Tag Archives: complaints


Yesterday and today were both marked by an upsurge of traffic on the road as kids returned to school and parents went back to work. I was a little later than intended on both days and ran into delays caused by the rush hour. Today’s dark and rainy start did little to combat the congestion or lift the mood.

It did, however, give me time to think about writing and I have just drafted two new haibun. There is, no matter how dark the day, always the possibility of good emerging from it.

We now have four complaints about the non-arrival of packages. One is from Israel, which we were expecting. The Israeli Post Office does not have a good reputation. This is surprising as they generally seem to be an efficient country. I note, however, that they will forward letters addressed to God.

Christmas Stamps

Christmas Stamps

One is from a customer who has had his package. He then changed his story, saying that he wanted to return it as it was a present and the intended recipient already had one. That’s a shame, but not our fault. Unfortunately, we fall under the same legislation as a large company in this matter and will have to accept the return and lose money.

Another has now been waiting a month and now wants their money back. Again, not our fault, but not his fault either. We can, of course, apply for a refund from the Royal Mail but it is likely to be a case where the time spent claiming outweighs the value of the claim.

All these are irritating as we have done nothing wrong but will end up losing money.

The fourth is more annoying. We sent the wrong parcel to someone and had to send them a replacement. Fair enough. They returned the item we had sent in error. While it was being returned (slowly, due to postal strikes) somebody else ordered it. We emailed them saying that there would be a delay but that we would send it in the New Year, if they wanted to wait. They accepted this and we actually sent it to them on 28th December. It is, according to the Royal Mail, on its way. They have just cancelled it as it is taking too long. This seems a trifle unreasonable after we have done our best for them.

Sorry to give so many details of my mundane life, but future researchers may want to know about the reality of doing business on eBay. We managed to hit another feedback milestone today. We hit 10,000 feedback just before Christmas (over 10,000 satisfied customers!) and today arrived at 10,100. So, despite the erratic post we are still keeping most people happy and it is clear that most of the post is still getting through quickly.

More Stampish Inspiration

The header picture is the Post Office 10p from the 2019 alphabet issue of coins. It was, in many ways, a disaster of an issue, with demand far outstripping supply. They were extremely rare in change and mainly being sold by Royal Mint and the Post Office at premium prices. It’s not the way to handle a new issue, as many people like the thrill of searching their change to find coins.

Day 182

I spend seven hours a day, five days a week trapped in a windowless box of a room staring at a computer screen. On most days I only hear two sounds, apart from the voices of my co-workers – the noise of the rain on the flat roof and the asymmetrical thwack from next door’s food mixer. Commercial planetary mixers have a distinctive sound which I remember from the one we had on the farm.

From this point of view it’s not surprising that my days all merge into one and offer little of interest.

Most interesting today was a customer who ordered a Cigarette Card Catalogue from us. They are  big heavy books and it had arrived damaged. His letter of complaint was querulous. It seems that it was hard to blame the post office for the state of the book when we were the ones at fault for our poor packaging.

We could, it is true, pack them better. If we did so it would increase the weight of the parcel, and its thickness, and put it into another postage category. They are already expensive to post and the extra cost would probably mean nobody bought one. We send one or two a month and this is the first to get damaged.

I would have taken issue with his comment about the post office. The book had clearly been dropped on its corner (hence the damage) and it had also clearly been messed about, as the envelope was seriously creased and tattered. Something had gone badly wrong and as it had been fine when we handed it over it was definitely the fault of the post office, despite the assertions of the customer.

The truth is that it had been damaged by a combination of bad treatment and insufficient packaging. All tyhe customer needed to do was send pictures (which he did) and ask fro a refund. There was no need to start attaching blame or criticism.

Anyway, we apologised and offered him a partial refund or a replacement book. This provoked another long email about blame and fault and unfairness and made it quite clear he was looking for an argument.

Sometimes you wonder about what goes on in people’s minds. However, rather than argue we carried on smiling and being nice. We have already lost money on the book, no point in spending time (which is, as we know, money) on arguing about it.


31st December 2020

Who would have thought that we would spend most of the year indoors and afraid of people breathing on us? I’m in the middle of reading Writedown: Lockdown in the Galloway Glens in the Time of Covid.

I was happy to buy the Kindle edition at £1.99 bit if I’d paid £6.50 for a paperback edition I’d have been less pleased. I’d just abandoned an idea to write a haibun diary of the lockdown because I couldn’t introduce enough variety into it and thought it was dull, so was interested to see how other people had coped with the problem. They didn’t. They wrote a book that is full of interesting thoughts and insights but the little sparks of interest don’t grow into anything better.

I’d give it three out of five if I had to mark it. The writing is all good, and the lives they describe draw the reader in, but there just isn’t enough variety of thought or style, which is down to the editing. However, to be fair to the editor, they can only work with what they are sent. Having said that, maybe they should have asked for something different.

This afternoon’s film was Sharknado: It’s About Time, which was a complete shambles of a film featuring the normal tornadoes of sharks plus Time Travel. It was so bad it was great, but it’s a relief to know that it’s the last one, as I don’t think they could top this. I also don’t think I could cope with another. It’s hard to believe that they made six in the series. Don’t bother reading the synopsis on the link, I’ve just put it there to prove that someone really did make 6 films about sharks and tornadoes.

That’s about it for 2020. The Open University has finally deigned to answer my query about my password malfunction and ASDA sent me an email to check how happy I was with my last delivery. It’s taken the OU two weeks to answer a query about the password, even though they were the ones who insisted on the change in the first place. ASDA have, once again, failed to provide me with the bags I paid for, turning the home delivery into a nightmare for a man with arthritis (although it’s better, I’d still prefer not to have to handle crates of shopping when I’ve paid for plastic bags). I’m seriously thinking of going back to shopping in person as soon as I can get a vaccination.

While I’m here, has anyone being seeing an increase in comments and follows from people who seem to be interested in pushing their own (commercial) sites? I do. I’m not sure whether it’s a growing trend or if WP has altered the spam settings. I’ve decided, despite a vague nagging feeling about manners, to label them as spam and dispose of them.

And that, I think, rounds off 2020 for me. I hope you all have a better year next year and can all get out and about once more.


Ho, ho, ho… It’s an old picture – I’m wrinklier, grumpier and less well-groomed these days, but I thought it was Festive in tone.