Equestrian Blog

News and thoughts from around the equestrian community

Sale FAQs - Things it helps to know

For a number of years now, we've become known for holding large-scale Sale events three times a year.  Like many of the high-street Sales, they've become both famous and notorious as a result of their popularity.  Here are a few questions we're often asked about them - and the answers we give. Why are you so busy? Our Sales are so busy because they're so popular.  We're not just a lot busier on Sale days (like twice as busy as normal), we're many, many times busier.  The bargains tend to be good and there is always a limited amount of stock, so it's no surprise that items sell out quickly and customers often have difficulty getting their questions answered. Why don't you do more to deal with the demand? We only have a finite number of telepone-trained operators, desks for them to be accommodated and software licences for them to use, so we can't hope to scale up our capacity to match the level of interest we can generate.  Of course, we always do everything we can to make sure we can deal with the maximum number of orders and enquiries possible.  Holidays are refused, all staff who have any telephone training are drafted in from other departments and desks and software licences are also drafted from other barts of the company for the very busiest days.  The only other option after that is to pay a third-party company to handle our calls for us for a biref time.  We've never done that because as a specialist retailer, we're concerned that technical questions would not be handled correctly by someone else's staff who have no access to the information our customer requires.  With the growth of the web, the telephone has taken a slightly different role, but it's still the method of choice for many customers and we're very aware of that.  Sales are supposed to be busy times though and we're always very reassured that most people do appreciate that and make alowances.  Even in the world of the large retailer, a Sale is not something that is expected to be taken easily in stride.  Have you tried to return an item at a Next branch in the first few days of their Sales? Why did your site crash last time? No prizes for guessing!  That's right, more demand than it could handle.  For years, this has been a crucial consideration for us from one Sale to the next and while it's not always obvious, we have always made it a priority to increase our capability to handle more in time for the following Sale.  This time will be our first on our new site, which in itself is more helpful to you the browser than ever before and may encourage more people to take part.  From our point of view, the new site will be interesting because for the first time in years, it won't be hosted here.  With all the website data being housed somewhere else, we're now not limited to the capacity of the hardware (or boxes with twinkly lights, as we call them) that we had here.  It's much, much easier for us to push all the necessary buttons in order to 'ramp up' the capacity of the site.  As a result *in theory* - because as I type, we haven't done it yet - slowing and crashing of the site during a Sale should be a thing of the past.  You can be sure we'll be watching the site performance very carefully all day on Tuesday, though.  Why do you start online Sales at 6am? For the same reason.  Because we're so busy.  We've always felt that if we were going to generate a stampede, we should at least do it to suit those who are most committed.  Anyone who has ever queued for a rollercoaster will recognise the sense of frustration when someone seemingly gets to the head of the queue without putting up with the inconvenience of waiting.  We did once start a Sale at mid-day and the fact that it became much more of a lottery resulted in more annoyed customers than we'd ever had.  Having learned from that experience, we started one Sale at midnight and we annoyed people by keeping them up too late when the site slowed.  After many years of trial and error, a 6am start seems to be one which by and large, most people seem to feel is fair.  Again, looking at Next with their 5am starts, it seems like we've learned from the same lessons that they have. How long will deliveries take? There is no straightforward answer to that.  We try to clear our pending orders tray the day before a Sale, so if you order via Standard Delivery at 6am on Tuesday, you should receive their parcel on Thursday.  If you're lucky and your delivery fits in with the courier's schedule, you may even get it the next day (although we'd never promise that).  Depending on how many orders we take, the whole of Tuesday's despatches may be taken up by orders received by a certain time.  After another unspecified period, all of Wednesday's capacity will have been placed and so on.  However, once you place your order, it is yours and will not be allocated to anyone else.  We will try to get every order out as quickly and fairly as possible.  It's also important to stress that we never knowingly accept an order for an item that we do not have in stock.  If we know how long we think the despatch will take, we will tell you.  It's just as important to us as it is to you that we do our utmost to keep this promise. We're always very wary about the level of service we can give during Sales.  We only make promises we expect to be able to keep and if we don't know something, we train our staff to say so, but do what they can to find out.  If you have any comments or queries about this Robinsons Sale or any other, please address them here. Thanks and happy bargain-hunting!

Comments (0) -

Comments are closed