But when I pay extra for a "guaranteed" service, I expect a bit more. Or, at least, for the parcel to turn up when it's supposed to!
So when I got an email from Craftseller magazine saying the hearts hadn't arrived, I was disappointed. What made it worse was that the email was delayed because of technical problems at my end so I didn't receive it until around 6 pm.
Apparently, the recipient of a delayed or missing parcel can't do anything at all about it, even if they have the tracking number. Is the system wrong here? Surely at some point that parcel becomes the property of the recipient? When? Only on actual delivery?
By the time I rang Royal Mail, the call centre was closed. Of course.
This morning, it took 20 minutes of pressing various numbers and listening to various recorded voices telling me about options I never knew existed, before I found my way through the confusing audio-maze to discover a real human. Oh great joy!
No disrespect meant, but I seriously can't imagine many worse jobs than working in Royal Mail's complaints department call centre (I once worked on BT's complaint line so I have some idea!) - however, despite being unable to help, the person I eventually stumbled across was very polite and did apologise (several times).
So, for legal reasons, they can't send a parcel already in the post to an alternative address (I did think that was a long shot, but we missed the photo shoot so its arrival at the photo shoot address today is a bit pointless). They can't do anything, really, apart from refund the postage charge.
Right now, I have to remind myself that they deliver a lot of parcels for me that get there without problem.
Oh, but I really do think there's something seriously wrong when what should be a very simple customer services phone call is so complicated. It's not a unique story, is it?
No wonder people comment on the excellent customer service a small business can give them. One phone call or email and you're speaking to the business owner, who cares and who can make a difference to your experience - another reason to buy handmade?
Although we do generally rely quite heavily on Royal Mail to get the goods to you...