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This is a catalogue that caters for women who are size 16 to size 30. Being a size 16-18 myself I thought that I might as well give it a try. I was impressed with last seasonís catalogue when it arrived, there was a reasonable choice of clothes ranging from casual wear to evening wear and underwear. The prices were affordable with a pair of trousers costing around £20 - £25, however the prices do go up for the larger sizes. They have a 28 day satisfaction guarantee policy and you can spread the cost with a personal account. I tried to order a few items from it but never actually managed to, as they always seemed to be out of stock.
When in January I received a mini catalogue I decided that I would attempt to order a jumper and a pair of trousers. I couldnít get through on the phone line so I filled in the form, ticking the box to say I didnít want an alternative sending, and posted it.
About a week later my postman delivered a very small parcel. This couldnít possible have a jumper, a pair of trousers, a free gift and a catalogue in it Ė could it? I ripped the package open expectantly to find a sun top that I hadnít ordered, it was not even similar to the jumper I had ordered, for a start it didnít have any sleeves. Needless to say this got sent back for free the very same day.
Three days after this another parcel arrived which I tentatively opened to find my trousers and my free gift, which was a black bag. I was and still am impressed with both of these items, the trousers are good quality, and the bag is similar to one I nearly bought for £20.
The next thing to arrive was my statement (still no sign of a catalogue) this informed me that I had been charged twice for the post and packaging. This is usually charged at £2.50 per order regardless of the size of the order. I immediately picked the phone and dialled the query line. It rang and the automated system started I pressed all the relevant buttons to get through to the right department, and then held, and held and held. In fact I held for 15 minutes before I gave up after all I was paying for this phone call. I tried to query my account on another 7 occasions, each time facing the same problem.
I received my next statement last week and on it I had accrued £6.08 worth of charges. These were £5 administration charge and a £1.08 service charge. Looking through the limited amount of paperwork I had I could not find any mention of charges if you failed to pay on time. On the previous statement my minimum payment had been £3.58, I had returned a top worth £15 and been charged £6.08 on the day after the due date. Granted I should have paid the minimum amount, I do not dispute that, what does anger me is that I had not been informed about these charges. I also shop with Kayís and when I didnít pay that on time the next statement warned me that I would be charged if I didnít pay by a certain date. (I must also say the reason for both payments not being made is that my husband was taken into hospital at the end of January and everything got thrown into a draw and forgotten about).
Upon receipt of this last statement I once again dialled the query line, on the third attempt I got through after holding for just 10 minutes Ė donít forget Iím paying for all of these calls. The girl that I spoke to was abrupt but very helpful. I explained what had happened and how I had tried to contact them on numerous occasions, at this point she became very apologetic and told me that they were drastically understaffed. The girl said that the extra postage and packaging charges would be taken off, as would the administration costs. Apparently I would have been aware of these charges if I had received my catalogue Ė it is now 10 weeks later and I still donít have one, not that I want one now anyway.
After speaking to customer services I attempted to pay my balance over the phone and guess what I couldnít get through. I eventually gave up and went to their website at www.simplybe.co.uk and looked at my account. The £2.50 postage and packaging had been deducted as promised but the charges had not. I paid the outstanding balance (minus the charges) and then pressed the contact us button to question the charges again. A form popped up which I promptly filled in including my name, account number and an outline of the telephone conversation. I submitted it and was told that it had been sent successfully. The next day I got a reply saying that they could not read the e-mail and could I re-send it letting them know my account number and name. I replied immediately expecting an answer that day, they eventually replied to me over 24 hours later, to inform me that the charges had been removed.
To conclude I would say that if you are a larger lady there are plenty of fashionable clothes to choose from in this catalogue that is presuming that you can get a catalogue. If you can actually get the item you like then the quality is high and the prices are reasonable as long as they donít charge you twice for delivery. If anything goes wrong or you need to query something then you will need a lot of patience and a lot of money to pay your phone bill.
I personally will SIMPLY NOT BE using this company again, if you choose to use them then all I can say is Good Luck youíll need it!!
I think your review is very one sided. I have used Simply Be for probably 4 years or so now and have only had one issue, where the packaging stated one item but inside was something different. One telephone call and the next day the replacement arrived at no extra P&P cost. They are actually a fantastic company. And if you shop with simply be, not "new & now" etc, all sizes are the same price. Happy to re-rate when other side is considered. x
Zoe_South 15.10.2003 23:48
Your experience mirrors mine - I ordered about £120 worth of clothes from them in the first week of July as I'd lost so much weight I had no summer clothes at all. When the goods finally arrived during the second week of September (nice one Simply Be), not only had the holiday I'd wanted them for long gone, but I'd dieted out of those as well! What a fabulous company...Not. Zx
sue.51 18.10.2001 23:17
Very useful thanks - I have just been contacted by a friend of a friend who has been stitched up good and proper by this company - she purchased a skirt advertised at £7.99 (+P&P) and then invoiced her for more - she paid the original charges and they have now sent a bill for £61 to a debt collector (all for £2 disagreement) - she has asked me to intervene if possible - handy to read things like this.