A couple of months back, my trusty Karrimor walking boots started to die on me. And by die, I mean, holes in the sole, bits falling off, the support being less than supportive and so on... In all, they were one of the best pairs of boots I ever owned and made it almost to the ripe old age of two years old.
Because I walk funny, and sometimes drag my feet, trip or stumble, my footwear needs to be supportive (not like Old Persons Shoes, but "Not Going To Twist Your Ankle" supportive) and because of how I walk, they need to be hard wearing. In the past, I've generally worn Dr Martens, or Para Boots or similar, but they always end up falling apart.
So. Dead Karrimor.
We made a fatal mistake, and went to SportsDirect in town to get me a new pair of boots. With money being tight, I opted for a cheaper pair of walking boots. I loved them, they were comfy and snug and supportive.
For a week.
Then the nice secure padding all vanished. Then the soles were cutting into my feet - the inner sole had worn down and my feet were on the bare support bits inside the shoe itself by the end of the fourth week.
Disgusted, I chucked them in the garden.
So I dug out a pair of old combat boots, but a strange thing seems to have happened. My feet appear to have shrunk a little. These nice big comfy boots suddenly rattled around on my feet. And, they weren't waterproof. AND they were very heavy and I was dragging my feet more than normal.
I had to get new shoes. So back to SportsDirect, the only place in town that sells decent boots. I umm'd and arr'd and found a nice pair.
"Can I get these in a size 12 please?" I asked the chap in the shoe department. He gets on the radio to get the stockroom chap to bring him a pair. Now, bear in mind, this shoe is on display. Ten seconds later, he comes back to me. "Sorry, we've not got any of those in stock in any size."
Oh... So I spent another ten minutes fiddling with shoes and low-and-behold, I find another nice pair. Back to the chap, size 12 please. Now again, bear in mind this is on display with "Available in sizes 6 to 13!"
Ten seconds later, he comes back. "We've got them in size six only?" and yes, he poses it as a question... So I ask for a size 12, he's got size six, do I want them. Unless there's some trick to adding shoe sizes to make YOUR size, I'm not sure what he's getting at.
"Um, no thanks..."
"Try the online store!" he suggests. I nod.
And I stomp out.
I get home - wearing big heavy clumpy boots still - and go to their website. Special offers and big flashy pictures so offer after offer, but I don't care. I go to the Karrimor section and go to the boots I liked in the store. Click Add to Basket. Oh, forgot to select size...
Size 8 only.
So I go to my second-choice pair. Click Add to Basket, size 12? Result! Click Check Out.
Sign Up? Sign In? Use your Amazon Account?
Oooh I hate signing up to sites to buy ONE thing, so I use my Amazon site login. It has a think. The page reloads aaaaand... Welcome to SportsDirect! What you wanna buy? Basket? empty.
Back to the boots, click buy, size, checkout, sign up... Go all through the rigmarole of signing up, click Submit... Wait a bit... Waaaaaiting... Welcome to SportsDirect! You buy stuff now?
ARGH GAH RAAAANT!
Last chance, I go to Ebay. On here, they have LOADS of different ones, and I struggle to choose between three different pairs. All available in my size too!
I get Kellie to help out with which ones look best, click Buy It Now, checkout, delivery options? For an extra £7 I can get them within 24-48 working hours! Woot! I work through it, it's 10am Wednesday morning NOW, so 10am Thursday morning (not likely) or 10am Friday morning? OK, it's an all-day delivery appointment, but I figure Friday is good, otherwise it'll be a week.
I need these boots NOW. Actually, I needed them when my first pair died on me, but hindsight sucks ass.
So, Buy It Now, 48hr delivery, PayPal, clickity clicky, SOLD! to the fat man sobbing with joy at having finally purchased a pair of shoes.
Now we fast-forward to Friday. I check the delivery ticket on the courier tracking place and see the words "In Transit" at 8am today from Chelmsford. Yippee, they're only 30 miles from me! But, it's an all day appointment, 7am till 9pm. Patience, young one.
I do the morning school run, leaving a note on the door to give any deliveries to my neighbour. I get back, no delivery. I WANT to do the back garden (aka, Jungle) but can't go out as I won't see or hear the door while strimming/mowing. I potter around the house - I AM quite knackered, but take it easy while I clear up and plod through housework. I don't put music on so I don't miss the delivery.
The day ticks by - at one point, I see one of their vans down the road and think "YAY!" but he sits there for almost an hour drinking tea and reading the paper then buggers off. Phooey.
Second school run is HELLISH, but I leave a note again to deliver next door. I get in, nothing. Now I am a sad panda.
I wait and wait, I do dinner, and I wait some more.
7pm arrives, the delivery status still says "In Transit" so I figure I will call them, just to make sure they've not done a Royal Mail and claimed to have attempted delivery... Using the number on the website, I call through and after being told they are charging me 10p a minute, I spend a quarter of an hour on hold. Finally, someone answers, asks for the tracking number...
"Oh, this is HDNL, you want to call Yodel"
"I AM calling Yodel, this is the number on the Yodel Contact Us page"
"Oh, well, we are merging companies, but you need to call someone else."
I take a breath, it's not her fault, it's not the fault of the couriers, this is ALL SportsDirect doing. "I will put you through myself" she tells me, probably because I am exuding waves of snarly noises. Another ten minutes on hold. The lady asks for the number, I give it, say I can see it's in transit, how much longer do I have to wait?
"Oh, that isn't being delivered today sir" she tells me. "That's not due to come out till at least Monday."
So I explain the fees I have paid and everything, and that pretty please I can see it is only down the road. But no, Monday is my delivery day. She'll "Make Sure Of It"
Now I am properly pissed off. I've just spent another few quid being told "LOL no boots for you!" so I figure I will contact them through Ebay. I click the "Where's My Order" button, and Ebay says "This delivery will be with you on or by 25th May" just to rub salt in the wound. "Did This Help" No, it did NOT. So I click the Contact Seller button and use almost all the spare characters writing to them and telling them what I think of them.
Sort it you bunch of mup... I got a mail already?!
"Thanks for contacting SportsDirect! We're now out of the office till Monday...."
The red haze blanked the rest of the email...
So to sum up...
- My original "Replacement Shoe" purchase fell apart in just a month.
- The store has sod all in stock despite signs to the contrary.
- The website is shite on a stick and probably coded by a courgette.
- The "Pay With Amazon" thing on there is akin to pressing "Delete My Order LOL!"
- Signing Up on their site is on par with selling kidneys on the black market.
- Their Ebay site advertises Fast Courier Delivery which means "Almost A Week"
- When you try contacting them, you might as well be trying to phone The Pope.
Get a grip. Answer my mail. Refund my postage costs. Or you can shove your boots straight back into your rank little stock room out back.