Monday, December 20, 2010

Poor weather and service

Following the previous post here it is interesting to see the responses from organisations in terms of service issues with the cold weather currently affecting the UK. I have had two different scenarios today, the first being an item which I ordered over a week ago which was despatched by the supplier but has sat in the sorting hub of the carrier for a week now, delayed due to weather. It is a Christmas present for my wife so no names at the moment, but the supplier have, without prompting, refunded me the carriage charge (not bad as I actually got a free carriage offer anyway and they have refunded what it would have cost me). The trouble is that they can't promise when it will turn up so the carrier are very low on my list of those providing service (haven't they heard of winter tyres for the vans so they can do their job?).

The second relates to a weekly magazine I have a subscription for - Autocar, published by Haymarket every Wednesday. I had an email apologising for late delivery due to the bad weather last Friday, the day my copy arrived, but that was good anyway. Today, another email has arrived with a link to a digital edition of the magazine for subscribers so those still waiting can at least read it. In my view that is a pretty good response to a situation, and provides a solution to help customers out (a petrolhead will realise the importance of getting the magazine fix!).

So, it seems that there are good examples of pro-active service (First Direct and Haymarket), some organisations who respond in a reactive manner (the as yet nameless Christmas present supplier) and those who say they can't do anything about it because it is the weather (Royal Mail and the Carrier - Home Delivery Network). Yet it is the final category who should have prepared themselves as their business is totally dependant on the others continuing to use their services. So come on carriers, get your act together, or at least buy suitable equipment to do your job.