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Don't get mugged...I did
Member Name: cjkace
Date: 29/06/01, updated on 29/06/01 (64 review reads)
Advantages: special introductory offers
Disadvantages: expensive once you've joined, editor's choices sent unless you specifically request otherwise, poor customer service, no redeeming features whatsoever
Well I admit it. I got mugged. Suckered by the promotional material from Britannia that you find in just about every magazine and daily newspaper. "Buy 4 DVD's for the price of 1!!", "4 DVDs for only 3.99 each!!" So I went ahead and joined. What an idiot I am.
Just in case some don't understand Britannia run various 'clubs' but in fact when you join one, you are automatically allowed to order from the others, so although this op is in the music section, by joining the music club you get access to their DVDs/Videos and vice versa.
So how does it work? Well you order using their promotional offer and if approved get your order at a knockdown price. Then every month you receive a 'club' magazine listing the latest releases, special offers etc. There is also an 'Editor's Choice' selection every month, which unless you specifically request otherwise will be sent to you. You can opt out by telephone, posting a slip back or now on their website. You then have to purchase 6 full price titles to fulfil your membership obligations, before you can cancel.
So what's so bad about Britannia? Why do I feel as though I've been mugged?
1 - Prices.
They are far and way the most expensive place for DVDs that I have ever seen. Nearly all their DVDs are 19.99 (plus postage), which is over the top considering that high street stores are charging 16.99. They do offer special bonus prices along the lines of "buy 1 full price, get I bonus price item" but the prices of the bonus items is actually the same as the prices on the high street.
2 - Editor's Choice.
I think this should be opt-in, not opt-out. If I want the editor's choice then there should be an option to specifically ask for it, not ask that it not be sent. I've so far received three 'Editor's choices' because I didn't request they not send them (my fault I admit, but I&
#39;ve been so busy). This has become easier now that I've found the link on their website.
3 - Returns
If like me you receive something you don't want there should be an easy way to return them. Why can't a return slip be put in the envelope along with all the other crap? Why is there no link on the website to request a return slip? It seems that they make the returns process complicated so that some people don't return products.
4 - Customer Service
Britannia must be unique when it comes to their customer service. It's actually quicker to e-mail than it is to telephone. Their members telephone service is so long winded that it's quite literally unbelievable. Press 1 for this, 2 for that etc, and when you press the corresponding button to try and talk to a human being, you get left hanging on the telephone for ages.
Having been a member for approximately six weeks, I cannot in all honesty see any benefit to me of remaining a member. By the time I've fulfilled my membership obligation, I will have spent enough money that I won't have saved anything over shopping in the high street. In fact I reckon that I will still have paid, approximately 5% more by joining Britannia (taking post and package into account). As soon as I've bought six DVDs and fulfilled the obligation I will be dumping this 'club' faster than a flytipper on a country lane.
Take my advice - steer clear of Britannia Music & Britannia Video