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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Hi all,

I have just received my shipment of the new books 'A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species', volumes 1 and 2.

WOW!!!!

They really are great. The first volume is slightly smaller, at 502 pages, whilst the second volume comes at a whooping 662 pages! Larger (and heavier) than originally anticipated, a box containing one of each volume is 8.4Kg, so posting these is going to be interesting.

Anyway, retail price is £35 each, plus P+P (please ask if you are interested, as I will have to take these to the post office, since my couriers do not accept packages over 5Kg). Not yet available on my website, as I currently do not send out plants due to the cold weather, so PM or email if you want to reserve a copy of them. Very limited numbers at the moment, so be quick! ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Hello Francis, send them with MyHermes, not the very best customer service but on the whole good and acceptable.
Your books would fall in the 5-10kg and cost is £7.20 and tracking is included, I have done over 200 parcels with them and they haven't lost one! Some del late or collection late.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:20 am 
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'Not the best customer service' is an understatement in my experience. I had a parcel they were meant to deliver. They left one card. They claim they tried to deliver the next two days as well, but no card and I was in one of those times... I think there was a phone number for the delivery guy left on the card, but he just told me he'd taken it back to the depot or something. Apparently he couldn't possibly have tried knocking on neighbours doors to take it in.

So... they charge some ridiculous amount to arrange re-delivery. So I booked on their website to go and pick it up at the depot (you had to book a time...). That meant a tube journey and a long walk into an industrial estate. At the depot I had to sign in at the gate and wear a reflective jacket. I was also supposed to keep to marked walkways but couldn't due to vehicles parked on them. After a nice long wait at the desk they told me that in spite of me booking to come pick it up they'd sent it back. I'm pretty sure this was still only the 3rd or 4th day after the card was left.

The seller had to re-send it.... via Royal Mail. At least with them if you miss them they either leave it with a neighbour or you know it's going to be at the depot (10 minutes walk for me...) a couple of days later, and kept there usually a couple of weeks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:34 am 
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RowanGreen wrote:
'Not the best customer service' is an understatement in my experience. I had a parcel they were meant to deliver. They left one card. They claim they tried to deliver the next two days as well, but no card and I was in one of those times... I think there was a phone number for the delivery guy left on the card, but he just told me he'd taken it back to the depot or something. Apparently he couldn't possibly have tried knocking on neighbours doors to take it in.

So... they charge some ridiculous amount to arrange re-delivery. So I booked on their website to go and pick it up at the depot (you had to book a time...). That meant a tube journey and a long walk into an industrial estate. At the depot I had to sign in at the gate and wear a reflective jacket. I was also supposed to keep to marked walkways but couldn't due to vehicles parked on them. After a nice long wait at the desk they told me that in spite of me booking to come pick it up they'd sent it back. I'm pretty sure this was still only the 3rd or 4th day after the card was left.

The seller had to re-send it.... via Royal Mail. At least with them if you miss them they either leave it with a neighbour or you know it's going to be at the depot (10 minutes walk for me...) a couple of days later, and kept there usually a couple of weeks.


That said they deliver thousands of parcels every week without a problem. The only problem with Royal mail is you do run the risk of losing parcels with the standard service as it isn't tracked and their other services are ridiculously expensive so not an option.
I have had a couple of customers enquire about timing issues, one within 5 days of them ordering! But none saying their service was bad, so they are either good enough or my customers are not complaining to me about them when bad. Again, I haven't had one get lost, all got there, two have been damaged but those boxes weren't the strongest.
use Royal mail for small parcels or if only doing a couple of medium size parcels then get ripped off by Royal mail, from a business point of view Royal mail are not a viable option.
The first parcel I sent out with myhermes I chased up with the customer to see what sort of service they received, they actually said they missed them but the courier returned with the parcel at 7 pm at night and couldn't believe it and was over the moon!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:38 am 
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Masdyman wrote:
RowanGreen wrote:
'Not the best customer service' is an understatement in my experience. I had a parcel they were meant to deliver. They left one card. They claim they tried to deliver the next two days as well, but no card and I was in one of those times... I think there was a phone number for the delivery guy left on the card, but he just told me he'd taken it back to the depot or something. Apparently he couldn't possibly have tried knocking on neighbours doors to take it in.

So... they charge some ridiculous amount to arrange re-delivery. So I booked on their website to go and pick it up at the depot (you had to book a time...). That meant a tube journey and a long walk into an industrial estate. At the depot I had to sign in at the gate and wear a reflective jacket. I was also supposed to keep to marked walkways but couldn't due to vehicles parked on them. After a nice long wait at the desk they told me that in spite of me booking to come pick it up they'd sent it back. I'm pretty sure this was still only the 3rd or 4th day after the card was left.

The seller had to re-send it.... via Royal Mail. At least with them if you miss them they either leave it with a neighbour or you know it's going to be at the depot (10 minutes walk for me...) a couple of days later, and kept there usually a couple of weeks.


That said they deliver thousands of parcels every week without a problem. The only problem with Royal mail is you do run the risk of losing parcels with the standard service as it isn't tracked and their other services are ridiculously expensive so not an option.
I have had a couple of customers enquire about timing issues, one within 5 days of them ordering! But none saying their service was bad, so they are either good enough or my customers are not complaining to me about them when bad. Again, I haven't had one get lost, all got there, two have been damaged but those boxes weren't the strongest.
use Royal mail for small parcels or if only doing a couple of medium size parcels then get ripped off by Royal mail, from a business point of view Royal mail are not a viable option.
The first parcel I sent out with myhermes I chased up with the customer to see what sort of service they received, they actually said they missed them but the courier returned with the parcel at 7 pm at night and couldn't believe it and was over the moon!

There are better couriers that do over night and very quick delivery but they are a lot more than MyHermes and I think one I looked at was about £7.99 a parcel for this type of service.
Once I get sending a lot more parcels out I may be in a position to get a discounted rate.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:48 am 
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Thanks Keith,

Actually I use Myhermes, but for some reason, in my mind, I thought they didn't accept parcels over 5 kilos. Must be someone else I looked, maybe?

I have never had a problem sending parcels with them, and only once, they took over 5 days to deliver. I asked the customer if he wanted me to pursue a claim on his behalf, but the customer thought the plants would survive once watered and taken would care off, so didn't think it was worth the effort.

Thanks for reminding me of looking at them, Keith.

Francis

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:02 am 
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Hmmm, maybe I did get a dodgy delivery guy! It's still true though that the next level: arranged re-delivery or pick up at depot, just did not turn out to be a good option, even if it had worked. I'm not sure exactly, but I'm pretty sure the price for re-delivery was more than I paid for postage in the first place (and would have meant taking time off work to be sure of being in). And the depot was a major journey to get to. Unfortunately I work on an appointment basis, so I never know for sure in advance if I'm going to be in, unless I'm going to refuse work, which I can't afford to do. I also have regular appointments around dinner time, so half day delivery periods never work. So personally I'm willing to pay a couple of quid more in the first place to be sure I can still get my parcel if I miss the delivery.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:36 am 
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They apparently attempt two deliveries, if they cannot gain access after that I honestly don't know what they are meant to do. They have done their job and the person wasn't in so now they are losing money and time.
Also they do leave the parcel in a safe place if you put this on the parcel label so this would save an appointment. They pick my parcels up from a safe place if I am out.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:30 pm 
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I don't have a safe place, and I can't really ask neighbours to stay in all day to get my deliveries, any more than I can stay in myself. Anyway, Royal Mail works for me: I'd say a fair percentage of the time I'm in to get it. But if I'm not they quite often leave it with a neighbour or it goes to the depot. They only try once, but I know I'm going to be able to get it if I miss them. That was not my experience with Hermes... But maybe I just got a bad delivery guy.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:52 pm 
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PS: of course, if Francis is willing to post either way according to the customers wishes, then it doesn't matter! ;-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:02 pm 
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RowanGreen wrote:
I don't have a safe place, and I can't really ask neighbours to stay in all day to get my deliveries, any more than I can stay in myself. Anyway, Royal Mail works for me: I'd say a fair percentage of the time I'm in to get it. But if I'm not they quite often leave it with a neighbour or it goes to the depot. They only try once, but I know I'm going to be able to get it if I miss them. That was not my experience with Hermes... But maybe I just got a bad delivery guy.



The ideal solution if you receive or deliver many parcels is a safe place, I only have a small plastic storage shed at the side of my house and I couldn't operate without this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:04 pm 
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Masdyman wrote:
RowanGreen wrote:
I don't have a safe place, and I can't really ask neighbours to stay in all day to get my deliveries, any more than I can stay in myself. Anyway, Royal Mail works for me: I'd say a fair percentage of the time I'm in to get it. But if I'm not they quite often leave it with a neighbour or it goes to the depot. They only try once, but I know I'm going to be able to get it if I miss them. That was not my experience with Hermes... But maybe I just got a bad delivery guy.



The ideal solution if you receive or deliver many parcels is a safe place, I only have a small plastic storage shed at the side of my house and I couldn't operate without this. Many of my customers have a different shipping address like work place etc

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:43 pm 
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A shed? Luxury! ;-) I don't have any private outside space. I work as a catsitter and dogwalker so don't have a 'work address' as such either.

Amazon failed to deliver something today apparently (no card so I only have their word for it!) and sent me an email about it, which has never happened with them before. They have several pick-up points in my area, some lockers, some stores. There's one at a shop in the next street so should be able to sort it...

Got to go visit a couple of cats now...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:54 pm 
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RowanGreen wrote:
A shed? Luxury! ;-) I don't have any private outside space. I work as a catsitter and dogwalker so don't have a 'work address' as such either.

Amazon failed to deliver something today apparently (no card so I only have their word for it!) and sent me an email about it, which has never happened with them before. They have several pick-up points in my area, some lockers, some stores. There's one at a shop in the next street so should be able to sort it...

Got to go visit a couple of cats now...


Hardly a shed! small storage shed is probably the wrong word, it is one of them green/grey plastic ones with two double doors and the top lifts up, very handy but if you have no space.
Hermes do lockers and shop drop off, wonder if they do pick up.

Your best option would be to find a local friend who doesn't go out and use their address as your safe place :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:23 am 
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Hermes do lockers etc? Don't think they did when I had issues, but it is probably getting on for a couple of years since that happened. Good if they do.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:45 am 
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RowanGreen wrote:
Hermes do lockers etc? Don't think they did when I had issues, but it is probably getting on for a couple of years since that happened. Good if they do.


Yes, they now have lockers, also have many shops where you can drop your parcels off, I wonder if they do collection from these shops too.

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