Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scan Fail

I've been holding back a rant about Scan for a while, mainly because I was hoping they could redeem themselves... but it appears they may have missed that chance. Let's break down the things wrong with how they operate shall we?

  • Estimated Delivery Dates: They let you pick a date for the items to be delivered (though this has to be at least a certain distance into the future, see below). This is good. They don't deliver on that date. This is bad. I had one parcel over a month late and not delivered with no emails from them (again, see below), whereas one they actually sent to me came nearly a week early. I deliberately chose a date a bit further in the future than the first possible one and that was for a reason. If the delivery dates are chosen by them at random, why allow the customer the illusion of choice?

  • Dead Time: After you place the order it just sits there in the system for 4-5 days before they look at it. You get the "Order Accepted" and "Payment Received" emails on the day of ordering and then the "Items Picked" and "Delivery Shipped" emails 4-5 days later with no activity at all in the middle. Why make the customer wait through artificial delays? Is charging for faster delivery so important? As a side-effect, this has an unfortunate habit of stopping you getting things. Say you place an order and everything's in stock. Everything is still in stock 4 days later. At the end of the 4th day an item goes out of stock just before they get to packing your stuff. Your things don't get sent and they don't bother telling you (see below).

  • Money Handling: Payment is taken from your account as soon as you place the order, unlike Amazon who take the money only when they ship the items. If you need a refund on the other hand, that can take substantially longer. I'm still waiting going into my 5th day after being assured "the refund will be processed as soon as possible". How hard can it possibly be?

  • Lack of Communication: If items go out of stock before they ship the order then they don't tell you about this. If you want to know if the shipment will make it to you around the date you chose then you have to go to the site and check every item yourself, there's not even links from the Previous Orders page, you have to manually search for the items. Even worse is they have a service where they send you a text when they ship something so you know to be ready for it. Pity this gets sent the next day, 5 hours after it arrives at your house.

Overall my level of service from them has sucked. So far I have receieved 1 out of the 3 orders I have placed. I have yet to receive the refund for one of the undelivered ones (which wasn't an inconsequential amount) and the other is floating in the void somewhere between "we've forgotten about it" and "we just don't care".

I should note that since I made this post, Scan have extensively overhauled their ordering process. Check them out, their prices are still some of the best.

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