Cotswold Outdoor aka 'Outdoor and Cycle Concepts' have traditionally had a pretty solid online transaction experience. You view on the website, place an order and it turns up a couple of days later. Seems fair.
My current, and sadly ongoing, experience is less smooth.
Jacket ordered last week. Delivery window is 5th to 7th July. Nothing arrives on the 7th so I drop an email over asking what's happening.
I am told it was not dispatched but it would now be and I can expect delivery on 10th July.
I ask why it had not been dispatched I got the reply that there was a 'system error in our warehouse'.
Emails are perfunctory, no use of my name, anodyne and fairly unimpressive.
Tuesday comes and lo a parcel awaits me. Great, all sorted my daughters new jacket is here. Upon unpacking I find they have left a full size security tag pinned in the jacket.
So we can add QC dispatch processes to their warehouse system errors.
I contact them regarding this. They suggest I should return the jacket (pack it up and travel to a Collection + location 3.5 miles away). I am also offered a £10 gift voucher.
I explain that receiving a voucher in these type of situation is like be offered a discount off your next meal in a restaurant that has given you food poisoning.
To try and resolve this in faster and more efficient way I try to call customer services. I get through and get a message tells me that due to 'essential maintenance' we have no phone network.
Hmmm, warehouse processes, QC and now no phones.
Apparently these problems stem from them 'currently carrying out an extremely significant warehouse move. Moving our three fascias in Guildford to our current location, this does also mean we have taken on these fascias work as well.'
They point out this should have not impacted the customer experience. I agree.
Thus far we are now at a point where I am being offered a £10 refund, rather than a voucher and they will collect the jacket from work address tomorrow (just waiting for confirmation).
All very time consuming and tedious when I was just trying to buy a jacket for my daughter. I thought others should be forewarned if they are about to place orders that might be time critical. Might be better off buying in store or elsewhere.