* Prices may differ from that shown
I live outside the UK and wanted to send a Christmas present to friends in the UK. First off the BHS website won't allow you to input billing addresses outside the UK which really complicates things.
Finally managed to place the order which was then delivered smashed to pieces - it was bottles of wine. The recipient phoned BHS to report the breakage and was told a replacement would be sent by express delivery once I had confirmed it. I had to do this by email as I could not get through on the phone.
A week later they emailed to say they wouldn't replace it and that I would have to order another one.
Finally spoke to them on the phone only to discover that the item was out of stock. Checked their website then called back on 31 December to order something else and spoke to a man who refused to believe that I had placed the order!
Finally managed to place the order and was assured that it would be delivered express on 1 January.
Just received an email now that seems to suggest it hasn't even been sent yet.
What a complete waste of time!
I wish I had checked out these reviews before ordering online still we are all wise after the event.
I had seen a coat I liked in one of their stores but not in my size, one of the staff members suggested I could order it online. The process was very straightforward as i had the code number and i requested it to be delivered to the store as I am out at work all day and the store would phone me when it arrived.
10 days later it hadn't arrived (checked with the store) so i phoned the central number waited a riduculous amount of time then got cut off, I tried twice more before i spoke to a real person. The person was absolutely useless and said it had been despatched but i had to allow at least 10 working days not the seven days stated.
Today it is 18 days since i placed the order I couldn't get through to the central number despite hanging on the phone until I lost the will to live. I phoned the store to be told the coat I had ordered and paid for had still not arrived but they did have one in stock , in my size and did i want that one! You really couldn't make it up could you.
I'm planning to write and complain about the central system although the store staff in Aberdeen have been great.
Needed a new table lamp & I found just what I wanted online at bhs.co.uk - a black gloss lamp. i bought 2, got 20% off, delivery was free and it turned up within 2 days. It was really good value - they look as though they could have cost 3 times as much.Really happy.
TERRIBLE! I ordered 3 bridesmaid dresses from BHS online and wish I had never bothered! One was faulty and trying to return this and get my money back was a nightmare. It took more than a month to get my money back and had to make 3 x 20 minute conversations (which cost £10) to get this resolved. Staff were rude and argumentative. I wrote two letters of complaint, both of which were ignored. If you're considering buying anything from BHS online I urge you not to! IT'S NOT WORTH THE HASSLE!
I can't say that BHS is a store I shop in very often, but I've bought a couple of things from there when there's been a sale on. I noticed a sale recently & a discount code for free P&P from their website so decided to see if there was a nice jacket for my father's birthday. I was quite surprised to find one that was just what I was looking for, came across is quite easily, and it was a bargain at £15 from £50.
I've visited BHS online in the past and thought it looked slightly outdated and not the easiest of sites to navigate, but it seems to have been improved recently, making shopping on there that bit more enjoyable all-round.
The front page is quite neat and colourful without being confusing. It has a welcoming feel to it, and appears accessible with the relevant links near the top, and highlighted sections and offers spanning the rest of the page.
Towards the top are useful links for a store locator, delivery details, a 'my account' page and a search box. Underneath this are the links to the different departments. These include:
Flipback (male version of Tammy)
Also credit card section (opens a new page with details of their card scheme) and Christmas shop
I'm not sure how many of the items you find in store can be found on their site, and there are often things showing as sold out or available after a short wait, so it's not necessarily a one-stop shop for all your wants.
Searching through the product range can be done a number of ways: Clicking one of the boxes on the homepage that's displaying a particular product or offer, using the main department links or using the search box at the top right. The search box allows you to browse by keyword or product number, though I find it easier to do a general browse of the categories unless there is something specific you have in mind.
The different categories are each divided down into further subgroups, eg. Click Women and get a breakdown by product and collection. These then be divided further (eg. Select knitwear and choose from cardigans, shrugs, supersoft etc). The products are displayed as 12 items per page, but you can choose to view more at once.
Searching is fairly easy, though I would prefer more options, such as price categories or size, or at least ordering from the lowest to highest priced items.
Once you've found something you're interested in, a large image is available to view, along with a colour swatch (where applicable) and a few other details about the product. The details aren't usually very in-depth, and although you can get a clear image displayed, it's still not the same as having the product there in front of you.
This, however, is the problem with online shopping in general really unless you've seen a certain product, like a particular coat, that you want from a store. I felt fairly confident in ordering a jacket because I think that BHS sell good quality products, so at least that was reassuring along with the fact it's reputable and trustworthy department store.
If you like the product, you then go on to select the quantity, size and colour (where applicable), and you can check out the delivery and returns, along with a size guide if it's clothing. If it's in stock and you want it, just click to add to basket. It's a good idea to add whatever you find that you think you may want to your basket, as you can always delete it when you check out, and it saves you from going through everything trying to find it again!
The basket is well laid-out in the sense that all charges are updated. Any special offers that are applicable are shown, and you can enter a discount code if you have one, then update to see exactly how much you will be charged, including delivery. I think this is good because some sites make you wait until the very end until you know exactly how much your order comes to.
Checking out is a relatively simple & straightforward process and registering only takes a few minutes by entering your address & payment details. The payments page itself is secure and I feel confident in using it.
Delivery rates are about average, with standard delivery being made within 3 working days for £3.95, or free for purchases over £100. Express delivery costs £1 more at £4.95 if you want it the next day. Alternatively, you can arrange for it to be delivered to store within 7, but this costs the same as standard delivery, unless you're spending over £30, in which case it's free. Delivery charges always seem to deter me from most sites, because I like a bargain and if you have to add £4 to an item that's discounted or not, it's still hiking the price up.
That said, there are numerous discount codes floating around, and frequent offers on the BHS site itself, so it's good to keep an eye out for these before you order.
Returns are free, either to store or via post by requesting a returns slip online. This, I think, is a real bonus. Some companies do this, but if they don't then you're looking at a fair amount of money to send something quite bulky, such as a jacket, back. So this gets a thumbs up.
My experience was quite positive. I ordered the jacket, and some slippers, and had no problems in doing so. The only thing I noticed was that when flicking around the site I did seem to lose the items in my basket a few times; either because I wasn't signed into my account or because of a technical 'glitch', I'm not sure.
The ordering process itself was straightforward and only took a few minutes. I received a confirmation email of my order and had them delivered within 2 days by a white van man, so I was happy with the speed of delivery!
Both the jacket and slippers were packaged okay, though I would think other items, for example decorative or delicate things, would be packaged more thoroughly to prevent damage. The products themselves were great and just what I wanted, though that's not really a review of their website per se.
Overall, I think ordering online from BHS is a good alternative to going to the store if you don't want to travel, your local store doesn't have the product in stock, or if you have a good discount code to use. The only downsides would possibly be the glitch I had with the shopping basket which meant it took slightly longer to get to the checkout, some items not available or in stock, and the charge for P&P (though I was lucky and got a free delivery code!).
BHS isn't normally a shop that I use very much, but having been tipped off that they had a range of good value wedding gear I thought it was time to investigate this stalwart of the British high street a little further. I was, at that particular moment in time, searching for a pair of wedding shoes, as my usual footwear (trainers, walking shoes or large and fairly unladylike boots) just weren't going to cut it with a white dress. I've never been all that keen on shoe shopping, and I really wanted something that was either going to be worn again or would be cheap (but not so cheap that they would collapse or make my mother sigh at me on the day itself). My search thus far had been in vain - seriously, have you ever tried looking for bridal shoes? Shoes that would normally be expensive seem to justify becoming laughably overpriced at the very mention of the word "wedding", and the word "practical" doesn't seem to feature in many manufacturers' vocabulary. Evidently wanting something I could walk in was asking too much of most shoe retailers and combining both my requirements of "comfortable" and "sanely priced" was beyond pretty much everywhere I looked. Which brings me back to BHS. They seemed to be a store that would offer me shoes that wouldn't cripple me at a fair price, so were worth investigating. However, it turned out that my local branch didn't stock their wedding range, so it was off to their online presence, bhs.co.uk.
**Website Design and Layout**
The website, like the store, does not have the most thrilling image - it is a functional black white on a beige background. All departments (menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, homeware, weddings, gifts and their high APR credit card that they are very keen to push at you in store as well) are clearly labelled from the home page, and I found it very quick and easy to navigate around, although my one complaint is that the text used on the site is rather small and some users may find it uncomfortable to read. Images are clear and quick to load, and I have not experienced any problems or broken links with the site. There is also the "opportunity" to sign up to a newsletter to receive information about special offers and the like, but I cannot comment on this as I declined to use it - I already have quite enough stuff bombarding my inbox on a daily basis. I think dull but functional sums it up, although I don't mean that as an insult - I would much a rather a website was functional and user friendly than flashy to look at but horrible to use.
**Product Range and Prices**
Bhs.co.uk sells a range of clothing, homeware and gifts (including gift cards) of the "generally not all that exciting, but good value if you find what you want" variety. It was the wedding collection that particularly interested me, however, as despite being small it is excellent value compared with the astronomical prices you can pay elsewhere - it is easily possible to kit yourself out with a whole bridal outfit for under £200 (by way of comparison, some retailers try to convince you that you need to pay at least this much just for shoes alone - I kid you not). The odd items I have bought from their high street stores had already persuaded me that I was going to get something of decent value. The website also offers you the option of a free "order and collect in store" service if you think you are going to have trouble receiving your parcel (and given my experience with deliveries, I heartily wish I had noticed this option in time to use it!).
**My Shopping Experience**
I found just what I was looking for: a pair of ballet shoes, suitably pretty for my needs, comfortable to wear and best of all, in the sale (reduced from £20 to £15). Factoring in the delivery charge (£3.50) and 3.5% cashback from greasypalm.co.uk, I would mean getting my hands on the shoes for an inexpensive £18. I found the ordering process smooth and easy; I chose my size and input credit card and delivery details, and then chose between standard (£3.50) and next day delivery (which costs a hefty £4.95). I got a swift confirmation email and my cashback appeared as "pending" in my greasypalm account overnight, which was a nice bonus.
Four days after placing my order, I returned home to find that a large parcel had been deposited outside the front door of my flat; I find it slightly worrying when delivery drivers confuse "this must be signed for" with "please abandon where anyone could help themselves to it and ignore or forge the signature", but at least it meant I had got my hands on my goods (once I had excavated through the vast amounts of packaging it came in). But there, beneath the mounds of unnecessary padding was a pristine white shoebox containing my pair of beautifully packed shoes. The shoes were just what I wanted and decent quality for the money. Pleased with my bargain, I tried them on...and found that their perceptions of shoe sizes were some two out from mine. Just as well that bhs.co.uk has a fair returns system then, isn't it? This is a rare example of a website that give you completely free returns on purchases - the only downsides being that you have to ring them in office hours to get them to email (or post) you a return label and then reorder your item because they don't do exchanges, only refunds. It really is a minor niggle though, as my phone call was answered pretty quickly and the returns label landed in my inbox within an hour of me making the call. The label has a special "postage paid on delivery" code which is very convenient - as it was free I could just pop the package into my work mail rather than having to take it to the post office to return it. The "no exchanges" policy proved to be more of a problem for me though, as by the time I had done all this and gone online to order a smaller pair of shoes, the sale was over and I had to pay the extra £5 - although at least they handled the refund quickly and accurately.
Order number two proved to be harder to get my hands on. A week after I had placed my order, I still had no parcel - just a "missed second delivery" card from the Home Delivery Network. At this point I swore rather more than is strictly ladylike as I had come across the Home Delivery Network before, and the service was so dire it was beyond me how they were still in business all this time later. I called the delivery people up with a heavy heart and it went something like this:
Me: Hello, I'm calling about a missed second delivery card that I have received from you. I wasn't informed about the first delivery.
Home Delivery Network: Sorry. We can attempt one more delivery.
Me: OK, do you deliver on weekends?
Me: I'm afraid I can't get any time off in the week to be here and receive it. Could you possibly redeliver to my work address?
HDN: Yes, what is the postcode please?
ME: GLX XXX
HDN: Is that a university site?
HDN: We don't deliver to universities.
Me: Can I collect it from you then?
HDN: Yes, our nearest depot is located an inconveniently far distance from you and is only open when you are in work.
Me: Great, well can you just leave it outside my door like you did last time?
HDN: We never leave parcels outside the door - that would be insecure.
ME: But you did with the last parcel you delivered to me....
HDN: No we certainly don't do that, we have to have someone sign for it
Me: Hmmmm. Is there anything else we can do about this?
HDN: We can leave the parcel with one of your neighbours if you can tell us which one would be in between 8am and 6pm on a randomly selected weekday.
Me: I have no idea when my neighbours are likely to be in, but I'll guess number 17. Hey, I can always order my parcel for a third time after all!
Miraculously, a couple of days later the lovely people at number 17 knocked on my door and presented me with another oversized box. I unpacked it to find...a battered and torn shoebox containing shoes with half the packaging missing. It was clear to me that someone else has bought them, tried them on and returned them improperly packed and they had not been checked when they got back to the BHS warehouse. The shoes were thankfully not damaged and fitted me, although I did send an email to BHS customer services pointing out what had happened and how bad their delivery company was - six weeks later I have received no response from them.
**The Last Word**
How should I sum up using bhs.co.uk? Well, I did get what I wanted at a fair price, the free returns system was good (if a little inconvenient - being able to email for a returns label would have been helpful) and new items out of the warehouse come well packed. On the down side, they don't appear to check returns very carefully, customer services decline to respond to complaints and the delivery service they use to support their website lets them down hugely. Some readers may think it is unfair to list the performance of the Home Delivery Network as a disadvantage of using this website, but as it was a component of my shopping experience then I think it is legitimate. Not everyone will want to (or be able to) collect in store and a poor delivery company that makes it hard for me to get my goods would put me off using this website again in future. I think I would have to not recommend this service based on my experience - either buy it in store or do without!