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
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.