And now onto Argos. I suppose having to deal with hordes of people in the retail section is sometimes like dealing with the living dead. But then the very same complaint can be made about those working behind the counters.
My faith, however, in the commonsense ability of the everyday man (or woman) was partially restored by the efficiency of their initial delivery service.
Sadly the shoddy item (made in China), had to have one part returned, and with the only available (apparently) delivery slot, in a week's time; I agreed and patiently waited.
Delivery day arrived and I received a call from the driver, saying they'd be here in five minutes. Ten minutes go by and sitting in the living room, I notice a brightly coloured Argos van go sailing by. Get a call from the driver saying he can't park because it's on a red route. I inform him that if Salisbury's, Tesco's, meal-on-wheels can unload so can he. But no, he's adamant and drives off saying I will have to re-schedule.
I contact customer services to inform them of this turn of events and give them the same information that I have just given the driver.
They contact him. After a few moments I get a call from him saying, he should be here by 14:20hrs, but he will call me five minutes before hand. At 14:10hrs he calls to say he's nearly here, again, and have I removed the cones from the bay? "What cones?" I say, "there is no bay here, it's the road and I will be by the pavement with the packaged item. It should only take a couple of minutes maximum!" After all if Tesco can disgorge £70 worth of shopping in about five minutes, a one metre sheet of non-heavy packed glass, shouldn't take any longer than that.
I go outside, 15 minutes later see the van coming around the corner and I start waving franticly, whilst holding onto the glass. He slows down (in the middle of the road), saying "I'm not going to stop, its a red route."
"You can stop, you're only briefly unloading," I shout to the passing lorry.
So he speeds up and drives off.
I'm flabbergasted. Decide to hang outside for another ten minutes, in case he is turning around somewhere, and coming back. But no!
Go back inside and again contact customer services. In a previous tapping, I might have mentioned the fact that at this stage, all you want to do is scream down the phone. But with large companies the person you usually scream at, is far removed from the actual events occurring outside your door.
Then get a call on the mobile from the delivery side of Argos, and again explain what's been happening.
The next time I have a delivery, will have to make a recording. So when I have contact someone I can just press the play button, which would save so much time and energy.
So the kind lady enquires if I wish to re-arrange delivery. I count to five before saying "yes, any time."
"Is Friday, between 7am and 12am any good?" she asks.
"That's perfect," I reply, wondering what's coming next.
"Well the driver will call you half an hour before. To make sure there's no problems!"
I wanted to say that, having to be up at 6.30am, is indeed a hassle and I shouldn't have to. But just say, "that will be fine."
"He'll deliver it in a transit van, as there shouldn't be any problems with that, for quickness."
"Will there be anything else?"
"No, that will be all," I reply.
And with that and another five hours in the future to be wasted, I can feel the urge to send letters out to the Delivery department as well as the Chairman's office, lambasting them about the inefficiency of their set-up!
There are many roads in the capital that are on red routes. Wardens although quick to ticket, are also not stupid and around here they do understand that in many situations a five minute (usually less) drop-off is necessary.
So after an initial burst offering a beacon of hope; sadly Argos to, gets the big over-ripe, raspberry.