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The Annexe

The Annexe

The Annexe
The complete (all fourteen chapters) story in the 'Lower Methil Annexe' series!
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The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Awful

Some companies are good to work with. Some are neither here nor there, and their are some whose continued existence is a puzzle to the thinking mind.

Two simple events occurred just over a week ago. I left off talking about it, till a time when a cooler mind could look back and review the whole shambolic episode. A quick response would have required a range of expletives, more suited to a Fish Market.

My phone had been ‘blacklisted’. Normally, this happen when a phone has been lost or stolen. I had purchased this phone, in ‘new’ condition, from Cash Converters. EE cut of my service – the insinuation being that I had in my possession, a phone that was not mine. I was assured that they did not believe I had stolen it. But they could not discuss it because the phone was ‘not mine’. Data Protection Act. They cut off my service, because the phone was ‘mine’, not ‘one of theirs’. What a useless lot. Cash Converters offered an immediate refund or replacement. I chose the replacement, and in a few days, I had a new phone. They even refunded the postage. Now, that is what I call ‘Service’! Entirely satisfactory. EE (are all ‘initial companies crap? It would seem so!) not so satisfactory. Business Support? Hah!

I needed a new printer. I did my homework, assessed my requirements, and picked the model I wanted. An office all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. All paper sizes up to A3. £119, with a £70 cash-back offer. It must be true when they say that printer manufacturers make their money selling ink – a set of cartridges can cost twice as much!
It was in stock, so I ordered the printer from HP. Note the name. (and the initials)
It was in stock. I paid by card, and HP took the money. 24 hours later, it was being ‘packed’. 48 hours later, it was ‘out of stock’. What happened? Did they unpack it, then give it to someone else? A promised delivery date of the 29th Jan, became 05 Feb or 06 Feb, depending who you asked. Then the fun really started …

Delivery was by DPD (another set of initials). In cahoots with HP. Emails started to pour in.
“We’ll deliver your HP Store parcel 02 Feb”. I waited in. All I received was another email.
“Were sorry your delivery has been delayed. Will now be Saturday 03 Feb”.
I waited in. Again. Nothing. I contacted HP. “We shall be in touch within 48 hours” HP never came back. Every time, it was 48 hours, and every time it was not.

I contacted DPD. Their ‘Make it Right’ Team would reply in 90 minutes. That must have been 90 ‘working’ minutes plus 90 ‘non-working’ minutes. They took over 3 hours.
The parcel was “transported to the wrong delivery depot”. They could not deliver it because that particular service did not work weekends. Forget all the promises. It would be delivered on Monday 05 Feb. The stated that it would arrive between 0830 and 1030. I queried this. They confirmed the exact time.

I waited in. Yet again. I reviewed all the emails. Confirmed every promised time. All utter bullshit. Then the email arrived. “Between 1015 and 1115”. So much for agreement and confirmation. The parcel arrived after 1050. I complained to the ‘Make it Right’ team. They apologised. I rejected the apology. The ‘Make it Right’ Team sent me an icing-coated biscuit, which read “DPD Sorry Dave”. I have never seen the like. I sent one, final email.
As follows …

Dear [******]
After the worst, by some considerable margin, experience of dealing with a company and their appalling service, and finding myself the recipient of, for want of a better description, an ‘edible beermat’, I feel that I must reply.

DPD, in league with HP, are a calamity. Every promise broken. Every date wrong. Left hanging around, day after day, wasting time and effort. I had thought HP to be fairly dreadful – never answer directly, all help links either broken, meaningless, or just plain stupid. I put that down to every tiny fraction of the order being scattered around the globe – Spain, Switzerland, USA, Luxembourg, even the UK. Every email from a different source. But, it has to be said, the printer works and the price was good.

DPD deserve their own little circle of hell. You never got one tiny thing right. Not one. You showered me with dates, shuffled the consignment around from one depot to another, without regard for destination. You wasted a Friday, a Saturday, then, after agreeing a clear delivery schedule for Monday, just made up another, later, one. The only reason that the order was not cancelled, was the sheer awkwardness of starting the whole process over with a different supplier.

I work for a living. I charge per hour. The Ministry of Defence (Army, Navy, Airforce), BAe Systems, The Royal Canadian Navy, RailTrack and many others, are happy enough to use my services. Heaven forbid that they would accept the level of incompetence demonstrated by DPD.

I was entirely happy to scrub any thoughts of DPD from my mind. Then, like a battered spouse, you send me a “Can’t we kiss and make up?” gift. Even the fact that you have an account with “Sorry As A Service” makes the mind boggle.

In comparison, let me tell you about an event that happened the same week. My mobile (purchased from Cash Converters) was suddenly blacklisted. It would seem that the original owner was running an insurance scam. With an iPhone now functioning as a paperweight, I contacted Cash Converters. Prompt reply. Immediate offer of a refund or relacement. Accepted a replacement, and received a mint-condition (working) iPhone within days. They even refunded the postage. Not an ‘edible beermat’ in sight. I would say that “This is service of the highest order!”

Unlike DPD, who sent an apology for a biscuit (or should that be the other way round?), with an advisory that the biscuit should be eaten within 7 days. With your delivery record, did you not think that you were taking a terrible risk?

Being a diabetic, I will not be testing my teeth on the biscuit. I don’t think the dog wants it. Should I send it back to you, perhaps …

[Mesklin]

This email was checked for any profane language that might have crept in. You would not have appreciated the first draft.

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