About a year ago, I watched a TV programme that was all about promoting locally sourced produce and ‘helping the British farmer’, so I took on one of the suggestions and I got myself a Milk Man. I went to the Milk and More website (owned by DairyCrest) and opened an account to have fresh milk delivered to my door step on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – these were the days available for the rounds in my area.
I got monthly invoices to email, which I looked at for a while (first few months) but then over the months they were always about the same so didn’t inspect them too closely.
Then last Monday morning, my other half was leaving for work and she shouts upstairs that we Milk on the step. So I log into the Milk and More website to see my delivery dates have changed to Monday, Wednesday and Friday…. I check my email and having nothing other than the previous invoices (nothing in my Spam folder also), so I assume they have not notified me – which, to me, is just rude if they can’t even notify you that your entire round will change.
I then ring their customer service number and after navigating through the options get through to a lady, sounded Foreign (was difficult to place) – and I ask the question “was I notified of the change, and if not then why not?” I then get lady replying to me with every other word is ‘sorry’ and she’s already becoming frustrating as she says something about my delivery days being Mon, Weds, Fri… and I had to correct several times telling her that Yes they are Mon, Weds and Fri NOW, but only 3 days prior they had been Tues, Thurs and Sat. We closed the call with her agreeing to contact my local distributor to ask about the change.
A couple of hours later my mobile rings, I was on a conference call for work so let it go to Voicemail. I listened to the message after my call and this time heard from a Indian sounding guy and the message left me even more confused… I found it difficult to understand him, but he seemed to have confused himself because it sounded as though he said “your regular guy is on holiday and your delivery will resume to Monday, Wednesday and Friday once he returns”
At this point I’m annoyed that I’m both wasting my time while also getting frustrated over bloody milk! So I ring DairyCrest head office and explain to them what I’d experienced and played the lady on the phone the Voicemail, which she couldn’t understand either. She promised to have someone from customer services call me back, but end of the day can I actually be bothered… I took out the Milk Delivery as goodwill to help a local farmer, but on reflection it’s turned into hassle and frustration.
I had a call back within the hour from a manager of the Customer Team at Head Office who explained that the local Dairy / Dispatch unit should have been responsible for leaving a note with one of deliveries advising of the day change the week before. I also played her the voicemail and she advised me that all their customer calls are answered in Manila (in the Philippines, if you didn’t know) and that they had moved the work abroad in 2009 to lower costs, but she acknowledged that the message was unclear and she’d look into the quality of the staff and training of their call centre. I then asked her about price, because on comparison my milk delivery was substantially higher than Supermarkets and Corner shops, to which she advised DairyCrest had overheards, were competitive and that if I wanted to save money I should consider the ‘poly bottle’ instead of Glass – which makes no sense to me, because Glass is washed and re-used where-as plastic is melted and recycled, but even so their Poly options was merely pennies cheaper. These are my calculations based on prices as of 1st March 2014:
I had analyzed my invoices for the past year and seen the cost of a pint milk with DairyCrest has gone up 14%. It started at 61p a pint in March 2013, then went up to 66p around July, then 70p per pint this month.
Did you know we’re paying 20p more a pint from the Milkman?
And infact at 70p a pint, 2 pints being £1.40 you can buy 6 pints from Tesco for £1.48
which means 10pints a week, 52 weeks a year (I know we do have the odd holiday… but) that’s 520 pints a year, on a pint for pint that would a £104 saving with Tesco. Or if you get the best value possible, it would 70p a pint with Milkman £364 a year, vs 4pint bottles from Tesco £130. That’s a different of £234.
So, to the end the story, following my first call with Head Office at DairyCrest I’ve heard nothing further – I gave it a few days, heard nothing else back. So have cancelled my Milk Round and have been buying 4 Pint bottles from the Supermarket, and for the past week two of the main Supermarket players have been selling 4Pints for £1 and 3 x 4Pints for £2. As this has demonstrated, as a paying consumer – expect good value, and if you’re not happy with the service you receive then don’t be afraid to move to another provider.