Posts Tagged ‘Poor Service’

Royal Mail Tracking is Not Reliable

November 14th, 2008 No comments

Royal MailI was expecting a Royal Mail Special Delivery this morning after a supplier had yesterday emailed me the tracking number.

When I first checked this morning on Royal Mail’s website, it said that the package had reached the local delivery office and was out for delivery. Fair enough, however at 9:30, it claimed that the package had been delivered. Despite checking all possible locations (security, stores, reception) I could not find the package.

Not surprisingly, there was a very good reason: Royal Mail hadn’t yet delivered it. They finally turned up at 11:15, almost two hours after the website claimed it had been delivered.

What is the point of a tracking web page if someone is going to enter false information?

Lack of Response from MPs and Councillors

October 28th, 2008 No comments

In the past three weeks, I have contacted a number of people regarding the Manchester Congestion Tax. It is interesting to note the lack of response from the majority, without even the decency of a simple acknowledgement from some.

These details are updated as of 30th November:

To Ack
11 Oct Cllr Raymond Barrow
Bolton Councillor for Horwich & Blackrod
No No 50
11 Oct Cllr Patricia Barrow
Bolton Councillor for Horwich & Blackrod
No No 50
11 Oct Cllr Michael Hollick
Bolton Councillor for Horwich & Blackrod
No No 50
11 Oct Rt Hon Ian Stewart
MP for Eccles
13 Oct No 50
11 Oct Cllr Barry Warner
Salford Councillor for Clifton
13 Oct 13 Oct 2
23 Oct Rt Hon Ruth Kelly
MP for Bolton West
No No 38
25 Oct Rt Hon Graham Brady
MP for Altrincham & Sale West
25 Oct 4 Nov 10
25 Oct Rt Hon Graham Stringer
MP for Blackley
No No 36
31 Oct Cllr Bob Allen
Bolton Councillor for Heaton & Lostock
31 Oct 31 Oct 0

Not a very impressive set of figures really; only three replies.

Given Ruth Kelly’s lack of response in the past, I don’t hold out much hope.

I will keep this post updated.

Update: 12th December

Ruth Kelly has finally responded – well sort of…

Only ten minutes after hearing the excellent result of the referendum, I arrived home to a letter from Ruth Kelly, but far from actually replying to my concerns, it would appear that she has simply forwarded my letter to GMPTE whose reply she has simply forwarded back to me without comment. A secretary could have done that!

It clearly stated in my original letter that I was fully aware of GMPTE’s attitude, so what was the point of getting them to repeat their propaganda? Given Ruth Kelly’s support for the TIF bid, it would seem that she is simply sitting on the fence.

Late Post in Horwich

September 5th, 2008 No comments

We’ve just had our post delivered today at ten to five! It does not appear to be a one-off either as I remember seeing the postman at a similar time earlier this week.

This is simply not acceptable. How is it possible to act on and reply to items of post that have only been delivered at the ond of the day?

Royal Mail seem to be doing everything possible to ensure that they lose their monopoly on postal deliveries

Photobox Pulls ftp uploads

March 11th, 2008 8 comments

PhotoboxFurther to my last post, I now have email confirmation from Photobox that they have removed ftp upload capability (despite still accepting logins on the ftp server and having instructions on ftp uploads on the help section):

…to be honest i’m not to sure when or why it was stopped.
I think its something to do with the new uploader software.

I will look into the FTP servers openness and have the information from the website. [Ed:I presume the word ‘removed’ is missing here]

again my apologies for the inconvenience.

FTP capability was one of the benefits of Photobox. I don’t want to have to install Photobox’s own upload software, I have a perfectly capable one of my own – it’s called a standard ftp client. When I have tried their software in the past it is slow and clunky, whereas I can just type ‘mput *.JPG’ at the ftp command line.

I wonder how many others have suddenly found this not to be working without warning.

So what does something to do with the new uploader software mean? Come on Photobox, I understand that some people like to have their hand held with an uploader applet, but why stop others from using ftp as well?

Categories: Photography Tags: ,

TomTom Discriminates Against Mac users

January 12th, 2008 3 comments

In the past, if you wanted the latest map for your TomTom, you went to TomTom’s website, paid for it and downloaded it. Now TomTom has changed it so that it is only possible to download the maps using its ‘TomTom Home’ software.

TomTom HomeNot a great problem, except that the latest maps can only be downloaded and installed using the latest version 2 software. Unfortunately, TomTom hasn’t bothered yet to release version 2 for Mac users, who are stuck with v1.5, so Mac users are excluded from using the latest maps unless they can find a Windoze PC on which to install Home and use to download the maps.

To make matters worse, the new maps are currently on offer at discounted rate until the end of January 08, so by the time TomTom get their finger out and release version 2 of Home for Mac, this date will have passed, and Mac users will have been effectively excluded from the offer.

TomTom excludes Mac users

Q: why is version 2 required to install a map, something version 1.5 was perfectly capable of doing previously?

Q: why can’t the map be downloaded directly from TomTom’s website as was the case if the past?

Q: why are TomTom being so slow to release version 2 for Mac?

I contacted TomTom, suggesting that since they’d failed to get a Mac version out in time for the offer, they should extend the offer for Mac users. The response was:

We’re doing our best to come out with an update as soon as possible so every customer could download maps and updates using their own pc or mac.
But for now unfortunately indeed there isn’t much our mac customers can do for downloading maps besides using a different windows based computer.

Which roughly translates as ‘tough’.

The correct customer focused response would have been “we appreciate the inconvenience the delay in getting the Mac version released is causing our valued Mac based customers, so we have extended the discounted map offer to those customer for a period of one month after the software is released.”

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Warning PayPal echeques

July 12th, 2007 2 comments

When I first used PayPal, I had a card registered and nothing else. I then decided to become verified and registered my bank account.

From then on when making a payment, PayPal’s confirmation screen said that the funding source was my bank account, and that the BACKUP funding source was my card.

Note the word ‘backup’, suggesting to the user that this is only required if there is a problem with the primary source (bank account). This is further reinforced by the fact that the payment is always taken from the bank account by direct debit and never by card payment.

When I made a couple of payments recently, I noticed that the payment method stated ‘echeque’ from my bank account. I assumed that this was PayPal’s new term for a payment from my bank account. Not so! The echeque payment method incurs a 7-9 working day delay! At no stage was a warning given that this payment would not be instant. Additionally, the email receipt clearly states that a payment has been made to the recipient when this has clearly not yet happened.

I was only alerted to the delay when an ebay seller informed me that ebay was telling him he had been paid, but was not showing in his PayPal account. I then started investigating and discovered that my payments were showing as ‘uncleared’ and that the reason was that echeque is a different payment method which had been selected because my card (which I had been led to believe by PayPal was only for backup) had expired.

Since then I have discovered several websites who accept PayPal adding prominent warning messages about the delay involved with echeque payments. It is clear that they have experienced problems with their customers not being aware of the delays involved with echeque. This is hardly surprising – it is not in PayPal’s interest to warn you about the delay, because this means the money sits in their account earning interest.

A google search for ‘warning paypal echeque’ also yields several people unhappy with the lack of warning for echeques.

From a telephone call with PayPal customer services, it appears that the card details are not in fact a backup as implied by their web pages, but are necessary to make the payment instant.


Ebay now have this graphic on their site, encouraging you to use PayPal:

Misleading PayPal ad

In case you can’t see the animated gif, it says “cheque = 10-14 days, PayPal = Instant, Get Paid Instantly”
Not if the echeque method is used – this is extremely misleading.

Rip-off Motorway Services

June 23rd, 2007 No comments

We all know that fuel is that bit more expensive at motorway services, usually a few pence more per litre, and the prices in the Burger bar are higher than on the high street, basically because they have a monopoly as there is no local competition, but this weekend I saw one example which can only be described as taking the piss:

A pasty will cost you about 75p at your local bakers, a sausage roll about 40p, but Tebay services were charging £2.25 for each of these. That represents 3-5 times the price.

I’d always regarded Tebay as different to the large chain services, but they have gone down in my estimation.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Parcelforce Strikes Again

May 22nd, 2007 4 comments

Parcelforce = ParcelfarceMore problems with Parcelforce (aka Parcelfarce).

I ordered some stuff from the Nokia Shop on Monday 14th May. Unfortunately, they will only deliver to the cardholder address, so getting it shipped to work was not an option. Nokia’s website doesn’t specify the carrier, so I was disappointed to find a card through the door last Thursday from Parcelforce. Another card appeared on Friday, so we used Parcelforce’s website to book a redelivery. The website offered to retry on Saturday, so we accepted and it even gave a confirmation number.

Read more…

A Number with History

April 24th, 2007 No comments

Phone KeysYou may remember that BT managed to foul up the take-over of an existing line when we moved in January.

Well now we have started to receive calls for a decorating firm. The first couple were taken by the answering machine, so we ignored them as wrong numbers, but I spoke to one lady last week.

“You’ve got the wrong number” I said.
“No I haven’t, it’s on the side of your van”
“I don’t have a van, are you sure you’ve got the right dialling code?”
“Yes, it’s on the van”

I asked her where this van was, and went to look. Sure enough, there’s our number on the side of the van. I knocked on a house door and it appears that the number is correct, or rather was correct. The decorating firm used to have our number before moving, but hadn’t got round to changing the number on the van.

Fair enough, but what is extremely annoying is that when I ordered the line from BT, they assured me that it had never been used for a business purposes.

Congratulations BT, you’ve screwed up again.

I sent a complaint via BT’s website:

When I opened my account with BT, I was assured that the number given had not previously been allocated as a business number. However, we are now receiving calls for ‘xxxx Decorating’. I have managed to track down this firm who confirm that they used to have our number before they moved.

and it is clear from the response, that they completely failed to understand the problem:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your recently obtained BT telephone number.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Unfortunately BT have to recycle telephone numbers, and in the years previous to your having this number a customer may have had it, and not requested it to be ex-directory. Once a telephone number has been registered on a calling list it will remain on it until has been removed by registering the number for the Telephone Preference Scheme.

However, I can arrange a renumber for you, free of charge.

Once again please accept my apologies for the inconvenience and distress this may be causing you.

It has nothing to do with being on a calling list and therefore nothing to do with TPS. However, if they had bothered to actually check anything, they would have seen that this number has been registered (by BT on our behalf) with TPS since we got it.

Update – Jan 2008

At the time I discovered the van in question, the decorator assured me that he was getting the number on the van changed that week. It is now nine months later and I was recently annoyed to find that our number is still on his van. I used to pass on his new number to potential customers, but since he doesn’t seem interested in us being inconvenienced by calls for his business, we now simply tell callers they have the wrong number.

Update – Mar 2010

Three years later, his van still shows our number.

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UK Rail to get 1000 new Carriages

March 14th, 2007 No comments

The government have announced that the UK rail network is to get 1000 new carriages to ease congestion.

Sounds like good news except that:

  1. Surprise, Surprise, the vast majority of these are destined for the government’s pet part of the the UK – the South East of England
  2. We won’t have all of them until 2014 – That’s seven years away – they are needed now.

Once again, too little, too late, and the south-east gets preferential treatment.

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