Wednesday 1 December 2010

Being a customer: the highs and lows

All this snow is utterly thrilling (well, Flossie and I think so, anyway) but it makes our days rather same-y; there are limits to how much we I can enthuse about the giant stick. Or hang around waiting for bathroom goods to be delivered, for that matter.

So today, in order to add some variety to my bathroom-and-snow-fixated life, I abandoned the dogs and walked into town with Lesley. A large notice was stuck to the front door directing any deliveries to Sandra for the key.

First to the mobile phone shop, where we both transacted a little business, and I came home with a new phone, with a 5-megapixel camera that I was assured would surpass the iPhone's. I always take a mobile with me when I go out with Flossie, but usually forget my camera. Not any more! You have been warned. Don't know about the quality, but there will be quantity....

Then, inspired by this post and this photo, I dragged Lesley through the blizzard to the open air Continental Market, where she, the non-meat eater, had to stand patiently, her toes freezing, while I picked daintily at devoured a crusty roll from which protruded a huge bratwurst, cooked over charcoal, and a slather of German mustard. Divine, and all the better for being something I haven't eaten for centuries.

We scuttled into John Lewis where Lesley shopped (successfully) for multi-coloured yarn to make her gentleman friend a Christmas present. Working in formal pinstripe suits on weekdays, he favours weekend leisure wear in electric hues that make your eyes bleed. She may need to wear dark glasses to knit this gift. And then, dripping slushily, we got the bus home.

Still no deliveries of shower, basin, radiator, etc. I could understand the difficulties created by the weather, but the absence of any communication was inexcusable. I made the daily round of phone calls, enquiring politely "Where are my bathroom goods now?" One weary woman, unable to help herself,  replied "Probably stuck in a depot somewhere" before apologising and giving me the direct line to the courier, who had failed to ring yesterday as expected.

A very lippy and charmless young woman - I picture her as a cousin of Vicky Pollard -  insisted that the main items could not be delivered before December 11th - nothing to do with the weather, but just because that was how they did it..... Silly me.

Exasperated, I cancelled another order - the one I'd waited in for all day yesterday, except when neighbours stood in for me to allow for dog walking - after being told "delivery delayed because of adverse weather" - and arranged for Richie and I to go and pick up the same items ourselves, in the same adverse weather, from the local depot tomorrow morning.

And then - you know what's coming, don't you - two dogs, one well-wrapped-up human, and a giant stick went off to play in the snow.

On the downside.....

This will get sorted out when the big thaw comes.


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

If this weather carries on for much longer , Flossie's big sticks can provide a blazing fire to keep you warm !

Fran Hill said...

I love those Continental markets. As you say, you end up eating something really different. My favourite is the French ones when they're cooking those fried potatoes in a great big pan. Yummy.

"Sunshine" said...

These are such irritating things to have to deal with. WHY CAN'T THEY CALL???? That's always my question as well. With phones everywhere these days, there is no excuse.
Plus, they don't realize that someone from Canby, Oregon, USA is very eager to see the progress of Rachel's bathroom!!!

the veg artist said...

To be able to walk to John Lewis, even in the snow - I am jealous.
I am getting fed up with internet shopping, having had a few bad experiences lately. Being compensated with an e-voucher, or having the postage deducted does not wash with me.
The alternative is the narrow range of goods offered locally by shops who seem to be vying for the lowest level of tat!
What happened to quality goods and service?
Just beam me back in time, please!

Pam said...

Well, I hate to be picky but I'm getting rather fed up with the snow. Oh, wait a moment - our college is closed till Monday. Snow - love it.

Those gutters look a bit unfortunate. Alas.

flwrjane said...

Either I've lost or the dog has chewed up your email address. Can you shoot me a line please?

xo jane

Kitty said...

Hello there, just popping by to see what you're up to. I was meant to be coming up to Newcastle on Monday, via Washington to see the florist's supplier, the cake decorating wholesaler and the purveyor of ribbons and crafty things. I don't suppose we'll make it now - unless something radical happens to all this snow. A foot of the stuff on my garden table now. Harumph. The dogs love it, though!

mountainear said...

Love the companionable 'big stick' - the ultimate accessory. One of our dogs would selcet the largest stick he could find - and we're talking branches here - to bring home. Very amusing watching him try to get it through the gate.

judy in ky said...

Oh, so you have those Vicky types there too... God help us all. Thank goodness for the Flossie types who are happy with a big stick and exude charm effortlessly.

Shelagh said...

No business ever calls back here either. Incredibly annoying and rude. Never happened in the "good old days". If that makes me sound crotchety and old, well, I am:-) At least on this particular topic. However, yesterday morning I spent about an hour with a very accommodating saleswoman who helped me put together a table centrepiece out of bits and bobs and was pleasant and cheerful while she did it. I usually think that the term "customer service" is an oxymoron but once in a while, it pops up. I smiled for the rest of the day.

Susan said...

Oh my goodness that sausage sounds fantastic !! from this no beef, no pork mostly eater. I LOVE the way you write I giggle through most posts.

Kisses to the Team xo Les Gang

BumbleVee said...

oh, boy.....the eaves troughing has had it.

Dealing with anything these days is getting to be a horrible situation. It used to be "the customer is always right" ...or, at least..we got some attention and somebody tried to make it right most of the time.

Nowadays... the person across the counter (usually under 35) or on the other end of a phone, just rolls their eyes skyward, makes rude finger motions and can't wait to hang up and say more rude things.... there is no common sense left it seems, and certainly no ethics, morals or pride.

Anonymous said...

It occurs to me that Flossie's big stick could be deployed to wallop the non-delivery people!! Please ask if you need a hand with gutter fixing - Malcolm had to sort most of ours last winter after major snow-slippage off the roof!

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