While losing business to online traders, we still value our local technology shop as the place to buy. The service is good and the advice, while worth checking against magazine reviews, is easy to interact with. Allowing a margin for their service, and that you can walk out with goods is one way to go.
Online shopping is superb if you know what you want or if ever there’s a rare spare part that your local shop might never stock. But there’s no knowing what kind of service you’ll get. Some manage to meet expectations so we went back to these places:
- www.ebuyer.com for computer bits. Buying items that are out of stock delays the order. Otherwise a very efficient outfit.
- www.amazon.co.uk for anything
- www.panasonic.co.uk for spares
- www.premier-presentations.co.uk in Newport, Wales selling projectors
- www.viking-direct.co.uk - remarkably efficient office supplier
- www.maplin.co.uk - efficient gadget shop and free delivery
We usually make allowances for the fact that customer service isn't every firm's strong point. But not always. We're more likely to go back when:
- They deliver as promised and responses are instant
- If something helpful is done when an item goes out of stock. In some shops it’s delivered without.
- Places that put work in whether something goes right or wrong.
And begging indulgence, our curses go out to the following:
- Aston Green Audi garage, Slough. How many phone calls does it take to change a cam belt? At Aston Green they break all records as it took 50 calls to get a car fixed. Or half-fixed because I had the car delivered home running poorly. Why didn't it work? It was fine said the delivery driver. But another another main dealer showed that it wasn't fine: the engine belt pulley was on backwards. So I'll thank Esplanade Audi for correcting that and for claiming some of the fee back from Aston Green. Grr.
- Magnet Kitchens - good kitchens but for the chaos by failing to start work on the agreed date. When the delvery was resheduled they did it again. Next time it's straight to John Lewis.
- Hackney Council - phone any department and try to find anyone civil. Easy? Wot? Innit not.