Making a mistake, rapidly

Someone commented in the eHam ratings for my blog that I spent too much time complaining about retailers. I’m sorry about that, I only tell it how it is, but it appears that no-one in this country is capable of doing their job properly. Perhaps the government’s policy of sending 50% of people to university means that most people are over-qualified for the job they do and are too bored by it to actually think about what they were doing.

Phase 2 of my shack renovation was completed earlier this week. It should have been finished a couple of weeks ago. Olga designed and ordered a system of wall units including shelves, cupboards and a bureau with a door that drops down to form a working surface. This bureau is to be my workbench – now I can start something and when I have done enough for one day I can just close the door on it so everything stays looking tidy.

The consignment arrived consisting of all 11 boxes as marked on the shipping labels. However as we started to assemble it we found that a few bits, including the entire bureau, were missing. On contacting the retailer they were sure that 12 boxes had been sent, but the bureau was never discovered and they had to order a new one from Sweden – hence the delay.

My workbench is now separate from my operating area so I can no longer use the Diamond power supply that powers my radios to power my projects. So I needed a variable power supply for the workbench. Yesterday I was pleased to win in an eBay auction a refurbished variable power supply from Rapid Electronics for about half what a new one would have cost. The courier delivered a large parcel this morning which was labelled with my address, but when I opened it I found four retractable mains cable extensions that had been ordered by Workington Sixth Form College, together with their invoice. So now I have to wait in while Rapid arranges for its courier to collect the mains extensions. Whether I will ever see the power supply, or whether it will just vanish like our original bureau, remains to be seen.

I’m sure some readers must be thinking “take a chill pill, mistakes happen.” But mistakes seem to happen rather too often, if you ask me. If you were in the mail order business, wouldn’t you put systems in place to ensure mistakes like this don’t happen, because they annoy your customers and cost money to rectify? Rapid Electronics “operates a Quality Management System to BS EN ISO 9001:2008.” What a load of spherical objects that is.

While on the subject of retailers, last week I sent an email to a company that advertises notebook PCs with Linux installed, asking for a quote for a system for my business. I have not received a reply. Why does that not surprise me?

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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