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Friday, November 22, 2013

Today marked the end of National Anti-Bullying Week (I didn't find that link myself, I forced a geeky kid to let me copy it), so to mark the occasion, everyone at Amelie's school had to go in wearing something blue. Presumably to represent the sadness of the persecuted child. Or maybe so that the teachers could all wear jeans.

Either way, the timing was very appropriate as I currently feel like smashing someone's face into the pavement and demanding that they give me all their money. Although in my case, the person is Asda. And I don't want all their money. I just want enough to compensate me for the twenty-four hours I've spent on the phone to India, trying to find out where my shopping is.

I ordered all our groceries online this week, and booked it to be delivered from Asda yesterday evening between 6pm and 8pm. Having collected Lisa and the kids from her Mum's on my way back from Burgess Hill, we got home at 5:45pm, and were in all evening.

By 8pm, the shopping hadn't arrived, and we'd had no calls on the landline or my mobile. Fortunately, I'm a patient sort of person, so I gave them a bit of leeway, and waited until 8:45pm before phoning customer services and speaking to a very nice lady on the subcontinent. She informed me that our shopping was on the van, which was obviously good news. Unfortunately she didn't know where the van was. So she said she'd ask her supervisor for permission to phone the store.

I was put on hold for five minutes, which I spent pondering why Asda customer service assistants need permission to telephone a branch of Asda, but when the lady returned, she told me that she couldn't find any managers available, and therefore couldn't make the call. She did, however, inform me that my shopping should be somewhere between the Brighton Marina store and my flat. In return, I informed her that that's about a four minute drive and I could have done it in the time I'd been on hold, but she didn't have an answer for that. Instead she advised me to phone back in fifteen minutes.

I gave them twenty. And this time I spoke to a young Indian man who asked me if I was having a good day, and then put me on hold while he attempted to find a manager who could authorise a call to the store. To my surprise, he found one, and he then put me on hold again while he made the call. Ten minutes later he returned to tell me that he'd rung the number a dozen times and they weren't answering the phone. He advised me to phone back in the morning if the shopping hadn't arrived.

Needless to say, it hadn't. And neither had any kind of courtesy call. So I phoned Asda customer services at 8:15am this morning, and spoke to a third member of the Indian call centre team. She agreed that this was completely unacceptable, and said she'd give me a voucher for free delivery on my next order. I pointed out that I've already paid for three months worth of deliveries up front. She said "Oh...". And then offered me £5 instead.

In the meantime, she said she'd get onto the store immediately and tell them to phone us straight back. That was at 8:20am. I was expecting a call by eight-thirty. I took Amelie to school at 8:40. And at 11am, Lisa e-mailed me at work to say they still hadn't phoned us back.

By lunchtime we'd still heard nothing, so Lisa made the first of her three calls to India today. The people she spoke to told her that they'd phoned the Brighton Marina branch of Asda on numerous occasions, spoken to various people, and left messages for someone to call us, and they couldn't understand why no one had. Neither us, nor anyone in India had been given any reason for our shopping not being delivered, and they seemed powerless to do anything.

So at 5:45pm today, almost twenty-four hours after our chosen delivery time, and with Lisa on the verge of requiring blood pressure medication, she demanded that India give her the number of the Brighton store manager, so that we could ring him or her direct. They agreed, and Lisa got straight through.

The lady she spoke to denied all knowledge of any phone calls, and claimed that no one had asked her to call us. She also had no explanation as to why our shopping hadn't been delivered. Until, that is, she suddenly (and mysteriously) asked if she could phone us back for no apparent reason. When she did, ten minutes later, she'd managed to formulate a questionable story about the van driver getting a puncture. Lisa asked her why he hadn't phoned us on his mobile, but she didn't know. She couldn't explain why no one had subsequently phoned us either, but she did say that she thought the people in India should have done. Which was odd, as we'd spoken to six of them, and none of them knew anything about it. Although I suppose India's a big place, and they're probably all on their way to Mars.

Oddly, despite our shopping having been on the van when it got a puncture, no one seemed to know where it was now, and when Lisa asked when it will be delivered, the lady said it will have to be rebooked. So Lisa told her we want it tonight. She said it can't be today, and she can't rebook it herself - we have to do that via India. By this point, Lisa was on the verge of screaming, so she handed the phone to me.

I spoke to the lady and she assured me that the moment she'd finished talking to me, she would phone India and tell them to call me straight back to rebook the delivery. She would then sort out some "significant" compensation. I said "And they'll definitely call me this evening?". She said yes, it would be almost immediate.

That was just after 6pm. It's now 8:20pm and we've heard nothing. I don't know whether to make our seventh call to India, our second call to Brighton, or just phone Tesco and tell them we'll be shopping with them in future.


Phil's Mum said...

Certainly tell ASDA you'll be shopping with Tesco - or Sainsburys - or Morrisons - or Waitrose - or even Co-op in future!

Jon the Bassist said...

Cowboys and Indians; A lethal combination in the future of food delivery.
Use the Coop, once you have used their special offers on pharmaceuticals
you won’t care about the late deliveries. Ps Watch out though because their
Flowers are a bit pricey

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