This book was part of a present ordered on August 23rd 2012, four weeks before my partner's birthday. I was expecting it to be delivered before our holiday but it still hadn't arrived by September 8th. Amazon UK's tracking system said it had been despatched and, due to an unspecified delay, it was being held by the delivery company, Yodel/HDN, at their Vauxhall depot. The data on the tracking page repeated this information for every date from August 24th to September 8th. There was no contact info for Yodel but I found a phone number for the Vauxhall depot on a complaints page set up by some Amazon UK customers. I called the Yodel/HDN depot, and one of their office numbers I found online, five or six times each over the next two days but did not get through.
We went away on September 10th and I was expecting the parcel to arrive during the holiday. When we got back on September 19th, still no parcel. The tracking page had been updated though - it now said the parcel had been held by Yodel/HDN due to an unspecified delay right up to September 12th. Mysteriously, there were no entries after that. I called Amazon UK and explained the problem - it's a birthday present, the birthday is in three days, the present still hasn't arrived, I haven't heard from Yodel/HDN and they don't answer their phones. After what felt like hours of polite prevarication the Amazon customer services guy agreed to send out again the three books I'd ordered on August 23rd at no charge to me. Relieved and about to put the phone down, I suddenly realised he was merely offering another delivery by Yodel/HDN. It took quite a while longer to persuade him that I did not trust Yodel/HDN to deliver my order because so many Amazon UK customers had had the same issue, extremely late or never-delivered orders. Eventually, he agreed to arrange free next-day courier delivery 'if my system lets me'. The package did arrive the next day and the items were as expected. But Amazon customers expecting free delivery should not be put through this farrago.
One answer would be to pay Amazon for delivery but we shouldn't have to do that. If Amazon offers free delivery that's what should happen. BTW, I never received the three books I ordered on August 23rd.
I have bought regularly from Amazon for the past eight years but I will never again place an order with them that relies on Yodel/HDN for delivery. I have one outstanding order that I've reluctantly paid First Class for as it's a present. From today, I will not be using Amazon at all until they replace Yodel/HDN with a reliable company. I'd rather take the time to support my local bookshops (all chains, unfortunately) than be treated with the contempt Amazon are currently showing their UK customers.
On a positive note, my husband loved the book and I'd say it will go down well with all Doctor Who fans.