Between 7am and 17.30pm

Astrid’s got something coming today so I’m staying in the house until it arrives.  
The automated message said “YOUR ITEM WILL ARRIVE ON “T U E S D A Y  T H E  T W E N T Y F I R S T  OF  J A N U A R Y” BETWEEN THE HOURS OF “7 A M  A N D  1 7 3 0 P M”.

Yeah okay, that narrows it down a bit. And, don’t want to be too pedantic but there isn’t a 1730am so why put pm next to it? It’s like indicating to get ON to a motorway. Where else are you going to go?

They asked for my telephone number but apparently it was not to tell me roughly when the package would be arriving, oh no, nothing as organised as that. They wanted my number incase I wasn’t in then they could send me a text to tell me I was out and the package has now been sent back and we’ll need to fanny about ringing this number and that to rearrange another collection time or to sort out where we can pick it up from.

We had no problem with Pixmania, which is based in France and which bought out Dixon’s online store because they were making a loss. Dixons and Curries in my opinion don’t even know what customer service is. Anyway, we emailed Pixmania, they said package it, we’ll pay postage, just take it to UPS with the invoice and we’ll refund your credit card.

It was UPS who were picky and pedantic. We had to traipse down to UPS in the centre of Sheffield 15 miles away. Their delivery website said you must have ID this, must have document that, you must bring this and that, then they need your eInvoice, passport, two recent utility bills, a driving licence with less than 3 points on, the title deeds for your house and a note from your Mum telling them you’ve got a cold and can’t do games outside at school, before they’ll even start to do business. Then bugger me, we got down there and the lass behind the counter said “Ah, you don’t need all that stuff, chuck ‘t parcel over love and sign this”.  

A foreign company whose name rhymes with er……nothing thymes with IKEA so we’ll call it IKEA, have this wonderfully simple system using the simplest of technologies, where they let you know when the product is within 30 minutes of your home. The van drivers use this incredible new fangled gizmo that older people don’t understand called “A TELEPHONE”. They have a list of deliveries and when they’ve delivered one item, they ring the next customer and tell them their item is on it’s way and will be there within 30 minutes.

Simple. Even a fool could do it. But not fools who work for British or American companies. And why the stupid baseball caps? And company shorts in the summer? What’s all that about. They look nearly as daft as this Brisbane Fortitude Valley station guard. Turned out he was a Leed United fan. Takes all sorts I suppose!



Anyway, I digress, the efficient, customer friendly IKEA way is not how UPS or Royal Mail Parcel Services work. They don’t fart about with things like customer service. Oh no, that’s far too difficult, far too time consuming and far too “bugger all to do with us, it might be your package but we’ve got it, you’ll get it when you get it”. 

There you have it, Swedish initiative and efficiency versus British and American after sales apathy.

It’s not just delivery companies either. Mail order from British companies is fine until you have to return something. The returns procedure is a quagmire of over complicated, duplicitous and totally unnecessary forms. Each form has a name or a code that the sales people spend 6 weeks memorising for their induction exam but you are expected to know within 2 seconds of lodging your customer complaint.

“No Sir, if you don’t fill in form DC36COR.36.52 then the conditions clearly state no refund”.

“What’s one of those?”

“Like I said Sir, if you don’t fill one of them in, we can’t identify the product.”

It’d be easier trying to solve a quadratic equation, with a piece of coal and a blackboard whilst having laser surgery in both eyes simultaneously.



It’s a cold ‘un today innit? Even the jackdaw skidded on the shed roof going for the bread, you can just see where the wing was used to stop it skidding off the edge. 


Stop Press: It arrived, the CityLink delivery man put it through the cat flap, effectively blocking it. I’ve complained via Twitter naming names. Companies don’t like that. I will definitely get a reply and I will definitely humiliate them on Twitter.




  1. Delivery services have a lot of refining to do. There’s too much too cheap to gain contracts. Service is not the core, the gamble in getting the contract is all that matters. What a number, (too many) of the companies do is pile high as cheaply at possible and let the consumer take the responsibility in searching for the goods. I won’t do business with groups that I know of who use Yodel or their offshoots under other names.


  2. HA, ha. This made me laugh. Mainly because it’s true. There is nothing like good customer service. And this it nothing like good customer service !
    Bet your cat wasn’t impressed either. :no:


  3. Well the cat just looked at it drop through the cat flap with total indifference. I was a few seconds too late to see the CityLink knobsack driving away in his whitevan. Nuff said.


  4. Even the weather down here hasn’t been that great.You have your problems with your delivery services. I noticed you mentioned Ikea the Swedish furniture company that used prison labour in the old East Germany days.


    • Had a better one yesterday, a transit arrived and dropped off 4 boxes with 4 alloy wheels in, 17″-ers they were, real pimp mobile wheels. Then asked me to sign for them. Er…no, it was wrong name, wrong house number and even the wrong road. No idea who the courier was but he were a duckegg whoever he was.
      They wouldn’t fit my little Mazda3, I’d have had to cut the arches off.


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