… must come to an end. Including good relations with the boss. He has just sent us a picture. Of his holiday. So while we’re slaving away, he’s having the time of his life. In Montreux. Sick as parrots? Just wait until he gets back.
When half the office is on holiday, as they are this week, it’s asking a lot of the remaining staff to do the holidaymakers’ jobs as well as their own.
So what we usually do is reduce the range of items available on the website. They’re not out of stock and will be restored to full availability once the office is fully staffed once again. In this case that will be October 27th.
In the same vein, we change our shipping arrangements. We cut the options down to the basics (no Special Delivery for example) and we don’t promise to despatch within one working day.
In this way, we keep our staff and our customers reasonably content.
We’re noticing that once again a significant proportion of our orders are disappearing into Royal Mail’s dank dark depths at the moment.
We can’t imagine why it should be so bad just now. All we can think – and there is some anecdotal evidence to support this – is that Royal Mail are going through yet more turmoil and are relying on, how can we put this politely, less than reliable casuals.
So if you’re one of the unlucky ones whose order is inexplicably delayed, please let us know immediately and we will follow the case up for you. We will of course need your permission to send your details to Royal Mail so they can verify the information we give them on your behalf.
As you know, we obtain certificates of posting for each order despatched so we can prove to Royal Mail that the item was sent at a particular time and place on a particular day.
We have hundreds of customers scattered beyond the UK’s shores, some of whom come back to us over and over again because they know our efficiency and of course, they appreciate the fact that we don’t rip them off with inflated overseas postal charges.
There is one country however which seems to be a hotbed of dissatisfaction and general malaise. It is South Africa.
We can truly say that we have never yet had an order get to its destination there without some kind of hassle.
As a result – and much like our decision to bar withheld numbers – we’ve reluctantly taken it off our list of countries to which we are happy to ship.
We’ve decided, reluctantly, to prevent people using withheld numbers dialling our order and information line (020 8861 3149).
Withheld number calls are incredibly annoying. They are usually used by companies trying to sell mobile phones, or advertising space, or some other rubbish product.
Our number has obviously been given out (or was previously used) by a Mr Callard. In any event, his name has somehow got onto mailing lists the world over and as a result, we get dozens of calls for him each week. We have no idea who he is.
As these calls are mostly from abroad, the Telephone Preference Society has no control over them, even though we are of course registered with the TPS.
As an aside, we also get lots of calls from people who are seeking the Incontinence helpline (yes really). We also get faxes from GP surgeries and clinics containing deeply sensitive medical information. All this because people aren’t careful enough when they dial out.
So we’re sorry if you try to phone us from work and you can’t get through (office phone systems often use withheld numbers as a matter of course and not for any nefarious reason). Phone us instead from another landline or your mobile and we will call you back.