Argos - www.argos.co.uk Review

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★★☆☆☆
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  • Customer Service

  • Quality of website

  • Value For Money

sandemp's review of Argos - www.argos.co.uk

★★★★☆

“I love looking through the Argos catalogue, there's...”

written by sandemp on 19/12/2005

Good Points
Gifts for all occasions | Reasonable prices | 16 day money back guarantee

Bad Points
Delivery charge a little high for smaller (cheaper) items | Site a little slow to load

General Comments
I love looking through the Argos catalogue, there's always so many different items that I didn't realise I couldn't live without. And it's such a wonderful way of composing gift lists, but it does have it's disadvantages...



...There are normally long queues in my local store to just pay for your goods, and then you might find out that the person in front of you has just bought the last of that must have item (believe me that's happened to me more times than I can count). But I no longer have that problem, I simply go to the Argos website, find what I'm looking for and then reserve it to pick up later. Of course there are some items that are too big to collect from the store, and these I have delivered. I won't go as far as to say that I love using the website, but I have been quite impressed (especially lately) and now I'll tell you why....



---The site---



The website itself is clearly laid out, with a functional rather than artistic layout. I find the site can be very slow to load, no matter which browser I use, this does seem to be a problem their end rather than mine, as other sites loading almost instantly with my broadband connection. The search function is adequate but I do occasionally have difficulty finding that something special. It's often far easier to browse through the categories rather than using the search, but even doing this can be a bit confusing at times. If you have a paper catalogue (or one of the special offer booklets that come with the free papers) it's a lot easier to find a particular item by using the catalogue number as the search string.



Once I've found the item of my dreams, there's usually a pretty clear picture and description of the item, along with information as to whether it's in stock and how long I can expect to wait for delivery. The longest waiting time I've time I've seen is 6 weeks, and the shortest 24 hours, but that's not to say that you always have to wait the length of time it says. Ordering you item is as easy as clicking a button, which will then allow you to choose whether you want it delivered to your home (for a charge) or would like to collect it from your local store. If you choose to collect it in store the site will check if it's in stock and then give you a reservation number (the item will then be held back for you for 24 hours), you do NOT need to enter any of your personal details for this option. If, however, you choose to have your order delivered then you will need to enter you details (otherwise how will they manage to deliver) but by this stage the pages are encrypted. Payment can be made using most UK credit and debit cards, or if you have one an Argos store card. If you want to track your order, you'll need to register, but this is something I've never bothered about doing, as I don't use the site that often. The standard delivery charge is 4.95GBP although next day delivery does cost more, as does the delivery (and installation) of certain items.



---What they sell---



It's going to be impossible to give a full list of what Argos sell, but there's near enough everything you'll need for gift shopping (whatever the occasion). While there's nothing that classy, there are some unusual bits and bobs, along with a vast range of household goods from kettles and towels to three piece suites at extremely reasonable prices. If jewellery is your thing there's a largish range, although much of it is not that brilliant (either quality or value for money), the toy section is one of the better value ones, with prices suitable for all pockets. The electronic section is also fairly complete with a cheap range of TVs, video and DVD players, as well as more expensive versions. Argos however is not the cheapest place to by quality electronics. But one of their current offers of a DVD recorder for 68.99GBP is excellent value.



What else do they sell, well mmmm, there's some sports equipment including complete home gym sets (which are very competitively priced). Then there's a reasonable range of DIY goods, which again have some very good prices that compare well with the major DIY chains. There is even a small range of office equipment, including PC peripherals and media, again the prices are reasonable, especially when compared to Dixons and PC world.



As I said if you're looking for gifts for any occasion, be it wedding, housewarming, birthday or Christmas you're sure to find something to your taste.





---My experience---



Although I've bought several large items from this website in the past, and have always been happy with the service and quality of the goods, it's my latest experience that has prompted me to write this review. And it's not because it was a bad experience, it's because it was brilliant from start to finish.



Just eight days ago, I decided that I wanted a home gym for my Christmas present, I knew it would be expensive and after having a look around the web, I discovered that Argos were selling one that fitted my needs exactly. After checking a few sites I discovered that just two of these items cost 500GBP plus delivery between them, but Argos was selling them plus lots of extra bits for the 500GBP + 5GBP delivery. I immediately decided to buy them, there and then, and was told there was a four week wait for delivery. This wait didn't bother me too much as they would still have arrived in time for Christmas (just). I received an email confirming the order immediately after making payment, and expected to nothing more for the next few weeks. You can imagine my surprise when I received a phone call the very next morning offering to deliver my order just five days after I had ordered it, I was then given a choice of whether I wanted a morning or afternoon delivery, I chose afternoon (simply because I am not a morning person).



On the day of delivery, I received another phone call to say that the delivery van was on it's way and would be with me within twenty minutes, which gave me just enough time to clear the area and make sure there was some room for the very large boxes. Once they arrived the delivery men were courteous, and handled the boxes in a competent and careful manner, taking them right through the house to exactly where I wanted them. The equipment is now assembled and being used a full three weeks earlier than expected and I can say, with my hand on my heart, this has been one of the best shopping experiences ever.



---Customer Service---



The customer service section of the site is very comprehensive, with FAQs on subjects ranging from how to browse the site, to delivery. There are also buyer guides, insurance and even a wedding/gift list service, along with a store locator and contact details.



Although I've never used it (with the online store at least) there is also a 16 day no-quibble guarantee. If you're not happy with what you've bought then as long as it's unused (and in it's original wrapping) you can send it back for a refund. I have used this guarantee with the physical shop (when I didn't actually like something after I got it home), and I can tell you that they have never refused a refund.



---Final words---



Although this site is rarely the first place I'll look for small items, I use it to check availability of goods (and reserve them) in my local store (this saves me from many a wasted journey). I do, however, on occasion use it for larger purchases, and have previously bought a three piece suite, fridge freezer and large screen television from it. I have always been impressed with the relative speed of delivery (it has always been within the time scale specified), but was especially impressed with the way my last order was handled. Considering that we are approaching Christmas it is even more impressive that it was less than a week from ordering to delivery of the goods. So I am recommending this website for delivery, if the goods you are ordering are large (or you can't get to a physical shop). But for smaller items, I would suggest you use the equally excellent reservation system and collect your goods in store.

  • Home Gym at 500GBP

    Goods purchased & cost

  • On time

    Delivery

  • Value For Money

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