Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waterstones suspends pre-payment for books from hub

For several weeks, members of the book lovers forum, of which I am now a fully paid up member, have been complaining about the length of time it takes to receive books that they have ordered via the Waterstones website. The forum is filled with tales of how members have ordered books that are supposedly in stock, only to receive an email one week later, telling them that Waterstones are now out of stock, and cannot give any idea as to when the book(s) will arrive. Not surprisingly, members have cancelled their orders and gone elsewhere.

It seems that these problems are not confined to the website, but are also affecting stores. The reason - the new distribution hub in Burton upon Trent. Waterstones have, so The Bookseller says, stopped taking prepayments for orders in stores supplied by said hub, as delivery dates cannot be guaranteed. The decision had been made, so the company says, to help provide "the best in customer service". Staff are urged to assure customers that the company are doing all that they can to resolve these issues, and to reassure them that it is business as usual.

Originally due to launch in early 2008, the hub seems to have caused nothing but problems, despite this, the retailer has increased the number of stores supplied in recent weeks.

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