This click-and-collect offered by a few retailers is an odd thing. I’d used it with fair success with Argos; after all, standing in an Argos branch and actually thumbing through the laminated book of dreams is never a very uplifting experience.
But when trying to do something similar with a couple of lots of timber from Travis Perkins, it always took twice as long as just turning up as they never seemed to be able to find the order and having found it spent ages head scratching before they remembered how to use their online order system. So I’d given up on that.
Then I needed a phone upgrade. The 3G coverage has been getting really patchy as they roll out the (stupid as we didn’t really need it) 4G. Well my old phone had done OK; I’d calculated it needed to serve for three years to make the cost of buying it cheaper than having on a plan; and it had.
I wanted a Galaxy S4. I figured the S5 had been out a while, wasn’t much of an upgrade (the last thing I need is a reminder of my state of health), and that the price of the S4 must have come down. Which it had. £100 cheaper than a year ago.
I had a rummage around on Amazon but the only models were Marketplace items and the feedback seemed to be that the majority were grey imports whose guarantees were iffy.
However Carphone Warehouse, who I’ve always had good experiences with, had one. I could have ordered it online, but it said that a local store had one. So I clicked and set off to collect. Mistake.
The first guy couldn’t find the order and actually took my phone out the back with the confirmation text message! And he was picking it up by the screen and thus managed to move several desktop items!! Then a second guy weighed in and after quite some head scratching, located the order and then the phone. I held my breath as they carried it towards me, but mercifully the seal was unbroken and I didn’t have to have that argument.
Then I was told that they’d accidentally entered that I’d paid cash, and would I mind popping to a supermarket cash point and getting the cash!!! Now this branch is the one at the end of the Victoria line in South London, and I didn’t fancy popping around the corner to attempt to ferry several hundred pounds in cash!!!! (I’ll stop with the exclamation marks – you get the idea.)
Only by borrowing a screen and a browser and by ordering another phone was I able finally to pay for the item with the planned debit card. I was prompted to make this post because today the email arrived noting that I had failed to pick up my (first) order.