The recorded male voice who regularly answered the phone at my local Parcelfarce Worldwide depot today sounded very cheerful. Almost psychotically cheerful, in fact. I know this because I spoke to him at regular intervals throughout the day, in a doomed effort to try and find out where my parcel had got to — the parcel I had arranged to be redelivered today, and had taken the day off work to await with no small degree of anticipation. The Psychotically Cheerful Voice kept telling me to go and use their website instead. It’s lucky I’m online, isn’t it?
By 7.00pm, when the depot finally closed, I’d almost got to the point where I was shouting at him down the phone. Pointless, I know, but it made me feel a little better. “But I’ve already used your website to set up this redelivery, you bloody stupid recorded message! I can’t use it again! And anyway, your website is SHIT! Do you hear me? I know a little about websites, matey, and yours is SHIT!” Sadly, I never got very far with this apoplectic explosion of rage, because the Psychotically Cheerful Voice would snappily terminate the call after telling me that there was no one available to speak to me because they were all so very busy drinking tea and having a fag. Doesn’t put me on hold — oh no, that would be far too polite — just rings off, after charging me to listen to an 0845 recorded message for nearly a minute.
Parcelfarce make me feel strongly about companies who lack plain, decent and simple customer services. They make me want to go round to that local depot and throw a brick through the window. Around the brick would be a piece of paper, and scrawled upon it in blood red ink would be the message: “I JUST WANT TO SPEAK TO A FUCKING HUMAN BEING. PLEASE CAN I SPEAK TO A HUMAN BEING? PREFERABLY ONE WITH AN INTACT BRAIN CELL. THANK YOU.”
I’ve now developed this theory that Parcelfarce is entirely staffed by devious little elves, who are holding the nation’s entire backlog of parcels and packages to ransom in a big cave in the mountains. Or something.
Meanwhile, the Parcelfarce website shows pictures of people beaming with happiness as they receive their deliveries. Mark my words, those photos aren’t real. Nobody’s ever received a delivery from Parcelfarce. Never. My German uncle sent me an Evel Knievel stunt motorbike set — complete with ‘exploding bridge’ — for my fifth birthday in 1976, and that never arrived either. Not that I’m bitter. On that basis, however, the package I was expecting today should be with me by the year 2034 — unless the Psychotically Cheerful Voice actually lets me speak to a real person tomorrow. I’ll let you know.