HELEN CURTIN from Dalkey was delighted when she got some Marks Spencer vouchers recently. She got onto the MS website and spent a couple of hours browsing the virtual aisles. But when she went to check out and pay for the goods there was a problem. Marks Spencer does not ship to addresses in the Republic of Ireland, one of only two places in the world which MS says it cannot ship to (the other is the Channel Islands) – despite the fact that it accepts international orders through many of its outlets based in Northern Ireland.
She was incensed at both the time she wasted – there was no obvious indication that there was a restriction on delivery to the Republic – and the fact that her vouchers did not go nearly as far in a shop here as they did online due to the considerably higher prices the retailer charges Irish shoppers.
When she contacted the store she was told the problem was that we don’t have postcodes. She points out that Amazon and thousands of other international retailers can manage to find Irish addresses perfectly well even though we don’t have postcodes.
We contacted Marks and Spencer, whose spokesperson said: “We do not currently deliver to Ireland and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused to the customer. Our international delivery service is a new and growing part of our business and we will continue to review new locations going forward.” When we pointed out to MS that their response failed to explain why the store is in a position to deliver to Brazil, Argentina, Iraq and Afghanistan but cannot deliver to the Republic, the company was unprepared to elaborate further.
02 ROAMING CHARGES
LIAM Daly has an issue with 02 roaming charges.
His wife was recently away and the couple were have been keeping in touch using their mobiles.
“I decided to check the 02 site to see what the charges are at present just so there would be no nasty surprises when we received our bills.”
He says that on the 02 website he found an offering called “02Travel” which gives “fairly significant reductions” on roaming charges.
There is, he says, no fee to switch to this plan.
“I phoned 02 and requested that we be put on this plan immediately – it can’t be done online and then queried why that as a customer who has already opted to allow roaming with their phone that you were not automatically given the benefit of the reduced rates?
He says he was told that you had to opt in and that this was only a fairly new price plan.
He requested that the price plan be applied from when his wife left the country, a week earlier but after a discussion with a supervisor was told this was not possible.
“Given that the charges under the 02 Travel option are as much as a third of the full roaming charges it is quite clear why 02 are not giving this much publicity, they would lose significant revenue if all users received this automatically,” he says.
“Perhaps you should make your readers aware of this issue so they can avoid excessive charges.”