To paraphrase the Joker: I have given a name to my pain, and it is Parcelforce.
This particular shipment was sent with full tracking via USPS, as a result I know that it was posted on May 20th and arrived in the UK last Sunday (May 26th) and cleared customs first thing on Tuesday morning. Fair enough, they didn't process it on a bank holiday and I wouldn't expect them to. But I can see that Parcelforce took possession of it by Tuesday lunchtime.
I received the invoice for the customs charges today. Since it came by first class post that means it took 2 days for Parcelforce to process and send an automated invoice! I've already paid it, but since it won't be delivered until Monday (no way am I paying an extra £12 for a Saturday delivery) that means it's probably going to wind up getting redelivered to my local post office. Which means I won't be able to get my hands on it until next Saturday, since (like most reasonable people) I'm at work while the post office is open so I won't have a chance to pick it up before then.
Net result of that 2 days delay; I have to wait over a week for a "next day delivery".
I shouldn't get so angry about it, after all this is the standard of service I've come to expect from Parcelforce. At least they've acknowledged payment this time. Last time they took my money and refused to admit it, it took me 2 weeks and half a dozen phone calls to finally get them to arrange delivery.
I'll stop ranting now. It doesn't help, but it does make me feel a bit better.
P.S. On a lighter note, Mike from Peterborough Wargames is still running his prize draw in celebration of hitting 100,000 page views on his blog. If you haven't taken a look at it yet I thoroughly recommend it, it's generally a good read. But if you haven't enjoyed this post, don't read his rant about UPS. :-)