Two weeks ago, I ordered a new TV for my mum; her eyesight is getting poor, and I wanted to treat her to a TV with a bigger screen. Now Amazon do not give you the option of choosing what carrier delivers your items, which means that they are free to fob you off with a string of inept courier companies; on this particular occasion it was Yodel, and as soon as I was informed that they were delivering this TV I knew things would not end well. Unlike most companies, Yodel do not give you an estimated delivery time; their hapless customers are expected to wait at home between 8 a.m and 9 p.m. Mum's TV finally arrived just as she was going to bed, and when a neighbour came over the following day to help her set it up they found out that the TV was broken. So I embarked on the first in a string of live chat sessions with someone in Mumbai who had English as a third language at best, and asked that the TV be collected and a replacement provided. I received an email the following morning informing me that the broken TV would be collected by DPD, who supplied me with a one hour delivery window - however, I was then told that the replacement TV was being delivered by Yodel again! This did not fill me with confidence, since I'm sure that the reason the first TV arrived broken was because it was dropped at some point during the process, so I got onto live chat again to inform Amazon that I wanted to cancel the replacement and get a refund instead. I was told that this wouldn't be a problem, so I ordered a TV from a supplier local to my mum who delivered it that day; I was therefore not happy to receive a call from my mum the next morning, in an absolute panic because - yes, you guessed it, Yodel were attempting to deliver the replacement TV that I had cancelled.
And now we move on to the sweets. I was making gingerbread houses with some students at my workplace this past weekend, so I ordered several kilos of bulk sweets via my Amazon Prime account - meaning that they should have arrived the next day. When this did not happen, I rang the courier, who informed me that despite what Amazon's tracking was saying, my items were not out for delivery at all and would not reach me until the following day. I got to work the following morning, checked the tracking again - and discovered that this company had apparently tried to deliver my parcel to my workplace at 5:45 a.m. Tracking also informed me that a card had been left, which it wasn't - due to the fact that this 5:45 a.m delivery attempt probably didn't happen to begin with. I rang the courier company, who informed me that my parcel had been left for me to collect - not at my local post office which is a five minute walk away, but at a post office in a different town which is a fifteen minute drive away, and since I do not drive there was no way I could collect it. Since the gingerbread houses were being made at the weekend, I asked the courier to return the sweets to the sender, and bought replacements (more expensive, of course) at a local shop...and what happened on Monday? The courier delivered the sweets that I had asked them to return!
And finally, the Harry Potter gifts which I ordered for an online Secret Santa exchange I'm participating in. I selected Prime-eligible items, supplied the recipient's address and kept an eye on the tracking - which said that as of yesterday morning, my items were out for delivery and would reach the recipient by 9:00 p.m yesterday. This didn't happen, so I went back on live chat again - and mysteriously, tracking then changed to reveal that my items were delayed due to "external factors". I was assured, by an Amazon employee whose command of English was negligible at best, that my items would be delivered today - but since I was also promised this yesterday, you'll forgive me for saying that I'll believe that when I see it.
Oh, and stop offering to extend my Prime membership, because I'm cancelling that. If you can't fulfil one day delivery, stop offering it to begin with.