It’d be quicker by pidgin.

A few years ago, the pony tail and red braces tribe spent time I’ll never get back “strategising“* that all companies would only be successful if they exposed their IT systems, process and – if my notes are correct – arses to their customers.

Their smugness that Clicks’n’Morter** organisations would founder as their traditional qualities of customer service, owning stock and not wearing clothes heading for the new emperor smashed against the cyber-rock bullshit hidden by hideous flash web sites.

And what actually happened? 1999 internet stock crash, crappy outsourced customer service, multi tiered non delivery systems and the ability to track your deliveries on line. Thanks fellas, it’s been emotional.

But let’s not demean all their efforts – surely being able to divine the exact location of some web purchase is a mile marker in the glorious marathon of forgetting what shops are for. Because it is important to understand exactly at what time the desperately important package you’ve spent two hours saving twenty pence surfing for will finally arrive.

One small issue. They are really quite shit. Our Freesat receiver is made by a company that sounds like an advertisement for some extreme porn. HUMMAX are sold by Dixons, dispatched from a warehouse owned by someone else, and not really delivered by DHL. Really, what could possibly go wrong with that supply chain?

Well someone’s pulling mine. DHL dispensed with hard facts and instead offered a couple of quite creative fantasies. Firstly the response to my tracking code was “fatal error, database has exploded, fat IT contractor on the shitter, try again later” before the fabrication increased a notch to “Delivery not possible. Recipient business on holiday

Couple of points here, we’re neither a business nor on holiday. Since the non delivery didn’t even include a scrawled card tossed in the general area of the front door, a more accurate message would be “Lazy Driver has feet up in cab, reading sports pages and mooning at cows“. Twice I emailed them (because ringing them would undoubtedly unleash a call centre in which, after ten minutes, two people would feel the urge to eat the phone) and twice they ignored me.

So I emailed Dixons who, in a pact with their delivery agents, ignored me as well. I became mildly irritated and resorted to BLOCK CAPS. This generated some activity at the far end assuring me that my package would be delivered as soon as we had finished our holiday. I made the bold claim we were not on holiday and – only a couple of days later – was offered up the worthless promise that delivery was scheduled for today.

If we weren’t on holiday. So I cannot tell you how surprised we were when the driver – fresh from 4 days of sleeping in his cab – bowled up and nearly bowled over the total innocent represented by the aerial fella. We fell upon him as a man dying from thirst would on encountering an oasis, and wrenched from his sweaty hand the magic box that would deliver Channel 5.

Fortified by a strong cup of tea, Sam the aerial man laddered back up onto the roof, waved the Satellite Dish around, performed complex stuff with expensive electronics, and finally delivered a televisual solution that runs to two TVs, four freeview receivers, six SCART cables, one HDMI thingymagic, six remote controls, and about a hundred channels. 93 of which appear to be selling me crap products via the Internet, which is about where we came in.

Of course you could consider the alternative of buying stuff from a shop that has both stock and people. It may cost you an extra tenner, but it’s unlikely to invoke a phone bill running into millions as you wait for someone, anyone to prove “your call is important to them“.

And the real reason I am writing this junk? There is bugger all on the TV.

* that alone is a sufficient crime against the semantic truth to sentence each and every one of them to suffer death by extreme haircutting.

** On second thoughts, death is probably too good for them.

2 thoughts on “It’d be quicker by pidgin.

  1. Will

    Had similar issues with DHL this week – tracking site said ‘Delivery Address Inadequate” yet the following day it was delivered (adorned with a perfectly adequate address and postcode!) by a quaint Mother & Son combo in the family estate! Go Figure.

  2. Alex

    Today I failed to receive another package. Apparently my only possible chance of collection is to “gliiagna;goaetpu9whgnds\k”. I’m not sure leaving the card out in the rain has helped with legibility.

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