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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: Less than satisfactory service

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Monday, September 08, 2008

Less than satisfactory service

As you can see, the radiator on my old jalopy certainly is past its usefulness. I used a trick of cracking an egg in it on Saturday to temporarily seal up the leak. That didn't appear to work initially, but it seems to have possibly done the trick today. Yesterday, when I started the car having topped up the rad yet again, there was a spurt of water reminiscent of that statue in Brussels "Manneken Pis".
I'm not happy!
After pondering my options last week, I decided to go down to my local garage in the village and ask for a quote to supply and fit a new radiator. The mechanic promised me a call back that day, but the call never came.
Now I'm one of those people that doesn't like being messed around when it comes to spending money on repairs. As my good friend Alan always says;
"Time is money and I haven't got a lot of either!"

I didn't waste time following up on the garage option. Instead, I continued looking for quotes to supply on via the internet with the intention of finding someone to fit afterwards. I registered with a site called ....... Seemed like a reasonable option. Very quickly I received a few quotes from various merchants at different prices. One pushy place phoned me trying to secure an immediate sale. I chose to tell them I'd wait for a few more quotes before making a decision. Eventually I made a decision on Wednesday last week after phoning "Japanese Auto Salvage". Needless to say, it was a premium rate number, but the guy was helpful with advice and the website showed positive feedback from previous customers. The Salvage yard was not the cheapest quote, but I chose them because feedback stated mostly next day delivery. I waited in all day Thursday for the part to be delivered having secured a friend from the pub who offered to fit the radiator for a very reasonable price.
Said car radiator didn't turn up!!!!!
On Friday, I grudgingly made another call on the premium rate number and was told the part was in transit. The guy promised me a tracking number and said he would call back with it because his computer was down.
No phone call
No delivery

Saturday arrives........ No delivery

I looked up customer service for to discover phone lines were...... surprise surprise not open at the weekend (although an email address promised a reply within the hour) ..... and Gordon Brown is going to cut all taxes to 0% - yeah right

Finally, I call today and they provided the national rate phone number for Japanese Auto wotsits. I phoned then at 9am and 10am. No answer so I send yet another email to and still failed to get a reply.
Finally, at midday, I get through to the merchant who supplies me with the tracking number and the courier responsible for delivering my radiator.
Here is what I found: -
08/09/200806:05:00Canterbury South Home DeliveryOut for delivery
06/09/200806:19:00Canterbury South Service CentreReleased to other delivery agent
06/09/200806:02:00Canterbury South Service CentreArrived At Depot
06/09/200800:51:18Hatfield TerminalDeparted Depot
06/09/200800:50:00Hatfield TerminalIn Transit
06/09/200800:48:01Hatfield TerminalArrived At Depot
05/09/200816:46:00Borehamwood Service CentreParcel Picked Up
05/09/200816:38:00Borehamwood Service CentreDeparted Depot
05/09/200800:00:00Borehamwood Service CentreShipment Data Received

Despite placing the order on Wednesday afternoon about 4pm, a request for "shipment" did not occur until midnight Thursday and the part was not collected until almost 5pm on Friday. For some strange reason, despite a journey of less than 100 miles, the package is transferred to a depot at Canterbury (some 15 miles from me) where it remains for the weekend.
The next entry on this tracking system appears at 12:22 hrs with some criptic message that I subsequently discovered meant the parcel hard been "scanned" for dispatch. That was yet another phone call I had to make.
It appeared there was also a transfer of courier to deliver. Well, I'll state I'm less than impressed with "Interparcel".

Finally, my car radiator arrived at 3:20 this afternoon, 5 days after I ordered it. If I didn't know better I'd have wondered if it had been shipped direct from Japan. It would have cost me a fraction more (probably around £10) to have driven up to Herts and collected the thing myself.

I now can't get hold of my friend who said he will fit the part for me. Oh well..... maybe tomorrow. I'd have a go myself, but I don't have the tools.

Here ends yet another cautionary tale poor customer service in our so called lightning speed, modern technilogical world.


  • Hi Marty, I too am having trouble with one of's suppliers, namely Andover Car Breakers who sent me a wing for my Jeep Cherokee which turned out to be the wrong one when it arrived (I suppose I should be thankful that it arrived at all!) - we returned it on 4th October 2008 and have been promised a refund but - surprise, surprise this has still not materialised! Like you, I do not have endless hours to waste on expensive phone calls and promises of calls back which never happen. Oh well, just keep trying I suppose! Liz

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