Well, it has been a hectic few months. Not helped by being asked to do some work for Waverley Excursions about the MV Balmoral in March. While most welcome in income terms and an interesting piece of work, it was one of those that required dropping everything. Only some stuff couldn’t be dropped. So we’ve been busy. Still, clearly leads to less time to spend grumbling…. But I’m back, I’m bad, and I’m grumpy!
Something which pains me at the moment is the cost of couriers to the Isle of Wight. Many couriers treat us as part of the UK mainland in pricing terms – Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Citylink, I am lead to believe UPS do, and I’ve forgotten more I’m sure. Some such as Interlink (again, can’t recall the others) charge a premium, often more than doubling the cost of delivery. Ah, you say, but they have to pay a ferry fare, so it is only reasonable! But no, it is not. Here’s why.
1. Even calculating the ferry fare, driver time on the ferry etc. £12+ per parcel is still extortion.
2. Citylink used to run 2 vans across (as far as I can tell) and both appeared to have a days work, so we don’t appear to be short on volume.
3. You can ignore (1) especially after you factor in (2). Assume you have no Isle of Wight depot – reasonable enough. So you run a van over on the ferry, drop off parcels across the Island, and then back across. Probably from a Portsmouth depot. Ferry time inc. wait either end, maybe 60 mins each way. Cost of ferry, maybe £50 on account? Compare this cost and time with delivering in a remote area, with few deliveries, miles and miles from the nearest depot. Hours of driving, little custom, high fuel costs. How can the Isle of Wight be more expensive.
Of course the answer is, its not. Its just a convenient excuse to rip people off. Unfortunately some companies refuse to use an alternative courier. You know what? I refuse to use them now. Especially those that try and charge a premium when I know the courier they are using don’t. Either they can’t tell the difference between the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Isle of Wight, or they are just fleecing us. Either way, my custom goes elsewhere.
I recently had to buy some PA equipment. Dolphin Music wanted to charge me £10 extra to send by Citylink (same zone as UK mainland). So I waved goodbye and ordered from Thomann. Who delivered completely free of charge. From Germany. Oh dear.