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Anyone who so little as looks at my page will be able to see that I am a Sims-aholic; when the release date of The Sims 3 approached, I jumped at the chance to pre-order it.
Argos offered the same deal as Amazon did. However, my last pre-order from Amazon (Resident Evil 5) arrived a day late - I was prepared to see if Argos could do any better.
When I placed the order, having entered all of my payment details, I was presented with an error screen - oh dear! I was informed that because of a system error (a term which does not exactly fill me with the greatest of confidence, considering that I've just input my card details on it) they would be unable to provide me with an order confirmation for a few hours. I was a little concerned, but because my order wasn't made within working hours, I was also reasonably understanding. I also appreciate the fact that this was probably a rare 'one off' occurrence - therefore, it is important for readers to note that this review is based only upon this single transaction.
A week went by and the release date was getting closer. I had received no confirmation, and I was beginning to wonder if my order had been processed at all! I logged into my 'argos account' (something that I was encouraged to register for when I made the order), which gave no indication of any orders made. Would I call this 'helpful'?...No. I would consider the ability to log in to a customer account and check one's orders to be a pretty standard service, and I was quite surprised that I was unable to do so.
Close to the release date, I expected some sort of dispatch notice, which I consider to be a standard service of most internet shopping websites where I visit. I will admit that this is something of a nit-pick, but it was particularly relevant in that I hadn't received an order confirmation.
I became rather anxious. I sent an email to their customer support team. I received a reply within 24 (working) hours which succinctly explained that there had been an error on the system, but that my order had indeed been processed. I was quite pleased by the customer support, albeit, it should not have been necessary for me to resort to them.
On the release date, much to my sim-obsessive-delight, the game arrived. I was quite impressed that they were able to succeed where Amazon had previously failed. However; I did have some concerns about the packaging. My game, which was a standard PC game box, was packaged in nothing more than a blue plastic bag: no cardboard, no bubble-wrap, nothing which could protect this fragile item.
Fortunately, the game had suffered no damage in the post, much to my relief. However, I would recommend that Argos not be so trusting with the Royal Mail ability, or lack thereof, to take care of items.
Overall, the Argos website appears to be trying to be something that its not, a company trying to clamber onto the internet retail bandwagon. The system is evidently flawed, there is no system of dispatch confirmation, it is impossible to check on order status (making the customer 'account' somewhat redundant in my opinion), and the packaging they used to ship my item was inappropriate. I think that Argos needs to make some improvements, or go back to what they know - high street retail.
I cannot, however, argue with results: my item arrived on time, and was in perfect condition. For this, I award an extra star above my original appraisal.
N.B - My DooYoo identity, TheViolinist, has express permission to re-post this review.
Well exactly, the whole point of pre-ordering is getting it on the release-date. I was pretty annoyed at Amazon....and I tend to hold grudges against businesses who don't treat me right.;)