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Ireland or Outer Bleedin’ Mongolia ? August 22, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

Sometimes I wonder, when I look out my window, are the fields and hills and river and houses that I see actually on the outskirts of Ulan Bataar, Outer Mongolia, rather than dear old Ireland. No, dear readers, I am not going through a crisis of identity but it seems many of the invading UK multi-national companies that operate here, just might be !

Is it just me or is it impossible to get anything delivered to Ireland that originates in the UK ? Take for example my recent, and on-going, frustrated battle with the good folks at Homebase. Now Homebase have a plethora of stores in this country but are UK owned and run with their HQ being in Milton Keynes. To cut a long, drawn out story very short, I bought a bathroom and a kitchen from their store on the Naas Road in Dublin. Everything turned up except the bath. Homebase don’t want to know. I should’ve more carefully read their terms and conditions on delivery to “Southern Ireland” but the divils at the store in Dublin didn’t tell me it would be a 3rd party company that would handle any problems and messed up deliveries that might occur.

That was at the end of June. This is the end of August. I haven’t had a bath since ! Joking aside, nobody seems to know where the bath is or when, if ever, it is going to appear. The best I have gotten is “We do have difficulties sometimes finding people in Southern Ireland”. It seems that once they see Republic of Ireland on the address, the radar breaks down. This opinion has come from experience – without a postcode we’re f*cked because that’s how their systems work in terms of referencing addresses and linking to delivery schedules.

It makes me think. If I can order a set of golf clubs from Bumblefuck, Ohio, USA and have them sitting in front of me in 4 days (having come through the UK !) why can’t Homebase, M&S or any of the other large UK retailers bloody deliver here ? When pressed on the matter of “Why do you not deliver to Southern Ireland, when you do to Northern Ireland ?”, the customer service department customer answering department of M&S sent me this rather formulaic reply.

“I am sorry that we do not provide a delivery service to Southern Ireland at the moment. This is because the delivery company that work for us do not currently deliver in this area. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

People, it’s not the other side of the world ! Sometimes I do wonder if it would be easier to get something delivered to Outer Mongolia than to Munster … Alas, it seems nobody south of Newry need apply !

PS : On a slight aside, it strikes me that despite our closeness in geographic and so many other ways, we really know nothing about each other – I mean I know Milton Keynes is in Buckinghamshire but trying to find it on a map would be akin to George Bush looking before he leaps ! I’d wager it’s the same for some Joe Soap in Manchester trying to find the arse end of Ballyragget or one of our more classically named towns like Knobber, Collon or Killinaspick !

Technorati tags : ireland : shopping online : uk



1. laura - August 22, 2006

Maybe it hasn’t been delivered because “Southern Ireland” does not actually exist. There is no such place.

Have you tried asking them to deliver to the “Republic of Ireland” or “Eire”?

You might have more luck with that.

2. cp1302ger - August 22, 2006

yeah of course ! be nice to me laura – i’m fierce frustrated with them – southern ireland is their name for us

3. Shaun - October 19, 2006

Hi buddy after working both in the UK and Eire for many years in Logistics it is disappointing to here such stories in todays world.

I have worked with companies such as B&Q in the same sector as Homebase on customer home delivery programs. The fact a post code does not exist is a cop out on there behalf. We attached artifical Nodal references which yes took some time but got the job done. Perhaps Homebase need to review the current supplier in Ireland because this is basics in Logistics terms.

Trust you did get the bath in the end?


4. cp1302ger - October 19, 2006

thanks shaun – yes the bath eventually showed up – i doubt if homebase even know that the issue was resolved – it seems that all their “ireland” operations are franchises, each one of which in turn must get their goods and furniture etc. from UK based companies – hence me being referred to the UK each time something went wrong. Then of course, those same UK companies don’t deliver here and so independent of Homebase have to arrange couriers in this country – thats what took so long …

5. Trouble with Sky « The Rambling Man - April 4, 2007

[…] it’ll take 3 weeks (instead of something like 3 days) to get a replacement dish if needed.  Outer Mongolia syndrome strikes again […]

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[…] I remind patrons about the bath from Homebase saga […]

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[…] following address : Paddy Leary, Ballymyjaysis, Carlow, Ireland … it’s that simple. But not for our friends across the water […]

8. bathrobe - August 9, 2007

No post codes in Outer Mongolia, either, by the way.

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