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Many of our customers use 1st class post for their orders because it is usually convenient, the postman comes to your house every day, and it is relatively convenient to pick up your package if they can't deliver it. However it can go wrong.
Millions of items of mail go missing every year; it is nothing short of a scandal. It is likely that some items actually are lost - sacks in corners of dusty offices, sent abroad instead of Aberdeen, but many more are stolen by postal staff. We all know it's true.
You might think "Signed For" (recorded delivery) is a safer option, but not really: Signed For items are not given any special treatment and travel in the same sacks as ordinary first and second clas mail until they reach the delivery office (your local "sorting" office.) These items can still be stolen or lost at many points in their journey. Signed For also draws attention to items which may have extra value, and could make their security worse than an anonymous, unmarked packet. Signed For may also be less convenient for the receiver, having to be there to sign for the package instead of it being put through the letter box if they are not at home.
Several of our 1st class packages have not been delivered since the beginning of June 2013 and have been "lost". Our customers are understandably unhappy about this: they wait for their goods day after day, and blame us when it doesn't arrive. What can we do? We give our mail to Royal Mail and trust them to deliver it.
Probably 90-95% of our first class deliveries are trouble-free, but 5-10% are not. If you are willing to take the chance then choose 1st class post for your delivery option; if you want more certainty UPS is the best option, but someone has to be there to sign.
(Special Delivery is the Royal Mail overnight service - more expensive than UPS, but an earlier guaranteed time. SD is okay, but sometimes they don't get processed on the day of posting and arrive a day late. We would estimate 5-15% of our SD items get delivered late.)
You may wonder why we can't use 2nd class post for foot pedals? Easy - they are too heavy for the 1000g maximum for 2nd class.
We will be on reduced service from Thursday May 10 until Tuesday May 29. It is intended that all orders will be despatched in our usual timescales; email responses will be slower than usual and phone calls will be difficult.
If you can, you might wish to order or make enquiries before May 10.
We are sorry if our reduced service causes you any inconvenience.
We will be at work until 2.00pm on Friday December 23, then closed until reopening on Tuesday January 3.
We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012.
We've updated the digital recorder which forms part of our Conference Kit.
The excellent Olympus LS-5 has been replaced by the even snazzier LS-3, smaller and neater with more versatile microphones, and the price is down too - just £189!
This next day service seems to have settled down, perhaps because we've started presenting the mail in a slightly different way which seems to have helped.
Let's hope so.
They've done it again, or rather they haven't - another Royal Mail deivery failure for another customer.
If you don't definitely need it next day our advice is to choose 1st class and hope for the best.
When you do need next day, UPS are highly reliable but you have to order from us by 1345 to get it processed in time for our collection.
We're working on some new digital packages with a greater choice of recorder which should be added in the next few days.
The Philips 9380 which we offer at present is a great machine with full insert and editing functions which are very useful, but which do add to the price. We're going to add some voice recorders without insert/edit which will be more economical, though less convenient for changes on the go. But of course you can make changes at the end of your work for adding when the main body has been done.
Recent experience with Royal Mail Special Delivery suggests that it is working better now and we have felt able to reinstate it as a delivery option.
If performance deteriorates we may have to suspend it again. Let's hope it stays improved.
We sent another Special Delivery on Monday and it wasn't delivered until Wednesday - a whole day later than it should have been.
Having tried to call our Mail Centre in Chelmsford we gave up and had to write them a letter. Sheesh!
We're trying to get to the bottom of why these delays are happening and if we can ever reinstate SD as a shipping option for you. More news when we get a response.
We have added a new delivery option - Hermes couriers - who already deliver much of the nation's home shopping to households the length and breadth of the country. It isn't fast (3-5 days is the guide time) but you may already have a relationship with your local Hermes courier, and s/he may know where goods can be left, etc which might make for a smoother delivery.
Choose Hermes in the shipping options if you'd like to try them, and if you can order before 1000 we may be able to get it out the same day - they have a VERY early cut-off for booking collections from us.