Written on: 15/12/2011 by RussellsTeapot (4 reviews written)
I started shopping online with River Island when they finally got rid of their Flash-only website; the new site is a definite improvement on its unusable predecessor. Unfortunately they still have no idea how to accurately describe an item online.
Mens clothing is getting a little bit silly these days - you can dress fairly normally, but increasing numbers of men want to dress like a lady with skinny jeans, harem pants and silly low-cut tops. Unfortunately, River Island doesn't always let you know exactly what you're buying - it's entirely likely you'll order what looks like a normal pair of jeans, only to be sent a pair of skinny jeans with the crotch somewhere near the knee that would barely fit a slim woman, let alone a normal-sized man. A simple field displaying the cut of the item, or a line in the description, would help enormously, but they only do this on a handful of lines.
Once you've taken the risk and bought something which may or may not be what you wanted, it's time to have it delivered. And it really does take time to get it delivered. Most retailers offer a version of free delivery, which you'd expect to be pretty slow and low priority. River Island rarely, if ever, offers free delivery unless you're buying half the shop. But the prices are OK, so you don't mind paying £4 to have it delivered within a few days. It's never 'a few days'. Even at quiet times, you'll be waiting at least a week, usually a bit longer. For me, the average wait is 9/10 days. In the post-Christmas sale last year, it was three weeks. When any other company's free delivery arrives a week before a paid delivery from River Island, it doesn't look great.
The general quality of the clothing, when it eventually arrives and if you've got lucky in the style lottery, is very good for the price. And you can return what you don't want either via prepaid returns label or via the store. So at least those unwanted skinny jeans they sent you can go back home.
I'd recommend store returns every time. Quick, easy, problem-free. If you return via the post you'll be waiting another week and a half (or longer) for your refund.