The Case of The Invisible Bubblewrap

The Case of The Invisible Bubblewrap

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I have made numerous complaints over the years to the Royal Mail, my latest, concerning Parcelforce, is my most recent.

We are led to believe that once we make a formal complaint to Customer Services, it will be dealt with quickly and properly.  In reality Customer Services will pass the information you give it to the relevant department/office, then leave you at the mercy of that department/office. Naturally you can return to Customer services if dissatisfied, usually totally ignored in my case, and unhelpfully the Customer Services representative will be a different one from the first. Now you go through the same procedure again. I remember one of my complaints regarding redirection involved no less than five different Customer Service Representatives. It took something like three weeks to sort out during which my item was returned to the sender.

Before moving on to Parcelfarce, sorry, Parcelforce, be wary of any Customer Services Representatives who quietly downgrades your 'Complaint' to simply a 'Query'.

One other tip. If you fill in an online Complaints Form or Statement, be sure to cut and paste your work to email before you send or continue with the Complaint or Statement. With a lot of these forms there may well be a timeout feature which will not be known until you try and send your statement. Surprise surprise you have lost everything and would need to start again from scratch. Cynical really, I have not yet seen one which explains there is a timelimit, usually far too short anyway to adequately explain everything you may feel is important. The cut and pasted email to yourself also serves as a copy, since once it has been sent there is no other way to retain a copy for your records/reference. A confirmation email of receipt does not normally provide  a copy of your statement.

I have not had a problem with Parcelfarce before, but like all the Sorting Offices I have been directed to by Customer Services, this one was no different. Does not do phonecalls, emails, letters, morse code or any other natural means of dealing directly with customer concerns. 

On 9th December 2008, I received a delivery of packaging material from Parcelforce, which I signed for. I was expecting more packaging material so I mentioned it to the driver. He said it was all he had on board. I contacted the Seller/Sender and he advised me to have a look at the Tracking info on the Parcelfarce website. According to the Tracking info the other consignment of packaging material had been delivered to my address on the 8th December 2008, the day before. Because no delivery had in fact been made to my address on the 8th December 2008, no signature given or card left, I contacted Customer Services. I also pointed out that neither identicle signature on the website was my signature, and that the names given against those signatures were in fact different anyway.

Customers Services said they would contact the Sorting Office involved and that I should expect to hear from the Sorting Office within 24 hours. Having not heard anything well beyond 24 hours, I contacted Customer Services again on 16th December 2008. I was advised my enquiry should receive a reply within two working days. Having not heard anything by 24th December 2008, I wrote to Customer Services again on 24th December 2008. To date, 4th January 2009, I have still not heard anything and I am still without my packaging material.

In the absence of an adequate or appropriate response from Customer Services/Parcelforce, I feel quite justified in assuming Customer Services/Parcelforce knows it has a dishonest driver, who else can declare two identicle and bogus signatures against two different names for one delivery only. In the absence of an adequate or appropriate response from Customer Services/Parcelforce, I also feel it quite justified to assume Customer Services/Parcelforce have chosen to continue using a dishonest driver rather than have reduced manpower at  a busy time of year. All of which does not help me, my business, or any other member of the public served or cheated by this driver or Organisation.

Update. Sent yet another complaint to Customer Services on 12th January 2009, having not been advised of anything since 24th December 2008, yet another very long 24 hour response time without end. Advised them the tracking information is now different , manipulated, to the information stated the second week in December, and that nobody had advised me of any possible changes. Changes, unsurprisingly perhaps, show me in a worser light than it. Have now given Parcelfarce a 7 day time limit afterwhich I will seek legal advice. Customer Services response in reply, via email, was for me to supply them with information regarding my complaint. Yes folks, right back to the beginning. It really is pathetic. I did however provide them with this web address and 'Parcelfarce Gripe' link for this summary.

One good bit of news. I ordered 2 x replacement rolls of bubblewrap on 7th January 2009, and received them a few days after.  Via Parcelfarce ? ,  no way.

Update. The signature removed from the tracking information on the Parcelforce website has been returned. This due to the fact that I informed them of printed copies I have of the original tracking information. To date,27th January 2009, no one from Royal Mail Customer Services/Parcelforce has contacted me to resolve the theft of my items and attempted manipulation of it's website tracking information, since the time limit expired in early January.

Today I reported the matter to the Police at St Austell Police Station, and a way forward may have been found. Obviously this cannot involve further wasted letters of complaint to this corrupt Organisation judged on it's form to date. Watch this space.

Update. Since reporting the matter to the Police, the signature referred to on 27th January 2009, has been removed yet again, and one other change has been made. If these maggots spent a quarter of their time answering my complaint or simply talking to me 'the customer', they would not have to stoop to such low levels of dishonesty in dealing with what is now a blatantly obvious theft by someone or party within it's Organisation, which it continues to prove it will protect with equal dishonesty via fraudulent methods.

                                                       The Ultimatum

On 16th February 2009, I sought Legal Advice through the Federation I belong to and was advised to take Parcelforce/Royal Mail to Court. The first step was to give Parcelforce 7 days notice, which was done via email  the same day. A confirmation email of receipt was received.

The following day I received a phone call late afternoon in response to my notice of intent from a lady called Lyn or Lynn who was a manager within Parcelforce. She explained that my rolls of bubblewrap were delivered, along with a large consignment of bubblewrap, to a local business within the St Austell area on 8th December 2008. She added that the delivery label for my address was still on my consignment , and that the bubblewrap will be delivered to the my address within the next few days. On the issue of me having to buy replacement bubblewrap due to the non delivery of the original order, she said a 'Goodwill' cheque for £30.00 will be sent to me.

On 18th February 2009, I finally received the bubblewrap I should have received on 8th December 2008.

The next day I received a phone call from the Parcelforce email team who wanted confirmation I had now got the bubblewrap. Having confirmed delivery, I was then told I would receive the 'goodwill' cheque within the next five days. Received a confirmation email of this 'gesture' about 10 minutes later.

                                       And They All Lived Happily Ever After

Well, not quite. Once the street parties, fireworks and national celebrations to mark this "Delivery Of The Decade" was but a memory, this postal giant forgot to post the cheque. Well atleast it did not go out on time and get lost in the post, spooky thought. A polite reminder eventually did the trick and I finally received this somewhat tainted 'Goodwill' gesture on 10th March 2009.

                                                        Closing Comments

Claim of theft was a bit over the top ?  No not really.  Between 12/12/2008 to 17/02/2009, neither Customer Services nor the Sorting Office dealt with this issue when given the opportunity on atleast  four occasions each. It is also not nice to be treated as a liar, presumably why no one did in fact look into this matter. Also, the only visible change was it's ever changing Tracking information relative to my consignments. This very Blog could have been avoided because I advised them prior to being left with no choice.

I actually support the Royal Mail and I will continue using the Royal Mail. What I don't support is waste and Customer Services is surely that. How many of them would it take to change a light bulb ? probably thousands if they can refer it on. The actual 'Blame' was directed at the Plymouth Sorting Office for not dealing with it. Having dealt with a closer to home Sorting Office, see beginning, I do actually believe that was the case, after all it was them who delivered the bubblewrap to the wrong address in the first place. It does make you wonder though who the hell is in charge when things go wrong.  By accident or by design Parceforce did not resolve this matter, my persistence and the threat of Court Action did.

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