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The Right Stuff, White Stuff?
Member Name: cyberem78
Date: 16/12/11, updated on 04/01/12 (155 review reads)
Advantages: High quality clothing.
Disadvantages: Not a great online service.
I had never heard of White Stuff Clothing until my sister told me about it and showed me a catalogue of their gear. The clothes they sell are cute, vintage, often very ornate and intricately designed. Due to the attention to detail on the clothes they also tend to be quite expensive. I'd compare the shop and the range to a brand like Boden or Joules.
White Stuff sell a selection of items including womens wear, menswear, accessories like socks, tights, hats and scarves, jewellry and homewear. They also stock nightwear and underwear.
I first decided to look at the White Stuff website last month when I saw a few voucher codes on Moneysavingexpert.com and thought I'd take a look to see if there was anything I might get for myself or for a Christmas gift.
The website looks well designed and is easy to find your way around. The menu tabs are located at the top of the main page for easy access. From here you can access a smaller menu which breaks up the stock into categories such as 'knitwear' and 'T-shirts' so you can easily find what you are after. You can then sort the items that appear in the main page in order of price, rating, review standards or how new they are.
When you place an order with the website you have to register and create a password which you can use with your email address to login to the site in the future. The site personalises the pages by printing "Hello...[insert name]" at the top of the page. I find the ordering process very easy. There are drop down menus on each item from which you can choose your size and colour. A handy information tag informs you of the availability and of whether it is low stock. You have to click a button which adds the item to your shopping bag and then you 'checkout'.
After I placed my first order I became aware of some problems with the site. I got a confirmation of my order by email which was great but on the site itself the order wasn't registering as existing on my account at first. When I checked a couple of days later my order had appeared in a section of my account called 'previous orders' but was still not being listed in my current orders although it had not yet been processed. The order showed a status of 'waiting' which I found to be a totally empty term and there are no explanations of what the status terms mean on the website.
Orders are supposed to be processed within 3-5 working days and postage must be paid for at the cost of £3.95 unless your order is over £75. My first order was not processed within this time - it was eight days before I heard from them and they sent an email saying my order had dispatched. I then received an email the following morning giving a precise hour of the day when my parcel would arrive, which was very helpful to me. The order was complete and contained an invoice detailing the price as well as return labels for a free returns service.
My second order with this company went much the same way - ambiguous status term on website, overdue dispatch date etc. and I also had an extra problem with being billed incorrectly after using a discount code. I then had to sift through my credit card bills to check details, contact the company etc etc. Although neither of my orders were completed on time I am allowing for the fact that it's Christmas and that order processing times may be longer but I would have liked some confirmation of these delays by email. I also don't like the fact that my account and order status is a bit confusing. The billing error was simply time consuming and annoying.
I must say that the quality of White Stuff goods is amazing and I really love their stuff. They are also packaged very well to protect items during transit. I liked the fact that they have also given me the opportunity to shop with them again by providing little 15% discount cards with my orders. I will be, however, attempting to shop at my local store rather than online in future as I have found it to be a bit of a hassle to use the website. Online voucher code offers are often extended to their high street stores which I think is an excellent idea.
Summary: I'd shop on the high street rather than this website.