Friday, October 19, 2007

Royal Mail's "Service"

I've just had to refund nearly £100 worth of sales to three customers who still haven't received their goods, all posted one or two days before the postal strike started, even though we're now ten days after the postal strikes officially ended. And that's only the customers who have now lost patience and are demanding refunds - I have at least a dozen more customers in the same boat who are still hanging on in there, whose patience I very, very much appreciate.

The customers demanding refunds are insisting that they're receiving "all the other" post as normal, and in various cases, insisting that their postman has told them the strike backlog was cleared within a day or two, therefore we must be a) lying about having sent it, b) be lying about having sent it or c) be lying about having sent it.

I also have a couple of customers who are way overdue paying for ebay items, but who state that their payment was posted around the same time as we sent those missing packages out. Their payments have not arrived here, but when you tell them so, they're irate, saying that we must have had the payment by now, "all the other sellers" they've paid have had theirs. Yeah. Right.

Why do people who are, presuambly, otherwise normal, intelligent, decent people have such a blind spot when it comes the the mail system in this country? Why on earth do they believe it's so brilliant? Why do they find it unbelievable that a packet could take this long to deliver? I'm sorry, but it can, and it all too frequently does.

I'm running out of patience here. With royal mail and random customers in equal measure, frankly. I'm still personally waiting for an item I bought on ebay which I'm assured was posted on the 2nd October. And I believe them, because I've seen at first hand how mind-bogglingly atrocious our postal service is. So I'll wait a goodly while longer yet before I'd even think about kicking up a fuss about it. I think maybe we should introduce a new rule - only sell to people who've actually worked in a business that relies on royal mail and therefore have the vaguest of clues about the real, disgraceful and dishonest state of our postal system. Sheesh.


HelenHaricot said...

I have a variety of ebay items outstanding. its not that i believe that they werent sent, its just that i believe that they are most likely missing in action now, stuffed in some warehouse when the strike started, and poss not going to make their way out. so I have emailed the sellers. those with posting slips can sort it out with royal mail. those without I can wait abit, but then would want a refund.
i don't think any of them didn't send it though, and can be patinet - but paypal have a less patient approach if you need a refund.

Nikki said...

I agree with you Helen, that lots of items missing over a certain amount of time probably won't ever make it. Beyond a certain point we always have been happy to issue refunds to customers directly; I don't make anyone go via the paypal claims route. I've no problem with anyone who's waited a reasonable amount of time and nicely gets in touch to say something hasn't arrived - we would normally issue refunds under those circumstances before the customer even has to request one. I just get irate with the tone of some customers. We have over 10,000 99.9% feedback on our business ebay account; it's pretty obvious to customers (I would hope) that a) yes, we do send items when we say we will and b) yes, we will always issue a full refund for items which go missing. The vast majoriy of people are lovely, patient and understanding, it's just the tone of the odd ones that gets to me. The accusation, either implied or, very often, outright, that we're dishonest and never sent items in the first place or that we're dishonestly claiming not to have received a postal payment. I'm not cut out to be in retail!