OK, so usually the unrepentant rant is the province of Monsieur Rickards, but this time I feel inclined to throw protocol to the wind and ask: what the hairy sphincters does DHL think it’s playing at?
Over the New Year festivities I ordered myself a nice digital camera, something swanky where you can decide what the hell the thing should be focussing on yourself – rather than letting some small, inebriated microchip decide that the thing you really want sharp as a tack is the bit of wood twenty feet away, rather than your smiling wife in the foreground – and this process was relatively painless, pricey, but relatively painless. Then, a couple of weeks later (last week) I received an email saying my camera had been posted, and I could look forward to years of digital fun… Tomorrow! Ok, it didn’t say ‘tomorrow’, but it was sent on the Thursday and gave me a parcel reference number and told me to click on DHL’s ‘Next Day Delivery’ link, so I kinda assumed…
Oh foolishness, thy name is ‘MacBride’.
All Day I clicked on the page, only to be told that it had left the Hatfield Terminal at 00:09. All day… Now it takes 9 hours to drive from Aberdeen to Portsmouth – I know ‘cause I’ve done it – but when I called up DHL to ask when I could expect my parcel I was met with disinterested mumbling. Then a demand for the postcode of the delivery address. “Aberdeen?” said the incredulous south-east Londoner on the other end of the phone, “Be Monday before we get it up there!”
So, to recap, it takes 9 hours for an Aberdonian to drive to Portsmouth, but it takes about eighty four for DHL to get to Aberdeen from Hatfield.
What we’re a third world country up here? It takes eight times as long to get to here as it does from?
This is one of the reasons I decided to set my book in Aberdeen, rather than the usual suspects of Edinburgh, Glasgow, or some made-up place in the States. It’s the third biggest city in the whole of Scotland! Hello! Oil capital of Europe! Not some seedy backwater – you parcel not-delivering toss-pots.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! Death and uncomfortable underwear to them all!