Advantages large number of products
Disadvantages service, the competence of staff, communication within the company, returns
This is a continuation from the review I have previously written about the processes within the store. This review is another aspect of the Argos shopping experience. The delivery option.Argos Direct is a delivery service connected to Argos stores. It can be noted that anything within the catalogue can be delivered to anywhere in the UK and Ireland, this excludes rings (for obvious reasons, you would need the right size) and personalised jewellery. Both these items can be ordered in store with an estimated time of 14 working days for the item to be collected.
There are two types of delivery, the first is van delivery, this is the 48 hour, or next day delivery service. This is only on selected items, the smaller items which only require one delivery person, and a small van. Be warned though that they sometimes deliver the item in a White arrow van, rather than the usual Argos Direct blue lorries. An additional problem is that times for delivery are not specific; they consist of Monday to Friday between 8 am and the 6 pm. The item can be delivered at any point between these times, which is a problem if you work during the week, or have school runs during the day.The delivery costs overall consist of a standard charge of £4.95 for the whole order, it used to be free over £195, but it wasn't covering the costs of the delivery vans or delivery assistants. This standard charge was launched in July. There is an extra charge for a Saturday delivery and next day delivery, which is an extra £2.95 on top of the £4.95. This charge is excluded from certain white goods that have an express delivery and connection option within the catalogue. The delivery times differ on a Saturday also, it is between 8 am and 2 pm instead.
The normal Argos Direct service is for those items that are too big to be collected in stores, these items include:Bikes (delivery usually within 7 days)
The delivery dates are subjected to change, depending on the volume of orders at the time and how popular the item is.Ordering your items is relatively simple; you have the option of ordering in store, online or over the phone. In store you take your items to the counter, and the sales assistant will process your order. Asking the usual questions, e.g., address contact, number, any special requirements, etc. Some times no delivery date will be given, this means that Argos Direct will contact you within the estimated time for delivery to arrange a suitable delivery date. Over the phone consists of talking to personnel from Argos Direct, and they will carry out a similar transaction to in store processes. Online the instructions are self explanatory.
The returns policy is as follows, unless stated otherwise your item can be returned under the 16 day money back guarantee, in an unused condition, with a proof of purchase. This is where the problem lies, as the internet and phone orders do not give you a receipt, you will need to keep the proof of collection note, found on the packaging or given to by the delivery driver. As paid by card, a statement can be taken as proof of purchase, but as with any service the more paper work you keep the easier the return of the item.Just to note, I tested Argos Direct on the return of an item, be warned they will tell you to take your item back into store, unless your item is small this can be challenging. I decided to ring Argos Direct about a fireplace, and was promptly told to take the whole item back in store, as I drive a metro, it could make life very difficult. I argued this point across to the person I was talking to on the phone, she insisted this was the only suitable way I could return my fireplace. In addition my fireplace weighs 50kg, I can't lift it let alone transport near an Argos store.
I've further deducted that this ploy of Argos Direct's is to get out of extra work and pick up costs. Therefore putting the pressure on the stores, who are not supposed to take back any item that is for home delivery only. To save you the stress insist your item is picked up, as I don't want anyone to go into a store for the manager to turn around and tell you that they can't take it back.Furthermore, items on home delivery are not stocked in store, they are delivered from the companies warehouses located round the country.
My experiences are of Argos Direct so far, bear in mind of only ordered 3 times from them, that my delivery turned up early, and I was still in bed. Me in the morning is not a pleasant sight, and I wasn't best pleased at being woken up at 7 am. Also, they rang my house before xmas to arrange a delivery time for my boyfriend's Christmas present (a bike). I gave two contact numbers, one was the delivery address and one was my house. I expressed that my number was only to be called if no contact could be made on the other number. They rang my number and talked my boyfriend and told him what his present was before trying the delivery number. I was furious and rang them and never got an apology, just some unimpressed person at the end of the line.Overall, I do not recommend them, the products are fine, and I've had no issues with quality. It is the service throughout the company on all levels that is disappointing. The staff do not know what to tell customers and do not seem to listen to problems. The only solution that is indicated is to go back in store, which puts a lot of pressure and blame on the staff who are customer facing.
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