1 against high flying Sheffield United. Considering The Blades are top of the league and they beat Leeds 2-0 and 4-0 last season it is a good result and shows how far Leeds United have come. Still serious promotion chasers.
Some fans and Southampton manager Harry Rednapp say that Leeds didn’t play well on Tuesday and did not deserve to win. I disagree, the Coca Cola Championship is a crap, scrappy league. Even if you play really well you are not guaranteed to win. It’s the team that gets stuck in, takes their chances and play with the most amount of grit that gets the points. No room for fancy football in this league.
On this website, you’ll find me blogging (almost) daily about everyday life, living in Bath, working with computers, and the occasional bit of football stuff thrown in.
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