Complaint: Some Naff Thing I Bought As A Christmas Present


Please can you advise if it is possible to return this item – xxxxxxxyyyyyzzzz.

It is still in its box, untouched.

I bought it for my girlfriend for Christmas – now ex-girlfriend having been dumped unceremoniously on Christmas Eve whilst on a train, which ended up being stuck in the middle of nowhere for 4 hours.

Anyway you don’t need my story.

I appreciate that there has been a delay, but I’m hoping it is possible to get my money back that I have wasted on the witch, so if you could let me know if it is still possible to return the item, that would be much appreciated.


[insert random picture of box so more people read]


Subject: Re: [##116618##] Returns Policy

Hi James,

Thank you for your email.

I’m so sorry to hear such awful news and just before Christmas. Hopefully this year will be your year!

Okay so, If the item is not faulty or damaged the usual protocol would be,

If you go onto the handpicked website, and go to the returns page you’ll find a returns form on there. Please download and print this off, fill it out and use the delivery address given to return the item. Once we do receive this order back you will then receive a full refund.

If you need help with anything else, please let me know

All the Best

The Team at Handpicked Collection


Hi xxxxx

Thank you for your response and your kind words.  I am looking on the bright side as now I can take as much ecstasy and ketamine as I like on a weekend without being told off.  Sadly I now have to iron my own shirts.

Have a good day


Re: [##116618##] Returns Policy

Hi James,

Thank you for your email.

You have just made my day,

You are very welcome, please have a lovely new year!

If you need help with anything else, please let me know

All the Best

The Team at Handpicked Collection


Thanks xxxxx

However I do have something to admit to you.  My girlfriend was my imaginary girlfriend.  I thought she existed when I was taking lots of ketamine but when I came off it, I realised that she was imaginary.  It still really hurt though when my imaginary girlfriend dumped me.  And the 4 hour delay on the train actually happened.

Nobody will date me.  Not because I’m ugly, I’m fairly average looking – but because of my hair.

All is good though because I am going to buy a pie tomorrow for my birthday, and sit and eat it with Margaret Thatcher.  She is real, by the way.

Have a nice evening


Unsurprisingly no further response.  Unsurprisingly, 5 months later, I have not returned the item.

Complaint: Train Delays & Take-Aways

Good afternoon

I was delayed getting back from Leeds to Hull on the evening of Saturday 5th December.  I cannot remember the exact amount of time late but it was over an hour.

Firstly the train was around 30 minutes late arriving into Leeds.  This meant an extra 30 minutes standing on the platform with drunk football fans.

Then the train set off and I believe the emergency alarm was pulled.

I am rather concerned about the delayed manner in which this was resolved – the amount of time it took for a decision to be made to go back to Leeds was concerning – I do hope the person who fell ill recovered.

Then we eventually made our way to Hull, but by time I arrived in Hull, all of the fish and chip shops were closed.

I don’t often get the chance to visit somewhere like Hull that offers proper fish and chips so I was hugely disappointed.  You should see the turgidity on offer in Berkshire that is allegedly fish and chips.  Awful.  Be thankful if you live up north.  Unless you don’t like fish and chips.  It is much warmer down here though.

Anyway, I look forward to your response.

Kind regards
James Winfield

By the way, I ended up having southern fried chicken which was actually surprisingly decent.


Customer Relations Team

First TransPennine Express

Reference: xxxxx

Dear Mr Winfield

Thank you for your recent contact regarding the delay to your journey to Hull on 5 December. Your details were passed on to us from Northern Rail. I was very sorry to learn of the circumstances that prompted you to get in touch. Especially considering this delay caused you to miss out on local fish and chips. As a northerner, I can appreciate the frustration this must have caused when looking forward to a traditional northern chip shop dinner.

So that I may investigate this matter further and respond fully to your concerns, I would be most grateful if you would confirm the time of travel. I know you stated in your email to Northern Rail that you could not be specific with the time. If you can provide an approximate time of travel, I can attempt to look in to this for you. Please also forward all relevant journey tickets to me via the freepost address above, quoting case reference: xxxxx at your earliest convenience.

I do hope to hear from you soon, and I also hope that despite the delay, you did eventually get your fish and chips.

Yours sincerely

xxxxx xxxxxxxx

Customer Relations Advisor


Hi xxxxxxxxxxxx

Thank you for your response.

I have attached a copy of my ticket.

Looking at the current timetable, so on the assumption that you haven’t changed the timetable since 5th December, it was the 19:39.

I look forward to hearing from you further.

Kind regards
James Winfield


Customer Relations Team
First TransPennine Express

Reference: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear James

Thank you for your further e-mail received on the 12 January 2016, providing the information that was requested by my colleague xxxxxxxxx.

Firstly please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of our 1939 Leeds to Hull service on the 5 December 2015. Unfortunately another passenger on your train was taken ill and we had to wait for assistance from the emergency services.

We take our duty of care to our customers very seriously and safety is always our first priority so if a customer is ill and requires medical attention we will call ahead to the next station and arrange for emergency services to meet us there. In a more pressing emergency the train will stop where it is and emergency services will be called to attend. We are aware of the impact this has on other passenger’s and I am genuinely sorry for the delay you experienced but we always hope everyone would agree that a medical emergency takes precedence over punctuality.

As such circumstances are clearly outside of the control of the rail industry no direct compensation is due. However, as a gesture of goodwill and more tangible apology for the delay you encountered, I am happy to issue you with Rail Travel Vouchers to the value of £21.10. These are valid for a year and can be used to buy tickets to travel with any UK rail operator, excluding London Underground and Heathrow Express. These will be sent to your postal address.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx
Customer Relations Advisor

Complaint: Goodbye Sainsbury’s

Back in December, I decided that I had had enough.  Time to move on.


Dear Sainsbury’s

I think our relationship is over.  At the very least, it is time to take a break.

I have told you on multiple occasions how it upsets me when you give me chicken which will not last for my weeks’ worth of salads.  I have to bring this up at least on a monthly basis and at the moment it seems to be almost every week.

This week the chicken is going to expire tomorrow.  OK, Friday is Christmas Day so I won’t be having chicken salad then.  But Wednesday and Thursday I still need it.

As it seems that you can no longer provide chicken breast fillets with an appropriate date, I have concluded that you do not care enough about me.

It is over.

It pains me to say this, but I am now going to see what else is out there.  There are plenty of fish in the sea.  Well, by plenty, I can count 5 other companies that do food deliveries.

I will still occasionally be back for a quick fling – I cannot get enough of your ketchup so I will need a make a mass-order, probably when I am drunk.

Perhaps nobody else will be able to fulfil my requirements either.

But for now, it saddens me to say that we are no longer an item.

I wish you all the best for the future.



Dear James

Thanks for getting in touch your order.

I’m disappointed that you feel its time to move on and your chicken had such a short shelf life. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Our fresh produce is frequently replenished with the latest deliveries to our stores, giving our colleagues access to the freshest items. They are trained to select the products with the longest shelf life.

We expect our colleagues to take care when selecting your shopping and to pick items they would be happy to receive themselves. I realise we let you down on this occasion. I’ve passed your comments on to the online manager, who’ll speak with our colleagues that shopped for your order and instruct them to take better care with future online deliveries. The online manager has also arranged for your next orders to all be quality checked. This will insure all products in your delivery will be of high standard and have the best dates.

I’ve sent you a voucher worth £10 to your email. To cover the cost of the short life chicken and a little extra as a good will gesture. Your voucher code is xxxxxxxxx and will be valid for two years so you’ve plenty of time to use it.

Thanks again for getting in contact with us and we hope you reconsider and order with us again.

Kind regards

xxxcxdc sdfwdwdw
Customer Manager
Sainsbury’s Online

Hope Amongst Despondency

I’m blogging after a couple of beers.  Not always the best idea and I don’t really know what the blog is about or how to structure it.  Well, I know a couple of things that I want to say.

I try not to drink on a school night as it tends to disturb my sleep pattern.  There is definitely a correlation between having a couple of beers and taking 3-6 hours to go to sleep.  Not to mention the sausage and bacon sandwich along with the red bull in the morning, not quite conducive to my attempted healthy living.

The trigger was spending all afternoon in a ridiculously hot office.  28.1’C we reached.  I’m going to come back to this.

My underlying happiness, or slight lack of it probably has more to do with it.  I’m not morosely miserable – I do have a few days a year where I literally don’t want anything to do with life.  A few out of 365.  I can cope, I keep as quiet as possible and have a big pile of gravy when I get home from work.

But recently my happiness rating has been averaging around 4.5.  Yes I do keep a record of how happy I am, and have done for years.  Don’t tell me you are surprised.

A rating of 5 out of 10 is fine.  Average.  What it should be.  0 is slit my wrists kind of happiness, 10 is I’ve taken the best ecstacy ever and had the best sex ever.  Something like that anyway.  Most days fall between a 4 and a 6.

Most weeks this year I’ve been averaging around 5.5 to 5.8 which is pretty decent.  But recent weeks I’ve been mostly averaging around 4.5.  Which is especially weird as May/June is normally my favourite time of the year.

Something is up.  Without doubt, the heat in the office is affecting me.  In the morning it is an acceptable 23’C to 24’C.  22’C if I am lucky.  All definitely shorts and t-shirts temperature but of course I’m in office attire (argument for a sex change here).  But it’s kind of fine, I work hard, I can concentrate, I’m bubbly, have the odd joke, make people smile – I am the James that I want to be.

But then slowly during the afternoon, when it is sunny from March to October, anyway – cloudy days are fine, the office heats up and I become drowsy, lose concentration, become irritable, become able to do less work, become irritable about doing less work…dot dot dot virtuous circle please let me go home.

And I’m not the James of norm.

There are other issues too.  The office temperature is worthy of 13 Facebook moaning posts a day but not a whole two and a half beers blog.

Two of them involve people so I won’t go into details but I’ve now come to the conclusion that they do not have a resolution.  I need to accept and move on.  Nothing is forever in this life.  But I never find it easy to move on.

There is always a loneliness dimension with me too.  I’m pretty good at enjoying my own company nowadays, but being with someone always fills me with joy.  Well, there are exceptions!  But most people most of the time.

Though part of this isolation is self-enforced.  For the last couple of years I’ve spent 10-15 hours a week studying towards a new career.  Which means unless I wake up super early or have any energy remaining after being in a sauna all day, most of it has to happen at the weekend.

For sure, I complain about friends not wanting to do what I want to do, cancelling on me, being flaky, not even bothering to respond to messages (granted sometimes it takes me a month to respond) but a lot of the time it is me that cannot do things because I’m pressuring myself to study.

Having a soul-destroying dull repetitive job, dealing with complete fucking arseholes does help motivate me.  It is mostly pull factors towards my new career but also push factors too.

So onto the hope.  I’ve been applying for roughly 546 junior web developer jobs each day, and speaking to random agencies about non-existent roles that they are really excited to put me forwards for that never ever call me back or e-mail me back after I follow them up.

One company found my CV somehow (granted I have posted it everywhere including on top of the Garage Nation posters on the Hammersmith flyover), e-mailed me asking if I was still looking for work.  I heard nothing further for a couple of weeks so added it to my pile of disappointment.

Then this week I heard more.  I had a test.  I got around 50-60% so was disappointed in myself.  Assumed I didn’t get it.  They e-mailed to ask if I would go in for a chat.

I have suggested Monday afternoon.  Granted 24 hours later it has gone quiet – I assume that I have an interview (chat) though knowing my recent run I may end up with more disappointment.

I recently had to explain the concept of not counting your chickens before the eggs hatched to my wonderful Spanish colleague who is my little piece of salvation in an unrewarding environment of disappointment that they call work.

So I’m not counting my chickens.  Even the interview is not guaranteed in my eyes until I’m sat in the room.  But something feels good about it.  You know when you have that feeling?  Crap I just realised I’m talking out loud in my bedroom.  Time for another beer.

I don’t actually know any more about the role than the job title.  But the company is perfect – it would be working for a digital design agency, they’ve had a couple of very cool projects that they’ve listed on their website, and seem to be growing.  From the limited communication I’ve had, I like the feel of them, I like the ethos of the company – it just simply feels good.  My slightly offbeat style would fit in.  OK my hairstyle would fit in.

Not only that, it is in London.  Well, technically slightly outside of London but I’d be able to live in London, in an area with rent not too much higher than I pay now and be 30 minutes on the tube from either work or central London.  I’ve only been threatening to move to London for 11 years now.

It would be a great chance to meet new friends.  Oddly enough I haven’t met anyone in Bracknell, bar my new housemates.  A few years back I didn’t want any new friends – I had too many.  I could do with a couple extra now.  I could do with someone close by for a hug on demand.  Crap, I’m even starting to think that I should consider employing a girlfriend, or whatever the technical phrase is for that love stuff weird people do.

So there is hope.

Weirdly, the process of blogging itself and getting my thoughts onto paper (or the ones I can publish) always helps settle my mind.  So has these few beers.

And I’ve always found that I do acclimatise to new situations.  There was a point that living in Bracknell was reducing my happiness averages.  It doesn’t now.  People move on.  Life moves on.

Fingers crossed for this job.  I’m craving being back in a motivational environment, one with reward, one with inspiration.  One where my abilities and magic are appreciated.  One where I want to go into work every day rather than just accept it is a fact of life.  One where I am so into what I’m doing that going home time surprises me, as opposed to one where I am counting down the minutes to the end of the day as soon as that first drop of sweat rolls down my back around 2pm.

It’s not a panacea to all ailments, but it will get me away from the boiling hot office, it will get me away from Bracknell to a city I love, it will kickstart the career that I’ve been working hard towards outside of working hours – it will be the reward for all the sacrifices I’ve made over the last couple of years.  I’ll be able to achieve again and follow my dream.  I will meet new people, have a whole world of opportunities.  And in case I forgot to mention it – maybe work in an office with a normal temperature.

But until then, please let it rain every working day.

I don’t want much.  Just this job, a few hugs and a lot of rain.

Maggie’s Corner

I can sometimes see the look that Maggie gives me.  Not sexual but of disdain.  Almost as if I were a socialist.

I worried that we were going to have a serious falling out a while back and then realised that clearly it was her surroundings that was making her unhappy – not me.

So I undertook a project after only 8 months of living in Bracknell to unpack the remaining boxes – of which there were many.  Mostly consisting solely of CDs.

I love my music, you may have guessed, so who better than Maggie, to protect them than the ultimate protector of modern-day Britain, Nigel Farage.

Ha, only joking.  He can go fuck himself.  Nigel cares about Nigel.  Maggie cares about me, you and everyone.

And think about it.  I have now lived in Bracknell for nearly 10 months and nobody has burgled me.  What brings me such luck?  Well, think about all of those shops that you used to steal from that now have cardboard cutout police officers that you now avoid.

And now (well two and a bit months ago), I have more than half of my CDs in one place – the boxes have gone – you can see the proud smile on her face, can’t you?

Seriously.  Compare the photos dot com.

Still giving me the silent treatment though – but it is well-known that if a Brit ignores you then he/she is in love with you.  I know she loves me.

Complaint: Heel Gone

From last October


Dear Office

I bought these shoes just two months ago, and today I was walking to work and the right heel flipped up and disappeared into a black hole.

I then had to walk the remainder of the dangerous journey through the Bracknell industrial estate where I work, with just one heel. Not for the first time in my life, I had a wonky walk.

It was at this point that I was glad I was a man and not a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I love women – Margaret Thatcher, Las Ketchup girls (any Spanish girls, in fact), my mum…and the young woman from Pakistan that stood up to the Taliban to get her education, her name slips my mind.  Malaka?

Anyway, I will survive the day with one leg 2mm shorter than the other.

I wouldn’t normally expect shoes to fall apart in two months – I appreciate that they were in the sale so it isn’t as if I am massively out of pocket.

How do we proceed from here?

Kind regards
James Winfield


Hello James,

Thanks for getting in touch about your ASOS order xxxxxxx, I’m sorry the heel broke your your Kurt Geiger Slip On Shoes – I hope you got to work ok despite the situation.

If you can send the shoes back to us as soon as possible, we’ll inspect them and refund you if it’s a manufacturing fault. We’ll drop you an email to let you know it’s been done.

You can use the returns label included in your parcel, or choose your returns service and print a label here.

Fill in your returns note to say the item is faulty and put the note in your parcel when you send it back. Do ask for proof of postage and ensure you keep it safe in case we need to look at it later on.

In the meantime James, I’ve found a couple of styles on our website I think you will like – I’ve filtered the options down to show you the tan work shoes we have in your size. Click here to see them.
I’m sorry you’ve had to walk around with only one heel on your shoe but I hope we can get this sorted for you soon. If you have any further questions, please let me know – I’ll be happy to help.

Best wishes,


ASOS Customer Care


Hi Asos/Office/Someone

Thank you for responding to me.

Unfortunately I’m on rations for the rest of the month so cannot afford any more shoes.  I do have an old pair I can wear albeit they have holes in the bottom of them so I will have to hope it does not rain.  And as an amateur weather forecaster, I can tell you it will rain fairly often for the rest of the month.

Are any of these return options available for me to drop off after work in the evening?

I looked at the Post Office and it is only open when I am working which isn’t much use.



That was about it.

Complaint: Lost Wickets & Short-Dated Chicken

From last year…


Hi Sainsbury’s

I note that you haven’t responded to my first complaint, dated 31/10/2015 about the recent quality of your fruit and vegetables.  This is concerning.

I did however send it to so I am sending my second complaint here.

I have told you time and again that when I make my food order, I need the chicken I order to last all week, as I have salad for lunch.

Imagine my disappointment this morning, when I see that England have already lost 4 wickets, and my chicken has gone off.  This means I now have to go to Morrisons at lunch.  Time and money I didn’t want to have to spend.  Not to mention that we have pretty much lost the test series against Pakistan now, but I don’t blame you for that.

Please can you respond to both complaints.

Kind regards


Dear James

Thanks for contacting us.

I can understand your concern when you discovered that England had lost 4 wickets, almost as alarming as your chicken being off.  I’m sorry that on this occasion both England and Sainsbury’s has let you down.

I can confirm that we haven’t received you previous email regarding your fruit and vegetables, our email address is

I’ve shared your email with the online manager, who’ll speak with the team to ensure this is a one off occurrence.  I’ve created an evoucher for £15 to cover he cost of the chicken plus extra to cover your fruit and vegetables.  The code is xxxx-xxxx-xxxx.

We appreciate he time you’ve taken and fingers crossed England’s cricket team improve their performance on the pitch.

Kind regards

xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
Customer Manager