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  1. #1
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    9th December 12
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    Thumbs down My Scotweb Experience

    We ordered sporrans and kilts from Scotweb for our pipe band. The Kilts took 20 weeks to arrive! The sporrans that arrived looked nothing like the ones on their website and were frankly closer to the novelty sporrans you see in the Royal Mile tourist shops - they have since updated their website to show what they're really selling. The band decided we'd rather shoulder the cost of the return postage and the import duty than wear these sporrans so we arranged to return them at our expense. Despite their 'no quibble' returns policy, more than 2 months after receiving the returned sporrans they've only refunded some of our money with no explanation other than apologising for 'technical difficulties'. We're currently recovering the rest of it by a Visa dispute (after my latest email to Scotweb questioning the partial refund was ignored). Overall Scotweb were difficult to deal with and not a company we'll ever use again. They frequently ignored emails (including the one where I pointed out that emails to complaints@scotweb.co.uk were being bounced back!). They obviously manage their online reputation/presence very effectively - we began by thinking that we would be dealing with a fair-minded professional company but that has certainly not been our experience.
    We're a small band (www.kalamundapipeband.com) and can ill afford the loss of these funds to this big company.
    P.S. We subsequently sourced much more authentic (and cheaper) sporrans from Morrisons in Perth, a genuine Scottish supplier who were a pleasure to deal with.
    P.P.S. If you harbour any suspicions that I am somehow a 'difficult customer'. I can happily supply the full email trail, demonstrating my saint-like good manners and reasonable attitude through the whole sorry 5-month saga and Scotweb's repeated mistakes and indifference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    16th August 04
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    First, for the benefit mostly of any future similar circumstances, may I point towards my 'sticky' at the top of this page and request the respect of a personal contact in the first instance... particularly from new site members making their first posting. (Observing such forum guidelines is a common protocol when joining web forums.) I simply ask anyone with a service issue to talk to me in the first instance, as there are always two sides to a story, and in my experience differences of understanding can usually be resolved amicably.

    In this event, yes, the kilts did take a very long time to be made. The reason, as I believe was fully explained and accepted at the time, was that the customer had a very specific fabric request, which was out of stock at the mill (not our own mill, but Scotland's largest producer of kilting fabrics) and we were entirely at the mercy of their re-weaving schedules.

    The sporran 'quality' issue is one of the 'eye of the beholder'. I shall break my normal rules here and share with the community that the sporrans ordered were in fact made by William Scott, whom I believe to be Scotland's finest traditional sporran makers. I fail to see how any other could be considered 'more authentic', and in my eyes the manufacturing quality is beyond reproach. There was indeed a change of online image for this product subsequently, since this order coincided with our stocks of sealskin fronted versions running out, which can no longer be manufactured under the new EU rules. We therefore substituted the bovine fronted option for future sales.

    I believe we answered every message received promptly, but could not of course give additional information or assurances where none was possible. We never ignore emails, and if any message to our 'complaints@' address (a special address noted in every outgoing email to help cut through any communication difficulties so that issues are seen directly by management) was bounced back, it can only have been due to mail delivery issues at some point between the customer's ISP and ours. We are regrettably unable to diagnose further (though the last time a similar issue was raised by another customer, it turned out to be that the customer was in fact emailing to 'scotweb.com' which is not our domain - I am not suggesting this was so in this case, but only mention it as an example of how 'no fault' grievances can arise).

    Finally, there has indeed been a problem with transacting an accurate refund, due to the technical difficulties to which the customer refers. This has been due to considerable confusion due to the combination of discounts, import duties, banks, postal charges etc. where various external agencies' arcane rules have been applied... in two directions. This has been further complicated by what we feel to be the unnecessarily early action of raising of a Visa dispute, which ties our hands further. If the customer would kindly contact me directly to discuss his perspective on any sums outstanding, I would be glad to oversee a process of resolving this question as rapidly as possible.

    Doubtless our perspective as described here will still fail to align fully with the customer's experience as already strongly expressed. But, once again, I'd request that rather than attempt to disentangle any differences of view in a public forum that only complicates such matters further, it would be better for all parties if we could conduct this conversation directly with a degree of positive goodwill in the interests of a happy resolution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    9th December 12
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    I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

    I did read Nick's "sticky" before posting. His suggestion that another email to complaints@scotweb.co.uk would somehow have resolved my problems is disingenuous. I wrote this posting simply to give an honest account of how we were treated as a warning to others. Believe me I have exhausted every communications avenue open to me in trying to resolve the various problems Scotweb created over the 5 months. Having exhausted all reasonable means, I'm having to rely on the Visa dispute to resolve the situation - emailing Visa all the substantiating emails and paperwork was my last resort in sorting things out.

    I do accept the point that there are always two sides to an argument: Nick thinks that the sporrans he sent us were "authentic". I have a full band of gnarled old Scottish pipers who unanimously disagree - in fact one laughed out loud when he saw them. In any case, we accepted the hit in returning the sporrans and merely expected a refund within a reasonable time frame in line with Scotweb's "no quibble" returns policy. Two months later we're still waiting and Scotweb's full explanation for the delay is "technical difficulties".

    Nick's reference to "external agencies' arcane rules"possibly refers to Australian Customs rejection of Scotweb's official invoice that asserted that 10x$1=$1, 4x$1=$1 and 7x$1=$1! Yes, really!!

    Only when I posted this account on XMTS, has Scotweb shown any real interest in resolving my problems - draw your own conclusions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    6th May 12
    Location
    Rochester, NY
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    Mr. McNaughtan,

    If your purpose is truely altruistic re: saving the rabble from a mercantile error, certainly you realize your redress is better served anywhere else but here?
    Numerous members have come to know and respect Mr. Fiddes, not only as a proprietor, but through history and scholarly exchanges as well. His reputation is built on these facets, outwith his relevant business ventures. To wit, he's recently seen fit to pruposefully "rehabilitate" an historic, family owned weaving mill from potential liquidation. One that many members hold dear, not only due to their fabric quality, but their legacy.

    Should you have followed Mr. Fiddes' advice, indeed the normal forum protocol, the very members whom you hoped to "save" may have aided you with means or experiential advice by which to have connected with or settled your grievance with Mr. Fiddes respectfully - on the q.t., as it were. As it stands, though your "side" of the story may have merit, it's conveyance appears a bit "trolling".
    Last edited by Domehead; 10th December 12 at 03:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    8th December 09
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    Southwestern Pennsylvania
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    Always two sides to a story, for sure. But I do think that what was said about Scotweb needed to be said in this public forum. If not, then how do we distinguish who is reputable, and who is not. After all, isn't that what forums are all about, to learn? I had a similar problem with another Scottish company two years ago, and it became a nightmare.

    Now, to be fair, I have never dealt with Scotweb, but I do empathize with the pipe band's dilemma. Had the OP not been made, Nick would not have responded. And, to be quite clear, there have been some disgruntled forum members with Scotweb's performance. And, there have been many who have had decent service; no complaints whatsoever. Boils down to a crap shoot.

    As for me, I'm sticking with the forum advertisers who are top notch...who have great products and, more importantly, render tremendous service. So, who might that be? I do not mind stating that the following vendors have been wonderful to me, and if there was a mix-up (it does happen occasionally), it was handled with regret, and quick resolve: USA Kilts, Stillwater, STM, Celtic Croft, Dunadd (former advertiser), Bonnie Heather Greene. Now, I have not done business with the other vendors on this site, so I can only speak from experience about the vendors that I just mentioned.

    As an after thought: had things been done correctly, in the first place, there would be no need to contact Nick!!!! My feelings are with the pipe band.

    Good luck with the pipe band and your dilemma.
    Last edited by denmcdough; 10th December 12 at 01:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    6th May 12
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    DenMcDough,
    So, to be clear, you're supporting a "first ever post" which lays-out-in-lavender an admittedly respected vendor, contributor and professional- whom must also run the trials and tribulations of everyday business - which you, personally have never dealt with?

    What I support is not Mr. Fiddes in the case of Pipe Band v. Scotweb. What I support is XMTS as a resource by which Mr. McNaughtan will find said "disgruntled forum members" and reach out to them. Or, find the "many others who have had decent service", of which I am one. That information could have been communicated via forum or PM. The conversation then takes a decidedly different tone.

    To my ear, Mr. McNaughtan's post is not altruistic. It's trolling & un-necessary. Mr. Fiddes' response is not "reactionary". Its obligatory, especially considering this context. And, re: the rediculous amount of information available here, the entire conversation the OP is based on should have been done "off-line", so-to-speak.
    Last edited by Domehead; 10th December 12 at 04:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    25th January 11
    Location
    Winfield, MO (originally from NE Scotland)
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    To play devil's advocate...

    Nick asked the OP to contact him to get the issues resolved... One would hope that both the OP and Nick can get it resolved... Hopefully the OP will post following this.

    Should he have had to feel like posting on a public forum was his .only recourse? Did Nick even know there was a problem? Does it really matter? Scotweb is a forum sponsor, have had good dealings with many, and some problems with others... When I worked for a major company we had 2 rules, 1. We're number 1 in the field, we don'tvbash the competitors products. 2. We want the happy customer at the end of the day... 1 bad experience does more harm to the company than a dozen good customer experiences... Largely because bad experiences get broadcast.

    At the end of the day I'm sure Nick will resolve it....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    8th December 09
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    Southwestern Pennsylvania
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domehead View Post
    DenMcDough,
    So, to be clear, you're supporting a "first ever post" which lays-out-in-lavender an admittedly respected vendor, contributor and professional- whom must also run the trials and tribulations of everyday business - which you, personally have never dealt with?

    What I support is not Mr. Fiddes in the case of Pipe Band v. Scotweb. What I support is XMTS as a resource by which Mr. McNaughtan will find said "disgruntled forum members" and reach out to them. Or, find the "many others who have had decent service", of which I am one. That information could have been communicated via forum or PM. The conversation then takes a decidedly different tone.

    To my ear, Mr. McNaughtan's post is not altruistic. It's trolling & un-necessary. Mr. Fiddes' response is not "reactionary". Its obligatory, especially considering this context. And, re: the rediculous amount of information available here, the entire conversation the OP is based on should have been done "off-line", so-to-speak.
    Mr. Domehead,

    Well, to each his own. You have your opinion and I have mine, so I stick with the OP.

    In conflict, everyone thinks they're right; two sides to every story. I'm sure this situation will correct itself with Nick's help. It's a shame that he had to get involved in the first place. I do think, though, that there was nothing incorrect with the OP. If you think so, then, that's your opinion. Different strokes for different folks!

    I should hope that we're in agreement on one thing: the situation needes to be corrected.




  9. #9
    Join Date
    24th September 04
    Location
    Victoria, BC Canada 48 25' 47.31"N 123 20' 4.59" W
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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I quote from our FAQ Policy on Product Reviews and Endorsements;

    "Product Reviews & Endorsements

    One of the functions of X Marks is to allow open and honest reviews of kilts, and kilt related products or services.

    Product Reviews are the best way for new members to gain information about suppliers. We encourage our members to post Product Reviews. All reviews must be about a product purchased for the members own use. Product reviews must contain only verifiable factual information.

    Negative product reviews are also encouraged as an important warning to other potential buyers, but the reviewer must be very careful not to denigrate or libel the manufacturer or supplier. Negative reviews must contain only verifiable factual information.

    If a member wishes to post a review, of a product purchased from one of our advertisers, it would be best if the review is posted in that advertisers section of the forum."



    Bold added by me.


    This is the official policy of the forum.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 11th December 12 at 04:53 PM.
    Steve Ashton
    Forum Owner

  10. #10
    Join Date
    6th May 12
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    Thank you, Mr. Ashton.

    This is exactly what was saying...the OP smacks of trolling and should be dealt with "off-line", or (per your request) in the advertisers section.
    Last edited by Domehead; 11th December 12 at 05:54 PM.

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