Advantages Very competitive prices, good interest free option
Disadvantages Stock availability isn't great
I love hunting down the best bargains when it comes to buying big items like white goods and the net really is the best place to start.
I tried a few search engines like pricerunner.co.uk and TribalUK popped up a couple of times as one of the best prices, especially as it offers a 12 month interest free period and I needed to buy two big items.
Logging onto the site is pretty straightforward - it loads quickly and the home page immediately gives you hot offers, top ten items and star buys.
The layout isn't great - very crowded and the text is far too small to see exactly what is there. But the product range is very good for all electrical items and prices are considerably cheaper than in other stores and especially on the high street.
But the big thing which is missing is a search engine which allows you to trawl through each category to find out what features each item has.
I was looking for a washing machine with a huge drum (young children = washing!) and a very fast spin speed. But there is no function on the site to put in these criteria and see what pops up.
The same for a fridge freezer - you have to pick what you want elsewhere (many other sites feature this search function) then come back and look it up.
And to further complicate things if you want to buy something in any colour other than white you need to know the exact code for that item. This is a shortfall of both the site and manufacturers - but a pain in the butt when you are trying to find your required machine!
Anyway after a bit of intensive online research and a fair bit of messing around the item codes and order were finalised and the checkout very straightforward ad secure.
Because we were using the interest free option, there was a delay while credit info was sent out, but this was all done very swiftly and efficiently, which was great.
Communication through the whole process was good - emails were replied to promptly and information was issued at each stage of the process.
Then came the stinger - the items, which had been advertised as available in a week would be at least three, and would have to come direct from hotpoint.
And would be delivered Christmas week!!!! Because we were replacing items that were on their last legs, rather than had packed up entirely, it wasn't a disaster. In the end we got both the fridge freezer and the washing machine delivered for free and at about £100 cheaper than on the high street.
Both were well packaged and were delivered by very polite delivery men (which matters!) and Hotpoint called at least three days before to confirm the delivery slots.
In summary, the site isn't great for researching products you want to buy and need the next day. But if you are looking for a specific product, or a longer interest free term (12 months versus 6 months at currys etc) and you can wait for the product to get a cheaper price then it's OK (but not great!)
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