All 3 deliveries managed to escape getting caught up in the postal strike.
Delivery 1: Computer Peripherals sent via the Home Delivery Network
Tried to deliver twice while I was at work. Gave me the option of arranging a re-delivery, but I would need to be in all day on the day I choose. Alternatively I could collect from their local warehouse.
Not given a lot of choice I decided to collect from their Warehouse in New Cross, just off Old Kent Road. It's not what I'd call local to South Norwood, but I stopped off on the way back from work and collected it.
Delivery 2: Kettle sent via Business Post
I gather that they did actually try to delivery, but very helpfully didn't leave a card, so I only found out when I rang up to chase up the delivery. Again option of re-delivery, but would have to be in all day or collection for local warehouse.
Once again I opted to collect from their local warehouse, which in this case was in Dartford! I went on a Wednesday morning before work, it took me 3 hours! Not sure how that can count as local.
At this point I'm thinking, wouldn't it be nice if companies could just send things via the Royal Mail like they used to. It may be more expensive, but at least when they can't deliver it they hold it in their sorting office for you, which tends to be fairly easy to get to (5 minutes walk from where I'm living at the moment).
But, then this has happened:
Delivery 3 (or non-delivery as the case currently is): Computer sent via USPS, HM Customs and Parcelforce
USPS have a useful tracking thing on their website, which only works as far as customs, but did tell me the item arrived there on 3 September.
After that I didn't hear anything more about it for a while.
Wondering where it's got to I rang the number the Royal Mail give on it's Receiving Goods from Overseas flyer towards the end of last month. They just told me that customs can take a while to inspect goods and to expect the delivery at any time.
I was going to ring the post office again once the strikes were over to chase this up.
However, on Sunday I received an email from the sender saying the item had been return as the customs charges hadn't been paid. How am I meant to have paid the customs charges, if no-one:
a Asks me to pay them
b Tells me how much they are
c Admits they have the parcel and there are charges to pay
The sender now has the item, as well as the money I paid for it and the delivery charges. They are willing to refund me the amount less the delivery charges or redeliver if I pay the charges again. Obviously I'm not happy to pay for a delivery that wasn't even attempted to be made.
Surely just delivering items can't be that hard?
Or is this just a case of cutting out all the service for the recipient to cut the costs for the sender.