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October 8th, 2009 - Off in the distance — LiveJournal
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The Bellinghman
Date: 2009-10-08 14:46
Subject: On book deliveries
Security: Public
Let me tell you a story.

When I order something from Amazon, like a lot of people I normally set the delivery point to my workplace. But for a delivery last week, I had failed to do so, and Amazon dispatched it to my home address instead.

Amazon decided, for once, to use City Link. It will surprise few people that, when the courier arrived at our front door gone 11:00 last Thursday, I was not there to take delivery.

Now, if it had been Royal Mail leaving the card, I wouldn't have minded too much. The sorting office is about 2 minutes walk from the desk at which I sit, and I'd have dropped in there the following morning once I'd parked behind it. But that isn't the case with City Link. With City Link, it's a 60 mile round trip to visit their depot.

Drive 60 miles? Or take the morning off work? Or forget the consignment, which I could have replaced for £9.45 at Tesco. (Yes, it was the latest Pratchett book.)

The last option would be the most sensible of those three, to be honest. But on Friday morning, at 9:15, I called up City Link to inform them that the redelivery attempt wouldn't work and to ask them to change it. The lass on the other end of the phone took my details, and offered a change of address, but warned me the new delivery wouldn't be till Monday. She then took my work address, said "Oh, one moment, I want to try something", and asked me to hold.

About 5 minutes later, she got back to me.

At 9:45, I had the book in my hands. The driver had had it on his van, he'd not come round to our area of town yet, and he was able to deliver it.

So distinct plaudits to City Link for this - this was good service.

And now, tale told and on a topical note, I would like to plead to Amazon not to take their small package delivery business away from the Royal Mail. There must be many people like me who have either a sorting office or a Post Office much closer to them than the nearest courier depot.

(Yes, City Link's Cambridge depot is appreciably closer, about half the distance. But unlike us, it's not in Hertfordshire, and City Link's routing takes deliveries to us to their Hertfordshire depot, which is only just outside the M25, right down the far end of the county.)
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