Steer Clear of Teleflorist.co.uk / “Eflorist” / “Euroflorist” – they can’t be trusted.

 Miscellany  Comments Off on Steer Clear of Teleflorist.co.uk / “Eflorist” / “Euroflorist” – they can’t be trusted.
Jan 102016
 
BOU14_97_aR CHO102 DE12BQTSF01R flowers

I have just successfully sued TelefloristEflorist / Euroflorist after they let me down badly and didn’t give a stuff.

We had a family celebration holiday at the frankly wonderful Calvert Trust Kielder. On Sunday, the day before we traveled, I decided to order some flowers and chocolates to be in the room for when my family arrives on the Monday. I had a problem: Calvert Trust Kielder is so remote that most companies don’t do same or next day flower delivery – so I shopped around to find one that did. I settled on Teleflorists, who accepted my order for next day delivery without problems. I ordered a “Coral Bouquet” plus “Milk Chocolate 9s” and paid £40.95 including next day delivery.

All looks rather lovely, I thought; and all sorted so easily!.

Till I got an email the next day, sent at 3:23pm: “We are sorry but despite our best efforts we have not been able to find a florist who can deliver your order.” Well that’s just great, isn’t it. “We would like to offer you a courier delivered item called Pink Lady and also include a vase. This would be sent on the next available delivery date, which is Tuesday. … Kindly reply by 4pm to ensure we can deliver on the next available delivery date.” They gave me 37 minutes notice to respond if I wanted them to arrive the day after they should originally have done. They were lucky to catch me at all: it came through on my mobile just before I lost signal. I couldn’t see the “pink lady” (ooh-er, missus) as I didn’t have enough mobile connection to download a picture, so they emailed me at 4pm to say they’d decided to order it anyway without my say-so. I can see now, however, what they should look like – “A heartwarming bouquet of cerise Gerberas, pink Roses and purple Alstroemeria.

We arrived on the Monday, but the flowers didn’t. They didn’t arrive on the Tuesday, either. Eventually, after much chasing, they turned up on the Wednesday. (The delivery label indicated that they hadn’t even been posted until the Tuesday.)

Let’s check the flowers I ordered, then the flowers I blindly accepted to be delivered a day later, then the actual flowers that arrived a day after that (on day three of the four-day holiday.)

BOU14_97_aR CHO102 DE12BQTSF01R flowers
“D day” (no-show)… A day late (no-show)… Two days late.
And no chocolates!

Yeah, thanks Teleflorist, that was so worth waiting the extra two days for. That truly looks like “a heartwarming bouquet of cerise Gerberas, pink Roses and purple Alstroemeria.

I complained (unusual for me!)

My remaining issues are that you took an order for delivery on a date what you knew you couldn’t make, that you didn’t tell me that until mid afternoon on the supposed day of delivery, that you only contacted me by email and gave me a very limited period to respond, that you promised that delivery would occur on the next day, that in fact you didn’t arrange for delivery until the day after that, that you failed to keep me updated about the delays, and that the flowers were not of a satisfactory standard when they did arrive. Instead of this being a nice surprise and an asset to (our family) celebrations, it has become a drag and a disappointment.

Their response?

Having reviewed the photograph you have been kind enough to provide, we’re pleased to see that these flowers are within our expectations, please ensure the water is changed and the vase is clean. This will serve to maximise the life of the flowers and mean more enjoyment.

Yeah, how unfair of me, I shouldn’t be so demanding of the quality of my flowers, what they sent me is clearly nearly as good as the photo. Silly me.

They lied in response to my TrustPilot review, (“a member of our customer service team has been in contact and this has now been resolved”) then they failed to respond to any further correspondence or any other elements of my complaint.

So I sued them. They didn’t even respond to legal action on time, so I was awaiting default judgment; but today, I received their admission – they “admit the full amount claimed” – and a full refund by cheque.

They claim to have signed their form on the last day they could legally have responded to my case (29th December) (yeah right, 11 days have gone by, even at peak times Royal Mail aren’t that slow) so I’m now applying for a judgment with interest, to make sure they end up on the register of adverse County Court judgments for the next six years.

What have I learned from this? Basically:

Do NOT use Eflorist / Teleflorist / Euroflorist.

They are incompetent, they don’t give a stuff and they lie.

On the nature of party balloons and catheters

 Miscellany  Comments Off on On the nature of party balloons and catheters
Dec 112015
 

When you deflate a balloon it never goes back to its original shape.

party-balloons-background_zps727ce43f copy

This isn’t usually a problem. But it is in this context.

cathetersThose are silicone Foley catheters, if you are wondering. I’ve got a hole through my abdomen into my bladder, into which the above gets pushed (with medical lubrication) and is held in place by inflating the balloon. This is the mechanism by which I pass water – a suprapubic catheter. The other end gets attached to a leg bag, which is a urine collection device; an external, plastic bladder if you will.

441(This gives the general idea. I recommend against Googling for photos, as many are a bit graphic. Oh. My. God.)

The catheter goes through a sinus, that is a skin tube through my layers of blubber and into my bladder. It’s a few centimetres long and it forms itself size-wise to the catheter. It has healed completely, a bit like a body piercing, as it were.

This is all fine and dandy except that every so often the catheter needs changing; over ten weeks or so the balloon goes down a bit, the catheter gets a bit mucky and coated and the silicon in the catheter starts to go funny. So the balloon is deflated, in theory reducing the tube to its original shape so it can be pulled out the same way it went in.

In. Theory.

Those blooming wrinkles. They are a right blooming pain. No matter how slowly you go, how careful you are, getting those wrinkles through the hole in the bladder wall, and through that skin tunnel, always knacks. The tunnel just isn’t made for that..

I usually try to do it with ibuprofen and cocodamol, and with the aid of some local anaesthetic in the lubricant. It’s still horrific though. Last night I tried getting drunk. That helped a lot! – a great painkiller, it made sure the new tube was well flushed, and I can barely remember it.

But there has to be a better solution, doesn’t there? Surely it isn’t beyond the ability of material science to create a catheter in which the balloon completely deflates back to where it was? I know there are lots of other things to consider as well – resistant to infections etc. – but even so.

Oh, whilst you’re at it, catheter manufacturers, how’s about supplying leg urine bags WITHOUT leaving the tap open, and WITH the end pushed on properly? (I think they must want to give unsuspecting people smelly wet sock syndrome.)

Yeah, thank you for that Conveen, I'm sure it's very funny to give inattentive people urine-ensoaked socks and trousers...

Yeah, thank you for that Coloplast, I’m sure it’s very funny to give inattentive people urine-soaked socks and trousers…

The Great North Run for the Calvert Trust Kielder

 Miscellany  Comments Off on The Great North Run for the Calvert Trust Kielder
Jun 022015
 

Many will know that I generally don’t like disability charities, in particular Leonard Cheshire Disability, as you may guess from various pages on my blog. The big disability charities institutionalise us, take our voice, consume our resources and use our language whilst oppressing us. As disabled people, we get portrayed as powerless objects of pity, charity recipients with no rights – the constant refrains being “Rights Not Charity” and “Piss On Pity“.

charities03-ungratefulCartoon courtesy of the excellent Crippen

So many will be surprised that I am fundraising for a disability charity.

The difference is that it’s the Calvert Trust Kielder, and they are…. different. Amazingly, wonderfully different. Of course, as a disability charity they have to do some of the supercrip” publicity, the “make a difference to some disadvantaged person’s life” and so on which grates so terribly; sadly this is necessary for funding. But in reality these are people who do their utmost to make stays with them as comfortable, entertaining and (should guests want it) challenging as possible, with the minimum of fuss. Nothing is too much effort for them.

end

People who know me will know that because I’m a gobby git life can be difficult for me, particularly where I live. I have been victimised so many times, in so many ways, both overt and covert, for daring to challenge organisations. I have had intense mental health crises, faced eviction, big safeguarding investigations etc. etc. etc. Throughout all this, the Calvert Trust Kielder have been an incredible oasis of togetherness and “can do” attitude. They have changed my life so much. I’ve been going there 14 years now, and I can’t wait until I can go again. (Once those bastard midges have buggered off for the year…)

So: I’m doing the Great North Run in aid of them. People who know me will know that I am about as un-sporty as they come; rotund, unfit, and generally loathe physical activity! So you’ll appreciate just how much this commitment is.

I know that many of my friends, co-campaigners and so on don’t have much or any money, so please don’t feel obligated – but should you wish to sponsor me, you can do so here:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Or by text:

ss+(2015-06-02+at+03.21.06)

Thank you!!!!

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