And after a lot of early frustration collectors reported several weeks later, that their phone calls were being answered in 5-10 minutes instead of 40-50, and that some missing items had been delivered - in some cases more than once!
But all is still not well. Understandably, the Queen's 90th Birthday stamp issue attracted a great deal of interest with advance orders coming from all over the world, and ad-hoc orders flooding in after the miniature sheet design was revealed to include Prince George. I'm guessing that a lot of interest was from people who don't normally collect stamps but are royalists so that will be more to Royal Mail's bottom line!
So what's gone wrong with the order processing. This question/comment was posted on the blog earlier today:
And another collector sent this email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Is it just me, or has anyone else not yet received their Standing Order for the QEII 90th Birthday issue? I've called Tallents House several times now, and although they are always polite, understanding and apologetic, I feel this is very poor service. This issue will have been planned months, if not years, in advance and could easily have been predicted to have been popular, and yet RM just don't seem to have geared up for it. No way to treat a Standing Order customer (for all issues) of over 35 years! My ANZAC Customised Sheet has also not arrived, presumably caught up in the QEII issue debacle. Shocking planning and service.
Again The Royal Mail management do not appear to know how to handle their customers' Regular Orders. In the dim and distant past orders were received on the issue date. Then, it seemed to change to 5 to 7 days before receipt. Now with the Queen's Stamp issue of the 21 April delivery appears to be 24 working days!! That's according to the Philatelic Bureau today, and you have the audacity to charge delivery.
Several other people have also mentioned not receiving their Queen's Birthday orders - and many of these are standing orders which should have been packaged up and ready to go well before the date of issue, just as those to dealers usually are. One of these is producing special first day covers - he's not a regular cover producer, and not a registered dealer, though he does sometimes sponsor special handstamps - if he's hoping to sell those, the market will have evaporated by the time he gets the covers back from the handstamp centre. Too much monkeying about, perhaps...?When can we look forward to the current management being changed to one who believes in Customer Service?
Well, here's the good news - they do have the stock!
Last Wednesday I put in an order for a dealer friend of mine and on Saturday I was able to supply him with the freshly-delivered Queen's Birthday Prestige Book (and Star Wars PSB, and Royal Mail 500 miniature sheets).
It's not all roses for dealers, though. Their new S+C One accounting system hasn't yet produced any statements - none at all. We should have had February, March and April by now. And we buy on credit account, so while they (a) have your money on your standing order account, (b) take your money on ad hoc orders, they are (c) not even telling us how much we owe them!