“ Punk and gothic shoes! „
I've written a review on the TUK brand before, so I won't go into much detail on the products here, but the service I received from the website. I have a pair of TUKs which were bought for me as a present. In addition to these shoes being unusual and a real statement, they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned, and have stood a lot of wear and still look as good as the day they came out the box. I had a birthday party coming up and wanted some fabulous shoes that would also be comfortable. Being a regular shoe shopper, I've found that this is often a hard thing to find. I decided to have a look at TUK's latest styles, knowing how good my pair have been and decided to go lazy shopping and do it the online way.
TUK have an excellent .com site, which has a bigger range than their .co.uk site, however it's just not worth ordering from there due to the shipping. The co.uk site is fairly new, or at least has a new look I tried reaching it a while ago and for ages was 'under construction'. The hard work paid off, as the site looks great.
For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, TUK specialise in gothic, alternative and quirky footwear for Men, Women and Children. The site is styled similarly to the shoes, with a rock n roll look. It takes no time to load, though it annoyed me a little the the site seems squashed into a rectangular box, big enough but considering the great product, I feel using all the space of my browser would give the consumer a better look at the product.
The home page had the usual special offers, new in, and news. At the moment they inform us that TUK are now on twitter, that they have new flip flops and back to school shoes in stock. There is also a large skull and crossbones with the slogan 'Born in England, raised in California'. I guess now they're based in California that's why you can't get as many styles over here. Shame. There's a link to the .com site if you are outside of the UK.
The site is very easy to shop. Along the left hand side of the home page, there is a menu so you can choose what you're looking for. The categories are Mens, Womens and Kids/Infants. Under these heading are further choices, depending on whether you are looking for heels, flats, platforms. boots or maybe just want to browse the clearance.
The search function works well, typing in a colour or style, brings up accurate results. I did find however, that it would not search by size, for example searching 7, came back with no results. This is a real flaw of the site as many of the style had no stock of some sizes and being able to just browse the styles of which there were my size in stock would make it a less frustrating shopping experience.
Once you have chosen you category or searched for say a particular colour, the results are shown with good clear pictures of the shoes with style name and price. It's really clear and easy to flick through and instantly see what you like or don't like with out squinting as some tiny thumbnail and having to open each and every description to get a good idea or the product like you have to on some sites.
There is no option to filter results or to arrange them in any order, for example some sites let you arrange by price or most popular for example. I don't think this really matters however, there aren't a huge number of styles to trawl through and the pictures are so clear it is easy to flick through. There is the option to view in pages or if you click the 'show all' button you can scroll through all the results in one long page. This a features I really like in a site. It means you can go browse a lot easier than flicking though endless pages, and you can never remember which page the one you wanted was on.
The detailed descriptions are excellent. TUK are obviously proud of their shoes, 4-5 good clear picture of the shoes from all angles mean you know exactly what you are buying. There is a brief description and links to sizing guides on each one.
The pricing of the products is also very reasonable. Shoes on average are £25-35 a pair for adults. Boots and the anarchic (gothic) range, slightly higher. I think for such unusual styles it could have been tempting for them to hike the price up further as they are really 'won't find anything like it' type shoes but I admire them for keeping the prices very high street.
Buying is easy. They take all major cards and transactions are safe and secure, they even accept a cheque in the post but state transactions take a lot longer this way. There is a detailed information section of the site outlining, delivery times, returns procedure and security practices. Delivery cost is £3.99.
I received my conformation email shortly after ordering and my shoes arrived within a couple of days. The box was sent in a mailing sack which was ripped and the box damaged. No fault of TUK, I would have though but Royal Mail. The shoes were in a very funky black box the with red hearts all over. I was very excited, couldn't wait to see my gorgeous heels, that were very Minnie Mouse! I took the first one out the box and was very pleased. Exactly like in the picture. I was astonished at the second shoe however. I was three sizes smaller than the other and the same foot! Thinking I might have a stowaway, I checked the box and nope, nothing. I had been sent two left feet, of one a 7 and one a 4. In addition to this, although the same style, these looked like different batches. The sole of one shoe was shiny whilst the other was matt and the sizes were printed on in different fonts.
Well it was the day before the party, so needless to say I didn't have time to wait for a new pair. Even if I did I'm not sure I would have risked it again. I should give the company the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure this is not a regular occurrence, however it's very true that you only need one bad experience of a company to never use them again. The shoes were actually excellent quality and service up until then had been spot on, what I can not believe is how this could have happened in the first place and why orders aren't checked before dispatch. Even a peek in this box would have identified the problem. These were not one size different but three, it was very easy to spot with just a glance. Clearly there are some problems with whoever is doing the picking.
A letter enclosed in the parcel asked the customer to obtain a returns number should they wish an exchange or refund for the goods. I emailed them straight away and received a reply just 3 hours later explaining that there was no need to send them back as there was no need for them to have two odd shoes. (Funny that, me neither) Instead they asked me to send a picture as conformation and they would refund me the money. I had no problems doing this, I understand I could have been someone trying it on, so I emailed through the picture. I thought afterwards, it's lucky I had a digital camera to hand. I know lots of internet users do have them now, but if I hadn't it would have been a lot more hassle.
I received an email from another TUK person the following day stating that my money would be credited to my account the following day and also included a 20% voucher code as an apology, though I only had a few days before it expired! I have to say a hassle as the whole thing was, both members of staff I had contact with were very apologetic and dealt with the matter in a friendly and professional matter. No explanation was given to how it happened however, maybe they were as baffled as I was.
Well TUK, if I had two feet the same one bigger than the other, that would have been a stroke of luck, in actual fact the whole thing is a pain the backside. They did say to dispose of the shoes, but they are still sitting where I left them, seems a waste. Maybe I'll plant some flowers on them or something!
Overall, considering my experience of tukshoes.co.uk I can't honestly recommend them, though I do like the site and the products a lot. I think I'll just buy from another source should I want to shop the brand again.
If the shoes had been perfect this site would have got 5 stars despite the odd little imperfection. Due to the huge mistake I'm dropping 2, but still 3 stars for a good site, products, pricing and the helpful way my problem was dealt with.