Fitness Goals and Inherent Laziness

Last year, I got into the whole lunch time running thing. Then slacked off all through December, because Christmas.

I’m slowly starting to ramp up again. As in, I’ve been for a whole 3 runs this month.

I’m telling myself to up my game. I told myself that I was going for a run last night, but opted to sit under a blanket and watch videos on youtube. I was going to go for a run this morning, but decided it was cold. That said, today is not a total washout – the bloke has decided we should go climbing today after a successful wall climbing venture with the littles last weekend. Today, we’re taking a proper course so we can play on the rock climbing wall of choice without other adult supervision.

Given I slacked off all throughout December (both with the running and fitness DVD’s), venturing back into the world of getting fit hurts. My shoulders and arms are barely recovered from last weeks climbing venture. Granted, this did in part include me dangling from the ceiling and relaxing. I have had to admit that my upper body strength is pretty appalling. So in that regard, this climbing malarkey should do me a world of good, or something like that.

My legs still hurt from running on Thursday. I know the more I do all this, the less it will hurt. However, sitting wrapped up in a warm house, eating cheese sticks with copious amounts of dip in front of the TV is far more appealing. It doesn’t make my muscles hurt. That said, looking at my pre-December run times versus my current run times provides a very stark contrast that I should feel more shame than I actually do over.

I can do better. I’m just being lazy. So, moving forward, I figured I should publicly set some goals. It may be the kick up the bottom I need to get back in to looking after myself properly.

Tomorrow, I will run. I will also run on at least 3 week days next week. I’ll do my DVDs at least twice next week. And I will do a full check in next Saturday so I can be mocked if I fail to actually achieve these things. At this point, that should be enough incentive for me to get off my arse and do things. So, dear readers – please do mock me should my efforts be lacking.

If I do manage to meet these goals for this week, I am rewarding myself with something unhealthy. Probably a Dominos pizza all to myself. Nom.

Happy New Year!

Welp, I have this scheduled to post on New Years Eve. It’s been written early since I’m planning on not being at my computer.

First off – I hope that everyone had a great 2016, and will have an even better 2017!

2016 has been pretty awesome and eventful for me. I got a new job, and most importantly, fulfilled a long term ambition of mine – house ownership. I’ve surrounded myself with awesome people after a less than stellar 2015, and I feel like I am checking off all of life’s tick boxes.

My 2017 plans so far involve house decoration, and buying curtains. Which is horribly boring and adult, but is exciting to me since it’s the first time I’ve been able to make the call on things like that.

So, I hope everyone is having a fabulous time seeing in the new year. Happy new year everyone!

Merry Christmas!

I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who is reading a very merry Christmas 🙂

I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted, and do bear in mind that calories don’t count at Christmas, so you should eat a lot of cake. And turkey. Just eat all the things, ok?

One of my best presents so far – my Dad got me an Amazon Echo. It makes me look forward to getting home so that I can get it all set up properly 😀

The Christmas Decorations Post

I’ve upped my attempt at Christmas decorations from last year. I have upgraded to having an actual Christmas tree.

20161223_114222

Granted, I need more tinsel and baubles, but I think it’s definitely a good start. I now have a serious decision to make.

Should I top this with a star or a fairy, or something else? 1st world problematic decisions are hard.

Argos Shenanigans – Final update

This should be the final update to the Argos saga. Hopefully.

So, I reported Argos to trading standards. I got this response from them:

I understand from your email that at the start of November you ordered a bed and mattress from an online trader which stated would be 5 days for delivery. The goods were eventually delivered on the 27th but one of the pieces was for a different bed. You have asked the trader to collect the item and refund you which they have advised they will do today. They had also agree to look at refunding you for a day’s holiday you had to take but have now refused to do so.

Your rights and obligations
Under The Consumer Rights Act 2015 you could claim that when delivered the goods were not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. This may entitle you to reject the goods for a full refund under your short term right to reject which covers goods for the first 30 days after purchase. You should be refunded within 14 days of the goods being returned to the trader. The onus or burden of proof will be on you to prove the goods are not of satisfactory quality.

You may be entitled to make a claim for consequential loss if you have had any loss of earnings but the law would look for you to provide evidence of this and why you believe that the trader is liable.

If you are unable to resolve this with the trader then as you paid for the item on your debit card you may be entitled to make a claim against your card provider for a refund under a scheme called Chargeback, this is a voluntary scheme so your car provider is not required to be a member. There is also usually a time limit for any claim, we would advise that you speak to your card provider for more information.

Your next steps
Should the trader fail to collect the goods then we would advise that you formalise your complaint in writing to the trader stating a reasonable period of time for them to reply back, send this by recorded delivery so you can prove it has been received and keep a copy of the letter for your own records.

There are template letters available on our website, click here for the most appropriate to your complaint.

What we’ll do
We will notify Trading Standards of the trader’s activities. Whilst this would not help with your complaint, this is valuable intelligence for them, which may be taken into consideration in any future dealings they have with the trader.

After that – before I’d had to take any further action – Argos actually collected the bed! Then began the adventure to actually receive my refund. I let them know what was going on via email:

Well, after the last email, the bed was finally collected yesterday (5th December, a full month after I placed this order in the first place). However, the delivery driver was unable to let me sign for anything, as his PDA device was apparently out of order.

Given my current experience so far, I would like you to confirm – is my refund now being processed, and when can I expect it to come through?

On the 6th, they sent me a confirmation that I could expect a refund within 7 working days. Ok.

Thank you for your email regarding your refund.

I can confirm you refund has been processed and should be showing on your Visa statement within the next 7 working days.

Surprise, surprise, it turned out that this was in fact another lie. I ended up phoning them 7 days later to ask them where my refund was. The woman I spoke to asked if they had collected the bed. They seemed to have no record of collecting things. Awesome! I had to send another email.

Hi Argos,

I still have yet to see a refund either in my account or in the pending transactions of my account. I have once again phoned you to ask where my refund is, and I can apparently expect a call back within a few days, as there seems to be no update in your records as to the status of my order.

Let me be clear. You have messed me around completely. I am out £299.99. You collected the bed on Monday 5th December. I noted down the registration plate of the lorry and the time of collection, as the delivery drivers were unable to let me sign for the collection, as their PDA was conveniently not working. If your delivery drivers run as many other companies do, this will match up with their GPS system on the day.

Trading Standards have told me that if I don’t receive my refund within 14 days of collection, I have a case. I will be taking this further if you refuse to give back the money I am owed, due to your inability to send your goods on time or as described.

For reference (although you should be able to find this in one of the MANY emails I have sent about this) – my order number is *********.

Where is my refund?

This (a day later, I may add) generated this email:

Thank you for your email regarding the above query, I have looked over the notes of the sale in question and can see that the refund has been actioned and should be in your account in 3-5 working days. I do apologise for any delays you have experienced and wish you a great Christmas and New Year ahead.

The refund eventually landed in my account on the 19th. Exactly 14 days later.

In addition, Argos actually phoned me. They’re going to send me a cheque for £50 to apologise for the inconvenience. But that won’t be processed until the 28th December, as they’re all going on holiday now.

At this point, I’m going to leave it there. Trading Standards are investigating, so the relevant authorities are involved. I’m not holding my breath on actually receiving a cheque, and I certainly will not be using their services again – or recommending them to anyone else.

Sage over!

Argos update the Third.

Yup, two blog posts in one day!

So, I just received this from the wonderful folks at Argos.

reimbursementletter

So, in a nutshell – they offered to reimburse me for my day of  annual leave, after they rescheduled my order. And they are now retracting that offer because their rescheduling my delivery means that I should have anticipated taking a day of annual leave.

I guess they realised that an hour of my time is in fact quite expensive.

So, I’ve emailed them. I’ll also be calling.

Dear Argos,

Please see the attached letter I have just received through the post.

This is unacceptable – I arranged for delivery on Saturday the 19th through your website. I originally arranged this for a Saturday because I didn’t want to have to use annual leave for this. It was then *you* who called and rescheduled for the 21st. Me, just wanting the bed to arrive in time for family to visit, reluctantly accepted that I would have to book annual leave for this.

I strongly suggest you review this. You are attempting to claim that that I would have had to anticipate taking a day off for this? That is completely incorrect. Thankfully, I have all previous automated emails, receipts, etc that will back this.

It’s bad enough that I have had such a terrible experience with your company – for you to then offer reimbursement earlier in this email chain, then attempt to tell me that I should have anticipated taking a day off after you rescheduled the delivery day is quite frankly unacceptable.

Sort it out.

Just for extra fun, I’m organised enough that I have kept all prior emails to this. Here’s a screen shot of the email I received on the 5th (when I actually made this order):
receipt
But no. I should have anticipated having to take a day of annual leave when I deliberately arranged delivery for a weekend when I don’t have to work.
Quite.
EDIT – UPDATE
One angry phone call and call back later, apparently it is not in their policy to reimburse for the first day off taken, and the person who told me this in the first place is apparently in trouble!
I find this pretty unacceptable. I’ve already sent details of this shenanigans to BBC Watchdog. Trading Standards next.
EDIT The Second
I’ve sent another email.

Hello again Argos.

Your below email is incorrect. After receiving it, I briefly panicked, thinking that I would be unavailable to hand over the items for collection. Thankfully, my manager is understanding and allowed me to work the rest of the day from home.

I did have cause to phone you today though, after you decided that my time is apparently worth too much for you to give the reimbursement for loss of earnings that you initially offered. I was told that the bed was indeed booked in for collection today, but you were unable to give me any times. So, I was transferred to your collections department, who let me know that the collection was not in fact booked in for today.

Thanks for wasting more of my time.

I have now been told it is booked in for collection on Monday 5th December between 12 and 6.

At this point, I am not holding my breath. Your service is absolutely shambolic. This is now a second day when I have been told to expect some kind of service, and I have had to chase things up with you when said service fails to transpire.

If I have to arrange delivery to your warehouse myself, I’ll be sending you the bill. I want this bed out of my house, and I want my refund.

I have already submitted this whole farce to BBC Watchdog and Trading Standards.

Oh, Argos. You are *killing* me.

I’m actually laughing at the ridiculousness of this. I’m still quite angry, but you really couldn’t make this up. How is it even possible to be this bad at customer service?

Do they have a gremlin invasion at Argos HQ? Really bad IT? Whatever is causing it, the left hand blatantly doesn’t know what the right is doing.

So, an update. Everything was resolved, rejoice!

Ok, I tell a lie. Nothing seems to have been resolved. I sent them the following email on Wednesday the 30th – if you remember my previous post about Argos, you’ll know that this is now after the time frame in which I was supposed to be contacted by their collections/refund department:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing once again as I have still not been contacted by your collections department to arrange a pick up of the most-of-bed you managed to eventually deliver – the order number is  ********.
I’d have thought that complaining once about the complete lack of communication would have been enough – but from looking at the complaints on your facebook page, this issue seems to be endemic.
I also took the liberty of checking out the bed I initially ordered on your website – for a bed that I was told on Sunday was out of stock, meaning I’d have to wait 2 weeks to have an *entire* bed delivered to get the correct part (which, added to the lack of call back on Sunday prompted my request for collection and refund) – I find that your website is still advertising the bed as in stock, and available for delivery within 5 days! I even managed to add it to my shopping cart! Your advertised delivery timescale is a blatant lie – in fact, the very same lie that had me ordering this bed in the first place.
Going by some of the complaints on your facebook page, I am beginning to get serious concerns that I will ever see a refund. If the process of collection and refund does not begin today, I’ll be escalating this as far as possible. I will email a formal complaint to your CEO, I will be in touch with the Citizens Advice Beareau, and I will be in touch with Trading Standards to report the mis-representation of your stock levels on your website and your reluctance to begin the refund process. Just to ensure that there is a full representation of facts here, I have also taken pictures of the entire issue (see the attached), and also a picture showing that the useless pieces of wood you sent me are in good order, propped up in my living room.
I am down £300 in time for christmas. That is money that I’d rather see spent on my own family and friends than sitting in your bank account. I have ordered a bed from Bensons, who tell me that they will deliver a bed on the 23rd December. If not for the misrepresentation of your stock levels and delivery estimates in the first place, I’d no doubt already be the happy owner of a king size bed as I would have ordered from elsewhere. It’s unfortunate that I now do not have a bed for any visiting family to sleep on when they visit in the run up to christmas. So, thanks!
I have already shared my experience with friends and family, along with a strong recommendation to avoid doing business with you in the future. I’ll be continuing to document this process as I take this further.
Please let me know when I can expect your collections team to actually pick up the pieces of wood taking up space in my house. At this rate, Bensons will no doubt have delivered their bed before your team actually get around to this, which will no doubt give the internet a good laugh!
Oh, the delivery charge finally got refunded. Thanks. I’ve yet to hear about being reimbursed for my loss of earnings on the 21st. I posted the required information first class delivery on the 23rd, so you should have received it by now. I’m now realising that I should have sent this recorded delivery, as you’ve no doubt managed to ‘not receive’ your mail.
I also left them a shorter note in a similar vein on their facebook page. One of the Argos minions did eventually respond asking for my order number, then I was back to listening to crickets.
I did debate just waiting to see if I would get any form of contact – but I was quite angry. I decided that sitting in stewing over it was not the fun or mature option here, so I phoned up their support. Again.
The lady I spoke to actually seemed to have a clue. After commiserating with the situation, she attempted to set up a collection of the bed for Friday between 12 and 6pm. In the process of this, she realised that the collections request was not going through, as something had gone wrong with my order. She had to phone me back – and she did! First person in this entire fiasco to phone back when she said she would!
She didn’t have great news for me though – due to the technical issues with the order, she would have to re-raise it, and she’d be able to sort out a collection date within 2 days. She promised to get in touch on Friday to let me know what was going on. Fabulous!
Well, we’re now on Friday. No phone call yet, but I did receive this email:

Thank you for your email regarding order number *********.

I was very concerned to learn of your situation and would like to apologise for the obvious disappointment caused.

Your order is stating that the collection is arranged for today 2nd December.

I can see by the notes on your order that one of my colleagues has sent a letter to you regarding your loss of earnings explaining what information we need. Once we receive this we will happily look into this for you.

On behalf of Argos Ltd, I am sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this matter has caused you.

Erm…
Well, I just had to try and phone up to see what was going on. I was at work, but figured a few minutes to figure things out wouldn’t be too bad. Apparently, there is a loooong hold queue today. Not a surprise, given the state of their facebook page. So, I opted to leave another message on their facebook wall, attempt a live chat, and I’ve also sent another email:

While that is almost good news, the last I heard about collection for this order was that the order would have to be re-raised so that collection would happen. The last person I spoke to attempted to arrange collection for today, but the system would not allow it. She also told me that she would be in touch with me today to let me know what is going on.

As such, I am at work today, and I have an after school event which will be going on until later this evening. I am not going to be in. I have no one else who can be in on my behalf.

I’ve tried to phone, but was told I would be on hold for too long – I can’t waste working hours on this. I attempted the live web chat.

What is going on?!?

Since then, I am back to listening to crickets. On the off chance that I may actually witness some collections people turn up at my door, I have arranged to work from home for the rest of the day. Thankfully, I can work remotely and I have an understanding manager, plus I only live about 5 minutes away from the office. That said, I estimate I’m only going to be in until 5pm. At this point, it is the best I can do to try and get the most of bed out of my living room.

At this point, I have decided that I will be emailing the CEO once this is getting to a point where it looks like it is almost sorted, and I’ll definitely be giving Trading Standards a call. Because this bloody bed is still showing up as available to be delivered within 5 days.

I would have liked this to be the final blog post about all of this, but I suspect that this series of posts is going to go on much longer. Apologies for that – normal programming will resume eventually, namely where I start to talk about my new-found Minecraft addiction.

* Note – all emails have names removed to protect the guilty.
EDIT – UPDATE
So, after phoning Argos to complain about the lack of compensation they promised, I was also transferred to the collections people (after being told by the first lady I spoke to that collection was booked in for today).
Turns out collection isn’t booked in for today, and no one knows why I received an email telling me it was. But don’t worry, we’ll definitely collect the bed on Monday between 12 and 6!
I’ll bloody well believe it when I see it.