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With Ciao deciding to have a day off yesterday it was lucky that my new Next Directory had just been delivered! With hubby out on the town with his mates it was the perfect night to be curled up on the sofa flicking through my new catalogue!
>>>What is Next Directory?
Well basically it is a mail order catalogue selling the same items as your high street Next store. An added bonus is that there are often things in the directory that never appear in the shop.
>>>How do I sign up?
If you pop into your local Next store more often than not there is someone standing at the door offering you the chance to sign up for a catalogue. If not, one of the sales assistants should be able to give you the form you need to complete.
An easier way to sign up would be to watch out for the junk mail that falls out of magazines. Quite often there is a little slip to complete and send off. Alternatively I am sure if you call the general enquiries number on 0845 600 7333 you will be able to order yourself a catalogue! Or even better go on-line to www.Next.co.uk
As with all mail order catalogues you have to be over 18 years of age to open an account with them and credit is obviously subject to status.
Once your have been accepted for an account you will get your own personal account number that will need to be quoted when ordering or for enquiries. You will also be sent a Next Directory Catalogue.
This is a very impressive catalogue! It should be too! It cost £3.50 which is added to your next statement after you receive it. Next Directory issue two catalogues each year. Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. I have just obtained my Spring/Summer although it doesn’t feel very summery just now in Scotland. Its heavy snow at the moment and blowing a gale! Brrrr
There are 865 pages to my new catalogue and it is bound in a very thick glossy hardwearing cardboard! It is also very eye-catching with lots of coloured striped across the front.
>>>What kind of things can you buy?
There is a vast choice of things to purchase from the Next Directory. Nearly all the items in the shops are available to order from the Directory. All stock comes under four basic headings. Those being Womenswear, Menswear,
Pictures of Next Directory
Childrenswear and Home.
The directory is very easy to use. There is a contents page at the front giving more detailed subsections under each of the above 4 categories and the page to find it on.
Under the heading of Womenswear the subsections are:-
Formalwear, Casualwear, Ski wear, Petite section, Maternity, Swimwear, Lingerie and Shoes.
Formalwear, Casualwear, Sunglasses, Shoes, Socks, Nightwear and Underwear, Accessories
LADIESWEAR – In your high street Next store ladies regular sizes begin at 8 and range up to 16. Trouser lengths are Regular or Long. Most stores also have a petite section from size 8 to 16.
In the directory the sizes begin at 8 but range up to a generous size 20. Trouser lengths on selected items can be ordered as Extra Long.
The Petite section of the directory begins at size 6 and goes up to 16
MENSWEAR – In high street stores menswear ranges from Small to Extra Large for tops and jerseys and up to a 38 inch waist for trousers.
In the directory you can order tops in a size XXL and selected trousers in a 40 inch waist. The directory caters for up to a 35 inch inside leg on some items – something I have never come across in the Next Stores! I have only every seen trousers and jeans in a long (33inch) length.
CHILDRENSWEAR – Next Stores only stock childrenswear up to age 10. The directory has the childrenswear up to age 16! Although at 16 I am sure a child is the last thing they would like to be called!! LOL
From what you have read above re sizing I don’t want you to think that you could not purchase a gents top in a size XXL or childrenswear for a 13 year old from a Next store. You can! It’s just that this is not within the size range kept in the stores but they could order it for you. You would have to pay for it there and then and then collect it in a couple of days time.
With Next Directory you can telephone your orders or can do it on-line (www.next.co.uk). I tend to do my ordering on line however I have found in previous experience the telphone ordering to be excellent.
When you dial and for some reason you cannot be connected straight away to an operator you hear a message telling you when you can expect your call to be answered. I have often had a message saying my call will be answered in 30 seconds!! There is none of this “an operator will be with your shortly” message repeated to you about 50 times before you actually speak to someone!!
The telephone order line is open 7 days a week from 8am to 11pm. Calls are charged at local rate.
Ordering on-line couldn’t be simpler. You only need your account number and post code. The site is very easy to use and you can find your way around in no time at all.
Whatever way you choose to order you are advised if the item is in stock and if so when it will be delivered to you. If ordering on line you are sent an email as confirmation.
Delivery is surprisingly quick! In my experience goods usually arrive the next day by Courier. If you do not have a courier in your area the goods are sent by Parcel Force and can take a couple of days longer to arrive. There is a standard delivery charge of £3.50 for each order no matter how big or small. If you order in store there is no charge but as I mentioned above you have to pay for them when ordering and collect your item from the shop.
>>>Approval and Returns
You have 14 days home approval on your goods. Returning something that isn’t suitable couldn’t be easier and is free!! There are 3 ways to return your items. You are provided with returns slips with each item you order and labels for your parcel.
1. Package up your parcel and take it to a post office making sure that you get proof of posting 2. Package up your parcel and telephone your local courier who will come and collect it. He/She will also sign your returns slip.
If you use either of the above methods once Next Directory receive your parcel they shall arrange a credit on your account which will appear on your next statement.
3. Take your item to any Next store who will sign your returns slip and credit your account and again this will appear on your next statement.
>>>Statements & Payments
Statements are sent to you in paper form every month. This will show anything you have ordered and received as well as any returns you have made. With your statement there is always an envelope sent addressed to Next for your to put your payment in.
Your statement will show the amount due as well as the minimum payment. It is worth noting that the interest charges is 26.99% APR!! A lot higher than your average credit card!!
Whether you choose to pay the balance in full or just the minimum payment there are a few ways you can choose to pay.
1. Send a cheque for your desired amount of payment and return with the giro slip at the bottom of your statement in the envelope provided. You will need to stick a stamp on the envelope as it is not a freepost address.
2. Pay On-Line. There is the facility to manage your account on line and payments can be made this way by debit or credit card (does not include Switch though!)
3. By telephone and speaking to an operator. All you need is your account number and a debit or credit card. As above though Next do not yet accept Switch which I find a bit of a hassle!
4. By Selfserve. Your statement provides you with your own unique Selfserve number and payments can be made using a touchtone telephone. You can also use this service for checking balances and arranging a courier collection.
>Why choose the directory?
This is a question I have asked myself on many an occasion! I work in Edinburgh where there are many Next stores. Two being very nearby to work!
What I like about the directory is that you can browse to your hearts content. It’s great for planning your outfit if you have a special occasion coming up! I like to look out things I want from the Directory and then see the item in store before I order it! That way I can see the exact colour and quality. I tend to order mostly casual and work trousers from the directory as the stores don’t always have the right leg length in my size. For things like tops and shoes I often just buy these from the stores.
The directory would be suitable for someone who is not your average shop sizes or someone who does not live near a Next store.
I am going to award Next Directory 4 stars for the following reasons:-
Good quality goods Excellent range of sizes Speed of delivery Good customer service
Looses one star due to the fact you have to pay for the catalogue and for deliveries.
Hope you are still awake!! Have a good New Year everyone, Take Care LinZ.