This year has been a nightmare for me; life saving surgery that didn't go to plan has left me with a significant recovery period made bearable by the professionalism of the local district and practice nurses. Now I am finally back at work I wanted as a gesture of thanks to buy some expensive Christmas hampers from Thornton's for the nurses - all told about £100 worth of chocolates. I couldn't buy these in store so I made the order on Thornton's website. I received the dispatch email on Tuesday 27th November. When it got to Saturday I thought I'd check to see if I could find where they had got to. The Hermes website stated the parcel had been received by the courier on Friday, but they had not delivered due to it being a large item. The site also claimed this for Saturday morning. As their website made contacting them near impossible I phoned Thornton's and spoke to a very sympathetic lady who contacted Hermes on my behalf. The courier claimed the parcel had not been taken out with her as it was too big for her car. The phone operator explained how this parcel was for nurses in thanks for their great service to me and the courier promised to deliver the parcel Monday morning. Monday arrived and I was up at 6 am to ensure I was near the door. When 1 pm arrived without sign of a delivery I phoned Thornton's again. They again contacted Hermes on my behalf, only to be told the courier had returned the parcel to the depot so it could be transferred to a courier with a van so I'd have to wait up to 48 hours more for my delivery. Naturally by this point I was extremely annoyed (not with Thornton's of course), and made use of this opportunity to strongly suggest Thornton's find another courier service for their deliveries in future, which they said they were already in the process of doing. Judging by the experiences others have had with this company I am seriously starting to doubt that I will ever see this package, or if I do that its contents will be damaged beyond the point where they can be offered as gifts to people who understand what the word professionalism means. I realise some people are pointing out that these couriers are self employed, but frankly that's not my problem; if they choose to be couriers for companies like Hermes they should be able to handle parcels, even if they are large. By large I'm talking about 3' x 1.5' x 10" - easily accommodated on the backseat of any standard sized car. To be honest I am constantly left shocked by the appalling level of service provided by these private courier firms, whether it's DPD, Yodel, or these. I used to think RM was fairly unreliable and that opening the industry to competition would raise standards in a fight for business. Instead the opposite has happened; customer service is non existent and deliveries are regularly mislaid, damaged, left on the road or even returned to sender stating the customer declined to accept - one of DPD's favourite tricks. I find myself nowadays wishing I had the option of paying more for Parcel Force on websites - I'd jump at that option every time.
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