26th March 09, 05:21 AM
Disgusted at Communication and Promises are awful - and still not dispatched
I apologise for this length post...
I have come to the conclusion that the date information on the Sctoweb website and the promises made by their call centre staff are not worth a penny. I feel I have been very patient over this and have waited too long - but now the time has come to say something.
I have had no end of promises that have been broken and no end of information that is simply incorrect and outdated.
I placed an order with them on 24th Feb and it showed awaiting stock (only the sporran was out of stock), max dispatch date says 4th March, I thought this was reasonable since the website said awaiting stock. I waited and waited, and by weekend of 8th March (I can't actually remember which day), I sent them an email enquiring as to why the order had not been updated and could they please respond.
I waited another 2 days and nothing - no email at all.
Finally I phoned on 11/03/09, and was told that they may be getting the stock in on Thursday and will keep me informed. The lady I spoke to was very polite and courteous and said they had not received any kind of email at all from me (I used their web email form to send it), and said that she would email me when she knows more about the order and would phone either that afternoon or tomorrow.
I have still not received any kind of email from them to let me know the status.
I received no phone call from that day or the day after - in fact they have never phoned me at all.
On 15/03/09 (website says Est Max Dispatch 13/03/09) - and the order is still awaiting stock. I have not been told at all why the item is taking so long to order.
I have a problem now as the dispatch address, which was my works address, is about to change as we are moving offices. So I am not really sure what form of communication will ensure that my details get changed. I did manage to achieve this as it happens.
On 18/03/09 the package moved into packing. I actually phoned Scotweb because I was concerned that the package would be delivered to the old address. So I asked the lady to please delay sending it until Friday 20th. That would ensure that 2nd class post would not deliver it until the following week.
Over the weekend of 20th - 22nd I was expecting the package to reach the Dispatch phase.
On 23/03/09 (website says Est Max Dispatch 22/03/09) its still in packing.
on 24/03/09 (website says Est Max Dispatch 25/03/09). Now this actually infuriated me, I phoned them up and was promised by a member of staff that it would be packed that day and sent to me. There would be no problems.
It Wasn't sent at all.
on 25/03/09 (website says Est Max Dispatch 26/03/09) - yes, the date has changed and it's still in packing and has not been dispatched.
on 26/03/09 (website says Est Max Dispatch 27/03/09) - the date has changed again.
Firstly, although the staff are nice to you and listen to your concerns and provide a very basic explanation. I firmly believe that what they say means nothing. I believe Scotweb has been playing a game of putting off the customer Which is not good enough when that customer is waiting for what they have paid for. They should be chasing up the manufacturer and supplying you with the real reason its late.
Secondly, it's not rocket science to keep an order up to date on a website! and especially when that information is all the customer has. The first instance that Scotweb knew that were was a problem they should have put some information onto the order on the web page so that I could see it.
Thirdly, why does it take over 8 days to pack and send a sporran, belt and hose? and how long is this date change going to go on for?
Lastly, and this one is out of Scotweb's control...
It took my kiltmaker 12 days to get the fabric and handstitch a kilt and deliver it.
It took Hector Russel 3 days to deliver an Argyle jacket.
It took other web-based sellers 2 days maximum to deliver a kilt pin, buckle and belt.
It's still taking Scotweb XXX days to pack something.
To be honest - I'm not even looking forward to receiving the goods now...because I'm worried as to the state they will be in and whether (with reference to other sporran posts) it will be the right design that I ordered. I am on the verge of just telling Barclaycard to recover the money - which they have done in the past without any problem. I live in the UK - I pity those of you from abroad who might suffer in the same way.
Now I know, the manufacturer will get blamed for the ultimate delay in providing this accessory. However, the promises made and lack of action by the staff and the lengthy time it takes in packing is solely down to Scotweb.
I am truly appalled if this is the way the company is run!
26th March 09, 07:49 AM
That is shocking customer service!!
These stories seem quite frequent lately. Puts me off buying anything from Scotweb when other web based retailers seem to be getting it right EVERY time. 30 days and still no goods delivered? I'd retrieve my money and take my business elsewhere. I'll probably not be troubling Scotweb with my orders judging from this and other similar threads.
26th March 09, 07:55 AM
I would be wary, it's not like you ordered a kilt. They won't really be out much by you cancelling on them, of course, they will 'ship 5 minutes before the objection is raised'
26th March 09, 08:23 AM
Sorry to hear this, I've bought two kilts from Scotweb and both were very good value for money and were delivered in advance of the scheduled delivery dates.
27th March 09, 03:37 AM
Firstly, I'd like to make it clear that I agree that this customer received particularly poor service, for which we are sincerely sorry. I'll briefly explain a few of the circumstances in a moment. But I'd like to reiterate again something I remarked on another complaint recently, which is that we'd very much appreciate if anyone with service complaints could bring their concerns to our management first. Every single one of our outgoing emails contains a link to a special 'complaints' email address that goes to myself and the retail management. Or you can PM me from here. In this case I am told that we had not received a single email from the customer since the order was placed. And as regular readers will know, we do tend to take these things seriously when we know about them, and are usually able to rectify problems once we know about them...
The reason for the service failure in this case was basically two-fold. Firstly, we had a catastrophic technical failure of our office computer systems a few weeks ago, lasting almost a week. This led to our being unable to receive or process any orders or even communications. While the technical team worked night and day to get things working again, the retail team did their best to respond to the most urgent needs manually. But under these circumstances we have to prioritise customers with the most urgent things like weddings, and time is at a premium. This regrettably means that during such crisis periods not all (apparently) routine phone calls can be returned, as the staff are working flat out to help with what they know to be the most critical deadlines. The knock-on effects of catching up afterwards meant that it's only quite recently that we're fully back up to speed.
The second factor is coincidental. Some of you may recall another saga here regarding a sporran, where we'd found part of the problem was a misleading description/image. So our procedure is to rephotograph the same sporran next time one is received. To cut a long story short, it seems that each time the retail team printed out a packing slip, the stock team could not find the item in question as it was awaiting the photographer, and our retail manager who was the only person who knew where it was happened to be away on holiday for the crucial period. This has shown up a flaw in our procedures, which we've logged for fixing at our regular 'Issues' investigation & remedial process.
For what it's worth, the technical crisis is a bit of a symptom of our own success, due to the volume of orders we are now handling. We've built very sophisticated back-end systems which are generally remarkably good at handling a very complex business model with an incredible number of often-unpredictable variables due to the artisan supply lines we depend on, as I've described a few times before. But after the major work of technically fixing this latest episode, as of yesterday we've begun the huge technical task of re-implementing these systems from scratch on a very much more robust and scalable basis. This will take many months, at a cost I'm estimating in six figures. I only mention this as illustration that we do take problems seriously, and believe the best response is not just to 'fix' the immediate complaint, but to fully investigate and rectify underlying process problems.
I've also realised that I myself failed to do something I should have that I'll try to learn from. In the midst of the technical crisis, I should have stepped back a little more and used our Scotweb Blog to communicate the state of affairs, to help keep customers up to date with the latest situation. I know there's nothing more frustrating than being left in the dark. And this would have been a way to communicate more effectively, with a link to it from the Members' Area.
So that only leaves it for me to apologise again for the breakdown of service and invite the customer to contact my retail management if there's anything we can actually do to help put things right at this stage. And once again, may I recommend contacting our "complaints@..." email address, or myself directly as a first response if possible. Our customer service team has my every confidence at doing their utmost within the limits of their powers and responsibilities, and despite the scepticism I'm hearing would never intentionally mislead. But when it needs more than the usual, our management does work hard at keeping people happy and fixing problems. Please just let us know!
30th March 09, 04:11 PM
Thanks for that explanation Nick.
I have received the items and I am happy with the sporran. It is the design I ordered and it looks the same as the pictures that I have seen on the website....But I have to admit that I wasn't expecting the bright pink leather in between the backing and the sealskin....or is that the colour of seal skin...why bright pink?
I would like to point out though, that even though I managed to get my address changed at Scotweb 8 days before it was shipped, it was dispatched to the wrong business address. Fortunately it was dispatched by Royal Mail and we have a forwarding agreement with them. Any other courier would have sent it straight back...
In answer to Nick's exhaustive, but very good explanation of what's happening at Sctoweb at the moment.
1) I see no reason why I should contact the Manager Director of a company to complain (by email, phone or fax), when their staff should be keeping me well informed with what is going on. Whenever I phoned them, they could have said that their systems are undergoing change and there may be delays while they are playing catch-up. While realistic time estimates should be put on the website.
2) In addition, I am not a fan of blogs or having to find information on a website, I much prefer direct contact such as emails. They come to me (the customer) rather than me having to go and find out why! What has been particularly demoralising with this incident is the fact that I can see nothing being done on the website. I see no explanation of how the order is progressing and I see no explanation of why its late. I don't believe I saw that the item I wanted was out-of-stock until I had actually ordered it (I may stand to be corrected on this).
3) I post on this forum for several reasons, to get feedback and advice, to praise people, to have fun and to make people aware that not everything is how it should be. I do not put up these kinds of posts lightly or quicky as I consider myself a fairly patient man, and I don't do it because I know that Nick monitors them and they are a likely "back-door" to getting things done. I feel that there are some things people do need to know about.
One thing this post has done, through Nick, is obtained an explanation that may explain why other people's goods may also have been delayed. Let's hope these kinds of delays and communication issues are kept to a minimum!
30th March 09, 05:44 PM
My dad used to say, "The world doesn't care about labor pains; it just wants to see the baby."
Originally Posted by Nick (Scotweb)
Why, a child of five could understand this. Quick -- someone fetch me a child of five!
30th March 09, 11:12 PM
Wow, all my dad would say was: "Go mow the damn lawn!"
Originally Posted by Phogfan86
But I don't think that he was trying to be very abstract just then.
"Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis;
voca me cum benedictis." -"Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath)
31st March 09, 03:55 PM
My Dad used to say "Go play in the street!" and we were in Venice, Italy at the time!
Originally Posted by The Barry
Less talk, more monkey!
31st March 09, 03:21 AM
If you're talking about the colour of the sealskin itself, this is just a case of the fact that the colour of materials will always vary with natural products like this. It depends on the species, youth, and character of the animal, the way it is processed, the season, and many other factors. (This is just the sort of thing I recently referenced here: http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/s...145/index.html )
If you mean the leather piece that restrains the front when it opens, this is a decorative piece that the sporran maker inserts for a dash of style. Using bright colours for highlights in this way is thoroughly traditional, and imho should be regarded as a positive feature you wouldn't find from lesser producers. Your sporran was made by the firm I'd regard as the world's most authentic traditional producers, and due to the process issue was hand-made by a family member. I don't think you'll find much better.
As for your comments about my explanations, I'd of course agree that it's the result that counts, and customers shouldn't have to be concerned about what's going on behind the scenes. And in fact most aren't, which is why we wouldn't generally enter into lengthy telephone conversations about internal matters when the main thing someone wants to know is an anticipated date. And particularly during a period of extreme busy-ness due to technical problems, our team is extremely busy trying to handle urgent issues, so won't always feel they have time for longer conversations than necessary. I understand that from your side of the fence this won't be how it seems, but I'd ask for a little understanding of what is necessary when running a business with many different customers with many different needs, and trying to give them all the best service possible in the circumstances.
I believe I did already state that I think we could do better next time about communicating realistic times via the web site, and my mention of the blog was because this is generally the best way to supply 'rolling news' with a link on the site pointing to it. Are you seriously suggesting we should email every customer with an outstanding order, every time the situation changes?. From my point of view this would simply annoy and alarm a lot more people, and waste a huge amount of our time that would be better spent fixing the actual issues at the time.
Thankfully we're through that wee crisis now, and we're pressing on with the very major investments I referred to which should ensure our systems remain robust enough to handle not just our current level of business but considerably more if we're lucky enough to continue growing. I'm always interested to hear and understand how things feel from our customers' point of view, which is a big reason I value this forum, and the opportunity to discuss things directly like this. I'll try my best to continue to provide 'real' responses, and hope that you'll accept we do listen and respond in the ways we judge best taking into account all the factors we are dealing with.
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