Dedicated Page Complaint
Right of Reply - Ideal Shopping Direct
18 April 2003

Thank you for your e-mail of 16 April in which you draw my attention to an ongoing complaint made by Mrs B Harris.

On investigating the matter fully, I have below, detailed my findings.

Mrs Harris placed an order for a 3 Tier Lantern Stand on 23/02/03 and would have been advised that the expected delivery timescale was 10 - 14 Working days. The expected delivery period was therefore @ 14/03/03.

On 06/03/03 more than a week before this date had expired, Mrs Harris contacted our Customer Services department as delivery had yet to be made. It was at this point that Mrs Harris was advised of a delay with the supply of this product, according to our records Mrs Harris was happy to allow a little longer. Mrs Harris states that it was at this point that she was advised that Ideal World do not take payment for the order untill despatch has been made. This is not and has never been the case, all representatives are aware that payment is taken on the date of order, this money is held in a holding account untill the goods are despatched. I have identified the representative who took this call and have addressed this issue with her supervisor.

Although we hold most of our stock within our extensive warehouse, due to the huge product range currently offered by Ideal World, we rely on suppliers to hold goods for us until such date that they have been sold. On completion of the ordering process our suppliers are advised of the numbers required and will either send the item direct to the customer or, as in this case, despatch to our Peterborough warehouse for re-direction to the customer. I feel at this point I must emphasise that before going to air with goods, we have purchased enough items to fulfil all orders and that our suppliers are aware of our delivery timescale service levels. In Mrs Harris' case, the supplier made Ideal aware of an unforeseen delay in the despatch to enable us to advise our customers accordingly.

On 16/03/03, two days after the original delivery timescale, Mrs Harris E-mailed Ideal via our web site. Within Mrs Harris' e-mail it implied that we did not have the goods to sell and yet we were still advertising the item. I feel that I have already addressed the first point and confirm that the item was indeed shown again on 11/03/03, after we had been made aware of the delay in despatch. For this I can only apologise, the delay was seen as extension of delivery timescales and not an inability to send the goods out. All orders would be despatched by date order with those placed in February being despatched before those placed in March. Ideal expected delivery of enough items to cover all orders before the end of March. In hindsight it would have been advisable not to show this item again before the original orders had been despatched.

On 18/03/03 in response to the above e-mail, our Customer Services team attempted to call Mrs Harris. Unfortunately there was no reply and so a letter was sent advising that we were indeed expecting delivery within the week.

On 19/03/03, four days after the original delivery timescale, Mrs Harris, who had yet to receive the letter from our Customer Services team, E-mailed again stating that as no contact had been made she was to report Ideal to her credit card company. Mrs Harris re-iterated that the goods had since been re-advertised on air and that she felt our non-response to be against best practice. This e-mail was responded to within 24 hours and the customer advised of the contents of the letter sent the day before.

On 21/03/03, six days after the original delivery timescale, Mrs Harris called the Customer Services team and advised them that she was disgusted with our service and that she wished to cancel the order. A refund on this order was duly requested.

On 26/03/03 as the refund had yet to be transmitted to Mrs Harris credit card, Ideal were advised via e-mail that Mrs Harris intended to pass this to her credit card company for recovery. A response to Mrs Harris' e-mail was sent on 30/03/03 advising that refunds can take 15 days to actually show (A refund for £28.80 was transmitted on 07/04/03 and should now show on Mrs Harris' account) If the refund is still to show on Mrs Harris account on Tuesday, I would urge her to contact myself at the e-mail address provided.

Under the circumstances I feel that the least we can do for Mrs Harris is to offer a refund of the telephone costs incurred in resolving this issue. I have therefore made arrangements to refund an additional £5 to Mrs Harris' account to cover these costs, should this prove to be insufficient I ask that a photo copy of an itemised telephone bill, highlighting the charges, be sent for my personal attention. I have also made arrangements for a £10 discount to be placed on Mrs Harris' account to be used against her next order, I hope that Mrs Harris will give Ideal World the opportunity to prove our commitment to customer satisfaction by placing a further order with us in the near future.

NB - The 3 Tier Lantern Stand was actually despatched to all customers on 03/04/03.

Teresa Felton
Customer Relations Manager

Dedicated Page Complaint