Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (05/12/10)

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The Independent Online


In a complete shock to Sainsbury's, Tesco and M&S, a quarter of people who have tried shopping for groceries online have given up and gone back to the shops, says a new report. Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs (and find a "Sorry you were out" card, left while I was in). How can people complain about failed deliveries, snowy trips to depots in Brentford and Bromley, and shouting into a phone at a robot voice? Customers can be so ungrateful.

Like the people who run Britain's commuter trains, who should be punished repeatedly by being made to use their own transport, we should force anyone who earns a living by delivering other people's shopping to live for a month only on what they can buy online. They'd soon starve to death, with a call centre operator distantly taunting them: "What do you mean you go out to work? What, you mean every weekday?

In the past fortnight I've had a pea-sized item delivered in a box too big to go through a letter box; two things sent back because they had to be signed for (why didn't they mention that during the order process?); and a heavy box left with an elderly neighbour by a driver who couldn't distinguish the door numbers "3" and "6". Next year I'll be doing my Christmas shopping in the Christmassy shops. I might even get a free mince pie.


I haven't had to sleep on any trains this week, but I did get stuck on the brand new swishy Overground when a train conked out for 90 minutes having lost power, heat and light. Praise be to my fellow commuters, who made the experience bearable until the train finally limped home at about 2am. Their humour, shared heat and weary comradeship all kept us sane as we sat in a blizzard in the dark. But the worst thing of all was the complete lack of toilets and no way of getting out of the carriage. Thank goodness somebody had an iPhone app for determining the camber of the train...