Tag Archives: delay

The cost of a letter, I don’t care.

Recently the Post Office has increased the cost of posting a letter. I really don’t care as I’ve almost stopped using the post. I’ve been using e-mail and other social networking type stuff for my messaging for many years, however the main reason I don’t use the post anything like as much as I did is because of the Post Office itself. Or more specifically, when the Post Office stopped their early morning delivery. I have no problem with them going from two deliveries a day down to one, but their shift of (the now single) delivery time from early morning to late morning has been a killer for me.

Let’s take the ’before’ situation. I could write a letter (the request) on Monday, get it off in the afternoon, and assuming 1st class post, the other party would get it before they headed off to work on Tuesday morning. They could then pen a reply during the day (response), get that off in the evening post. I’d get it Wednesday morning and get a reply (acknowledgement) off by the evening and they would then get it Thursday morning. They could then get a final note (confirmation) off on Thursday which I would get on Friday morning

So we have a request, response, acknowledgement, then final confirmation, all done within a working week. In fact this is not really any slower for those computer users who are not that geeky and just check their e-mail once a day.

However let’s look at the same situation since the Post Office ’updated’ their delivery service.

I write my letter on Monday (request) and get it off in the post. It gets delivered on Tuesday after those I’m writing to have left for work, so they won’t see it till Tuesday evening. They sort out a reply (response), this will be too late for Tuesday’s collection so won’t get into the system till Wednesday. This should then get delivered to me on Thursday morning, but after I’ve gone to work, so I won’t see it till the evening. I get my reply (acknowledgement) written on Thursday evening but this in turn won’t get into the postal system till Friday, arriving at the other end on Saturday morning. Even living in a city, my Saturday last post collection time is around lunch time, so even if they get their final reply (confirmation) written on Saturday it won’t get collected till Monday. This should get to me late Tuesday morning, but I won’t see it till Tuesday evening.

So our request, response, acknowledgement and final confirmation has now stretched from just a few days to a week and a half!

I’m sorry, but that’s just crap, so I’ve shifted even more of my communication across to electronic messaging. The only thing I now regularly use the post for is birthday and Christmas cards. I would be happy to use the postal system more, it’s not so much the cost of a letter but this reduction in quality of service that I find so distressing.

With service like it is no wonder the Post Office is losing business.

Closed Currys, not surprised.

Just walked passed a Currys Digital store here in central Glasgow to find it totally closed.

Saddened in that it is one less high street store open, but not surprised to see it happen. One thing that has characterised my visits to any (what was) Dixons / Currys / PC World was that I would leave feeling more irritated and annoyed than I did when I went in, my ‘customer experience’ in any of these Dixons Retail group stores was always negative.

I remember a while ago going into one store and while looking at one or two laptops was approached by a sales girl who asked what sort of laptop I was after. I said I was after something that had to be dual-core processor and the video output to be digital. She said ‘back in a minute’ and when she returned selected a lap-top saying this one would be suitable for me, pointing to the (analogue) VGA output saying that this was digital. I questioned her about it but the assistant repeated that this was suitable, told me the output really was digital, and was keen to complete the sale. Fail!

Another instance was of looking at printers and being approached by a sales assistant. I said I was looking for one of the cheaper postscript compatible machines. She said she didn’t know if they had any but would go and ask. (I have no problems with staff not knowing – they can’t know everything – so long as they are honest about it.) When she returned she said that they didn’t sell that make. The trouble is that postscript is not a make but a printer language common across most high and mid-range printers with some low-end machines postscript compatible too. I don’t know who she asked, but the end result was incorrect information from the staff and a disappointed customer. (Needless to say, there were postscript compatible printers there.)

As for the number of times I’ve overheard staff tell customers that ‘this camera’ is better than ‘that camera’ because it ‘has more megapixels’ is too many to list here. Or being told this is better ‘because it’s digital’. Then when you ask why does that make it better, the response just to repeat ‘because it’s digital’. Or of course, going into one of their stores and then waiting 20 minutes to be served, only to be eventually approached by a member of staff saying that the store is now closing. This has been a depressingly common experience; it’s apparent that as soon as it gets anywhere near closing time the staff all start heading towards the back of the store, reluctant to serve customers. I assume in case it delays their exit out at the end of the day.

Then there is the integration of (or lack of) the running of their web site compared to that of the store. Senior management has not yet latched onto the fact that consumers now expect seamless integration between the two. To find the web saying there is stock and on going to the store finding none, or price differences between the two is unacceptable. Customers expect to find ‘exclusives’ consistent between the channels. Their stores need to compliment, not compete with their internet presence.

I prefer buying in a shop, to be able to see and handle the actual product at time of purchase. To be able to walk out with the item, not having any postal delays and trying not to miss the delivery van. However finding staff who don’t know their products, who only seem interested in customers if they can get the customer to buy something that will fulfil their daily sales target just sends me off to places like Amazon. It’s not that I want to go to Amazon, but am being driven there because of the quality of service from their high street stores.