So, last week I bricked a device and I think I can fix it over a RS-232 cable from a borrowed Windows computer. However, I don’t have the right cable in my office and the Windows computers I can borrow no longer have old-style serial ports. So I had two choices:
- Order a USB-serial converter and the right cable from an online supplier and pay a premium for next-day delivery (so it doesn’t arrive when I’m on the trip);
- Make a half-hour detour on a trip two days later to visit a high street electronics store and pay fairly high prices (like three times the online price).
Of course, I ordered online. And that’s where the trouble started. My order was sent by Initial Citylink, who make Parcelfarce look good. Next day came and went with no delivery. About 2pm, the parcel’s web page changed to say “There was no one to receive the goods at the delivery point so a card was left” and that it would be delivered today, Monday. Of course, there had been someone here all day and no card was left. Phoning Citylink gets a recorded message saying they’re too busy to take calls. No offer to call me back. Just suggests trying the useless website.
Over the weekend, the page changed again. Now it says “Thank you for your rescheduling request. Your parcel(s) will be delivered on Tuesday 14th December between 07:30 and 17:30”. I didn’t request that, I don’t know who did and there’s no way to tell from the web page. There’s no way to undo that request and ask for it to be delivered on Monday instead. I wanted the device fixed by today if possible. Now I’m going to have to bodge something together from spares (for once I’m glad I have a cupboard of old kit here…). Still no answer from Citylink’s phones and the supplier doesn’t seem to know what’s going on either.
I’m not paying for next-day delivery from anyone who uses Citylink again.