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An online shop which won't let you buy the items!
Member Name: magenta23
Advantages: Well laid out, easy to navigate
Disadvantages: No inclination of stock levels before you order
I've always liked M&S for it's quality and well laid out shops. The prices I don't think are expensive as they used to be (or is it just because everything else has got more expensive?!) and their ranges are broadening to suit a younger generation. I have reviewed M&S's Limited Collection on here before, of which I'm a true fan. The clothes are modern, beautifully cut and great quality. Think Topshop trendy, with the M&S classic touch.
My love of this collection hasn't gone unnoticed, it would seem amongst my friends, as I was given a giftcard for my birthday recently. Having being eyeing a jacket in my nearby store recently, but being unable to get over there, I decided to visit M&S online. I have a credit card with M&S and the money section on the site is great. I can check my account any time, seeing my recent transactions, updating details, making payments and having an archive of my statements. I've used this part of the site a lot and find it very user friendly. Something I'd not done with M&S is shop online however.
The homepage of the site is laid out well, with the toolbar at the top allowing you to shop by category, Women - Men - Kids - Home and Furniture - Technology - Flowers and Gifts - Food and Wine and a 'What's new' section. It's a shame M&S don't do a core online food service for grocery shopping like Waitrose or Tesco. Their food section on the website for more specialist orders such as wedding cakes, wine and catering packages.
Most of the home page at the moment is dominated by their summer sale. Big tutti frutti colours inform you there's 50% off some products. Even the sale items can be browsed by collection, department, colour, size, style, price so it's easy to find what you are looking for. Is once you find it and actually want to buy it that the problems begin.
I found the jacket I'd spied in store and hurrah for me it was in the sale now! Pictured in blue, you could zoom in from all angles so see as much detail as you liked. Some of the garments on sale even have videos of them so you can see how they move when you walk, admittedly on a gorgeous size 8, 6'2'' model, but it gives some idea! Clicking the drop down boxes for my size, and then for colour, I notice there is only an option for white, even though there are no options to view this garment in any other colour but blue. Never mind, white it is! Moving on to delivery, you have to choice of choosing standard delivery, which is sent within a few days providing item in stock, or a date of your choosing. I notice no prices are put here for delivery and you have a follow and extra link to find the cost. £3.50 for standard delivery, I felt was a little steep. I see why they aren't more upfront about it. Moving on I entered card numbers and was then sent to order details page which told me my linen jacket's estimated delivery date would be in September, bearing in mind I'm ordering in July. Not wanting a summer jacket ready for winter, I thought I'd begrudgingly pay another £1.50 and choose a date from the special delivery option. To choose your date, you pick from the calendar on screen which highlights available and non available dates. Saturday was free, perfect. I was then redirected, to a saved items page, and was told my item was not available to buy, but to try again in the future.
Needless to say, marksandspencer.com did not get any money out of me, though not through lack of trying, so I can't comment or their delivery service. I'm guessing my item is out of stock, but I feel it should be shown on the main description page if this is the case, not after I'd given card and address details.
It's a shame as M&S have always impressed me, needless to say the flaws in their website shopping experience means I won't be shopping online with them again.
Summary: A frustrating waste of time