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Flash sales to treat your home
Member Name: Womble85
Advantages: Great product range and discounts
Disadvantages: Expensive p&p on small orders, packaging quality control dire, customer services don't value custom
Three months ago a new company appeared on Quidco, it's name was Achica, and it advertised itself as a online private members store. As I was paid through Quidco for signing up, I didn't look too far into what the company offered and just signed my details over. The good news is at the time of writting cashback is still 10% through Quidco on all orders.
Since signing up Achica have emailed me every weekday morning, but far from being annoying these emails have actually become something I look forward to opening.
The premise is that on weekdays they have flash sales, lasting 2 days per brand. There are never more than 6 sales on at once.
It is free to sign up at the moment, although Achica indicate in the future it may be paid to join, or by invitation only. Even better if an existing member refers you both of you recieve £5 for use on their products when you place your first order.
Achica offer a fantastic variety of homewares, gardening items, childrens toys and furniture, kitchenware, with the occassional cosmetic brand or sportsware company. Achica differ from existing members sites such as Brand Alley as they do not offer clothing sales. The best sales are released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, although smaller sales are also released on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Brands I have seen include Clinique, Salter, Graham & Brown, Marco Pierre White, Kitchen Craft, Raymond Blanc and Christy towels to name a few.
Items in the flash sales are usually 50% off, although can range from 25% through to around 80%.
Delivery is expensive for small orders, at a flat £4.95. As Achica order direct from the manufacturers before shipping out delivery is 3 weeks, no good if you want something in a hurry!
However there is a drawback to the great offers and enticing products offered, and I have to say its a big one. I have now placed four orders with Achica, each one of them has had something wrong with it. The first order took six weeks to arrive, while in the second the clock I ordered was so smashed and mangled it looked like it had been dragged behind the couriers van to my house. The third order contained a very scratched and rickety item which was of a much lower standard than I expected, while the fourth contained only 8 out of the 12 towels I had ordered. On each occassion I emailed customer services and the item was refunded, or missing items sent out, although I have not received an apology for the delay in the first order, or the damage to the clock. Therefore I have to say that while their customer service team are efficent, they don't ever go that step further to make me feel valued as a customer. After this many consistant errors with no gesture or apology on their part I do now think twice about placing an order, and unless its something I really, really want generally I leave it alone.
While I love the premise of Achica, and the companies they have attracted and the discounts secured are very enticing, the order quality control is staggeringly below par so far. Companies like Amazon have grown so big not just by offering products at great prices, but also by having a great customer service team who don't quibble, make you feel valued, and treat customers in a friendly manner, and this is something I feel Achica have failed to appreciate.
Achica remain a relatively new company, only launching a few months ago, but the kinks don't seem to be working themselves out, and they've lost me as a customer because of it.
Summary: Hopefully the issues will work out in time, but sales need to be really special to grab me now