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“A ‘triumph’ of style over substance.”

Written on: 18/07/2013

At the age of thirty-seven I may be forgiven for being slightly naïve when it comes to internet shopping and, boy, did I wish I’d done my research and read the reviews on sites such as this before using this shoddy, not-even-second-rate company. Avoid Streetshirts at all costs. This is my first-ever on-line review and it may have been inspired by something costing less than £20 which merely hasn’t arrived on time, but I’m absolutely gobsmacked that, in 2013, customer service can be this poor. I bet pretty much everyone out there is satisfied with virtually every company with which they deal on the net. Most companies have efficient, user-friendly and trustworthy websites. And, once you’ve ordered online, most companies then deliver within a day or two, promptly, efficiently and seemingly without effort or hassle. Hell, even the great British public manage pretty-darn amazing feats when it comes to providing and supplying goods via e-Bay and so on. Well, Streetshirts may have a vaguely flash website that’s easy to navigate, but don’t for one moment be lulled into a false sense of security. These guys really are cowboys. And, I don’t know who they’ve employed to ensure search-engine optimisation, but I hope other, better design-your-own-t-shirt companies with a shred of decency get hold of this person and optimise their sites way above slapdash Streetshirts.
Quite credibly, pretty much any one of us with a negative review could take this company to the small-claims court and clean them out of every last piece of small change. To begin my pretty compelling case, please indulge me by allowing me to quote from their website:
“Order by 2pm and we guarantee to dispatch your order the same day. Next-day delivery available.
[In a large headline font] “Same-Day T-shirt Printing
“Our dispatch times are the best on the web.
“If you order a stock item before 2pm Mon-Fri, we aim to dispatch it the same day. If you order a non-stock item before 2pm Mon-Thurs, we aim to dispatch it the following day.
“Stock item orders over the weekend are generally dispatched on Monday, and non-stock items ordered over the weekend on Tuesday.
“… we start work on your order immediately”
Now, I may be no legal expert (and I really don’t care how much like Alan Partridge that makes me sound), but, firstly, any company is setting itself up for – and should expect – censure and criticism at the very least if it makes these claims and fails to meet them. And, secondly, there are some pretty eye-catching words and phrases used in these quotations: “same-day dispatch”, “guarantee”, “best on the web”, “immediately”, etc. If a company makes these claims and fails to deliver on them, then no amount of small print can hide its blushes, let alone salvage its reputation. Streetshirts as a company clearly has no integrity, and even the kindly e-mails (and, I presume, the telephone responses) one receives from them are, at best, disingenuous. An e-mail sent four days after I had ordered my t-shirt and two days following my estimated dispatch date advised me of a delay to my order, declaring that “honesty is the best policy” when attempting to justify the delay, and yet a further e-mail I received, after I had pointed out the date (and the event) by which I wanted my t-shirt was imminent, claimed that Streetshirts would “push [my] order through production to try and get this dispatched to [me] asap”. Lovely as these people may be and charmingly whimsical as they may hope to seem are not good enough reasons to excuse Streetshirts blatantly fobbing off customers.
I concede that I’ve only ordered one t-shirt, which I wanted by today (and which deadline I have pointed out to Streetshirts on two separate, follow-up occasions to my initial order) but, oh my, would you believe it, it has only gone and failed to arrived. Sadly, I haven’t even been able to cancel my order and use a swifter and more efficient company. Most gallingly of all, however, Streetshirts have already debited my account when they haven’t even dispatched the goods! I simply cannot comprehend how people who order for poignant reasons and / or once-in-a-lifetime events (birthdays, charity events, marathons, hen-dos, etc) must feel when they receive similarly shocking service.
And, finally, for my own amusement as much as to prove anything, I’ve included Streetshirts’ responses to two separate customer complaints, both dated 25th June 2013 (Streetshirts were clearly, quelle surprise, having a bad day a month or so ago too). The first reads:
“We are sorry about the experience you may have had with us. We do apologise for our slower than usual service and understand that it is not acceptable under any circumstance. We are now up-to-date with all of our orders.”
And the second:
“Thanks for taking the time to review our service and sorry that we disappointed you. We understand that this is in no way acceptable at all. We will be looking into this to ensure it doesn’t occur again.”
May I be so cheeky as to draw Streetshirts’ attention to sentences two and three of the first response and sentence two of the second? Clearly, things have gone more than just a little awry in the interim. If things are falling apart, Streetshirts should just own up and accept they can’t match the bold claims that they make – and that they dress up as almost-promises – on their website. Streetshirts schmeechshirts. Bah. If they are really so successful, then surely they should act like grown-ups, employ a few more people and BE HONEST. Is it really so hard? Ultimately, a good-looking website is trumped by fallacious – if not downright mendacious – claims of reliability and efficiency. As stated above, these guys are terrible.

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