What really grinds my gears close

Mel Thompson
16th November 2011
What really grinds my gears

Another month and another light-hearted rant in a series that we have called “Grind my gears” after the popular US cartoon, Family Guy.

This month, I will be ranting on about the inconvenience of undelivered parcels, and my frustration of how other companies don’t have the same ‘communication is key’ and ‘get it done’ mantra that we here at Codegent follow.

Working in the creative industry we are familiar with deadlines; my irritation when others don’t seem to understand the importance of these, and having what is needed there and ready to go when it is needed has been bubbling at a high temperature this last fortnight.

The phrase ‘next day delivery’ is being spread thinly across every form of e-commerce, we expect everything to be in our hands instantly. Is this asking too much, or is it just part of our fast paced modern day needs?

Going through any online e-commerce purchase is often a strung out painstaking process. Click to add to basket, go to basket, proceed to checkout, double check that is what you want, proceed, address, address look up, delivery address, payment, pick payment, card details, address of card.

Then near the end, you get that little ray of hope, you can almost see the light at the end of your tunnelled problem, when you read the phrase “next day delivery”. You fork out that extra £5-£10 for that relaxing, reassuring feeling that the product that you have just paid hard earned cash for is going to be at its required location tomorrow.

“aahhhhhh” Time for a cup of tea and a sneaky choccie biscuit.

If only it could go that swimmingly every time. You sit there all day clock watching, imagining your parcel on route, wondering if your parcel is all lonely sat in an abandoned warehouse somewhere, or is just around the corner, in throwing distance. Some companies supply a tracking number for your parcel however, most the time this code does not seem to clear the muddy, confused location of your parcel any more than imagining where it is does.

When my deadline specific parcel did not arrive on its projected day, I called the store that I placed the order with to try and find out where the hell my parcel was. As you can imagine, my irritation and frustration was flowing through my voice box down the phone. I got passed from one person to the next just to ask the simple question – “where the f##k is my parcel?”. After explaining how I paid for next day delivery and it hadn’t arrived, I then asked them to find my nearest store and to have it couriered to me. Regrettably, I received a “computer says no” answer. I don’t appreciate being passed around like a new born baby, being charged a fortune on their phone line just to be back at square one. “arrrghhhhh”

To further my annoyance they then decide to deliver my parcel three days later, when I no longer needed it, and are yet to refund my ‘next day delivery’ payment.

The frustration comes from my own extended efforts of making sure things get done on time, no matter how short the deadline. I and others within the agency, go above and beyond to make sure everything runs to a schedule and clients are equipped with everything they need to attack their digital design problems straight on. It is just unthinkable to set a design delivery date with a client, decide you are not going to give it to them on that date, just sit on it and randomly post it through a few days later to their surprise. When they no longer need it, or have found another form of getting the same product somewhere else. So what gives others the right to do it?

Companies and people need to learn to stick by their word, if you state something will be their next day in black and white, then it should be there. Don’t give me the hope and optimism to think it is possible, for you then to rip it away from me, and turn me into a squabbling toddler who isn’t getting that bike I wanted for Christmas till after Christmas.

I was happy to hear this week that I’m not the only one frustrated by companies delivering habits. MP of Corby and conservative party politician Louise Mensch broadcasted her annoyance with Argos’ lack of delivery service on Twitter and BBC Breakfast on Tuesday 15th November. Her frustration was sound and clear, being told that her delivery had been cancelled and Argos have the right to not tell her. Utterly ridiculous lack of communication with consumers, she Tweeted that Argos “need to add reliability to complete the package, letting customers know is just good business”.

She encouraged her 41,000 followers to rally together and Tweet their delivery hells to the world and companies, GoGirl! Stories included @TaraLouRico who waited home for Virgin Media to arrive on five different delivery occasions, only for it to be cancelled each time without being told. Rightfully so, Virgin Media lost her as a customer and she switched to Sky.

Now, you could be reading this as a one in a million individual who has never had to encounter the irritation of delayed deliveries, thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder, and cleanse my soul. A big shout out to anyone currently reading this while waiting for a delivery, good luck!

Is it so bad for me to want things to run on time and to what was expected? Do I expect too much? Maybe I’m too demanding, but we can't afford to waste a day in modern day society merely walking back and forth up and down the hall way, peeking outside the front door to wait for something to arrive. We have much better, more productive things to do with our day, like writing an article about it, that I must clarify I delivered on time!

All I can say is Good Luck on your delivery quests for the future!

That my friends is what really grinds my gears.