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Strap yourselves in, I am about to go off on one.

Last week I placed a significant order with an outfit called Naked Wines to be delivered to my daughter. Yesterday I received an over-enthusiastic email from Eamon, ‘wine guy’, telling me to get the glasses out because ‘Woohoo!’ Naked’s courier, Yodel, had advised them that my wine had been delivered at 15:07. It had been left ‘in a safe place’.

At 15:08, my daughter arrived home. No delivery card had been left, nada, and no sign of her birthday present. Whatever place the driver chose (the back of the house, he was told) it couldn’t have been safer, for the box is untraceable. (If there’s champagne in it and my kid can’t find it, trust me it is.)

I got on to the Yodel no-help chat line and was told by an idiot by the name of Charlton that he couldn’t talk to me as I wasn’t the consignee. I told him as loudly as you can in a line of type that I was his fucking customer, but he’d cut me off by that time.

Next I called the Naked Wines Customer Happiness Team (!) but they had buggered off home for the weekend. Yes, an online business that works half the hours of your average convenience store.

Finally my daughter managed to get through to a different idiot on the Yodel comedy line. He must have been real for he was too stupid to be a computer. He told her that she was being treated as a priority and that they would interview the driver to find out what had happened… wait for it … within 48 hours.

I am past the angry stage now. All I can do is laugh, tell the world about it and make sure I never have anything to do with any of these cowboys, ever again.

By the way, I am what is known within Naked Wines as an Angel. That means that I sub them £20 a month. This together with everyone else’s £20 goes, we the heavenly choir are told, towards supporting independent wine growers. Obviously it really goes into a big pot that gives Naked the buying power to do sweet deals then offer us Angels special ‘Angel discounts’ based on inflated list prices. It took me about a month to figure out what was going on (I’m slow) but I stayed with it anyway, to give it a trial.

I happen to know an independent wine producer. I saw her last month at a wine fair and asked if she thought I was being ripped off. She gave it some thought, maybe two seconds, and then said ‘yes’.

Even before yesterday’s ongoing debacle I had decided to hang up my wings once I had flattened my balance. Instead my £20 a month, and maybe a bit more, will go into a pot, and I’ll buy directly from my friend’s domaine, and from some of the small bodegas in Empordà.

That way I’ll be even more of an angel, Eamon ‘Wine guy’, and his pals can send ‘Woohoo!’ Emails (they actually do that) to someone else, and I really will be helping small producers rather that feeding a dodgy business plan.

Categories: General
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