Some get it. Some don’t. It’s not always who you expect.
Today I marched down to the FedEx store to send my ailing Powerbook 12″ laptop off to be fixed / upgraded (that’s another story — hopefully to be documented here upon successful completion). Anyway I get down there (114 Strand), stand in front of a desk that says “shipping” and am ignored by some people sitting at a desk and talking right behind the desk. Were they employees? Not sure. There were a lot of people in there but it wasn’t obvious who the customers were and who the employees were. Anyway, finally someone looks up from what they’re doing and runs over in a harried kind of way to ask how they can help me. Pulling out my bag, I say “I’d like to send something to the States.” “Oh. You’ll have to come back tomorrow because the last pickup has already left.”
Let’s go over this in detail.
1. The last pickup has left? This is a FedEx store for crissake! And it was like 4 pm.
2. I have to come back tomorrow? What’s that about?
Why couldn’t the guy simply say “well- out last delivery has left but I can take it from you down and make sure it gets out first thing tomorrow.” That actually would have been acceptable (though I still think the last pickup from a FedEx store should be late evening) but the guy didn’t even give me that option. I stormed out of the store after telling the guy “this is crap.” Not necessarily his fault, I know, but honestly I was just incensed.
Well. I still had to send the package out, so I walked down the road to my local Post Office. Ok – I had to wait in line for about 15 minutes in front of someone who quite likely suffered from Tourette syndrome, but at least it was quite evident who the customers were and who the employees were. While was waiting in line, I actually overheard one of the counter staff telling another about how, since waiting in this long line could be quite a frustrating experience, they needed to provide good customer service. When I got to the counter, I was given a number of options for delivery and insurance and walked through the process by someone who was knowledgeable and reasonably friendly and generally dealt with in an efficient manner. I chose a 48 hour delivery option. As indicated on my receipt, I had not missed the last pickup for the day.
Total Post Office cost: £64.35.
What I would have paid at FedEx (according to their Web site): £95.23.
I am not normally one to sing the praises of the Royal Mail. God knows, they’ve mis-delivered plenty of my mail and I actually had a new checkbook swiped while en route to me last year, but in this case the good old Post Office wins hands-down over FedEx.
Of course, the real proof of the pudding will be in the eating: receiving my upgraded laptop back safe and sound. Stay tuned.