Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fountain of delay.

May 1st 2014 12:10 Thursday.

I have a thing for fountain pens. I like to write with them, really can't stand writing with a ballpoint pen. This isn't any form of snobbery, I just prefer the feeling of writing this way. It usually draws comment from others, 'oh my god ! I haven't seen one of them since I was at school !' being the standard response.

There's the other thing that as the nib wears to write in the shape used by whomever uses the pen, I really do have to keep guard to prevent other people using any of my fountain pens - I have had to replace pens before where the nib has been ruined by someone else using it, and for me that's annoying. My pen is a very personal thing. There aren't that many times in the twenty-first century where we write things down on paper anymore. When I do, I love the tactile feel, the response, the feedback, the connection that a fountain pen provides to the written word, and to the paper itself. My writing also looks (to me) much better with a fountain pen than with a biro or other ballpoint.

It does make my written words stand out, and be different from other scribbles. It honestly isn't vanity. I just like it.

With all this in mind, I was looking at buying a new fountain pen at the beginning of April, I had looked at Ryman (from whom I had purchased pens before, and I had brought my desk), but had googled the pen I was considering buying from them, and discovered that I could save about 50% by purchasing the very same pen from another company online. That company was Nigel O'Hara.

A couple of days after placing my order, I received an email stating that they were awaiting a delivery from supplier, and that they would update me as soon as this progressed, and the item was passed to Royal Mail for delivery.

I have since had another email to let me know that they still don't have my pen, and will contact me later to advise when on its way.

Now, the first email I can accept, or understand. Sometimes, no matter how good you are at keeping inventory as a retailer, you can run out of stock. No one has a crystal ball. I can appreciate this.

However any company of any good should know when they are expecting the replacement order, or would have some fundamental reason why there is such a delay without timescale. IE. The factory was destroyed by fire / flooded etc.
Confirmation of Order April 1st. 

update April 6th
update April 12th

Response to complaint, May 1st. 

I have sent them a request for update, via their online support system from their website. I asked that if they cannot deliver the item within seven days, that I want them to cancel the order and refund any monies paid.

They promptly replied, saying that they were sorry for the delay and were working hard to minimise delays as the pen had been ordered in especially for me.

It's a standard fountain pen ! I haven't asked them to personalise it in any way. It's not made of gold, or crafted from the spittle of cuban maidens. It's a bloody fountain pen.
wonderful, but not my experience.

Some internet searching seems to show that customer frustration with excessive lead times for orders is not a new thing for this company. Despite their protestations on their site of their favoured seller status with various online retailers... I think the customer responses have it.

I am glad that my purchase was less than £20, had I actually spend hundreds of pounds on a watch or item of jewellery, for a special occasion I would be a lot more upset about this than I am now.

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