Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Better late than never......
We send a lot of packages overseas. Most of our international customers hail from the US, Canada and Australia, with another large proportion scattered throughout Western Europe.
The vast majority of the packages we send out arrive in a timely manner. In fact international deliveries can often arrive at their destination quicker than items for delivery within the UK.
However, with the best will in the world, a package sent from here to the west coast of Canada shouldn't take 57 days to arrive. Even if it went over the Atlantic in a rowing boat and was loaded onto a horse and cart when it reached landfall, over 8 weeks is ridiculous.
I received an email yesterday from my incredibly patient customer to let me know that the package I posted on 12 November had finally arrived at her address. When I checked my postal records, on the same day I had sent parcels to Queensland, Australia, and Madrid in Spain, as well as several to destinations here in the UK. All of those arrived safely, the Australian one within a week, so why the Canadian order suffered such a long delay I have no idea.
I had, of course, offered to replace the missing package, which would have meant making two toy theatres from scratch, as I've sold out. I had also downloaded and printed off the extensive claim form for lost or damaged international mail, and had made a tentative start on filling it out. Naturally I was somewhat stymied by the request for DNA samples, written evidence of every address I've ever lived in, retinal scans, character references from 250 customers, Small Dog's pawprint etc but I was determined to work through each and every section of the form to the best of my ability.
OK, so I exaggerate for comic effect but if you've ever made a claim for lost or damaged international mail you'll know exactly where I'm coming from. As my grannie would have said, "They want to know the ins and outs of the cat's backside".
Obviously they need information on who posted what to whom but the level of detail required and the burden of proof which must be provided is frankly laughable, especially as you've got as much chance of receiving compensation as your package has of arriving in time.
That is, bugger all.
Fortunately I can now tear up the despised claim form and thank my lucky stars that the package has re-appeared from whatever black hole it had fallen into.
In other news, my bisque firing yesterday has gone wonderfully well. I always approach the kiln with a certain amount of trepidation after a bisque firing, partly due to the fact that it's too hot to touch for half a day afterwards and partly because I dread lifting the lid and finding that the firing has gone horribly wrong. Admittedly that has only happened once in my 25 year firing experience but the incident is literally burned into my memory and provokes vivid flashbacks every time I open the kiln lid.
This morning however, all is well and the porcelain is fired to perfect maturity. However, although the kiln is cool enough to open, it's still way too hot to unload so I've decided I'm going to spend an hour or so working on La Mignonette. I had hoped to have the construction completed over the Christmas break but the lurgy put paid to my best laid plans and it's still languishing in its constituent parts.
So...... playtime! Woohoo!!