Advantages Personalised gifts
Disadvantages misleading website, poor customer care
|Range of products|
|Value for Money|
|Speed of delivery||Very poor|
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Let me start by saying I have used Ace before and did not have any problems, which is why I used their website to purchase some Christmas gifts this year. I purchased only 2 items, which made the postage and package slightly expensive, but I really like the items, so thought it was worthwhile.I went through the order process for the items receiving an order acknowledgement at the end for both items.
Imagine my surprise when I received an invoice telling me that one of the items was out of stock and I should re-order in 14 days. I had been charged for one of the items and for full postage and package.Obviously, I did not want to pay almost as much for the P&P as I had for the gift, so I phoned to cancel. I waited around 10 minutes on hold to get through to the Ace "Customer Services" department. I was told that as the item that was in stock was personalised, I was not allowed to cancel. I could understand this, but asked that they keep the item on hold until my second purchase came into stock and then send both items out together. This was not possible as "they did not know when the other item would come back into stock and they could not hold my order forever" - I remind you of the statement in the paragraph above that I should re-order in 14 days. I then suggested that they could hold my order for 14 days and if the second item was still not in stock I would accept that they had to send my single order. Apparently this was not possible as the item was already in the warehouse. I looked at my order acknowledgement which stated that Ace would "where possible...deliver all of your items together." Obviously Ace could hold orders if it meant it saved them multiple postage costs, but not to save the customer any postage costs.
I also asked why the web-site had accepted my order if the item was not in stock. I was told the stock levels were updated at 10pm each day. This means that each day Ace sell items to the public, they do not actually know if they have enough stock to complete the orders.I checked my e-mail and found I was not informed at 10:05pm that the item was not in stock. I had to wait until my invoice came through a week later to find this out and of course, by then, it was too late to cancel my order.
It occurred to me that throughout the whole conversation, it was me that had come up with alternative solutions and that the "Customer Service" person had been completely unhelpful from start to finish. She made no attempt to find out if any of my suggestions could be made possible - her answer was always a stock "no".Personally, I will not be using Ace again and would advise all to be very careful if ordering personalised items as they could legitimately send them out to you one at a time charging you postage for each parcel.
Ace are very careful to ensure the e-mail confirmation is only a confirmation of receipt of your order and not an order confirmation or acceptance. However, at no point in my customer journey was I informed that the items I thought I had ordered might not actually be in stock. I assume this fact is buried somewhere in the terms and conditions, which, as I won't be using Ace again, I cannot be bothered to read.
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