Posted by sean on October 31, 2005 at 8:09 pm in Me Vs. The World with No Comments


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.

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