Wednesday, 10 November 2010

My week of bad online purchasing experiences

I am wondering if the online revolution is starting to wobble a bit. At one time, online suppliers bent over backwards to help but this week has shown that sadly, the rot has set in and I predict that some suppliers will fall by the wayside in the next few years. First, I ordered a TV from Amazon and it was shipped via City link. I checked the tracker to see where it was and saw that it was scheduled for delivery last Friday. I waited in all day and nothing arrived so I checked the tracker and it said that they had tried to deliver it and were unable to. So where was the bit of paper in my letter-box to confirm this? To cut a long story short, they have "lost it". Well I don't know about you but I would find it pretty difficult to lose a 40 inch telly! Anyway, Amazon and City link had a chat but forgot to let me know what was going on as they had promised so I called Amazon and spoke to a very pleasant girl who asked if I was prepared to wait until 15th November for City link to find the TV. You guessed it! I wasn't prepared to do that so after checking, she duly shipped out another TV. So overall, not a bad job by Amazon but they did forget to call me which was somewhat annoying.

My less satisfactory experience was with Play.com. I ordered a Buzz Lightyear for a Christmas present and it took quite a few days to arrive. Play suggested on their web site that you wait 28 days before raising it with them! That's handy if you do your Christmas shopping a week before the big day! Anyway, Buzz arrived and he had indeed been to infinity and beyond but he had obviously had a rough journey. The box was crushed, torn and distorted so it was completely unacceptable as a present. It would be understandable if the Post Office had done the damage but the packers at Play decided to put the retail box in a plastic bag and send it like that so it's not hard to see why it arrived in this state.

So I started the returns procedure where they promise to respond within a working day. Well, nothing in my email after nearly 2 days so I called them on an 0845 number which is charged at a much higher rate than standard and spoke to some chap in Outer Slambodia on a lousy line and I said I wanted a refund and the toy collected. He agreed to a refund but not the collection so I gave them the choice....Collect or lose a customer. They chose the latter so now I have to drive to a Post Office and send the damn thing when it was their incompetence that caused the problem. I spent a few hundred £’s with them over the last year or so. Now I don’t know about you but if I was a director of Play.com, I would be seriously worried about this level of customer care and the loss of profit. There are plenty of competitors out there and frankly, I will use Amazon in future for the items that I may have bought from Play. And if Amazon go off the rails, there are plenty more to choose from. Let me know if you have similar experiences.

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