GPS

Oops, almost lost us Ocado!

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I have blogged on here recently about our good experience of Ocado on their first delivery to us at home. Did I sing their praises too soon?

Not always this smiley!

Our second delivery was due this Saturday between 7.30 and 8.30, we had also included our Saturday evening meal in the order – possibly a bit rash, but on the assumption that they had delivered early last week we thought it would be OK.

However as 8.30 approached the natives (14 and 17) were getting restless, I am told I also get grumpy when I am hungry, so I was probably being unpleasant as well! We checked the website and it said that their GPS system (a new and wonderful service they are just rolling out) confirmed our driver would get to us between 8.10 and 8.30 – but it was 8.40! A decision was taken to abandon for chips which I collected (without any complaints).

After eating said chips we were 50 minutes after the latest delivery time, so a call to Ocado was in order – this was going to be make or break for them as far as I was concerned. How a company responds to a complaint matters – the customer is always right!

We got off to a good start – they were sorry and would call the driver and call me straight back, that’s good, as I don’t want to be kept waiting. The call came a few minutes later with an apology, a £10 ‘hassle’ voucher, and news that the driver would be with us by 9.30. And he was!

The driver was polite and sorry, but pragmatic. He told us that if he called everyone on his route when he was running late it would slow him further – a fair point. It also appeared that his route had not been planned as well as it could have been (the delivery before ours was for a later slot). He also thought the head office should be tasked with updating us – after all they track their vans so it would be easy.

I had to agree with him – if Ocado track their vehicles (quite common now) they could easily tell us if there was a delay. They do appear to be trying to do this via the website, but it’s not working. Perhaps a text would prove better – it’s more direct and almost ‘personal’ even if its machine generated.

So a close call for Ocado, but we will stick with them at the moment.

Thanks TomTom!

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all on 2 CD's! How times change!

I have been a fan of TomTom for many years, they used to provide maps to use on my faithful old Psions (5mx and Netbook) – both in black and white and colour. I had road maps for all of Europe and street maps for most British Towns years before the birth of the TomTom sat navs we now all know. It would also run on my Pocket PC (remember those?)

Things move on though, so a few years ago I moved onto a ‘modern’ TomTom device – it was a bargain in the winter sales and provided me with maps for all of Western Europe for less than £100 – a deal in anyones language. ‘Mildred’ as she is known in our household (she has a womans voice) has served us well on various holidays in France, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Germany over the years, but without a map update was beginning to have some ‘issues’ finding her way! (not just abroad but also around the road works at Bingham!)

Time for a map upgrade – this should be a simple job, connect the device to the computer and it will choose the correct map, pay your money and off you go – well that’s the theory!

In practice my device managed to choose the wrong map – it wouldn’t fit! So a swift email was sent to TomTom in the Netherlands asking for help. I didn’t know what to expect – I had read horror stories on the web about TomTom’s after sales service!

Thankfully they were brilliant! An exchange of emails to check my problem and then another email explaining step by step how to sort it out – which worked first time. Mildred is now fully functioning again with up to date maps.

Thank you TomTom!

Big brother is watching you….

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One of the buzz words for the new ‘big society’ is going to be acountability. Not only are we all supposed to be taking an active part in our new society, but we will need to be checking up on people apparently!

Nottinghamshire County Council have as part of their new policies decided to install tracking devices  across the council’s fleet of vehicles. Apparently this will improve fuel efficiency and overall driving standards.

The Council say the system will mean drivers can take the best route and save fuel – reading between the lines I would suggest it is more about keeping the council workers ‘at the pit face’ for their full shift. The days of ‘nicking off’ are over! (although I would be suprised if this has been happening for years now!)

The devices will be put in the authority’s fleet of 400 vehicles and will cost £315,000 to install and lease, but the authority claim a pilot scheme showed it would save £250,000 a year after three years. In 2009 the vehicle location systems were installed in 80 of the council’s fleet. This demonstrated an annual 9% reduction in mileage, reduced overtime claims and led to a 10% saving in fuel costs.

I suppose this is something we are all going to have to get used to – we can already be tracked by our mobile phones by the police if they need to, so this is only a small additional step.

I am not totally comfortable with it though – it’s all a bit 1984!