Online Shopping – the Good and the Bad

In the space of 24 hours I have had a really bad online shopping experience and something rather good.

Outback make excellent BBQs but when I needed another grill plate to replace one of two where the enamel had flaked I started by emailing them about the exact part I would need.  I should have been warned by the fact that it took them three days to reply.  On their own site the price was £44 plus £7 p&p.  OK, it seemed a lot of money for a simple piece of enamelled cast iron but then when I had completed all my details and put in my credit card the final amount before submitting the order had raised the p&p to £25, more than 50 percent of the value of the goods. This happened a second time so I rang Outback’s contact number to ask if I could place an order.  The woman who answered grudgingly agreed that I could and then quoted £12 for p&p.  Why? Because Arbroath has suddenly moved to the Highlands.  Their own despatch terms quote UK Mainland and I was not aware that the Caledonian Canal counted as sea.  Challenged she flatly stated that that’s what it said.  She then repeated doggedly the fact that they only charge what it costs them to ship items; this was really not very believable having had figures from £7 to £25 in half an hour.  We do a lot of online shopping and even next day delivery rarely costs more than £10 and always puts Arbroath firmly on the UK Mainland. Asking to speak to her supervisor she told me she was the customer service manager and there was nobody more senior. Needless to say I will not be replacing the grill and will not be buying another Outback BBQ.
Separately I ordered a stand alone awning from World of Camping at a very competitve price.  I needed to phone them with a query.  The website warned that there were likely to be delays in August but I was prepared to wait.  However very quickly I was invited to leave my name and number and they would get back to me.  Subsequently I received a call from a very cheerful young lady who was most helpful and when not sure went off to get a second opinion.  And what is more a whole tent is only costing p&p of £4.99

I wonder which online shopping experience I preferred!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized by robthill. Bookmark the permalink.

About robthill

I am semi-retired ICT Staff Tutor in Dundee, Scotland and an online facilitator. The views here expressed are my own somewhat quirky feelings about the world as I see it, no doubt just as prejudiced as most other bloggers.

4 thoughts on “Online Shopping – the Good and the Bad

  1. You have the WEATHER for BBQs in Arbroath? When? Quite agree about UK Mainland. Elgin is on the mainland yet gadgetshop wanted £36 to post a small toy for baby! Order deleted of course.

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