Our baptistries maybe portable but it is still an event when they arrive – at least 3 boxes all of some size. Out heaters are more diminutive, being in small plastic crates. The big issue for everyone is the timing of deliveries and pickups. We have all had the experience of waiting in all day for a delivery that may take place between 8am and 10pm and an unhappy and disgruntled driver turning up at our door.
We do try to minimise poor experiences for all concerned (including the drivers, some of whom have a challenging job). However, we need to work in partnership with everyone to make things work smoothly. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, something may derail things, such as a road accident or weather, or a technical fault in the system or the truck and leave us all without the service we had worked for!
So here are some top tips to help everything go smoothly.
- We tell all our customers that the venue has to be staffed between 9-5 for the collection, we also say this to all our couriers. In reality, most deliveries happen between 10.30 and 3pm, but there are always the outliers because you are close to the depot (first thing) or at the end of a busy route (last thing). So when you are booking the baptistry hire be aware of this in terms of planning the delivery:
- Is your venue staffed? What are the office hours ? 9am-3pm is about the minimum in reality for a daytime delivery. Morning deliveries cost extra and can cost extra to you depending on the baptistry, so we need to book this on our schedule. Morning deliveries can be booked in advance for a slightly
- higher fee. If we have to re-book a collection because the venue was not staffed, we will be surcharged by the carrier and this will come out of the bond.
- Can it be delivered to your home? If your venue is not staffed what then? You can have people waiting in for the delivery in the Church/building. However this can be a very long day and if something goes wrong, it could be two very long days. We prefer it if people are waiting for a delivery or collection somewhere convenient for them. For example, in their home, workplace or in a local business who is happy to hold it until the driver arrives. The Nonagon and Croydon baptistries when packed baptistries will fit easily into a large car, even into our Fiesta! It may be more convenient to sit at home and then drive the baptistry to and form the church. This is worth giving thought to and we are always happy to discuss and advise.
- Timed deliveries and notifications. As regular customers know, Fedex did not provide any notification for deliveries. Parcelforce does so via email and text. However, we know from customers and Parcelforce that the system needs upgrading to be more effective in regard to texts and giving a delivery window. Parcelforce have told us that this is in process but, as with all technical upgrades, it is running behind schedule. For the time being, our advice is to assume the delivery will be in unspecified office hours and arrange accordingly. The depot or ourselves can be contacted if there are issues or concerns regarding delivery or collection.
Why not a carrier who can provide 2 hour delivery windows? Our Baptistries are specialist and often bulky items and so not every carrier is happy to take our parcels, and others charge a high price for doing so. Parcelforce charge a good price for delivery and will take even our biggest baptistries without complaint. We are also finding them better able to reach our extremely rural customers via their network. As for 2 hour window notifications, this is something they are working towards. Let us hope and pray the obstacles they are finding to doing so are overcome.