Thursday, 14 January 2016

How not to meet your neighbours (and rating home delivery services)

We got the keys to our new house last week and we have been spending the last week getting ready to move in. Moving from a furnished house to an unfurnished house is a big task, slightly complicated by being 38 weeks pregnant. It means I can’t lift things and I have spent a lot of time waiting around for furniture to be delivered. It has been interesting to see just how good, and bad, some delivery companies are.

One of the highlights of waiting around the new house has meant that I have now met my neighbours on both sides before even moving in. They seem lovely.

On one side we met the neighbours because they were doing some gardening. This was a good way to meet people you’re going to be living in close proximity to for a long time. It’s neutral. We had a chat over the fence in a relaxed fashion and keeping our boundaries. We introduced ourselves, met their dog and left.

The first meeting with my neighbours on the other side wasn’t so great. 

A bit of back story: our new sofas aren’t coming until March so to ensure I have something to sit on with a small baby I ordered a low cost ready made one which would be delivered quickly. When I ordered it the website said estimated delivery would be Monday. After payment I received an email saying estimated delivery Monday to Wednesday and they would contact me 2 days before to arrange delivery. By Tuesday I had heard nothing further so I called the company I ordered from. They said the delivery company had some problems with their system and that they would check to see when I can expect it to be delivered. They called me back later to say that it definitely wouldn’t be delivered that day, but that I would probably receive an text with delivery info the next day.

I didn’t.

This morning (so a day after the delivery window) I received a text at 10:46am saying it would be delivered that afternoon “ETA 2.02 and 5.02”. Like most people I am unable to be available on an unexpected day with 3 hours notice so I called the number they provided for redelivery. 6 unanswered phone calls later I googled the company and found their customer services number and called that. I eventually reached a mailbox and left a message with the requested details. I didn't get a call back.

Fast forward to 4pm when I make it to my new house I find a delivery note through the door. Not surprising that I missed the delivery. What was surprising given it was a sofa was the message which read “@6”. Normally I would have thought that meant they left it at number 6, but given the size of the delivery I couldn’t believe this was the case, surely they meant redelivery at 6?
delivery note

My next door neighbours were out so I waited until they came home just in case. It turns out they did have my sofa. I was hugely embarrassed. After speaking to them I felt mortified. The delivery company banged on my neighbour’s door waking him up (he works nights) and then forced the sofa through the door giving him no choice about accepting it.

I apologised over and over again, but then felt further embarrassed as I had to ask them if they could carry the sofa into my house or if I could come back later with someone else to move it as I was unable to move it. So before I had introduced myself to my neighbours I had been responsible for them being woken up, pissed off and quite possibly an injury as they manoeuvred the 32kg “parcel” into my house. 

Not the best way to meet your neighbours.
Sofa covered in plastic

Most companies these days outsource their deliveries. This makes economic sense, but a big part of the experience of buying online is how (and if) you receive the goods. No matter how great the product is a bad delivery can stop you wanting to order from the company again.

Rating your experience when receiving home deliveries (based on my personal experiences this month):

-Receiving information when ordering about the day the item will be delivered, unless you are housebound or have a housekeeper you probably can’t be home all day everyday. Plus 5 points
-Receiving a time slot for delivery. Many companies now send texts the morning the delivery is due so you don’t have to stay at home and listen out for the doorbell all day, too worried to have a shower or even go to the loo. Plus 5 points
The one’s which show how far away the company is are extra fun and appeal to my inner geek. Bonus 2 points
-The delivery coming at the expected time. Plus 5 points
-The delivery company calling you if there is a delay or they are at your house at there is no answer. Plus 5 points
-Receiving the item in a good condition. Plus 10 points
-The date of delivery changing without good reason. Minus 5 points
Extra 5 points lost if they don’t bother to inform you the date has changed or you just get a message saying there is a delay.
-Chucking the delivery over your fence (minus 2 points) in a cardboard box in the rain. Minus 5 points
-Leaving the delivery somewhere unsafe e.g. on your doorstep in full view of the street. Minus 5 points
-The delivery person looking at you like you are mad when you ask them to carry the item into your house as it’s too heavy for you. Minus 5 points
-The delivery never being received (although good companies normally rectify this quickly by sending out a replacement). Minus 15 points

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