On Tuesday morning (13/3) I ordered a Record Power BS250 bandsaw and a Record Power DP58B pillar drill from DIYTools, apparently a trading name of Taylor Bros in Liverpool (I’m not going to link to them as I’m afraid I can’t recommend them).
They were about £20 cheaper for the bandsaw than most other places and a little more expensive for the pillar drill than some others (although those others didn’t have it marked as in stock).
They also had the major benefit of 6% cashback via www.topcashback.co.uk and a 5% off discount code as well.
Both items were showing as “in stock” and “Usually shipped within 3-4 days”, so I placed an order, expecting to receive the items some time between Friday and Monday.
I attempted to call them to discuss the order and confirm that they would fulfill it during the time when I’d be working from home, but after sitting in a queue for about 5 minutes was transfered to the sound of a ringing phone for about 6 minutes and gave up.
The following day I received a mail from someone apparently from customer services (although they failed to mention the order number so I was initially suspicious) wanting to “verify my card”.
On Thursday (15/03) I called the 0844 number on their website (rather than the different 0151 number in their mail) and was mostly met with messages about the voice mailbox being full and please try later. (I also called the number in the mail, which gave the exact same message, so at least that checked out!) I gave up, emailing them my number and requesting a call back urgently.
After several hours wait I made several more attempts to call them and finally spoke to someone who verified my phone number and muttered “it’ll be there on Tuesday” before all but hanging up on me.
I finally received a response to my mail after the call which stated that my “order had been realised and would be with me early to mid next week” and replied explaining that I would need warning if they were unable to deliver on/before Tuesday (I don’t think my wife would be massively impressed if someone turned up and expected her to carry about 85kg of machinery into the house!)
I monitored the status of my order on their website every day for signs of a status change from “Processing” and checked my emails regularly for their promised email with tracking details, but to no avail.
Yesterday I mailed them again, worried at the lack of status change or tracking details, to be told “we will give you notice when we have an accurate date so far it should be Tuesday”.
I emailed again this morning (since it’s the last reasonable day on which they could have shipped for delivery tomorrow) but again received no supply and eventually called around 4pm and after a relatively short wait (by their standards) got through to someone who told me that the pillar drill was not in stock and Record Power were currently unable to tell them when it would be available.
I queried this, since the item was still showing as in stock at that point (and indeed still is 5 hours later) and after initially arguing, the representative said it would be changed “within 10 minutes”.
The bandsaw may or may not have been in stock and they were allegedly going to ship it to me tonight, however I cancelled the order at that point, as I have no intention of dealing with a company that is either too incompetent or too dishonest to provide proper stock information.
The problems I had getting email or telephone communication with them had already made me worry that I’d never be able to get hold of them if I had a problem with my order.
Oh well – back to Axminster Tools it is then!