Sunday, March 02, 2014

Amazon on Sunday

Amazon recently became so big in the UK that they now have their own delivery network!

Yesterday I ordered two bluray discs. Today, Sunday, I got an email from Amazon UK:
"Your order, containing the item(s) listed below, has been posted through your letterbox."

I thought of course it was a mistake. But just to make sure, I checked my mail  box, and lo, there were the movies I had ordered maybe 16 hours before, Saturday evening!

I rarely need anything delivered that fast, but it's still impressive.
And you never know what you may need: years ago, my hard disk died on a Sunday. In desperation, I checked in a nearby PC World, and what do you know:
1: they were open on Sunday.
2: They had a Mac shelf.
3: They had just the software I needed (DiskWarrior).
4: It saved my disk!

The same software (I think it was), by the way, later saved important and unique data for my friend Laurie. He had been copying all his professional, irreplacable photography to an external disk, when the disk died. And incredibly, the folder he'd been copying also disappeared from his computer! This was five years of work!

He came to me, and I fired up the software, and we tried to get the disk to connect. We tried all kinds of things, nothing worked. Finally, when I had about given up, with the parts of the disk exposed to the winds, Laurie unplugged the cable and plugged it again, and said "try the button now". I did, and lo, the thing connected!

I said: "Don't touch a thing! Lets us copy all your work to my computer before we do anything else." So we started the copying, and went out to lunch. When we came back, I had all the photos safely, but when we tried to repair the external disk, it just died forever, so much scrap iron...
So I copied the files to a writeable DVD to give to him. Talk about a close call.


Pat McGee said...

Does British Post assert monopoly power over letterboxes at homes?

The USPS does. It's actually against the law for any kind of paid service to put stuff into a mailbox. So, in areas with rural delivery, you'll see two or three boxes on the same post, one for mail and the rest for newspapers.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Really? Wow.
No, I think here and in Europe they are public. Anybody can put flyers and whatnot in them. Fortunately in this area the amount we get is slight.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... I don't know if this is true for the whole town, or if it's because I live in an odd, sort of isolated area with several apartment- and house-blocks, blocked in on all sides by busy roads and industry, and only one small and easily-overlooked street leading in.
It is actually a cool placement, if you overlook the lack of a good view. There is no traffic beyond those with actual things to do in the area, which makes it quite peaceful generally.
And as least as far as my apartment goes, it's sort of in the middle, so it's isolated from most of the traffic noise. Cozy.

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

Amazon Prime, 2 day free, is sometimes 1 day. EBay is countering with many sellers offering free , expedited shipping. USPS is getting into the game , and actually being timely. Same day in big cities is almost here. It is actually cheaper to have stuff delivered than to go to the store, on many items. I am curious about what the environmental implications are ... but, well 8-)

Ken said...

In most countries the public mail carrier (and their privatised descendants) have sole right to deliver letters, in return for delivering anywhere (well almost) at a fixed price. Parcels it is different and the public carriers often have similar restrictions to the private as to keep their costs down.

It won't be surprising if there is more of this. Parcels have generally been a business to business item so are restricted to Monday to Friday, but now have much more volume in business to private it makes sense to deliver on weekends. Order something over the internet during the week and arrange to have it delivered on Saturday.