Parcel Farce

Usually when I’m ordering something, I try to have it delivered to work – the theory being that at work there is usually someone around to sign for the parcel, and you’re not going to have problems with forged signatures and parcels propped up against the front door. However every so often we have to have something delivered to our home address, as it has been with a parcel that we were supposed to receive on Tuesday. Unfortunately the company from which we were purchasing requires that for credit card purchases, the package has to be shipped to the credit card address, and it was shipped with Parcel Force, the parcel delivery arm of the Royal Mail.

When we first moved here, we had problems because being a new build, the road wasn’t on any of the maps. Eight years on, we’re on all the latest sat-nav data, indeed you can put our address into Google Maps and take a nice look at our back garden. Recently about the only problem we’ve had has been the occasional Tesco delivery driver who ends up in Penrose Park (worth noting at this point that it Ocado equip their drivers with a sat-nav, so we’ve never had a problem with them).

Anyway, both yesterday and today there has been no sign of the parcel, nor any sort of card. Thankfully the company sending the parcel supplied me with the tracking code so I could see what was happening, and it came as somewhat of a surprise. They have twice failed to locate the address – it escapes me quite why having failed to find it on Tuesday they didn’t at least look us up on a map to try and find us on the Wednesday – but twice they have failed to find it. Incidentally, the top item on the tracking is my redirecting the parcel to our local post office, where since we know the post mistress quite well, hopefully there should be no problem picking the parcel up without the card. Annoyingly it takes Parcel Force two days to actually get the parcel to the local post office, so we’ll have to wait until Friday until we can go and collect it, plus they’ll charge us 50p for the redirection. That’s a lot less than the £5.50 they’d charge to redirect it anywhere else. The only other option is to drive to the other side of Reading to collect it in person, but I fear after the farce this week I’ll probably not be at my best with whoever happens to be on the desk if I did.

It just amazes me that a company whose primary business is delivering packages is unable after two attempts to find our house. Granted if we were in an out of the way place, or a brand new house it would be understandable, but the house is eight years old, and the road is on sat-nav, map, whatever, why on earth is it so difficult for them to deliver our parcel?

Update: You’d think this was complicated. I’ve just had an e-mail back from Parcel Farce customer service saying that they had “resolved the address problems” and that the parcel was back out on the van to be delivered to my home address – I’ve just phoned them up, and once through their automated system to a real person (hint, press the ‘#’ key on your phone a few times and you can get out of the menu system) and she had checked, it seems that the parcel is indeed on the normal delivery route, not being sent to our local post office as requested. The customer service agent said that she could send a message to the driver to make sure he delivered it to the local post office instead, although that proved to be complicated as the list of local post offices on her system bizarrely doesn’t list our local post office at all, despite the list on the main website including it. So place your bets please, do you think they’ll actually manage to deliver the parcel to the right place by the weekend?

Update 2: Parcel all delivered. Looking at the paperwork attached to the box the initial instruction to redirect the parcel was actually received, although after having accepted that instruction they then had another failed attempt to deliver to the house. What is interesting is that the customer service agents you speak to seem to have no more information than the tracking system gives you so can’t tell where a parcel is actually going, hence all the confusion in the middle of the week.

2 thoughts on “Parcel Farce”


  2. I ordered a set of wedding photos from a lab – quite big one. And after a week I called the lab to ask why I haven’t received them yet (they were always quick but I thought that they need more time with my order).
    They said they posted it the next day after I ordered the photos. They used Parcerlfarce.
    I checked the tracking website and it said: Attempted delivery – twice. There was someone in all the time so they probably could not find the address. I found out that the parcel is at the local depot. I went there and asked if there is another parcel as I thought there may be something more. The guy told me that there is another parcel for me waiting at a post office which we never use. They called it “convenient delivery”.
    Of course when I complained I heard – he’s a good driver. But that didn’t stop him from dropping two parcels in two places so I could drive around.

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