I wish I knew what the bloody hell is going wrong in the courier world. Before Christmas we had Yodel screwing deliveries wholesale – might still have for all I know – and now the affliction appears to have spread to the normally reliable ParcelForce.
I wrote the following on Friday, January 6:-
I’m waiting for a new computer, and I’m assured that it was despatched yesterday using the Express 24 service – which, presumably, means I should be getting it today (it’s currently 09.30).
Maybe. I bloody hope so, as I have a hospital appointment on Monday that I can’t miss.
It took until late last night for the ParcelForce tracking applet to tell me that they had been advised of the parcel – no indication of anything beyond that – they’re not admitting to even having received the parcel. However, as they can deliver from 07.00 onwards, I had to be up early, just in case (something that I can well do without). Needless to say, I’m still sitting here, waiting, and the ParcelForce website still has a dearth of information.
It did, a short while ago, flash an “Oh bugger, our website’s down,” message and offer an alternate tracking system – which doesn’t work either.
So, is the website totally out of action as far as tracking is concerned? It would seem so, in which case why don’t they simply suspend that service until it’s fixed? At least that would tell us not to waste time on trying to extract information from it that just isn’t there!
They do admit, in the Service Updates section, that some parts of the system aren’t working for technical reasons, but tracking isn’t mentioned at all. Though they do say there’s be no deliveries New Year’s Eve, which gives an indication of how frequently they actually do update the Service Updates.
Websites – or parts of them – do crash, it’s a fact of life. It is, though, entirely inappropriate for ParcelForce to leave users totally in the dark like this – just shut the buggerdly thing down, and post a notice to that effect. How hard is that?
Well, that was all this morning. Now, at 14.00, it’s finally giving me some information – just a pity it’s no bloody use.
Clicking on Tracking Details actually brings up a pane that tells me even less!
The thing is, ParcelForce have finished their deliveries for today (officially, they deliver until 17.30, but I’ve never had a delivery after about 13.30), and, as the package was last tracked at the national hub, rather than the local depot (Liverpool – so it might as well be on the moon as far as collecting stuff is concerned), then there is no possibility whatsoever of it being delivered before Monday. And that’s where it all goes pear-shaped, as I have a cardiology appointment on Monday, so might not be here.
I forgot about that when I ordered it, otherwise I would have opted for next day delivery (I tend to go for free delivery, if offered, as delivery charges are a huge part of buying online and I take any chance I can to minimise them).
To add to the confusion, a look at the sender’s website – who claim to have despatched it first thing yesterday morning – say delivery is scheduled for Monday. That conflicts with the Express24 claim by ParcelForce. The situation, then is, basically, buggered if I know, but Sod’s Law dictates that it’ll come while I’m at the hospital on Monday!
Thing is, it’s coming from Howden, East Yorkshire, and it’s a straight run along the M62 to ParcelForce’s Liverpool base. However, nothing is that simple as the package has been taken to the national hub, south-east of Birmingham.
So, Howden to Liverpool is 103 miles-ish. However, Howden to Birmingham is 115 miles plus Birmingham to Liverpool, another 100, 215 miles compared to 103.
I dare say there is a lot of parcel traffic from palace along the M62 corridor bound for Liverpool and its environs – what possible sense does it make to cart it all to bloody Birmingham first?
So for all those hopping up and down with fury at Yodel, and claiming that they’ll never order from Amazon again until the stop using them, just be aware that the alternative might not prove much better.
It’s 20.30, three hours after ParcelForce shut up shop, and their website is still telling me that my computer will be delivered today – I suspect they lie!
It’s now Saturday, January 7, and this is what the ParcelForce tracking applet is telling me this morning:-
And that will be a trick worthy of The Doctor.
One final thought. I’ve been shopping online pretty much for as long as it’s been possible, and I’ve had more delivery cock-ups this past couple of months than I’ve ever had. Although, here, at least, Yodel seems to have finally got its act together.