Advantages Good site, good stock range
Disadvantages Very, very poor delivery rate and customer support
When I first started using Jungle, I was relatively impressed. I was trying to get my hands on an HP DeskJet 990cxi (see my op :)), relatively new at the time, and dabs.com (who I dislike anyway - see my op on them too) reckoned they wouldn't have it in stock for two months. I needed a printer quick, so I tried Jungle, somewhere that one of my mates swore by for CD's and games. It didn't take me long to find what I was looking for - the site is well designed, quick and looks pretty good (if a little gimmicky), unlike dabs on ball three counts - the printer was immediately available, and cheaper than elsewhere to boot.
Let's start by being up front - I am going to have a rant. But I also hate to condemn something over a single issue, so I'm going to try to give a relatively balanced view.
I set up an account and ordered the printer right away. The shopping basket, purchase system and order tracking were all pretty good, about equal to those offered by Amazon (I've done an op on them too) I'd say, and far superior to dabs (again). The printer arrived within the next few days, as promised, worked fine, no problems. I was pleased. I came back to shop again...But before I continue, a few notes on the site. I've only really looked into the computer hardware (peripherals and consumables) and software (supplied by some kind of merger with Software Warehouse) sections in any detail, but I presume the rest are similar. When you emter a section, you are initially presented with some hot picks type things, offers, etc. From this screen, you can search (which works very well) or choose to browse categories. Each subsection you enter follows a similar format, offering hot picks and a list of products. The range of products (and deals, ie scanner and printer in one package type things) is quite impressive, and ranges from the pretty cheap to expensive, professional gear. Where they do fall down a bit, unlike dabs, is in the area of smaller bits of hardware, paticularly things which go in the box, rather than plug into it. However, I've noticed this range increase rapidly over the past few weeks/months. So, no real faults there...
But I said I was going to rant, and I've only really praised them thus far. So what's my complaint? One word, and it's the most important one - SERVICE.My next purchase from them was Macromedia Flash 5. They had *lots* of copies in stock, and I expected to receive it, as advertised, within a day or two. It took well over a week, which was very annoying as I really needed the software, and more annoyingly, I didn't hear a word from them about the dispatch being delayed. It just turned up a week late. Oh well, I thought, obviously just a freak, as I had been very pleased with their service before. So let the saga of the scanner commence.
My next purchase from them was a Microtek Scanmaker 8700, a couple of months later. I had to pay for this one by cheque, unlike my previous orders, which were by credit card, and was told that once my cheque had cleared, which would take three working days, the scanner would be dispatched immediately. So taking into account postage time, I would have it in about a week. More than a month later, and I still don't have it, even after several assurances that I'd have it in a few days. So what was going on? I know the cheque cleared fine - no problems.After a couple of weeks of been given "We do have it, we don't have it" from Jungle by email (they only bothered to write at all after I enquired - I wasn't told my hardware was going to be late), I decided to contact Microtek to see what was going on. I faxed their head office in the Netherlands one evening, and received a prompt phonecall from their Birmingham office the next morning. The person I spoke to was extremely helpful - he told me that the initial delays were due to a shipping problem from Tailand, followed by a problem with the Firewire support - this was why Jungle didn't have them at first. However, they shouldn't have told me they had them when they didn't, on more than one occasion. The Microtek agent went on to tell me that the scanners had been available for more than a week, and that Jungle had been informed, but that they had only received an order from Jungle the day before. He went on to offer to ship the scanner direct to me, rather than through Jungle, and gave me information on a Mircotek dealer I could go to in the area if I decided to cancel the Jungle order altogether.
I phoned Jungle, and asked if I could have the scanner direct from Microtek, instead of being shipped through them. No, that wasn't possible. This meant that I'd get the scanner a week later than I could have done (who knows what they do with it for that time). I went on to ask why they hadn't ordered the scanner from Microtek when they were ready a week ago - I was informed that they had. I said that Microtek said they hadn't - no, they definitely had. Eventually the 'customer care' person admitted to not knowing when they had been ordered, said (and I quote), "I'm only a customer care representative, I don't know anything about ordering," and proceeded to continue with the usual line of patter. I was pretty appalled.I have yet to see whether my scanner will arrive next Friday, six weeks after my initial order. If it doesn't, I will certainly cancel my order, and go direct to a Microtek dealer, (who incidentally offer to send you scanned samples of your choice, free of charge). What paticularly grates about this whole episode, was that not only did Jungle not inform me what was going on without being pressed, they also took my money, and delayed ordering the product from their supplier without cause (although obviously they cannot be faulted for the initial delays). This is paticularly damaging as the sum was getting on for £1000. I've written to their managing director - it will be interesting to see what reply I get, if I get one at all.
All in all, a good site, good range, adequate prices, but their customer service is very, very lacking. At least companies such as Amazon tell you when you're delivery is going to be late!Rant over... :)
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