I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.


Toll Change

One of the biggest advantages of going to see my new friend Gary is where he lives, it means that on route in both directions I can visit my mum and sister, whether it be for a sleep over or for a few hours to break in the journey.
No matter when I visit, the biggest hold up is that of Darford crossing, something soon to be a lot easier as the barriers will be removed and like the congestion charge, you will be able to pay by text, account (with a reduced rate) or a one off payment online. The big downside to the new and hopefully less congested Dartford crossing is a rise in toll fees, yet again the driver is hit with another increased fee. I think when the fees come into play I will open an account and then that way my fee for crossing will be a lot less, even with the increase in effect and as credit does not expire it means I can top up once a year for those journey to my mum and sisters or to see Gary.


Waitrose Delivery

Ever supermarket does it, it is home delivery, but what one is the best?
I have in the past tried a few of the leading supermarkets take on home delivery and have never been really satisfied with the results as the food delivered was either close to its use by date, packaging was damaged, tins were dented, the list goes. But I thought I would give it one last try with Waitrose.
I am glad I did as the service is excellent, you can order from either on the web or via the Waitrose phone app and it is just like all the other supermarkets where you pick your time slot, order your goods and also have the day before your delivery to amend your order.


But one thing that really made Waitrose stand out from all the others was the after sales service. On the very first delivery two of my items were close to their use by date and instead like the other supermarkets that you would just have to use these items first or freeze them where possible, Waitrose add a kind note to your delivery notice “We are sorry that some of your items are close to the used by date so instead of not including them in your order we have given them to you for free of charge.” I could not quite believe that some of my shopping was for free, no other supermarket has ever done this, in fact Waitrose is the only supermarket to do this. If I thought that was good service on another delivery experience I ordered a bag of Lemons and one of them looked a bit worse for wear and unsalvageable so I called customer services and they took my delivery number and not only did they refund me the full value of the item in question (£1.50) but also gave me a further £1.50 refund and said it was there way of saying sorry to give customers a double refund, result.
When your items are delivered the drivers are always well presented, polite and above all extremely helpful, they offer to carry your goods into your kitchen and items are placed in appropriate labelled bags i.e. freezer items, fridge items, cupboard items and instead of giving you all of your shopping at once, you are given it in the order that is most important, freezer items first, then fridge items, fragile items and then the remainder of your shopping.
There are a few improvements that could be made, such as a large choice of its own branded essential items and lowering the cost of how much you spend to get free delivery but other than that it is a truly wonderful service that has made me want to use Waitrose for my grocery shopping.

Tesco Direct

First experiences need to go without a hitch in order for you to use a service again, it is a shame that my first experience with Tesco Direct was not all met with smiles and joy, if anything it proved to be a real pain.
The actual ordering online went without a glitch and as advised some two hours later an email confirmation told me when my order was ready for collection, I had opted for the instore collection rather than deliver, thinking that would be the best option and also not having to wait around all day for my five minute window.
I had to borrow Wayne's car to collect my compost bin as the dimensions were to wide for my car, that was problem number one, but soon resolved, we got it in the back of the car with the seats down, just.
Now I do not expect staff to move collections from out the back to the customers in a perfect fashion and as most items are well packed it does then lend for items to be shunted across the floor, in most cases, unless you order a compost bin. The item had nothing more than some tape holding the lid to the body and as the item was so light I expect it to be lifted but instead it was scraped across the floor that did so much damage to the lid that aesthetically is was a write off. When you order a new product you expect for it to be in pristine condition, if I had ordered it second hand then, and only then can I expect scuffs from general wear and tear.
This was just one of the problems that I noticed when I got the item home, the other was the badly designed lid that had a section missing, not a good start to my first experience.

Compost Bin

I had no intention of returning the whole item back to the store at my inconvenience so instead I made it their inconvenience.
The only way for me to resolve this was to send an email with photos and explaining of the poor first experience that I encountered, in a hope to have a new lid and at least give Tesco some feedback in the service that they seem to think is good quality.
Several emails later and a lot of automated responses from Tesco's had taken its toll and I finally I had enough so I called them direct to resolve the issue.
Put it this way, even though I now have a new bin lid one thing I will not do is use Tesco Direct ever again or for that matter recommend them.

Quick Enough To Take

Another good day with the knee recovery, I think the combination of the tablets and the lighter knee support worn throughout the day is working.
I needed to run a favour for Ian today, nipping down to PCWorld and grab a wifi dongle for his new Internet connection, all sounds good so far. Getting the item was straight forward enough and doing the usual click and collect service goes without a glitch until I have a spur of the moment impulse buy for Wayne.
Typical, after that grief you have to endure in a shop so heavenly staffed on the floor and so little staff in the checkouts and the same is for returning items.
Yes I had to return an item and I could not believe how many questions I was asked in order to get a refund when only a few feet away was a six feet high printed poster behind the cashiers desk promoting about retuning your item with no problems.
That is another thing that gets my goat! Why is it a retail store and that is any (sorry Apple even you guys), can take your payment quicker than you can blink and yet when you want a refund the retailer tells you it can take anything up to five days for the transaction to be credited back to your card.
What is this all about? The middle man needs to sort it out. Come on, this kind of procedure is all about ones and zeros on a terminal.