Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BBC Death Comes to Pemberley or how to ruin a good Novel by PD James

Enjoyed BBC's Death Comes to Pemberley so I decided to read the PD James's book and compare I first did this exercise when I was ten when I compared Olivier's film of Richard III with the Bard's. I was very precocious. Both adaptations were miles from the originals and I wonder just what PD James thought when she visited the BBC set. Was she aware of the hatchet job? 

For an Xmas murder mystery I suppose the BBC felt they needed the hanging and the arrival of the King's messenger  in the form of Elizabeth Bennett as Miss Marple and indeed the series did prompt me to read the original book which I loved but I cannot see the justification to reduce a well known author's work to such a major and unfortunate re-write. The confidence of the BBC Drama Department to be able to do this and get away with it amazes me. No on second thoughts it doesn't. The BBC have always been arrogant.

Ms James has penned a delightful tongue in cheek parody of Ms Austen and the book is cleverly braided to amuse lovers of the original. Mary, the plain daughter gets married leaving the more attractive Kitty on the shelf, Mrs Bennett is left at home and just when the novel is ending Ms James offers another touch of genius. The solution in the book as to who is to look after the unwanted child which in the TV series Mr Darcy accepts to meet today's politically correct standards, is  given to a Miss Harriet Smith of Highbury and comes highly recommended by a Mrs Knightly. No happy ending for the child!

The court case in the book is tried in London at the Old Bailey. Louisa, the mother of the child does not recognise Wickham at the inquest. Colonel Fitzwilliam is not the bastard he is made out to be,  quite the opposite and if I were him I should sue and Mrs Darcy knows her place and plays no part in the denouement. The adaptation is a travesty. Why the BBC did not stick to the original novel I shall never know as PD James is much better than hack screenwriters. It is lucky I did not read the book before seeing the BBC's version as I should be so furious my Xmas would have been ruined.

 So congratulations PD James, pity your publishers and agents did not get script control. I hope many more are now encouraged to read your book. At US$6.50  on Kindle it is a great read.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pandora Bracelets an Unhappy Pandora Experience

Last week I tried to buy a Pandora Bracelet!  This is a worldwide company and they pride themselves on offering the Pandora Experience but like the Pandora of Greek Legend opening the Pandora box can lead to a nightmare.

The Pandora advertising is lush and inviting, the web experience is all that can be asked for. The new products for Xmas are gorgeous and are displayed enticingly so after a evenings deliberation all that is needed is one's credit card and a visit to the local Pandora agent.

Simple? Well no! For me trying to buy one of these bracelets was very difficult indeed.

And this is where the experience turns to custard, for me anyway for Essence the product that is heavily marketed on the web site is not so easy to buy unless you live near certain Pandora stockists. In the strange world of Pandora marketing certain stockists come first, the rest second and the poor customer who actually wants to buy that which is extensively marketed last.

I do not live near a favoured store, the store has to pay Pandora for the privilege and I found that my local stockist although they do all the donkey work of showing me the initial range cannot sell me the advertised items. Initially I found this unbelievable. To buy these precious  mass produced objects I have to travel many kilometers through traffic to parts of the town I usually do not visit or wait until well after Xmas when Pandora may let my local stockist sell them or may not.

When I complained to the Marketing Division in Australia I was given plausible explanations of why it was impossible for Pandora to help me like sending the wanted articles to my local stockist.

It seems it is all my fault. I did not read the small print at the end of the scroll down saying that this major collection could only be bought at selected stores. Silly me as I though as they had advertised it so widely they wanted to sell it to me. It seems that the only place these bracelets can be bought is in a few stores in Australia and New Zealand as it is an experiment so poor old New Yorkers who are featured cannot buy these either.

It is my fault I do not live near a franchise and there is nothing that the customer services can do to help! This was a first for me. Never before have I met a marketing PR  department who turned away business. Usually customer services  fall over backwards to help. Not at Pandora.

It seems although Pandora rules the waves when it comes to who can sell what but when it comes to special offers that it supports, the stockist is responsible. I missed on one by three days as when I bought my bracelet the assistant who knew of the offer did not tell me until after I had purchased and when I asked Pandora later could my purchase be considered for a gift  was firmly put in my place. Not their responsibility. Pandora has nothing to do with stockists except  to arrange special offers and have the power to not let them stock what the customer wants.

After a week of trying I came to the conclusion that Pandora does not want customers that actually buy what the customer wants. It is all for the retailers. My local stockist only has outdated goods.

It is no surprise that Pandora's many imitators have such an easy ride as in desperation one turns to them. Once one makes the change to another brand one is unlikely to change as the idea is to make a collection.

So that was my Pandora Experience for what it is worth. I write this in the scant hope that the Pandora bosses will take on board that all is not well in their world. Customer satisfaction used to be number one priority not with Pandora.

Now every time I look at the bracelet I  managed to buy I remember what grief it has caused me. I am even writing about it now! But this is the last as I am cured and no doubt my bank balance will be much improved by the experience.