The difference between great and poor service

DVD PurchasesLast month on the 24th I ordered two similar DVD box sets. It’s been a very interesting comparison between great service and mediocre service and goes to show why some seller find meeting eBay’s new standards a breeze whilst others struggle.

The DVDs were priced similarly – £10.99 and £11.96, the difference in cost really didn’t bother me. Both items were at or close to the top of eBay’s Best Match search (mixed with Region 1 DVDs, I wanted Region 2). Both items offered free 1st Class Royal Mail postage, although one promised next day despatch and the other a three day despatch. Estimated delivery dates were Friday 26th for one DVD and Tuesday 30th for the second.

The first DVD turned up on Thursday 25th September, a day earlier than promised. As you can imagine I was delighted with the speed of delivery and the product was as promised… a DVD box set. However the delivery experience set into start contrast the service from the second seller.

The Second DVD still hadn’t turned up by the 2nd of October and hesitant to ever cause a dispute I regretfully last sent a “Where is my item” message through eBay. As expected they asked me to check the Royal Mail Delivery Office but that was already closed.

Excess PostageFriday and Saturday I was too busy to go to the Delivery Office, but a card arrived telling me I had a parcel with underpaid postage. Today I want to collect it and there with £1.24 excess postage was my DVD. The PPI stamp said it needed to be posted by the 26th, but if so with 1st class post you’d have expected it to arrive way before the 2nd (even with the postage to pay).

The seller was lovely in their communications, instantly refunded the excess postage, which to be honest is a perfectly understandable mistake – they’re probably posting out a ton of DVDs and the postage would be fine for a large letter, but as a box set this was a small packet). However the fact remains they promised delivery in six days (compared to their competitor who delivered within 24 hours), and then they missed their six day delivery promise by a further ten days (would have been seven days if they’d paid the correct postage).

If asked the question “Would you buy from this seller again?” the answer would be “Yes”. They had great communications and everyone makes mistakes. It’s just a shame that their slow postage let them down.

What do you find acceptable service nowadays? Let’s dismiss the excess postage issue as mistakes happen, but parcels don’t generally take a week to arrive via 1st class postage or was it that the parcel was delayed by up to six days due to the underpaid postage? Either way posting after three days seems slow to me.