Daily Express

Parcel giant needs to think outside the box

- Ann Widdecombe

IHAVE always thought that Amazon would be a blessing as I get older as I can order the goods instantly from home and they arrive on my doorstep – no need to search shops, lug to car boot and then to doorstep. A boon for the elderly and disabled, especially as I have always found the drivers so cheerful and helpful. Then last Wednesday I found myself wondering how I would have coped had I indeed been older.

Just before seven o’clock in a rainy and blustery evening, I received an email telling me my order had been delivered. This surprised me because I had been sitting in a lit front room but nobody had come past my window to the front door. Then I noticed that the email said my parcel had been left by my back door or back porch. There is no back porch but there are two back doors so I took a torch and looked around both. Nothing. I looked in the parcels box. Nothing. I looked in the wood store. Nothing. I walked around the house in the rain and dark. Nothing.

Then, on an inspiratio­n, I walked down what is not a short drive and there, propped outside my gate getting soaked and in full view of any passing thief, was my parcel. So not only was the deliverer too idle to walk or drive up to the house but he or she had blatantly lied about leaving it around the back.

I am still fit enough to wander around in the rain and dark by torchlight and keep my balance on slippery leaves but there will come a time when I am not and that time has already come for some neighbours. So what are we supposed to do? Leave the package out all night? Ring someone else to walk through the country lanes to see if it is there?

OK, SO the driver was a lazy liar but for me the most disappoint­ing aspect of this saga was the impossibil­ity of complainin­g to Amazon, which simply supplies boxes to tick and if your complaint does not fit any boxes there is no space afforded for “other”. In the end, having been round and round in circles with the “contact us” procedure, I returned to the original set of boxes and selected “driver was unprofessi­onal”, which could have meant anything at all.

In the course of one supposed “chat” I was asked which company had delivered it, and I typed that I could not tell because it was not obvious from the package and it had been too dark to notice a van.

So the next line of the chat was “have you tried contacting the company?”, clearly generated not by a human but a computer.When I was invited to pay £3 to be directed to an “electronic­s expert”, I gave up.

I suppose when somebody falls and injures themselves looking for a parcel and sues this overmighty giant, Amazon might take this sort of incident seriously but until then it might at least try making it easier for those who pay for its services to make specific complaints.

Meanwhile may God help the elderly and disabled because Amazon won’t.

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