by Jake McMillan
Do you mind if I call you John?
John, I need to tell you a tale. It starts as an ordinary tale of a man ordering a washing machine and a kitchen tap and ends … well, this epic tale has only just ended and I’m not sure I have taken it all in yet.
I live with my wife Judy and have recently taken in her emotionally-challenged sister Maggie. Maggie’s troubles are too numerous and involved to get into, but her arrival a few months ago has caused a massive increase in the use of our ageing washing machine. Hence the order of a new Zanussi ZWG5148P Washing Machine from your website, that and a new kitchen tap.
This online order triggered two delivery phone calls from you. Not from you personally John, of course. The first was to arrange delivery of the washing machine, this would take place sometime between 7am(!) and 1pm. The second call was to arrange the delivery of the tap. The latter was a lengthier call than expected as I was quizzed on what floor I lived on, whether there was parking? a lift? etc. Both items were set to be delivered on the same day.
Delivery day arrived and I arose from a poor night’s sleep (Maggie had been having more of her troubles) eager to receive the new washing machine and for the old one to be taken away. At 10am, the buzzer buzzed and I ran down to see one of your vans with my brand new washing machine.
My happiness was squashed after a short exchange with your burly delivery gents.
“Sorry mate, we don’t deliver to the third floor, you need the 3-man heavy lifting crew who have the proper trolley”.
Maggie’s friend Keith had come over to have some bagels and offered his kind services to help. I enquired if I could borrow your trolley and we could take it up to the flat ourselves? A resolute “No” was the answer. There was concern I would sue if your trolley broke. I said I wouldn’t, but that didn’t seem to be enough.
Further discussion revealed that this trolley could be used to deliver to first floor properties. I persuaded your delivery chaps to take my new washing machine to the first floor and then Keith and I carried it up the remaining two floors and installed it. They couldn’t take away the old one but would arrange for a 3-man crew to come and collect it as soon as possible.
Was this the first washing machine you have delivered in London John? I hate to break it to you, but there are probably millions of the population who live above the 1st floor and so maybe you should perhaps ask about this before organising a delivery? Just a suggestion.
30 minutes later a separate truck of yours arrived. Despite them having all the information on which floor I was on and the location of the car park, I still ended up having to go out on the street to collect the kitchen tap. The delivery man could not find the package in his van and so I was left hopping about in the freezing cold until he eventually located it.
Fast forward three weeks and the old washing machine is still yet to be picked up. I had a missed call and the long rambling voicemail was from one of your colleagues asking to know if the washing machine had been picked up or not as they didn’t have the information? I helped plug this gap in your knowledge and I had another missed call from an unknown/withheld number asking me to call back at “my convenience” to arrange the pickup. Of course, the message didn’t leave a phone number so I couldn’t actually call back. Another missed call supplied this information and a reference. I called back, but apparently there was only one person I could speak to about this and they were not there, but they would call me back.
I did get a call back a couple of days later. I was told that one of your trucks was 3mins away to collect the washing machine?! No one had told me, but I happened to be home that day so all was good. The buzzer buzzed and I ran down again to meet your colleagues.
They ask, “What floor you on?”, “I’m on the 3rd floor”.
“Is there a lift?”, “No, just stairs”.
“Oh, you need the 3 person crew and a special trolley for that”. They drove away quicker than you can say ‘spin cycle’.
Phone calls and apologies ensued and was told this Friday that a 3-man team would come and collect the washing machine. They would come between 7am – 1pm. Despite another night of Maggie difficulties, I was up and ready to receive your colleagues from 6.50am.
In the end, they were only 2 hours late (3pm arrival) and it was simply a joy to watch the professionalism of these three men: one man put the washing machine on the trolley, one stood in front of it just in case and the other chatted to his friend on his mobile.
So thanks John! Thank you for turning something that should have been a very straight forward simple tale into an epic tragedy. Or is it a comedy? I can’t quite figure it out.
Jake, Judy and Maggie