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Subject:Parcels, Royal Obsession, Canalway Cavalcade and an Unhappy Customer
Time:09:50 pm
Today has been annoying.

I got up and out reasonably early because I had to send the big iMac G4, which was so heavy and awkward packed (15kg in a 50x50x40cm box) that I ended up loading it onto a hand cart and wheeling it down to UPS's local pickup point. Except that when I got there they couldn't accept drop-offs because their computer was broken and wouldn't be fixed until Tuesday. So I asked if there was another UPS point in the area - they pointed me towards a shop in Portobello Road. Except that of course it's Saturday, Portobello Road was heaving with people, and I couldn't find the damn shop. So I remembered that there was a Mailboxes Etc. at Notting Hill Gate and pushed the damn thing there. Except that when I got there I found that they were UPS agents, not a UPS drop point. What's the difference? They charge £15 to accept parcels, even if you've already paid for UPS delivery! After a certain amount of ranting the manager went on line and found me another UPS drop point, a dry cleaner in Ladbroke Grove. Which was within fifty yards or so of the same road I'd come down to get to Portobello Road, and I could have got there about 40 minutes earlier if I'd known. As it was I ended up pushing the loaded trolly 2.33 miles according to Google Earth, some of it uphill, plus another 0.9 miles to get the trolley home. I suppose it's all good exercise...

So I grabbed some lunch then went to the post office for something else, but of course the post office was closed by then. More annoyance.

Since it's the bank holiday I decided to head to Little Venice and see what the Canalway Cavalcade is like this year - I ended up taking the bus to Paddington Station, which is near the canal route, since I wanted to check if the post office there happened to be open on Saturdays. It turns out that that post office is now closed down completely... So I headed towards the canal, and noticed that there were a lot of police around, also TV transmitter vans etc. I thought at first that there must have been trouble at the canal, but the real story was crowd control for hordes of journalists and sightseers outside St, Mary's Hospital, waiting to catch a glimpse of the royal baby and parents. Not really something I'm into, so I went on to the canal instead.... just as a light drizzle started.

Had a quick look around but most of the stalls selling bric-a-brac, old books, etc. seem to have gone, this year it was all touristy "souvenir of the canal" stuff, which is fair enough considering it's an event that supports the canal trust but isn't actually of great interest to me. The weather wasn't helping me to enjoy myself, so I decided to head home along the canal.

Got home and actually fell asleep for a couple of hours, woke up to find that there were email messages from the guy who bought the Mac Mini earlier this week. He can't figure it out, can't get a Wifi connection, etc. etc. and wants me to sort it out by phone to his (mobile) number. I sent him a couple of emails which I hope have sorted it, but I suspect that it'll end up with him wanting a refund. Fingers crossed I'm wrong. I wonder how much support he'd get from e.g. PC World on a Saturday afternoon/evening...

later - forgot to say that this started yesterday afternoon - between that and selling the iMac G4 and having to pack it I missed an evening out with friends.

Another annoyance - someone who was supposed to be picking up a freecycle giveaway tonight didn't turn up and wants to reschedule.

So, all in all not a terribly fun day. Hoping that things will be a bit better tomorrow. If it's nice I'll go to the canal again and get some pictures.
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gonzo21
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Time:2015-05-02 11:02 pm (UTC)
Presumably UPS was heaps cheaper than the RM for a parcel that size?
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ffutures
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Time:2015-05-03 10:11 am (UTC)
£12.84 including cover for the full value (£100). £23 and up by Royal Mail if their price calculator isn't telling porkies. Also, the usual UPS dropoff point is a supermarket about 300 yards from my house, the post office is more like half a mile.

The stupid part is that I could have booked collection from my home on Tuesday and it wouldn't have cost much more; as it is the parcel is simply sitting in the dry cleaners until UPS collect it, which will also be Tuesday, so it won't get there any faster.

If you ever need to book something like this parcel2.go.com is a pretty good price comparison site - it's surprising how many shops in London are drop points for one or another of the courier companies; don't know what the situation is like in your area, of course.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


gonzo21
Link:(Link)
Time:2015-05-03 12:07 pm (UTC)
It's mad isn't it, the Royal Mail. They'd be more efficient as a company if they take in a big parcel from somebody and then just have the post office worker take it to UPS and ship it via UPS. And make, in your case, £10.16 profit for themselves.

Only going to get madder too.
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