We've just moved into a sparkly new, but scantily furnished apartment. Over the past few weeks we've been doing the rounds at the shops (both on and offline) in an attempt to get the place looking vaguely like a home. So far we've made good progress, that was until last week when we ordered a set of chairs and a small coffee table from an online retailer.
The website user experience was fine, as was the confirmation email and phone call exchanges to polite customer service representatives. But when it came to the day of delivery things all went a bit pear shaped.
Our apartment has a newly issued postcode as it is a new build. We discovered this was an issue when we investigated broadband options a few weeks previously and got told by every conceivable service provider that we weren't eligible for any broadband packages due to our postcode not being recognised. So with this in mind, we made sure we included a detailed delivery note so we could avoid any issues with the arrival of our new furniture.
Upon the day of delivery we were issued with a time slot of 17.30-18.30, organised someone to be at the property and kept our eye eagerly on progress (from work) by entering the tracking code into the DPD (couriers) website.
The end of the day came and there was no sign of our delivery. In fact all we saw that day was the face of disappointment as the items had been returned to the depot because DPD couldn't find our address. No email, no text, no phone call (apparently it isn't DPD policy for the driver to phone for directions), just an ugly red message on their website saying "parcel gone back to depot".
We attempted to call DPD to see what had happened to our package. That also turned out to be a source of frustration with all four automated options leading us to a dead end and susequently being cut off. This coupled with an over-reliance on postcode/GPS and lack of common sense was simply outrageous!
We couldn't directly re-arrange delivery either as you need to have a calling card number. We obviously didn't have this as DPD didn't manage to locate us in the first place. Our only option was to contact the retailer who would then have to request for a new delivery date.We did this and had to supply a different delivery address as the postcode wasn't recognised again. We then organised for someone else to be at the address all day to receive the goods.
A week later we received our goods, only to find on closer inspection that the coffee table was missing. A quick email back to the online retailer resulted in us discovering the table hadn't been dispatched with the original order and that it would be dispatched seperately. This experience was slowly turning into a nightmare.
To be fair the online retailer did offer an apology, but that isn't really going far enough to rectify matters in our opinion. We would have expected a credit note, voucher or other small token to say sorry and encourage us to consider using them again in the future.
We are now in two minds as to whether we'll use the retailer again, on one hand the customer service representatives are very helpful but if the business can't get the basics right like dispatching the full order and using a reputable courier who have half an ounce of sense then they shouldn't be in business in the first place.
We got a dispatch notification this afternoon to say that the coffee table is due to be delivered sometime over the next few days ,the result of which will dictate the answer to the question above.
The saga continues...