I went on a book shopping spree last Sunday, and ordered 3 books via Amazon. Paddy Griffith’s “Battle Tactics of the Western Front” arrived on Saturday. I have read some of his other books, and I like his style. I have 3 books left. Looking at my account, I see that the problem I have been having with the “Home Delivery Network” relates to the book-of-the-series “The Genius of Photography”.
The saga starts with a card on the Thursday. “A re-attempt to deliver your parcel will be made on the next working day”. Well, I’ll be at work, and it is the hired help’s day off, and the stable-lad is away visiting his sick aunt in Aboyne, and the milk-maid is in confinement. Oh, yes, I forget, I don’t live in the 19th century any more. It is the 21st century, and most people are at work during the day!
So, I call up the company to arrange re-delivery at the weekend. “We don’t deliver at the weekend”, says she. “But is says you do on the card I have”, says I. “We don’t do weekend deliveries for Amazon”, she ‘explains’. Aah, splutters I. Well, what about Monday – I’m on holiday then, so we agree on Monday afternoon.
So I was surprised to find a 2nd card waiting for me on Friday. So I call up the company again. “We had agreed on a Monday re-delivery, so why did your driver try to re-deliver on Friday?”, asks I. “Will this affect the Monday re-delivery?”, asks I. “No, you are still logged for a Monday afternoon re-delivery”, says he.
So … Monday. I cough and splutter, and agonise my way through the day, and by 5.30pm, there is no delivery. I call the company. “Where’s my package?”, asks I, trying to maintain a calm, firm voice, but failing as I cough and wheeze in the spaces. “It is still at the depot”, she says. “I will be logging a complaint with Amazon”, says I, “this is the third phone-call, and all for the delivery of a book!” “It won’t be until Wednesday now”, says she". “Pardon?” says I. “Well, the depot’s closed, and it is too late now to have it redelivered on Tuesday”, she says. “Well, it is hit or miss whether I will be in, and I really don’t care any more. It is only a book. If it gets returned to the seller, I will merely cancel the contract.” “Oh, and please pass on my venom to the depot, as it isn’t your fault”, says I to the now-startled lady.
I was rather surprised to see that the tracking of the package logged against today was:
Aberdeen Depot 06/04/2009 Unable to Deliver 11:07:28 Awaiting advice
Point one: 11am is not “the afternoon”.
Point two: I have been in all day, unable to move far without being in pain.
Point three: there has been no card left.
Point four: it is only a book, how fecking difficult is it to do that? Well, according to the word count – it is 458 words over three telephone conversations. Three failed deliveries (the depot says), and the associated carbon-footprint. It is this sort of palaver that is the bane of internet shopping. It is certainly causing me to think again about the so-called ‘ease’ of online shopping.
The title refers to the days when I was driving long distances. The problem wasn’t getting from A to B. The problem was getting through the complex road systems at B to get to the actual destination.