Is the internet the answer?

  spuds 22:30 20 Oct 05
Locked

Putting this question to our wide audience, and hoping that it solves an irritating problem.

We receive a fair volume of goods per week, which are delivered by companies like Parcelforce,TNT,ANC,DHL,City Link in fact nearly all of the major delivery companies have delivered to our premises at one time or another.Today we wanted to arrange an urgent collection of goods from a supplier whose location is approximately 120 miles from our location, with a direct motorway route connection.

Due to the size and weight of the goods, it required the human touch to answer a couple of simple questions, one being can you do the job.A few years ago, it was a simple task to pick up a telephone and make a simple arrangement. No bother or sweat, the job was taken on, and the task was completed to everyones satisfaction.Not so nowadays it would seem, with the advent of the internet.Today I tried to contact Parcelforce an 0870 [I was paying an higher premium] number, only to go through the 'press button x and press button y, which eventually lead me to being informed that it would be better to use their website. Connected to website and email sent, still waiting for a reply, and by the looks of things, I may need to wait 24/36 hours for a reply. Next attempt was to TNT on a 0800 number [they are paying for that cal], and again the same usual messages that everyone was busy. Eventually I made contact with a human voice, who asked whether I had used their website, and that they only dealt with contract work. It was suggested that I tried 118247 yellow pages or their website, perhaps they can help. Now I remember the days,when we had occasional collection by TNT, and TNT were only to pleased to assist and receive money in the process.Next I tried a more local firm who as a website telling me how good the company conducts business in a friendly and helpful manner.Only contact details was a telephone number, but on telephoning everyone seemed to be very busy, as a message told me that all their staff 'we are very busy, we do appreciate you calling, please hold' messages every few moments.Gave up with that one also.

So at the end of the day, three websites, three telephone contacts and one consignment that nobody wants to collect.So my question,is the internet the answer, or is it a blessing in disguise for sloppy business practices.Everyone seems to have abandoned the telephone for the internet, yet still cannot offer a service with supposed faster action.

  Chegs ® 23:08 20 Oct 05

Been there,done that.Gave up and delivered it myself.

  DieSse 02:27 21 Oct 05

Sloppy business practices are sloppy business practices whether on the phone, or by fax, or by email, or any other way for that matter.

Unhappily sloppy business practices seem to be the rule rather than the exception these days.

Reminds me of a company I worked for at a time when *computerising the accounts dept* was supposed to be the answer. A (very sensible) consultant they called in told them it wouldn't help one little bit unless they could make the accounts dept work correctly first.

  spuds 10:49 21 Oct 05

Agree with the above, but doesn't anyone in the UK want to earn money for giving a service. The bosses seem to be more concerned in living in the 21st century, with all this modern trappings and technology, yet they seem to cherish the fact that the little guy is losing out.Even old age pensioners and the very poor are having need to get computerised, so they can draw out their pension and allowances,or pay bills via the internet so that they can get a 'cost saving' discount.

In the above situation, the seller was in the same situation and they had asked our help in trying to gain assistance on a once very simple operation. If I was a shareholder or boss of some of these 'we must modernise at any expense' companies, then I would be quaking in my boots.I am finding that it easier to deal with companies in the USA,Hong Kong and Germany, than dealing with UK companies.A typical scenario recently,was my dealings with the above three countries. Goods ordered and paid for via the internet, which were delivered within 5/6 days, and this included weekends. Similar process with a UK company, whose location was approximately 50 miles from us, and that delivery and completion of purchase took 9 days before we received the goods.

The internet as its good uses, but I am getting more convinced that 'its the computers fault' syndrome is returning.Come on British Industry, buck up your ideas, or lose out to other nations.

  WhenHeavenTouchesEarth 11:21 21 Oct 05

IF you don't fancy calling the 0870 numbers, there are geographical alternatives available.

Parcelforce - 0191 5127123

TNT - freephone 0800 100 600

ANC - freephone 0800262123

DHL 01332 816960 - Tracking services (formerly Securicor/Omega Express)
01332 816960 - Customer services ~ click here
0208 8315000 - DHL International (UK) Ltd 01269 842651 - Ammanford, S.Wales; Delivery & collection services
01224 877123 - Altens, Aberdeen
01606 551444 - Wharton Road, Winsford, Cheshire
02890 370724 - Belfast
01256 357656 - Basingstoke
01865 747627 - Oxford
0208 8188295 - Heathrow Airport
01698 743202 - Glasgow

And they go on...

Check out click here for alternative to 0780 numbers.

I know this wasn't your gripe, but it may help in the future.

  spuds 12:40 21 Oct 05

Thanks for the response. I have used saynoto0870 before, and found that it doesn't always have the answer.Bit like ParcelForce not reconizing postcodes!. Having said that, when you are trying to get a rapid solution to a simple problem, you [at least I do]tend to forget things like saynoto0870 :o)

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