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Waterstones.co.uk - an online version of their high street stores. They are similar to other online books sellers, such as Amazon.co.uk, bol.com, etc...however, Waterstones sell mainly books.
My opinion of this website is not as good as I would have hoped it would be. Firstly, the website is not the best, and could have been designed better. There are certain loop-holes on the site, which are not too clear for the customer (us), so can discourage us. One thing I wish it had was a confirm screen, before actually proceeding with my order. I wanted to see if it would accept vouchers online, however, after entering my debit card details, and clicking next, I thought there would at least be a screen saying please confirm these details, before ordering. There was not, and I would highly recommend such facility for ANY type of ordering system. It's just common sense. A double-check more like, just to avoid/reduce problems you may encounter later, that could have easily been solved. It makes the customer unhappy, and adds extra work load for people working there.
Well, with my order, I ordered a book costing £1.49, but delivery costs £2.50 + 50p per book, Totaling £4.49 for one book. (There is another option of having it delivered to your local Waterstones branch for free, but that just depletes the point of online shopping does it not?).
Looking at this price alone, and having placed my order accidently I emailed enquires to ask them to cancel it explaining what I thought I was going to see, but didn't. Looking through the help section, which itself is not very detailed or helpful to an extent (so it could really do with a lot more work,) I found an email address for cancellations. I emailed them also, asking them to cancel my order.
I received an email immediately saying that they will respond within 48 hours. Ok, I shall wait. Today; First email, "your order has been cancelled as requested, and I can confirm your credit card will not be billed", sigh of relief...
Later today, "Order status of your order xxxxxx: your order is ready to be despatched within 24hours."...hmm...this doesn't seem right. Checking the online order status that they have on their website showed me that my order was still being processed. Therefore, it means that it has not yet been cancelled then, doesn't it? I immediately emailed them again, stating that THEY said that my order was cancelled.
A big thumbs down for their customer service, and I just hope they don't send me that book tomorrow/or the next working day, since I am going to buy the book instead at my local Waterstones branch saving on delivery costs!!
Waterstones online need to improve their website a LOT, however their prices are quite good, and the range of books excellent. The personal library is similar to amazon's wish list, where you can add books for later.
Overall though I don't recommend using this site, unless it is cheaper than others. Go to a local branch instead, although this may not help that well.
Delivery charges are comparable to amazon, and cheaper by a few pence infact.
I've never had a problem with Waterstons online, although I've only used them a couple of times as I normally trot off toAmazon.
The facility of ordering books to go to your local store is a good idea I think as you get the benefits of shopping online (cheaper books, browsing at home) without the penalty of paying those extortionate postal charges. I've used it and saved quite a bit of cash.
niclemamy 15.07.2001 00:35
I love Waterstones and wasn't aware they had a web site!! I don't think I'd bother with the site as I have two stores in my town centre so no delivery to pay!! Plus I would miss out on the lovely smell of new books and the atmosphere :) Nicola
judithritchie 13.07.2001 19:54
i have heard many bad comments about waterstones online and i think i shall avoid shopping on it which is a shame because waterstones is such a good store. however on the best birthdays and christmases when i get waterstones vouchers i take the opportunity and a few hours to visit waterstones itself - no other bookshop in sheffield has such a good atmosphere i can spend hours in there!! :-) thanx, jude