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      02.09.2012 20:36
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      love the 2 items I have but a bit frustrating

      If you spend much time online you probably will have noticed the pop ups from made.com. That's how I came across them and lured by the funky contemporary furniture, and a £10 off first order voucher, plus quidco cashback I started shopping at made.com a few months ago, with mixed results.

      Made.com is an internet only furniture retailer which sells a range of sofas, storage, beds and accessories. All the items have a "typical High Street" price on them, which as far as I can see is a bit arbitrary as the items aren't sold on our high streets which, let's face it, of recent years have a diminishing amount of homeware retailers to choose from. The prices are pretty good though, and to be fair the first item I bought, an £89 lamp I have actually seen advertised for over £60 more elsewhere (made.com suggest a £219 price tag). The items I have bought have been great quality also but waiting times have varied and in one case an item had to be returned as the company were unable to supply some missing parts.

      Navigating around the site is easy and next to each item you can see clearly where it is made (the Far East but also UK for some items) and how long it will take to ship. Some items are rapid delivery, but in other cases items seem to be manufactured and shipped to order and can (and in my experience do) take several months. There are some fun aspects to the site, you can vote on things you would like to see manufactured, and the overall feel is contemporary and funky.

      I was a little worried when ordering my first item, the Sensk lamp. It took a few months to come but I hadn't found an item I liked more on the High Street and I was kept up to date on delivery and also it was delivered by a courier company that gave me a one hour slot, always a plus. When it arrived I was amazed with the quality for the price - at under a hundred pounds it was, and still is stunning, with a marble base and it's a real feature of my room. After this happy purchase I ordered a storage unit, again delivered to schedule, and of great quality for the price and then a nest of tables - this is when I found myself having to test out customer services as when I opened the box to assemble the item I found there were no screws. This is where my made.com experience soured somewhat, though the helpline was easy to phone I ended up playing ping pong via phone and email for a month before I realised that they would be unable to send me the parts and giving up when they told me I would have to wait 2 months for a replacement, on an item that initially took 3 days.To be fair customer service refunded me promptly after I decided enough was enough but I was disappointed not to be able to have what I had ordered, not to mention frustrated by having to follow up what should have been a simple issue so many times. Though the lady I ended up dealing with was polite and helpful, ultimately I paid £80, waited in for an order twice and ended up with a box sitting in my house for over a month with an item in I couldn't assemble, and felt I wasted time and energy on what should have been a simple purchase. I wasn't offered any compensation and they couldn't solve my problem.

      All in all then I have mixed feelings about this company. Whilst the furniture on offer is undoubtedly cheaper than buying in a high street shop - whether you like it will depend on whether it is your style but they have some lovely bean bags, light up stools and even mini-football tables as well as reasonably priced sofas if you don't mind buying unseen and unsat on, I do feel that if things go wrong they are not experienced enough to fix the issues as they might. It would also be good if there were there the possibility to review the items on the site itself as buying anything is a bit of a leap of faith - though when viewed on my ipad the photos of the item are very true to life in my opinion. Delivery and payment of cashback are both good, but patience seems to be a requirement as you may wait months for items and then should there be issues resolution is not easy as I have discovered.

      It's a shame I can't recommend made.com more strongly - I would use the site again if I saw something I fell in love with, I just can't help feeling that my experience could have been a bit better and that where made.com works well as a "ship straight from manufacturer" company when things go wrong they literally fail to deliver.

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