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My first Axminster gripe

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Cutting Crew

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Hello all,

For the first time ever I needed something in a hurry from Axminster that couldn't wait to be added to my next order and, again for the first time had to pay postage costs.

I wanted two bayonet tails for an airhose, total cost £1.76, postage £3.50. This for a package weighing less than 100 grams, normal cost for first class post 46p, probably less to Axminster.

This is my first moan against Axminster but that is a bit steep.

Regards....Mike
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Mike

I understand where you're coming from but, I'm sorry, I have to disagree with your comments. Axminster, as part of their terms and conditions, clearly state that they make a charge for orders under forty five pounds.

Axminster, IIRC, has one of the lowest carriage rates in the uk. (3.95) Axminster, iirc along with all the uk sites, have a standard carriage charge. Spend over forty-five pounds with Axminster and it's carriage-free.

Sorry, but this is not what you wanted to hear.

Cheers
Neil (in business mode)
 

Cutting Crew

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Hello Neil,

It's not a problem of what I wanted to hear, it's just a fact.

I know all their carriage details, terms and conditions. In the last few years I have placed a great number of orders with Axminster and I am usually the first to defend them because I've had excellent service, in this case I think they could have a different policy for very small parcels.

I placed an order with Axminster on Wednesday for lots of compressor fittings and airline stuff, these two small pieces where additional items.

As regards the normal delivery charge, I guess that some buyers will gain from receiving a heavier delivery and some will lose out, this time I lost out but I still think that charging £3.50 for a 46p package is very steep.

Although I'm sure all companies have a minimum delivery charge as you say, most that I have dealt with look differently on small letter sized deliveries and make a charge accordingly.


Regards....Mike
 

Gill

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Having recently been on the hunt for an anti-vibration mat and found that postage would cost almost as much as the item itself, I have a lot of sympathy for Mike's viewpoint. I understand there are probably valid reasons why companies such as Axminster charge for orders below a certain price, but it's still irksome.

Gill
 

Noel

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My last order a month or so ago came to about £60 or so. Got the package and realised I'd forgotten to a get an extra tapered arbor. Straight on the phone and ordered it, mentioning that I'd forgot about with the bigger order. Fully expected to pay 50% of the value for P & P. Well, couple of days later the arbor arrived and no postage charge. Cracker service, as always.

Noel
 

Woodythepecker

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First of all although i have had to complain to Axminster on 2 occasions in the past (1 sorted to my satisfaction, the other more recently was not) i still think that compared to a lot of other companies there service is very good. Most of the products they sell is of good quality and no matter how far away from them you live (within the UK) 9 out of 10 times i have got free (over £45) next day delivery.

The only trouble is, Axminster like a lot of other big companies can sometimes fall flat on their face when it comes to personal customer service.
We all know that as a company gets bigger and bigger they often lose the personal touch, until you are just a membership number or post code. But it is not always the company itself that is at fault. A lot of the time it is the luck of the draw and the actual the member of staff who serves you.
Take Mikes problem for instance. (1) He had already placed an order and these items were just additions. (2) The postage that he was being asked to pay was nearly double the cost of the items. (3) Over the years he has become a good customer. So any good staff member would have at the very least reduced the pxp, if not have wiped it altogether.

Now look at my case with the very same company. I had placed an order the day before, and at the time i knew that i had forgotten something, but it wasn't until the next day that i realised that it was a collet for my router. I phoned to order this other part and just happened to mention what i had done. The next thing i knew this person said that because i had only just placed the order she would try and add the collet to that order so that i wouldn't have to pay another delivery charge. In the end the parcel had already gone but she still waved the postage costs.

So as you can see rather then the company being at fault, it can SOMETIMES be a staff member who is the problem.

But even then in the case of small items, which Axminster often send as a letter (NOT a parcel), to be delivered by your ordinary postman, you should be charged by post office rates (46p in Mikes case) and not parcel rates.

I have found that if you have a problem like this it pays to ask to speak to a manager, who will often sort the problem out.

"Edit", i wrote this without seeing Noel's post. So as you can see it really is down to who serves you.

Regards

Woody
 

matt

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Just something to bear in mind... They're charging for post AND packing. Packing includes a member of staff visiting and aisle to pick up the parts, pack them, and then send them. Then add the postage costs.

I work in retail, in particular I work in relation to the supply chain. In our DC's we can manage what we pick and when and make it really efficient to reduce costs. However, our on-line arm use a specialiast DC and the costs are higher because we're picking almost at the whim of what customers order.

I guess all I'm trying to say is that it probably costs more than 3.95 (or whatever the normal sub £40 P&P is) to ship goods regardless of value. Obviously it's easier for Axminster to absorb the cost with higher value single orders. If you got away with paying postage costs of 46p on smaller orders, then everyone would be ordering odds & sods and the cost for larger orders would increase and they'd probably not be able to offer FOC on order >£40.

Kinda got to look at the whole picture.
 

Chris Knight

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Matt,

You are right of course - as far as it goes. However, I think you are describing what I would call a dumb system - no insult intended!.

The dumb bit arises because there is no differentiation between a first time customer and one who may have spent thousands with the company. In the latter case, I certainly think one is entitled to a more personal level of service and on the historic record it will pay the company to provide it.

In the extreme case, it would be better for the MD to climb in his car and deliver a 25p part personally rather than lose a really valuable customer.

Your description, though no doubt factually accurate, makes no allowance for this situation
 

Noel

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Phone or web order? Makes a big difference.
 

wizer

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I can sympathise. I often save all the little purchases til they hit the free postage limit. But I can see that this is not always convenient.
 

matt

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waterhead37":hwjo3z03 said:
Matt,

You are right of course - as far as it goes. However, I think you are describing what I would call a dumb system - no insult intended!.

The dumb bit arises because there is no differentiation between a first time customer and one who may have spent thousands with the company. In the latter case, I certainly think one is entitled to a more personal level of service and on the historic record it will pay the company to provide it.

In the extreme case, it would be better for the MD to climb in his car and deliver a 25p part personally rather than lose a really valuable customer.

Your description, though no doubt factually accurate, makes no allowance for this situation
Unfortunately, these days, customers are much more fickle (even more so than they were a few years ago). In the vast majority of cases, customer service on this level does not make sufficient difference to customer loyalty. You only have to read a few posts to realise that product price is the driver. I'm not saying it does not count at all, just not enough for a company to pro-actively pursue a system over an above a customer actually asking for this type of "extra" care and attention. I've no doubt that Cutting Crew will not stop shopping with Axminster. I've no doubt that Axminster know that they're pitch is right 80% of the time. Chasing the last 20% is rarely cost efficient.

That said, it's no difficult to build the system that incorporates a flag based on purchases over a time period and then to raise a flag. It's just going to be less imporant than the other upgrades that retailers wish to incorporate in their package.
 

RogerS

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Slightly off-topic but still germane is my gripe at those internet based ticket booking companies (and includes cinema chains) who have the cheek to make a 'booking charge' when it is me that is doing all the work.

Actually, thinking about it, I think that it could be argued that it's a restrictive practice...
 
A

Anonymous

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Have to agree with Matt. These days, for many (if not most), it is price and avaialbility rather than customer loyalty. Who amongst us would not buy from someone other than Axminster to save, say £20?

For me, I try to buy locally and am prepared to pay a little more on price as there is no postage AND I get to hold and see i before exchanging cash
 

Gill

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That's all very well if you have a local supplier, Tony. Many of us don't, and it can be extremely frustrating when you find that a project cannot proceed for the sake of a component that will cost £0.69 with £3.95 p&p.

Gill
 
A

Anonymous

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Gill":1t6kmbvy said:
That's all very well if you have a local supplier, Tony. Many of us don't, and it can be extremely frustrating when you find that a project cannot proceed for the sake of a component that will cost £0.69 with £3.95 p&p.

Gill
Absolutely Gill. I have spent far more than I am prepared to admit (especially to mrs Tony) at Axminster over the years :oops:
 

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