Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is There A Worse Company Than Ocado In The UK?

Mark Bentley,
Head of Service Delivery Division,
Freepost 13498,
PO BOX 362,
Hatfield, AL9 7BR

Dear Mr Bentley,

I started using Ocado several years ago after Tesco's home delivery service let me down.

Everything was fine until this week when your company failed to deliver. Literally. It seems to me that your company is now staffed by idiots who have no idea what customer service means.

I booked a delivery for between 10.30pm and 11.30pm on Tuesday June 28. I received a text during the day to confirm that Mohammed in the cabbage van would be handling the delivery.

On Tuesday 11.30pm passed with no sign of a delivery. At 11.50pm Mohammed phoned to say that he would be late and that he couldn’t guarantee to get to me before 12.15. He twice said that my £80 delivery was a large one which was why he would be late.

I told Mohammed that he should have called me earlier and that I didn’t want him going up and down the communal stairs after midnight.

I phoned Customer Services the next day, Wednesday June 29, and was told that my delivery would be rescheduled between 2pm and 7pm that day. I phoned again at 6pm to to be told that my delivery had been cancelled ‘because of temperature issues.’

I asked why no one had called me to tell me that my delivery had been cancelled but there was no explanation offered. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told one would call me back.

Eventually Martina phoned to say that she would get the goods delivered to me on Thursday June 30. I explained that I would be leaving for a meeting at 2pm and she said she would arrange a delivery time and get back to me.

A few minutes later I received an email scheduling a delivery for between 2pm and 3pm. Martina then called me back and when I pointed out that the delivery slot was after the time I would be leaving the flat she said that she knew that but it was the only slot she could book. She explained that she would call me back on Thursday morning to let me know when the actual delivery time would be and that it would definitely be between 11am and 1pm.

Well it’s now 11.45am on Thursday and no one from Ocado has called or sent a text. I don’t known what’s happening, and I don’t care.

Mohammed in his cabbage van should have been on time, and when he wasn't he should have phoned me to warn me of any delay.

Martina failed to call me back.

This is your responsibility. Customer Service as bad as this is always the result of bad management.

Anyway I'm done with Ocado. I’ll give Sainsbury’s a try from now on.

Your company is a disaster and deserves to fail.

Stephen Leather

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Basement Is Still Doing Well......

Figures out today from The Bookseller magazine shows The Basement is still in the Top 10. It's funny because it's been an eBook bestseller for more than six months now but the only time they have used my name is when it's fallen five places! Maybe I'm just being paranoid! I think the only writer who has spent more time in the UK Top 10 is Stieg Larsson.

Also, I have to say that I'm pretty sure The Bookseller is wrong because The Basement has been Number 5 or 6 on the UK KIndle store chart all week and in the Top 4 of the iBooks chart.....

Anyway, here's what the magazine had to say today!

Philip Stone, charts editor: For the third week in a row, crime-writer Karin Slaughter's The Unremarkable Heart, Random House Group's first ever direct-to-digital fiction title, takes top spot in The Bookseller's e-bestseller list.

Last week's number two, Stephen Leather's The Basement, falls five places to seventh overall, while George R R Martin's A Game of Thrones, the first installment in his epic medieval fantasy series, A Song of Fire and Ice, climbs three places into second position - off the back of solid downloads at, and Apple's iBookstore. All three retailers (as well as WHSmith) are selling the ebook at £5.49 — two pence dearer than the print edition's average selling price at UK bookstores last week. The second book in the series, A Clash of Kings, re-joins the chart in 10th position, while Rosamund Lupton's AfterwardsCaitlin Moran's and How to be a Woman are the two new entries.

Lupton's first novel, Sister, was one of the bestselling bestselling novels of 2010 thanks to a spot in WHS's Richard and Judy book club, while sales of Times columnist Moran's memoir/rant has benefited from an extract in her employer's own magazine.

Pos Title Author
1 (1) The Unremarkable Heart Karin Slaughter
2 (5) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
3 (4) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
4 (3) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre
5 (8) Killing Cupid Voss and Edwards
6 (-) Afterwards Rosamund Lupton
7 (2) The Basement Stephen Leather
8 (6) London Calling James Craig
9 (-) How to be a Woman Caitlin Moran

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Money From Mr Gills!

This just in!

Hello Good friend

I am Mr. Fredrick Gills. A private accountant and chief external auditor of Barclays Bank London ,(BBL) I need your service in a confidential matter regarding the transfer of the amount is 27MGBP (Twenty Seven Million British pounds)

An investor, Japanese and a contractor with the Kruger diamond mines died without naming a legal next of kin to his fund in my bank. The amount is 27M (Twenty Seven Million British pounds) and banking regulation legislation in Britain demand that I notify the fiscal authorities after five years. Further details will be given upon your reply.

Mr. Fredrick Gills.
Email -
Phone Number: + 44 703 174 0673

Money From The FBI!!!!

This just in from the FBI!

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday to Saturday:

Dear Beneficiary,

Series of meetings have been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization. This ended 3 days ago. It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is to the tune of $850,000.00 due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund.

The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his Excellency President Good luck Jonathan to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?

ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $5,000 per day from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on it and the card have to be renewed in 4 years time which is 2014. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account. The ATM card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it. Even if you do not have a bank account.

Check: To be deposited in your bank for it to be cleared within three working days. Your payment would be sent to you via any of your preferred option and would be mailed to you via UPS. Because we have signed a contract with UPS which should expire by 25th of June 2011 you will only need to pay $85 instead of $350 saving you $265 So if you pay before 25th of June 2011 you save $265 Take note that anyone asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely a fraudsters and you will have to stop communication with every other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $85.00 nothing more! Nothing less! And we guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hours after the receipt of payment has been confirmed.

Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS website to confirm people like you who have received their payment successfully.

Name: Donna L. Vargas: UPS Tracking Number: 1Z757F991598420403 (
Name: Rovenda Elaine Clayton: UPS Tracking Number: 1Z757F991596606592 (

Note: Everything has been taken care of by the Federal Government of Nigeria, The United Nation and also the FBI and including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all you will ever need to pay is $85.

DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is $350 but because UPS have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from the actual fee of $350 to $85 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort!

To effect the release of your fund valued at $850,000.00 you are advised to contact our correspondent in Africa the delivery officer Kingsley JO with the information below,

Telephone: +234-808-254-8308
You are advised to contact him with the informations as stated below:

Your full Name..
Your Address:..............
Home/Cell Phone:..............
Preferred Payment Method (ATM / Cashier Check)

Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 48 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a 100% money back guarantee if you do not receive payment/package within the next 48hours after you have made the payment for shipping.

Yours sincerely,
Mr. Nicholas Story

Note: Do disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to be in possession of your ATM CARD, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with Kingsley Jo of the ATM CARD CENTRE who is the

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Free Money - This Time From Mr Tum!

This just in!

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please read my message and get back to me ASAP for further explanation and procedure. I am Mr. David Tum and I work as the head of contract approval department with a government ministry here in Benin republic. I wish to know if we can work together as partners as there is a pending business project I have at hand ready to be executed without difficulties. The business is fully risk free because I have fashioned out means to give it an excellent outcome.

To throw light on this business deal, one of our registered contractors who has completed his contract supply with our ministry died without any registered business partner in his file and i have just noticed this recently. He supplied and installed industrial equipments to our industry value at Euro 9.8M [Nine Million Eight hundred Thousand]. I seek your partnership to enable me transfer this funds to your account as his business partner/new beneficiary using my position in the office as the head of the department in our industry to perfect the transaction and I am open to negotiate your percentage. Your sincerity and attention is highly needed in this transaction due to its nature and urgency.

If you are interested, please get back to me and forward your full names and telephone numbers. You can also contact me through my alternative email address as below:

Best regards,
David Tum.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Basement hits Number 2 in the Bookseller eBook bestseller list

This from The Bookseller magazine today -

Philip Jones writes: There is nothing remarkable about the number one title this week in our e-book bestseller chart with Karin Slaughter reigning supreme for a second-consecutive week. The 49 pence e-book exclusive is riding high in both the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBook charts: though it is not currently number one in either list, its culmulative total takes its above The Basement, which sits below it in both charts.

There are some notable new entries in this week's list, with the most newsworthy James Craig's London Calling, the first part of his Inspector Carlyle series that has been released digitally early by its publisher Constable & Robinson. The B-format print edition is not released until August.

The Kindle edition is promotionally priced at £1. Constable & Robinson has signed up to publish the first three books in the series. Mommy, May I? by A K Alexander is the follow-up to Daddy's Home - both self-published.

Pos Title Author
1 (1) The Unremarkable Heart Karin Slaughter
2 (7) The Basement Stephen Leather
3 (2) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre
4 (5) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
5 (3) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
6 (-) London Calling James Craig
7 (-) Mommy, May I? A K Alexander
8 (10) Killing Cupid Voss and Edwards
9 (-) Star Sullivan Maeve Binchy
10 (5) The Family Martina Cole

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Covers For Inspector Zhang

I'm planning to put up a free short story on Smashwords - the first of my Inspector Zhang stories. Inspector Zhang is a detective in SIngapore who loves mysteries but they are few and far between in the low-crime city state. He finally gets his wish when a dead body is found in a locked hotel room.

I have asked Stuart Bache, who does many of my covers for Hodder and Stoughton, to come up with the cover and he's given me two great ideas to think about.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Basement Is Still In The Top 10!

The Basement has now been in the Top 10 eBook bestseller list for six months, which I think is pretty good going! It's now selling 1,000 copies a week on iBooks alone!

Here's the latest list from The Bookseller Magazine -

Pos Title Author
1 (2) The Unremarkable Heart Karin Slaughter
2 (1) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre
3 (4) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
4 (5) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
5 (10) The Family Martina Cole
6 (3) Bone and Cane David Belbin
7 (9) The Basement Stephen Leather
8 (-) The Tiger's Wife Téa Obreht
9 (-) Confessions of a GP Benjamin Daniels
10 (-) Killing Cupid Voss and Edwards

Monday, June 6, 2011

Six Months On And Still Flying High!

The Bookseller magazine has just released its eBook bestseller list for last week and two of my titles are in the Top 10. Not bad considering they have both been in the Top 10 for six months now. The Basement has been helped by booming sales on iBooks where it is the bestselling book on the overall chart and Hard Landing is Number 2 in the iBooks Crime And Thriller Chart.

Pos Title Author
1 (-) Life and Laughing Michael McIntyre
2 (-) The Unremarkable Heart Karin Slaughter
3 (9) Bone and Cane David Belbin
4 (-) A Game of Thrones George R R Martin
5 (-) Catch Your Death Voss and Edwards
6 (-) The Confession John Grisham
7 (-) Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
8 (5) Hard Landing Stephen Leather
9 (7) The Basement Stephen Leather
10 (-) The Family Martina Cole

I have to say that while it's nice to be in The Bookseller chart, I don't think it's very accurate. For instance the Number 5 book Catch Your Death isn't available on iBooks and Sugar and Spice is Number 4 on the Kindle but not showing on The Bestseller list.