Advantages The prices seem reasonably competitive and they do have a wide range of stock.
Disadvantages Late or even no delivery, poor online ordering information.
I've been using the internet for about 8 years now and I'm a heavy user (by which I don't mean I weigh a lot, but I am probably online for around 8 hours per day). However, I have only been a regular online shopper for the past 2 years or so. During this time, I have had no complaints at all and I have used a lot of different companies - amazon, bol, cd101, jungle, evesham, dabs and even Sainsburys and Tescos.Perhaps these companies are to blame for my current state of shock with WHSmith online. Maybe it's not actually Smith's fault that I expect next day delivery unless the item is not in stock when I expect a next-day email informing me of this. I expect to be able to log in to my account and instantly see the status of my orders (and the correct status I might add!). Perhaps I expect too much.
I won't bore you with the full details of my ordering nightmare, but I will sum up what happened to back up my grievances. I placed an order for 2 DVD's with Smiths because, quite frankly, they were cheaper than anyone else at the time - offering a second DVD for half price after buying the first. The day after I had placed the order, I checked 'my orders' section of the website only to find, to my surprise, that they had no record of my order!! I kept checking daily over the next week or so, but my order never appeared. Of course, I assumed that my order had not been placed (how stupid of me!) and I re-ordered said DVD's. A day later, two identical orders now appeared on the my orders section of the website. Oh dear. Aha! I thought, perhaps I can cancel the most recent order, hopefully catching it before they had started to process it and just wait patiently for my first order to arrive. Of course, I wasn't able to cancel either of the orders, despite the website telling me that I should have been able to.I must point out at this stage that I was sending frequent emails to their support people imploring them to sort out the mess as soon as possible. But, with delays of several days before getting any response at all from my emails the weeks had already dragged on.
The upshot of this whole nightmare is that I eventually managed to cancel both my original orders. The time I had spent waiting for any of the DVD's to turn up was time thoroughly wasted when I could have got off my backside and bought them in a shop on any day of the week.The only advantage to buying online is that you don't have to get into town. But if I can't get what I want within a day of ordering, then I really don't want to know.
Advice to WHSmith Online - I implore you, sort it out or get out of the business.Advice to the reader - avoid shopping online with Smith's at all costs. Make the effort to go into the shop, or use another online service (even if it is more expensive).
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