Are we really ready in the UK for on line commerce

  Steven135 22:42 03 Jul 2003

Looking through many postings on this site makes me wonder if online trading is worth the hassle.

So many people report that companies fail to respond to e-mail, telephone etc. I just wonder when some companies will get their act together.

If your purchase goes through OK and the product is satisfactory great, but it doesn't help customer confidence when many companies are virtually impossible to contact when there are problems.

ISP's seem particularly at fault here and they are supposed to be on the cutting edge of communication technology.

I recently sent an e-mail to Evesham that was answered promptly and helpfully, Amazon have also been excellent, as has Crucial but the impression is that these are the honourable exception to the general rule.

Does this put anyone else off buying online?

  Belatucadrus 23:19 03 Jul 2003

Is it worth the hassle, OH YES ! on line shopping has saved me literally thousands over the past few years. There are suppliers out there that aren't worth dealing with, but the good ones are gems and long may they continue to trade.

  powerless 23:34 03 Jul 2003

Well i've only ever purchased online from PC World. co. uk and play. com

PC world - Computer Game - It did not state that you needed the game before to play the game. It was returned - No problem.

I also went for an offer on Works suite 2003 and a free printer - Some error on the card so it was not sent - But emails back and to from PC World and it was sorted. Well i actually brought it from in store; but no free printer as it was a web offer (thread somewhere on this site)

Play - DVD collection - Ordered Thursday arrived following Wednesday.

Also were only a little tiny bit of all the people put together who buy online so on the whole its good. If they were not doing good then they would cease to trade online.

  wee eddie 23:52 03 Jul 2003

The moment you have to make special arrangements to receive the item or take time off work to do so, the price advantage disappears.

Also the saving frequently turns out to be illusory if you need any form of secondary service.

  dontaskme 00:24 04 Jul 2003

The reason it is perceived as bad is because happy people don't make a fuss.

You will only read complaints "they didn't do this" etc. and never "i ordered it and it arrived".

Can you imagine if all the threads were full of: "Turned computer on, working fine" :D

  canard 13:11 04 Jul 2003

One lenghty hiccup and one modest one against a whole lot of easy and satisfactory transactions are my experience.
It would be a good thing if more readers added their ticks and crosses in Consumerwatch as it is very helpful to read it BEFORE making a purchase.
It is very worthwhile to post a question about the item/seller BEFORE ordering anything. There are lots of readers with an aggregated wealth of experience to share.

  so3003 13:41 04 Jul 2003

Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for online. If you go to the cheapo shops, you can't expect to find good service (rightly or wrongly), though sometimes you do get pretty awful service from the bigger merchants too (eg

As a rule of thumb, always make sure the people you are buying from have a postal address, contact telephone number that's not premium rate, and an email address. You might want to send them an enquiry before you buy to gauge their response time.

You wouldn't buy from a dodgy high street shop, so why take the risk online?

  recap 15:35 04 Jul 2003

Generally shopping on the Internet is a lot cheaper than from a high street store. Here at work I have bought quite a number of items via the Internet and saved pounds, without any delivery hassles. The latest item was a projector bulb that saved us over £100. Even on the Internet it is worth shopping around though, as you would along your local high street.

So I would say YES, shopping over the Internet has arrived in the UK and long may it reign.

  Forum Editor 18:59 04 Jul 2003

has hit the nail on the head.

Millions of online transactions are completed every day - most of them with satisfactory results. We hear about some of those that go wrong for one reason or another. That's not a reason for suggesting that we aren't ready for online commerce.

  Andybear 19:26 04 Jul 2003

I can't drive and don't like lugging large items on the bus/train so I think on-line shopping's great. As Steven 135 states, Amazon are excellent. I also find Argos / B&Q are good - very helpful and good delivery times.

  Danoh 19:48 04 Jul 2003

The traffic jams, queues....

I've found increasingly good bargains online and have steadily made more purchases online. Recently ordered a steam generator iron for £85 as opposed to £150 @ Argos. But the suppliers acted shocked that I'd ordered from them online and were only setup to deal with traditional channels with upto 28 days delivery!! Nearly 2 weeks later and I am still waiting.... price savings makes it worthwhile though.

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