It’s going to be a rant, like the old days. I have been looking at buying some books and normal I go to Amazon because I can collect nectar point if I go through the nectar website, however Amazon did not stock this particular book and would be charging the princely sum of £2.80 to have it shipped to my front door. ‘Forget that for a bag of coal’ I said to myself and quickly began to type the book into the Google and with my mouse I hovered my pointer over the side tab of ‘Shopping’ and clicked. Like magic Google once again came up trumps and displayed several stores that stocked the book, all would charge for the privilege of placing it in the post. ‘This won’t do, it just won’t do…. Hang on… Whats this? Waterstones, cheaper and free delivery”.
Quickly I logged on and created an account, and chose for it to be sent to the store as I always miss the post at home and end up trekking to the post office with the postman’s calling card of ‘Sorry we missed you while you were in, but we could be bother pressing the door bell card’. Other shops, like Sweatshop will email you when the order has been dispatched, email you to tell you it’s arriving at the store, and then the shop itself will phone or email to say it’s ready for collection. I ordered my book, and the next day got an email to say it has been dispatched. I quickly marched to the store a couple of days later.
“Hello I have a book to collect”
“Whats the name?”
With that the assistant went to the other end of the large counter and unlocked a cupboard to reveal tens of books piled in no order and slowly started to sort through them to find my paid for item.
“I’m sorry Sir, it’s not here. Did you get an email?”
“Yes, a couple of days ago”
“Oh I’m sorry Sir, we don’t have control of them, as it’s just sent to out to the store”
Don’t have control, don’t have control, surly HQ must send a list of which orders are being posted to them, so when they arrive they can tick them off, and maybe being that you work in a book store you could put the books in boxes grouping letters together that corresponds to Surnames. This went on for a week, until a helpful shop assistant phoned the internet help line, and was told I should wait 10 working days as it’s being sent with royal mail before they can do anything. At no point did it say this when I purchased the book and selected for it to be sent out. ‘Items may take ten working days to arrive’ Plus I thought being it was coming from the warehouse they would place it on the same wagon as the shops orders and customer orders taken over the counter. If I had know they would have sent it by royal mail to the shop, like any old address I’d have picked my own house. At least that way I would have got a ‘We couldn’t be bothered to knock on so your parcel is at the sorting office’ card.
The annoying thing is when I was a kid to earn some extra money I worked in a photo shop, and as peopled dropped of their holiday films off, I would place them in the wallets, and scan it into the computer, it would then be sent off and the warehouse would scan the wallet, and develop the film, and scan it again. It would then arrive back and I would scan it into our system. In short you could type the customers name into the system and see where the package was along the production line. So when said customer came in to pick up their snaps, rather than going to the boxes with marked indexed cards you could type the name into the computer and see it had arrived back, before trawling through the hundreds of wallets.
The point all be it a long one, and like the road to Norwich from Manchester I have taken a long time to reach my destination, is that Waterstones could do something similar. The warehouse could scan the book out and when it arrives the shop could scan it in. When a customer comes in to say “I got the dispatched email” the shop could look to see if it had arrived, if it had then they could go to the cupboard behind the counter and look at the index card marked ‘S’ that contained all orders for customers whose surname began with ‘S’
It’s really not that hard, my teenage job was doing this simple system 15 years ago, why Waterstones can’t do it I have no idea, and the best part is the staff don’t care. They just shrug it off and say ‘not out department’ or ‘we don’t deal with it’ or ‘we can’t check as we don’t know what has been ordered or being sent to us’ All those things may be true, but the store could be notified that they will be receiving a book for such and such, in this world of automation it is not hard to write a simple program that generates an email to go to the store.
Anyway the book has a arrived, and I will soon be reading it once I have picked it up.
The lesson here is stick to what you know, and maybe for the price of postage staying with Amazon would have been better.