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Buying blinds online: is it worth the risk?

Focus Buff
Our first online blind buying experience is now complete.

Following from our earlier posts, we ordered our blinds from Blinds Online on 31st December, when they were closed for Christmas.  They sent us a tax invoice/receipt when they re-opened on 4th January.  It was only this week that they called to advise that our order was ready to be picked up, after I emailed checking on progress.

I had earlier emailed in late January and received an email that their factory had only returned the week before.

Solar View Cotton
We felt let down about this because there was no mention of the factory staying closed for so long on their website, or when the order was taken.  They only communicated with us after we contacted them. The online ordering system simply tells you that your order is "in production" - it doesn't add any value by giving estimated completion dates.

And they had a substantial sum of our money from 4th January too.

Having said that the staff, via email, telephone and in-person, have been pleasant to deal with - it is their processes that need improvement.

I collected the blinds today, and installed them this afternoon.  All but one seems to be great. They all look good and function well, although I have reservations about our choice of a white solar view cotton blind (note that they are not actually cotton - the cotton describes their texture).
Solar View Cotton
One blind looks to be a problem in that the pin end of the roller blind only just sits in the bracket.  Tomorrow I will try to adjust it so that it is a tighter fit.
The instructions that came with the blinds are excellent - good clear descriptions and colour pictures to help.  For roller blinds that can be installed yourself, it cannot be any easier.

So now we have a dilemma.  The blinds seem good, but the Blinds Online production time was very slow and their communication not great. We've had much better, and worse, experiences with both 'bricks and mortar' and online suppliers.  Having online suppliers with a local presence is comforting - and in the case of Blinds Online I've been to their Narre Warren warehouse/display room (although it, and its parent company, Crosby Furnishings, are renovating at present and there's nothing but construction works to see).

Upstairs window with new blind 
Our next blinds order will be about twice what we've purchased already.

So do we go back to the traditional 'measure and fit' suppliers, stay with Blinds Online, or go with another online supplier? I think buying online is worth the risk if you choose carefully.

Comments

  1. Thank you for your feedback as we always find it invaluable to hear what our customers think of their buying experience.

    We are sorry you experienced a delay when placing your order and know this can be frustrating, however at Christmas holiday time of year, it is common for factory closures and as we have various factories for different products the opening dates can vary.
    All of the close off dates, were shown on the website with a single dedicated page linked from the home page, as well as manufacturing return times on each of the product item pages. So I am sorry that you feel that we hadn't notified you better.
    I hope that you understand the problems Christmas cut off dates can cause, as close off's occur early December, so there will already be other customers in queue ahead of your order, if placed in January. It is a time of the year we dread in this industry.

    Our web designers were in the final stages of updating the Order Status, to include precise manufacturing dates and instant email notifications when status changed. This has now been implemented during February.

    Blindsonline.com.au are always progressing and our showroom is currently under major renovation to provide state of the art displays and a virtual showroom to help our interstate customers. Unfotunatley due to trades closing over the Christmas period, we were not able to begin until they were all ready to coordinate it in February.
    We are working hard to complete this in the next two weeks. Visits to our showroom are still possible if you require samples or product knowledge.

    If ever a customer has a problem with the installation or product you should call us to discuss the matter, and we will help find a solution. A simple adjustment of the bracket will rectify the problem you had with a loose measure.

    Please don't ever feel like we are not there to help you, as we really make a huge effort with customer service. We know that buying online can be a bit daunting and we make sure that all emails are answered in the shortest time frame possible.

    In regards to the Solar View fabric, it is a polyester cloth and the Cotton is purely the colour name.

    We hope that we haven't lost you as a customer, due to the delay that Christmas has caused. We know we value you as a customer.
    Kind regards
    Gillian Crosby

    ReplyDelete

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