Monday 18th October started like any other day. The footstools were in the hall and in my face, but life goes on.

At 6.30pm I checked my e mails. To my huge surprise and delight a lady (we’ll call her Mary for the purposes of this story) had contacted me as she wanted to take advantage of our BOGOF on the footstools, and could I please send her an invoice for the total amount due. This was because the amount actually due was slightly more than the E Bay invoice due to the addition of an extra postage charge for the ‘free’ footstool.

I can’t begin to describe the feeling of joy, relief, excitement and sheer anticipation at the thought of getting rid of the two huge boxes which had been the bane of my life for the last 7 months. Needless to say it didn’t last.

For the next two and a half hours we tried in vain to get either E Bay or PayPal to issue an invoice for the correct amount. At the same time we discovered that the carrier we had chosen to go with and therefore quoted for, required us to print out address labels for the boxes, and our printer had died weeks ago, but we hadn’t seen the urgency in getting it replaced. We did now.

We got the old printer out, and the one before that too, (which was gathering dust in the spare room). Neither could be persuaded to print anything and by 9pm tempers were getting frayed.

I sent Mary an interim reply saying we were experiencing a computer glitch, and thank goodness when I got up the following morning I found that at 2am Peter had at last managed to send her an invoice for the correct amount.

She sent her payment to us during the morning and so in the afternoon we set out to Grimsby to buy a new printer. Thankfully that seemed to work OK, so perhaps things were looking up at last.

Having discussed with Mary what day she could be in to receive delivery of the footstools, on Wednesday morning we went on line to make the necessary arrangements. Collection from our house on Thursday, delivery to her house on Friday. Job done, sorted, labels printed, we’re on a roll. How wrong could I be??!!  I should have known I wasn’t getting off that easy. The footstools had not done with me yet.

Thursday morning dawned bright and sunny, a reflection of my mood. Today, at last I would say farewell to the footstools.

CityLink, for they are the carrier in question, come up and down our lane regularly, usually in early to mid afternoon, so when by lunchtime no-one had been I wasn’t unduly worried, in fact I even went out and weeded a couple of vegetable beds, just to keep my hand in. However, when no-one had been by 4.30pm I was getting decidedly twitchy.

By 4.45pm I was at the stage where I felt I had to do something. So I rang CityLink. I wanted to speak to the Lincoln depot, but ended up with a call centre.

After recorded messages and the worst piped music I have ever heard, I was told I was third in a queue. More piped music followed, then a human being. He was helpful and rang Lincoln who told him the collection wouldn’t be made today as the driver had ‘run out of time’, but they would come on Friday instead. I protested and pointed out that on Friday the boxes  were supposed to be in Warwickshire, but it was obvious I wasn’t going to get anywhere.

I rang Mary to explain the situation. She was most understanding, but as an ex employee of TNT (a rival carrier) suggested I tried ringing back and speaking to a supervisor to try to arrange a Saturday delivery to her in view of the fact that they had let us down. I agreed to do this but as it was by now after 5pm I just found myself in a never ending loop of recorded messages and piped music.

After speaking to Mary again we agreed that we would just have to accept the fact that the pick-up was going to be a day late and that she wouldn’t receive the footstools until Monday. What’s another 24 hours after 7 months?

To be continued- – – –