I like many have struggled through the credit crunch and got behind with payments at Great Universal. When I called them to arrange a payment plan after paying some of what I owed I was informed that if I did not pay I would be fined.I was called 5 times at least a day for about 2 weeks and hounded for the rest of the money. The manager did eventually call back but he said I would need to pay at least fifty pounds or I would keep getting fined.The phone calls have now stopped after a lot of complaints but the fines keep on coming even though I am making a payment every month.This problem is far from resolved and I will not be using Great Universal again even if your payment is 1 or 2 days late you will be charged 12 pounds
I've been a Great Universal shopper now for several years so thought that it was about time I wrote a review.
They sell a variety of items including:
gifts and Jewellery
plus many other items
Website And Catalouge
I find the website easy to use and I receive 2 Catalouges in each spring/summer and autumn/winter. They also send out end of season sale booklets and after this have a further reductions online. However for the sale items it is worth ordering as soon as the sale starts as they sell out of the best reductions really fast.
They have a good reward system which rewards you for your spending with them. The reward levels are silver 5% Gold 7.5% and platinum 10% the more you spend the higher the reward level and they are earned by the payments you make.
All items are 20 weeks interest free credit and upto 52 weeks interest free on items over £60. There is also buy now pay later at the moment they are offering buy now pay later on orders over £50, however there is interest charged when using a pay later option. There is sometimes interest free credit for upto 4 years on certain sofas which I find is quite good.
All my orders I have received have been a really quick delivery I can sometimes order and receive the item the next day just on the free standard delivery which can take upto 2 days. However if you require next day delivery then the cost is £6.95.
Quality of Items
Overall most items I have received have been of good quality however I have received some items that I have returned for example I ordered a dress that I noticed the tags had been removed so I was not sure if it was a return. I have also had some parts missing for a desk that was ordered.
To make a return is easy you can ring customer services or you can order a return online. Most of the time my items will be collected the next day.
They offer insurances on most items that can be purchased for example televisions, washing machines these are added to the account however you cannot earn reward commission on any insurances purchased.
I would recommend this Catalouge because they are easy to order from, offer quick delivery,still offering commission,good selection of items and i've never really had any problems with them. I can recommend the ladies Love Label collection they are a really nice fit.
I held a Great Universal account last year, I was surprised to be given a credit limit of £500 as I know my credit history is extremely bad, but was happy to be given the account.
After a few orders on there I thought it was great, I knew I was paying over the recommended retail price for the items with the interest etc but thought it was worth it as I was declined for credit else where.
I went to make an order and they refused it, I was still within my credit limit and was paying above the minimum repayment scheme and was baffled to why my orders were being declined.
I tried to contact them, which ended up costing me a fortune, until eventually one day I received a call from there accounts manager informing me that they could no longer offer me credit due to my credit history. I explained to them that all the information I gave was true on my original application but they said there was nothing they could do. I continued to make the payments but on one occasion the payment was late.
I was treated extremely poorly by them, I had tried to explain to them the situation I was in but they were uncooperative. I decided that I would make a payment when I could (which was a couple of weeks after the agreed date) and I was bombarded with calls and letters form debt collectors. I have little left to pay on the account but it left me extremely angry.
My friend has also had problems with the chain (shop direct) when she ordered a cooker from Littlewoods, they tried to charge her twice for the item and never came to collect or install the new cooker.
My advice is to stay well clear of the companies in the shop direct chain, the fact that they give credit to just about anyone is worrying in its self, once they have the sale they seem unwilling to give good quality professional customer service.
TERRIBLE DELIVERY SERVICE!
I opened a new account with these 5 months from 29th June 09, & to say ive had some of the worst delivery service ive ever had is a understatment!
Ive had things supposed to be delivered on a set day that didnt arrive, i called GU & got a silly Call Centre Agent telling me there sorry did i want to cancel the order.? i got the impression its a regular thing with them, so again i ordered another item (Bosch 1000W Drill) i was told it would be delivered on the thursday IT DIDNT i called & i got "Oh if i was you id give it a couple more days" i told them that i had a job to do that i was getting paid for (which was the truth) & the person had been told i would start on the friday & by the sunday the job was finished BUT NO! not with GU! i waited in all day friday/saturday (sunday closed) & monday i called them again got the same story "Oh we dont hardly stock anything the items you order are direct from the manufacturer" so its them that are to blame! WRONG!!! totaly WRONG! if you run a business you DONT sell something that you cant get hold of! i recived the Drill the following friday 7 days late! i have since ordered two other things with the scope of NOT to relay on them! & both items was between 3-9 days late! one thing i would like to add is i bought a Surge Protector from them ! i ordered it & it took 3 half weeks to arrive!!!
Speaks Volumes! when i recived the item i canceled my account & paid what i owed in the fixed amounts that was set!
Never again will i recomend Great Universal! there a total dissgrace of a company!! & if the call centre staff are sick of taking calls about the delivery farce then WHY arnt the management getting this sorted out!!!
Well it is my first and last experience dealing with this company as they have left me totally seething with their company policy. I ordered 3 items which consisted of 2 pairs of jeans and a pair of trainers. A couple of days after placing my order a package arrived consisting of the trainers and 1 pair of jeans. On the docket i was informed my other pair of jeans would arrive next week which i wasn't happy with as i had ordered them for my holiday in the first place. So i took the delivered jeans out of the wrapper and found that the color of the stitching didn't match the picture on their website. So i now have 4 days before i go on holiday and no jeans! So i rang up customer services, told them my situation and asked for my card to be credited as i hadn't received what i ordered. The customer services staff told me that it will be 14 days before i get my money back. I then explained i go on holiday in 4 days and need the money to purchase some jeans for my holidays. The customer services woman just kept saying company policy doesn't allow them to do this and so i asked for a manager. I was then informed the manager wasn't there but they would get the manager to ring me back. I have rang up twice now trying to get a result but they promise to ring and don't. Im now nearly £200 down for 14 days and seething as i cannot afford to buy any more jeans.
Great Universal is a catalogue company that allows you to buy now and pay for your item interest free for up to 52 weeks.
The first ever purchase I bought was a laptop at a time where there new catalogue had just came out, it was about £700 a and thought I was going to be paying a little more maybe about £80 more then everywhere else but it was interest free, and it meant I could have it now.
I had opened an account 6 months previously but never had the urge to buy anything. But now I was in desperate need for that laptop, didn't have the funds and needed it for work (I work self employed from home)
I logged on to www.greatuniversal.co.uk and chose the laptop I wanted, checked out selecting my delivery date which I had to pay extra for, it wasn't much a few pounds from what I can remember.
2 weeks later my laptop didn't arrive, I waited in all day expecting my new laptop to turn up, to my annoyance it didn't arrive, however did arrive the day after.
I wrote an email telling them I wanted a refund for the postage costs as it didn't arrive on the day I had specifically chosen, It's just a good job I work from home really as I can imagine people waiting in all day taking the day off work. They did refund the cost of postage.
We checked the laptop and when we opened it, we realised it didn't have the right ram and memory which was issued in the catalogue so we called them up and after 20 minutes of being passed to person to person we were told we had opened it and we could no longer send it back. It was being looked into and someone would be in contact with us.
No one did get in contact with us; we had this laptop sitting in its box which we couldn't use as it was a lower spec then what we thought we were buying.
We waited 2 days and called again....
This time we got given a contact name and direct number, and were told they were not sure what had happened with the wrong specs but to bare with them.
Eventually they said we could choose another spec of laptop at the same price so they knocked £100 off and we went for the Sony Vaio.
Sony vaio turned up on time this time checked it was the right spec etc and it was. Right great excellent I thought.
My excitement soon turned into disappointment when I tried to use the lappy without having it plugged into the mains it just shut off, the screen went black and yes the battery was fully charged.
Again we tried many things ourselves, googled to see if it was something we were doing but it wasn't
So we called Great universal again and told them what was happening and they told us to contact Sony
We called Sony who said they would send us a new battery out, The new battery came very quickly but it didn't make any difference so we called Great Universal again and told them, They were reluctant to take it back saying it was Sony's issue which I guess it is but after all the trouble we have had they said to choose another laptop and we went with the Toshiba but they said it would take 6 weeks to arrive!
To make things easier they said we could use the Sony as it was, plugged in till the Toshiba arrived and we were still getting £100 taken off.
The Toshiba arrive and they took the Sony back and eventually after 2 months I got my laptop that I had wanted.
WHAT ELSE HAVE I BOUGHT?
After all the hassle I didn't touch great universal for a while, for about a year and a half as they just annoyed me so much.
Although over the last year I have bought a bed for my son, some clothes in the sale, house items such as lights etc and they have all arrived ok.
There customer service is appalling but I think it's like this with most big companies these days as no one knows what they should be doing and treat everyone the same instead of thinking about the customer and how they should be treating them.
Overall I would never buy a large electronic purchase from these people again, I will buy the odd household item and if the price is right in the sale I will buy as well but there are better places to shop, that are cheaper and treat there customers better.
The only advantage with Great universal is the interest free option which allows you to pay over 20 or 52 weeks and they also have deals where you can buy now and pay in a year this is the option I took out with the laptop.
They sell lots of household items, furniture, clothes, toys. Some of there goods are overpriced.
Also they tend to give new customers 10-15% off there first order, Id recommend you look into this if you are thinking about buying a bigger item over a few hundred pounds as you could save yourself alot of cash but also be left waiting a long time for it to arrive.
Great universal catalogue
The Great universal catalogue process is so easy. I applied online for my catalogue account and just had to fill out a two minute application form and was given an instant decision of being accepted.
I got sent a credit agreement to sign within a week but getting this back to them doesn't stop you placing your first order with them which you can do straight away.
When you make your first order of £25 or more Great universal offer you a £15 discount
There are two ways to order either online in which you log into your account using your account number and password add items to your basket and then checkout you are then sent an email as conformation of your order.
Or you can order by telephone by speaking to an adviser.
You are given a delivery day when you place the order and you can track your order online or by phone.
Great universal are great for this as you get 20 weeks interest free on items under £60 and 52 weeks for items over £60.
Every 28 days you receive a statement and you can either pay the minimum payment or the full amount via direct debit online or by phone.
All returns are free and can be collected from you at home within a week.
My credit started at £200 and if you call them and ask for an increase they tend to be quite good as long as you are making repayments on time.
Be careful though as my minimum payment is just over £100 a month as its easy to get carried away.
Great universal has so much choice clothes footwear furniture bedding bathroom items games consoles DVD players TVs pcs amongst loads of other items.
My overall rating
A word of warning to all those who are currently, or thinking of becoming, a customer of Great Universal catalogue.
After spending the last 20 years as a customer, my mother has been hugely upset by a letter recently received by them.
Not only has she spent literally thousands of pounds with them over the last 20 years, but she has never ever defaulted, or even been as much as a day late with her payments to them.
The letter she received this week has basically told her in no uncertain terms that they do not wish her to be a customer any more. Their reason? Because, they claim she has made too many returns in the past. Lets put this into perspective; In the past 12 months she has made just 1 return - because they sent her the wrong item!
This letter comes from a company that actively advises its customers to order multiple products in different sizes and/or colours and to keep the ones that fit best and to return the ones that dont.
My mum is absolutely devastated by their callous, and as I see it, very rude and insulting letter. So be warned. Great Universal really dont care at all about their customers so think twice before spending your money with them.
So there I am, about to start a new job with 4 days notice, when I get my eye on a Great Universal catalogue on the doorstep. I flick through, and find a marvellous 4 piece suit for £89 - skirt, trousers, dress and jacket, all matching. Ideal, I thought to myself, so I rang up adn ordered next day service. Having never ordered from a catalogue before, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was - one 2 minute phone call. So the next morning, I get out of the shower at about 7.30 am, and hear the postman banging on the door. SO I run downstairs in my towel, open the door a crack and take the post from him. When I came into the kitchen, the Great Universal delivery man walked through my back door, put the parcel on the dining table and walked out again. I was absolutely furious that this stranger could walk into my house like this, so I got dressed and rang Great Universal to complain. A girl who sounded like she was painting her nails said in a bored voice that the delivery men were contacrted and didn't work for Great Unviersal, but she would chase it up and get the supervisor to ring me back. Then I opened the parcel to find the four items of clothing were all different sizes (not one of them the size I asked for), and two were different material. I sent them straight back. I waited until the next day for the supervisor to call back, then I had to make four more calls before I got to speak to her. She was not in the least bit bothered. Did I get his name? she asked. No, I said. Well there is nothing we can do without a name. Her attitude was appalling, a serious lack of customer service. The next day I got three more parcels, which I hadn't ordered, so I sent them back too. Then I got a bill for the whole lot. I wrote a letter explaining this 'catalogue' of errors (!), and saying I have sent everything back and am not paying a penny. I never heard a reply (apology would have been nice). From readin
g the reveiews on this site and talking with friends, I get the impression everyone else is happy with the service. I find it a great shame that I wa streated this way, as not only has it put me off ordering from other catalogues, but Great Universal has a great range of products from clothes to toys to housewares, etc. Their prices are very reasonable too, although I wouldn't like to comment on the quality as I have only received one outfit which was sub standard. I am altogether very dissappointed.
I have three mail order catalogues, and can't honestly say that Great Universal is my favourite - they are often expensive, slow to deliver and have sent me through the wrong goods on more than one occasion. However - they do have some very nice clothes. Recently I had an interview for a job as an Animal Care Auxillary for the PDSA. As I work with horses at the moment, I don’t really have any clothes that are suitable for an interview. Having looked through all my catalogues, I saw a 4 piece suit in Great Universal that I liked the look of and wasn't too bad a price. My interview was on Friday afternoon, so on Tuesday afternoon (just after the phone call informing me of the interview), I phoned GU to place the order for next day delivery. I knew that next day delivery orders had to be in by 11am, but I assumed mine would go onto Wednesday morning's orders, and arrive on Thursday. Imagine my surprise then, when the person who took my order said that their computer didn't do that, and I would have to phone back in the morning!!! As I am at work in the morning, my mum kindly said that she would phone the order through for me. She phoned on Wednesday morning at about 7.30am and was told that I would have the goods by 8pm on Thursday - great, except...Thursday 8pm came and went. Panicking a little by now, I phoned GU at 6.45am Friday morning thinking, 'if it arrives this morning that'll be fine', only to be told that despite having a 24hr phone line, their computer system is not fully operational at that time in the morning and could I please; 'phone back at about 8' 'No I can't, I'll be at work by then' 'Well, I'm sorry but I can't help you.' Nerves for my interview were now very thin, but I headed off to work, desperately hoping that the clothes would be there when I got home at lunchtime. 12.30pm - 2 and a half
hours before my interview, still no suit so I phoned yet again. This time I was told that; ‘the computer is not showing the order as having been placed for next day delivery’. When I assured her that it had been, she checked again, and this time informed me; 'next day delivery isn't actually available in your area' 'but the person who took the order said it was, and that it would arrive by 8pm yesterday' 'Sorry, I can't help you' As the time was now getting on, and all hope of the suit arriving in time to stop me having to turn up at an interview in clothes borrowed from my mum (no offence to my mum's clothes, but I have much broader shoulders than her, and much bigger boobs, so everything is a little tight!) I told the 'helpful' telephonist to cancel the order. By the time I left for the interview, I was so cross at Great Universal, that any nervousness about the actual interview had paled in comparison. The interview went well, and I thought that would be the end of that – but then on Saturday morning (more than 36 hours late) the suit finally arrived! (this notwithstanding the fact that I had cancelled the order on Friday!) To complete the catalogue’s catalogue of errors, on Wednesday morning I got my statement from GU which actually charged me for 'Express' delivery!! I can’t quite decide whether Great Universal have an unbelievably complicated computer system, or incredibly incompetent staff, but the whole thing has been a farce from start to finish!! Both my other mail order catalogues, do do next day delivery in my area, and are very reliable. If just one of the people I spoke to at GU had been able to tell me accurately what was going on with my order, then I could have ordered from a different catalogue or even gone shopping! I have written to Great Universal, expressing my displeasure a
nd requesting that the charge for 'Express delivery' be removed form my account - hopefully I will be able to add more to this when (and if) they reply. By the way, after all this, I didn’t even get the job!
When I first received a GUS catalogue I was happy. They stay reasonably up to date with fashions and their delivery service is good. However the amount of poor quality clothes I have receieved is surprising. The seams come away & the colour fades very quickly. The products seem to be reasonably priced but in fact it is because of the poor quality of workmanship or materials. Also there isnt much for a woman in her 20s. A lot of the fashion is aimed at the over 40s. Great for middle aged women, but not for someone of my age group.
I had not use a home shopping catalogue for some years. Needing to buy new school uniform for the kids and money beinga bit tight a catalogue seemed the best way of getting what was needed without shelling out lots of cash in one go. I put a few catalogue names in a search engine ended up at WWW.greatuniversal.com. I found the site easy to use, easy to order from and descriptions of items were really quite good and include pictures. It tells you there and then if the items are available or not and makes alternative suggestions of items. I set my account up on line. Choosing to have a monthtly account I didnt need to provide any details of visa cards etc. The goods arrived in a couple of days. You can even check up to see when they are going to arrive. Unfortunately the site is have problems with the my account section at the moment and statements are a little out of date on screen, but I am sure that will be remedied asap.
WATCHPUSSY Hello, I'm Kay your Watchpussy reporter. Today I will be investigating and exposing such important issues as: BONGGG.... Why should a left facing girl be more expensive than a girl looking to the right? BONGGG.... Why do Great Universal uplift breasts and at the same their time prices? BONGGG.... Why does getting a spotted dress cost 40% more? BONGGG.... Why am I using the News at Ten bongs? No, I haven't been on the red wine yet, it's too early. But I have come across something, completely by accident, which I think is interesting. As you may recall (smacked bottom if you don't) I wrote an opinion on Argos and their Additions catalogue recently. As part of my in depth market research I had flicked through the Additions pages and some of the clothing (yes, thongs and a bra!) stuck in my memory. Yesterday I was visiting my mum and she had just received her 'Spring Summer' Great Universal mail order catalogue or 'Club Book' as she calls it. While she was making a coffee I looked at the catalogue. And what did I see but the same thongs and bra as in the Additions catalogue. Coincidence perhaps, but no. There was also the same cardigan that I quite liked plus a few other items of clothing I had remembered. What stuck in my mind most, however, was the price of the cardigan. I had thought about buying it as it looked very sexy. Mainly because the girl modelling the garment wore nothing underneath and it just had one small fastening at the top. I remembered the Additions price was £19, but here in the Great Universal catalogue it was £30! That was £11 extra I worked out on my Watchpussy calculator. I asked my mum if I could take the GU catalogue home with me, which I did. There's nothing I won't do to get a good Dooyoo story! I started comparing clothes in the two catalogues. It was qu
ite difficult as they were in a completely different order. The following are just a very few of the examples I found. •Cardigan that I liked. Same photo in both catalogues but the picture has been reversed. Great Universal, page 10, price £30. Additions, page 90, price £19. You would therefore save £11 (37%) by buying this from Additions. •Water Push-Up Bikini. Same model but in a different pose. Great Universal, page 83, price £20. Additions, page 97, price £13. You would therefore save £7 (35%) by buying this from Additions. •Underwired bra with matching thong. Same photo in both. Great Universal, page 255, price £16. Additions, page 217, price £10. You would therefore save £6 (37%) by buying this from Additions. There are many, many more examples I could quote but I think by now you'll have got the message. "But was it just with clothes?", I hear you ask (I have good hearing as well as a good memory) And the answer is no. I'll give another couple of examples. Sorry with this boring bit but as a Watchpussy reporter I have to be very thorough. •Copenhagen solid pine wardrobe. Great Universal, page 786, price £399.99. Additions, page 663, price £319.99 You would therefore save £80 by buying this from Additions. And so it goes on: price differences of £50 on a Beko electric oven, £30 on a Zanussi washing machine, £7 on a duvet set (Kingsize, of course!) etc. etc. Now if I was a Great Universal customer, like my mum, I would now be screaming, "Rip off!" as opposed to my more familiar cry of "Get em off!" It would annoy me even more because GU have emblazoned on their front cover, 'We're unbeaten on price ... it's official'. Here's another funny thing - well, perhaps not - lets just say peculiar. The ordering codes for the items for both Great Universal an
d Additions are virtually the same. That Push-Up Bikini is code 'FE 91 39' with GU and 'FC 91 39' with Additions; the Copenhagen wardrobe is 'VE 24 91' with GU and 'VC 24 91' with Additions; 'VE 14 33' & 'VC 14 33' for the Beko; 'TE 20 36' & 'TC 20 36' for the Duvet set. You don't need to be a highly trained Watchpussy like me to see what this means. Is there a case for the defence of Great Universal and their exorbitant prices? Let me think.... Defence: You can pay for GU goods over 20 weeks. Watchpussy: The catalogue says, 'Everything's available on interest free credit'. This means no extra should be added to prices. Defence: Agents get £1 back for every £10 spent as Cashback. Watchpussy: Not much of an incentive giving 10% if you have to pay up to 40% extra in the first place. Defence: GU offer free delivery. Watchpussy: How free is free if the prices are so much dearer. Defence: Free ordering. Watchpussy: Weak defence, it's free also if you go into Argos. The only thing in favour of GU is that they have an 0800 freephone number for orders but with Argos/Additions it's a local rate call if you want to order by phone. Watchpussy judgement: "Sorry Great Universal I find no defence for your prices. Why should people pay over the top for your goods when they are cheaper elsewhere. Could it be that included in your prices are the costs to cover the 'free' credit (and possible bad debts), 'free' delivery, 'free' ordering and the cashback scheme. And what about your claim to have 'unbeaten' prices. No doubt your comparisons on prices are only against other Mail Order Club Books also offering 'free' credit and cashback type commissions. I feel that these catalogues are generally full of overpriced goods". That's my
first Watchpussy mission completed. It's been a long hard job and I feel quite dry - I'd better get the kettle on. I'm thinking of dying my hair that sort of red colour and learning to wink. A younger Ann with cleavage. "Great Universal, you are the weakest link, goodbye" Beware! Watchpussy is here waiting and ready for action. ;-> Kay
An easy way to shop, just browse through the catalogue and order what you want. It is open 24 hours a day, provides free phone numbers for all orders and enquiries. You can shop via their web site if you wish www.greatuniversal.com or e-mail them with any queries that you might have. It is handy being able to spread the cost of your purchases over 20 or 40 weeks interest free, and there is no deposit to worry about either. Commission is paid after you have paid up to £100.00 off of your account; this can be 10% in cash or 12.5% if you take it in goods. Delivery is free to your home or to any other address you request, and a collection service for any goods you do not wish to keep is also free of charge. Great Universal provides a good Customer Service Department in case you are having any problems at all, and they do sort them out very quickly. I bought a food mixer over 20 weeks and after 21 weeks the main bowl cracked, they replaced it within a week, taking the faulty one away. Three weeks down the line the same thing happened, they reimbursed me with my money. I liked the way they dealt with my problem, another firm would tell me to take it up with the manufacturer. The catalogue itself has loads of fashion clothes for women, men and children all at reasonable prices. They also sell a wide range of household goods, jewellery, Gardening and Camping accessories the list goes on. I recommend great Universal; it is a nice company to deal with and they do provide a good service.
I have been using Great Universal for about ten years now. They did go through a brief spell were everything was out of stock and anything I ordered took weeks to arrive but I am pleased to say that those days are over and now anything I order comes in two days and that is brilliant service. The catalouge offers a great range of goods from clothes through to household objects and garden furniture. Although the prices are higher than in high street shops, you are able to spread payments over 20 weeks so if you are on a tight budget this really does help. There is also a brilliant online service. You can order goods, check your account balance and pay money onto your account and it is all very easy to use. I placed an order online on Wednesday night and the goods were delivered on Friday morning! If there is anything you want to return you can either take it to the post office or it can be collected by the local courier. This really is a quick and easy way to shop and its reliable to!