WHSmith.co.uk – one to avoid!

Earlier this month, I placed at order at WHSmith.co.uk for the first time since 2008. 15 days later and there has been no sign of my item, so I checked my order status on the website. It’s showing as “Part-complete” which apparently means “Some of the items ordered have been sent or cancelled and the others are in progress”. I don’t understand how this can be possible, given that the order is for a single item.

The product page is showing as out of stock  and unavailable to add to the shopping basket, so it seems unlikely that my order would be fulfilled so I’m surprised that it hadn’t been cancelled automatically.

I expected to be able to cancel the order myself via the order management page, but unfortunately this wasn’t an option due to the order’s inexplicable “Part-complete” status. So, intending to ask Customer Services for a refund instead, I headed off to the Contact Us page, clicked on the top option (Contact WHSmith) and was greeted with…. an error message! To their credit, the error message quotes a telephone number for contacting the Customer Services team, but this is only open from 9am to 5.25pm Monday to Saturday. Not much use at 8 o’clock in the evening, then.

So I clicked around a bit more and found the Cancel Order page, which suggests emailing customer.services@whsmith.co.uk. I did this, and very promptly received a response. Unfortunately, it was an Invalid Recipient error from the mail server!

I searched my mailbox and found an old password reset email from support@whsmith.co.uk, so tried this address and I received an autoresponse indicating that my email had been received by the customer services team.

Hopefully I’ll get my refund soon, but needless to say I won’t be shopping at WHSmith.co.uk again.

Update (11 Oct 2010): Looks like my email has been ignored as I haven’t heard anything since I got that autoresponse two weeks ago, and my unfulfilled order is still showing as part-complete. However, the Contact Us page seems to be working now, so I’ll give that a shot!

Update (28 Oct 2010): I have finally received a response from WHSmith: “I can confirm your card was refunded on 29 September 2010, and that the order has been cancelled but, due a system error the status has not changed.”

Earn cashback on your shopping with Quidco

Quidco is a cashback site which you can use to earn rewards for shopping at your favourite sites. You can also earn cashback without spending any money, simply by signing up for free trials of services such as CreditExpert, or by switching your utility or insurance providers.

Since I joined a little over three years ago, I’ve managed to amass a cool £1300 in cashback, so it’s definitely worth doing. By way of a membership fee, the first £5 you earn per year is retained by Quidco, but after this you get 100% of the proceeds.

There are a few notable omissions such as Amazon, but most of the big retailers appear on Quidco, typically offering anything up to 10% cashback. Some of my favourites are Play.com, Tesco, Debenhams, ArgoseBay and iTunes. They’ve also started a in-store cashback programme including retailers such as Halfords and Cineworld.

Plus if you sign up via any of the links in this post, you will earn £1.25 just for joining. I’ll also get £1.25 for introducing you. Once you’ve joined you can also earn up to £2.50 for each friend you introduce.