To under promise and over deliver is bad service

I placed a £50 order on eBay last Thursday confidently expecting that as the seller offered 2nd class postage it would turn up in plenty of time before I fly off to Scotland for the iwoca meetup this Thursday. I’d like the item before I go.

eBay happily promise me delivery on either Saturday or Monday (although I know that eBay underestimate quite how long 2nd Class Royal Mail can routinely take, so I’m thinking more like Monday or Tuesday!).

I decided to check on the order this evening as it’s not arrived and the first shocker I have is the actual delivery timescale. My mistake, it was never going to arrive this weekend on the 20th to 21st October, it’s not even due to arrive next weekend on the 26th to 28th October. The seller has a 10 working day despatch time for items supposedly in stock ready to despatch and I should expect my order to be delivered next month between November the 2nd and November the 4th.

Estimated Delivery Time

I know not everyone needs items tomorrow (and I was quite happy with 2nd class postage, but honestly a three week delivery timescale for a routine purchase is ridiculous!

However it’s a typical case of the seller under promising and over delivering. They’ve added a tracking number and have actually shipped my item. That’s the good news, the bad news is they’ve shipped it with myHermes instead of Royal Mail 2nd Class.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my local myHermes delivery driver, Annie. She’s superb, but the online tracking gives no indication of when I might receive delivery of my parcel and if it’ll be before I leave for Scotland. The seller hasn’t told me if they opted for the 2 working day or the 3 working day service so the rather enigmatic “Hub Sorter Receipt Scan” means nothing to me.

Parcel Tracking

Of course I could (and probably will) phone Annie and let her know I’m going to be away and see if I can get my parcel a day early, but how many people have every local courier’s telephone number programmed into their mobiles? Not many I’m guessing!

All this seller needed to have done is have a sensible despatch time and then actually ship the item using the courier that they said they would in their item description. The really sad thing is that they’re actually a great seller – they ship really fast and are using a trackable service and they offered a postage discount. If they just tweaked their listings to reflect their service it reflect so much better on their reputation.

I have to ask, is shipping with the courier you said you’d use and listing accurate despatch times really that hard to get right?