Deb's Digest
Debbie Atkinson’s family life column, as featured in the Southport Visiter.

Friday, 29 December 2006

I got a very smart digital camera from my husband for Christmas, which he said contained 7.2 million pixies. The house is a tip as usual and there are still presents littering the lounge floor. I couldn't resist a letter to the Times

about son number two's drumsticks


We had a fox in the front garden over Christmas and red squirrels in the back - as long as the two don't meet I suppose it'll be ok.

Now for the saga of the Christmas present art poster:

On December 16 I bought, over the phone, a limited edition poster signed by the artist for the artist son's Christmas present. It was from the Hayward Gallery in London and they asked when I would be able to pick it up!! I told them I needed it sending and they said they didn't do that and I would have to sort out a courier. On the Monday (18th) I arranged for it to be collected that afternoon and delivered to me on the Tuesday. Nothing happened. When I rang the courier company they said they'd called and there was nothing to collect. I rang the gallery and they said a courier had arrived but with no details about what he'd come for or where it was going and since they have collections and deliveries all the time they hadn't a clue what he'd come for.

I had to pay a re-collection fee and was told that it would be picked up on the Wednesday - nothing! On the Thursday I rang again and was told it would be picked up that day. On the Thursday afternoon I rang the gallery who told me it had been picked up. On the Friday morning I rang the courier (Post Van) to verify that it would be delivered to me that day. They said it hadn't been picked up - I told them it had. They insisted that it hadn't and said a courier would pick it up that day. It turned out that it had been picked up on the Thursday morning and another courier had gone to pick it up in the afternoon and was turned away - and that's why they thought it hadn't been collected.

I asked them to confirm that I would get it on the Friday and was told that it was now  lost in the system. I rang another branch of the courier firm and was told that it was at Norwich and definitely wouldn't be delivered until the 27th. At this point I was too worn out to care. On the 27th I rang and was told that it had never been at Norwich and was at Bury. "He'll try to re-deliver it today" I asked what she meant and she said he'd had a problem with the delivery address. I asked what the problem was and she said he couldn't find it.

It eventually came at 3pm on the 27th, so our son didn't get his present on Christmas Day and I've had to pay £22 for a pathetic service - I've emailed my complaint but of course have had no reply.
I would think it was a one-off except that the very same thing happened a couple of months ago with a different courier service.

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