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NOW CLOSED ACHICA testers feedback thread(25 Posts)
This thread is for the MNers who have tested the ACHICA website. Below are some specific questions split into different sections but don't feel like you have to answer every one...though you can if you like - you can use them as prompts to your response. Please feel free to add your own comments as well. Please tell us what product(s) you ordered as part of your feedback.
What's your overall opinion of the ACHICA website? How was joining? What did you like best about it? What didn't you like, and why? Please think about how the website looks and feels when you're answering.
How did you find the overall shopping experience on ACHICA? If you've used other online retailers, how did ACHICA compare with them?
The ACHICA store pages:
How easy or difficult did you find the website to use? What was easy about it? Was there anything specific that was difficult? Please think about all of the pages you visited, including the individual product pages, the basket page and the checkout page.
What did you think of the level of customer service and information available to you to help with your purchase (e.g. the help and FAQ pages)? Was there enough information or too little? Do you think you got good customer service? Is there anything that could have been better in this respect?
What do you think about the daily emails you've had from ACHICA? What do you like about them? What do you dislike? Which products appealed to you the most? And the least?
If you visited the ACHICA Living blog, what did you think of the articles featured? Were they useful/interesting? If so, why? If not, why not?
The ACHICA offers - prices and brands:
What do you think about the brands on offer on ACHICA? Are they mostly ones you were familiar with? Did you see any brands on there that you particularly like or dislike?
What do you think of the range of products on offer e.g. kitchenware, furniture, kids clothing, bedding, fashion accessories etc? Was the range broad enough? Or too broad?
Are there any other products or brands that you'd like to see on the site that weren't on there already?
What do you think about the discounts on offer? Were they better or not as good as you expected? Or in line with what you thought they'd be?
Using ACHICA again:
Would you shop with ACHICA again? If so, why? If not, why not?
How do you think the ACHICA store and offers could be improved? What do you think they could do to make them better than other online retailers?
If it came up in conversation, do you think you'd recommend ACHICA to your friends? If so, why? If not, why not?
Thanks very much for taking part,
I will never use Achica again since the only 2 times I did, my card was compromised both times. The card company told me the time it happened and Achica was the only company I bought online from on those days.
Either it's not a secure enough system when paying or it's the company doing something dodgy.
Fortunately, my card was a credit card and not a debit cardand so was cancelled.
I bought some items to the value of just over £100. When we first registered 'we' were told that the voucher code would mean we didnt have to put our card details in. Anyway shortly after an email was sent out saying that due to a system error we should use our own card (and money) and a refund would happen immediately after payment. I got mine within 3 days, which was fine, but I imagine for some other testers it wouldnt have been.
Despite placing my order 20 June my EDD isnt until 21 July. I will wait to see if the items I bought are up to standard before commenting further on them, but the delivery date is a bit off. Who wants to wait a month at least for their order?
Not sure if I would use them again, the discounts dont seem to be enormous and are in comparison to other discount sites/shops eg Secret Sales/TK Maxx.
As I said I will wait to see how this first order goes before commenting negatively or positively, but I will leave more feedback once I receive my goodies.
I knew a lot of the brand names for sale, but some were new to me and I quite liked what I saw, although a lot were over priced in my opinion.
Yes - forgot to say how very long the EDD was - ages!
Ok, here we go! You ask a lot of questions, it's going to be long.
STORE FRONT END
First impression, the site looks professional and makes me confident as a buyer that its a legitimate company. The light and dark contrast stands out nicely and makes the text easy to read. The mini Logo visible on the bookmark is nice too; simple but effective.
I didnt like the way the brands kept rearranging themselves on the front page, it just made me feel lost when I kept going back to look in each area. Also, if I chose how to sort the products on each brand page, that choice did not sustain when I moved to another brand. It would have been nice to have that option remembered.
I also missed a Search option, to type in whatever I might be looking for. Be it Rugs or Baby Clothes or Chairs, which sometimes spanned multiple companies, some of which Id never heard of.
The issues with the code are already known about. One thing I noticed and was immensely annoyed by is that there was no way to preserve my basket while I was querying the problem with paying. This meant I had to go and re-add all my products every half hour while trying to get the code issue resolved!
I can see why you dont want people to have things in their basket all day, but would there be some way you could click a Help! button which would freeze your account for a few hours at least, to maintain your order while having an issue dealt with? Or a 24 hour help phone line/web chat, with someone who can hold the order if you have a legitimate issue that needs resolving.
When I was making my purchase, the screen went complete to the dark honeycomb effect just after I clicked to confirm. I dont know if there was meant to be a popup that my blocker stopped? Randomly clicking on the honeycomb made it vanish and go to a confirmation page, but it was a bit disconcerting to be faced with a dark page of nothing just after paying!
Delivery is slow if youre used to the next day delivery of a lot of website, but given the business model your operating on I can see why its slower. I personally dont mind too much in this instance, but it might make me wary about ordering something to a tight deadline for example a birthday present.
The My Account area is nicely laid out, the options are clear. However going into my Order History is currently a bit confusing... The order is appearing three times with the same ID, the first marked with a voucher code and then two more saying refunded. What does that mean? Im pretty sure Ive not been refunded twice! Surely itd be clearer just to have one order code listed, then more details when you click into it.
I also note that since the money was refunded (within 24 hours in my case thanks!) my order doesnt tell me estimated delivery times anymore. I think it did beforehand? But this was a week or so ago for me, I could be remembering wrong. It would be helpful to display the delivery times.
Going through to the Contact Us page, I expected to be presented with an address and telephone number, maybe a comments box. I wasnt expecting a helpdesk setup, and its a bit jarring that it doesnt quite match up with the main part of the site. That does reduce the professional feel quite significantly.
To be honest, the lack of address and telephone number sets of warning bells in my mind. If youre a reputable company, why hide your contact information? I wouldnt really be happy if I had to wade through Companies House to get it. Even if its an 0845 number and PO Box address, at least having something on the site would be an improvement.
I did like the section in the FAQ about how to pronounce Achica. My DH and I were puzzling over that one for a while before I stumbled across it!
The Delivery Status screen is only helpful if the companies whose products youve gone for are on there. As it happens, mine arent and their absence is slightly worrying. Even if they were there with a TBC Id feel happier!
EMAILS / BLOG
I received these for a week or so, but to be honest one a day was too much for me I ended up just deleting them without reading and Ive now stopped them. A week in advance would be much better, saying all the exciting things that were coming up over the next week. Possibly with a link through to log any that sound interesting so a further reminder email could be sent?
In addition, Id also really like an option where I could make a note of a keyword of something I was interested in getting now or in the future. For example a Garden Parasol, which there have been a few different companies providing recently. An email could be sent out each time a company comes up with a product matching those keywords, drawing me back to the site to go see without bombarding me.
If you were really savvy, you could even get the tech bods to print out a report of all the keywords people have saved as something theyre interested in. Then that gives you a good idea of what things people want to see on the site!
I admit I havent actually gone to look at the blog and only glanced at the Facebook site. Ill endeavour to go and take a look if I get some time next week.
The products on the whole were good. Some I was interested in, some I wasnt, but there seemed to be a good mix. I also learnt about some new brands Id never heard of before that seem quite cool, so thanks for that!
One glaring omission though is the lack of any electrical products. Wheres Nintendo, Sony, LG, Samsung, etc? White goods, audio/visual, mobile phones, etc?
The offers were a mixed bag really. Some were quite good, some not so good. There seem to be good savings to be made if youre choosy about what you go for.
One thing I noticed earlier is that some of the delivery dates of products seem to be set to a previous run through? There are Delivery in May dates on Lifemarque in particular... That seems a bit sloppy and potentially confusing/off-putting.
Also, its really inconvenient to have all the new products appear at 7am in the morning. Im commuting to work at that point, and a few times I noticed really popular products had already gone by the time I could get to a PC. If it were my DH, he wouldnt get to them until after work in the evening!
It might be better to either move to the time earlier to enable logging on before work, or to stagger the brands releasing throughout the day to give people better chance of grabbing the product they want?
Im waiting to see how delivery works, considering I work full time and tend to get irrationally annoyed by being carded by couriers the other side of the county that want three forms of ID and a blood sacrifice before theyll relinquish a parcel. Hopefully the couriers youre working with are good ones! Tracking information on the website would be appreciated too. Ill report back once I get to this stage.
I might well use the site again. Ive been keeping a curious eye over it and seen a few things Im after. Itd be nice to mark them for future consideration if they came through the cycle again, since right now Im not in a position to splash out but might be in a few months time.
Letting people mark items would also let you know good things to keep offering! It could even work on things that are Out of Stock, if you could say "But I wanted one!" and get an email sent out next time it comes on offer.
Ill probably take a more determined look in about October time (given the slow delivery) and see about getting some bits and pieces for Christmas presents. So if youre going to market Christmas items, you might want to start then!
As for recommending to others, that depends at least partially on the delivery and products!
Hope thats helpful! Let me know if theres any other areas youd like me to look over.
Ordered 2 gorgeous outfits for my nieces b'day from my mother and I - the delivery date was in a months time! (Why so long?). Had plenty of time so ordered them and paid. Then the day of the delivery I had an email to say one of the outfits was now out of stock - so I had to quickly buy a second present for her birthday. It would make me think twice again about using ACHICA.
Ok my feedback on the company so far. Their website is well laid out with a mixed bag of products. I don't think they have their offers open for long enough as not everyone gets access to the internet every day.
The discounts look ok but not massive like they seem to imply. Also it seems to me that they are missing a trick but not really having any kids stuff on there toy wise and things like that.
There delivey times are a long wait my order was placed 29 june and delivery date is 22-27th july. That would put me off of using the site having to wait so long for the itemas to be delivered. Also there is no information on who delivers your goods which would be useful so you would have a rough idea of how the goods are arriving at yours.
I will comment further when my goods eventually arrive. As it stand at the moment i'm not overly fussed with the site and doubt I will be returning.
Heres my feedback. Firstly thank you very much for allowing me to be part of your feedback, I hope you find some of my ramblings helpful.
Cant give complete feedback as I have not received the goods so far and apparantely wont be receiving them for a good few weeks yet.
The site looked professional and well laid out, it was easy to see each day what was on offer at the moment, and I liked the fact that they showed offers coming up soon. The website was also very simple to use along with the ordering pages which were very straight forward, discount codes were clear, although I found the half and hour holding on your basket could have been much longer as I had chosen one product and wanted to browse for another and felt rushed into making a decision.
Really really did not like the daily email, am now unsubscribing to it. Do not feel there was any need for it and found it very `hard sell`. Once a week would be much better and in my opinion totally adaquate. I would be more inclined to enjoy the luxury of browsing once a week, instead the daily emails were generally deleted straight away. I think for the clientle that Achica are trying to sell to would not like pressure selling.
The brands were obviously top end brands many of whom I had never heard of and although it was quite nice to be introduce to some of these companies I would of liked to of seen more well known brands in there. The discounts were very good on a lot of products but I think that some of the products were very overpriced originally in my opinion and when the more well known brands became available it tended to be for pieces that they were not traditionally known for, I think for Le Crusset it was serving plates, whereas I was hoping for cooking pans and Kath Kidson, stationary (although I may be wrong on that!).
I am slightly `on the fence` with many of the products avaliable because i feel they are purchases that most people would think about for a while before purchasing (ie, I bought some wall art, not because I needed it but because I had the offer, but if I was going to buy wall art I think I would look around for a while and not make an impulse buy, if that makes sense).
I`ve been trying to get my head around the concept of ACHICA, I think its a really good idea just not sure if some of the products are right for discounted impulse buying.
The delivery times were a complete shock when I received my order acknowledgement, although when I received the acknowledgement it was stated at the bottom of the email. I think maybe it should be made clearer on the home page, or was that something I again missed.
Would I use Achica again? If the emails were weekly I would re-sign up and look each week to see what was coming up definately. Especially around Christmas (although it would be Sept/Oct just to make sure you got things on time). I have a couple of friends I would recommend it to although only probably people who have spare money as I found the products on the whole what I call `things you didnt know you needed`.
Sorry for the delay in feedback. Thank you for giving me 100 quid to spend - hopefully I spent it wisely!
My first observation is that I wish we had been given the brief before we used the site. It would have been useful to look at these things specifically. Hopefully my feedback below covers all of those things, as I captured it as I went.
Sign up page very straightforward. Basic details required only. One click and you are on the website with most you need to confirm your email address, etc. Like the invite friends incentive.
Once signed up, I found the layout a little confused. The sectioning could, in my opinion, be a little more straightforward. I liked the 'Upcoming Promotions' section at the bottom. I see that today it is up-to-date, however when I first viewed the website, it had previous days' promotions and only a day or two ahead. This needs to be dynamic imo, and updated daily. With recently ended promotions, it would be nice to see the rrp vs ACHCIA price. It would set expectations nicely.
ACHICA store pages:
The help/contact pages were particularly useless (sorry to be blunt!). FAQs were a bit rubbish and as a customer, I really don't care what the website stats are (ie how many hits each of those has had). For 'Contact Us' I would expect a helpline, a contact address and an email address as a bare minimum.
I particularly do not like the 'Delivery Status'. I would like to know the delivery status of my specific order, not those of every single offer ACHCIA have pending.
In my opinion, the whole account/contact/help sections need a total overhaul to bring them up to the same standard as most other websites.
The ACHICA offers - prices and brands:
On the whole I found these to be very good. The offers are mostly at least 50% discounted. The brands available mostly appeal to me, however some of the offers are a little off the wall, and perhaps not what I would purchase if selecting a specific brand.
I ended up ordering a DKNY watch and a Le Crueset casserole pan. I am very excited about receiving them.
I had my expectations set already about the long delivery times, but it is still a little bit of a shock to have to wait so long for items to be delivered, especially when usually online orders take a matter of days. But I guess this is the business model ACHICA is built on.
Using ACHICA again:
I have already used ACHCIA again I saw a couple of promotions I was interested in from one of the (many!) emails and ordered several more products.
I think that to recommend ACHCIA to friends I would like to see things like the contact us pages sorted out. Although the front end of the website looks quite pretty, I feel the whole site (particularly the logistical side) is very immature. I want to be able to click on my order and see exactly when it should be delivered to me. I want to be able to find a telephone number to speak to someone if I need to. I would like fewer emails!
Once my items are delivered, I will comment some more.
Thanks for adding your feedback everyone! We're going to close this now and pass all of your comments on to ACHICA but if you'd like to come back and add more feedback once you receive your product(s), please feel free to.
Hi just a little more feedback from me.
My MN order arrived on 13th July. I received two emails from ACHCIA - the first confirming that delivery would be on 13th July, the 2nd giving me the tracking number, estimated delivery time, etc. Now that was fine, but I had absolutely no idea what was going to be delivered. I had several items split over two orders and there was no reference to the original order number in either email.
So, my two items I ordered with the MN voucher were delivered within the stated delivery dates - 9-14 July. They were well packaged and exactly as expected. I am very happy with my new watch & new cooking pot so thank you for those.
However, I have an outstanding order with ACHICA which I used my own money for. Now, I realise I will not get any resolution to it on here, but feel it would be useful for the company if they got my real feedback on this order too. My expectations were set that delivery would be between 4-8th July. I still have not received this order and so I used the (hard to find) contact us proforma on the website querying where my order is. I had an automated response back, saying "We try to reply to all queries as soon as possible, but we are currently running a few days behind due to a backlog caused by delayed and inaccurate deliveries from suppliers."
I actually think that's a bit of a rubbish message on several different counts. My order - contract - is with ACHCIA. Problems they have with their suppliers should not concern me at all. It is trying to pass the buck somewhat, and does not look very professional. And this also confirms my original thoughts of the company - that the front end website looks nice, but the back end systems are in a bit of a mess and probably need completely redesigning. Really they should be able to track exactly who ordered what, when the delivery is scheduled and be able to communicate this to their customers.
I will be interested to see what happens with this outstanding order and will give additional feedback on here.
At least you've managed to receive something, Rindercella. My order was originally due between 7th-9th July... I received an email a couple of weeks ago saying part of the order was delayed, with the implication that the unaffected items would still be delivered on time.
I'm guessing now that's not the case, and all my items will arrive at once after the delayed items turn up at the warehouse? This is a bit offputting really... If part of the order is delayed, I'd still like to receive the stuff that isn't delayed ASAP!
Perhaps one of the items not delayed is a gift, while the items delayed are just for the house. In my case, one of the reputedly not-delayed items is something I'd like to take on holiday when I go in less than two weeks. Will it arrive in time, I wonder?
I also can't find anything out in My Account either. There are no personalised delivery dates. The companies I've ordered from are reputedly in the Dispatching list, but I've had no dispatch notifications at all. I expect My Account to tell me everything clearly, and an email chain along the lines of:
Initial delay (which I did receive): "So sorry, there's been a delay. Here's some new dates for part of your order." (Note: I don't care what date the products are arriving at your warehouse, I want to know what date they'll arrive at my door!)
New date: "Really sorry, still delayed, your stuff will be sent out priority ASAP."
Week later: "Still delayed, please accept our complimentary £5 voucher, small surplus item, etc, for the inconvenience. We will send your order ASAP." (Note: Could be moved to 'New Date' if you really want to make the customers happy - see Lakeland's business model!)
Eventually: "Everything's arrived and is being packed for you now. Thank you for your patience!"
Combined with clear information in My Account, that would keep me relatively happy. It's happened several times before on Amazon/Play/etc! I'm sure it could be coded to be pretty much automated too, so it wouldn't tie up too many staff.
In addition, clearly providing the option to cancel at each stage would be nice to provide, in case the order is for a specific date/event that will be missed due to the delay.
Well I'm still sitting here waiting for my order no email to say if or when its arriving no nothing. I have to say for customer communication this has to be the worse company I have ever dealt with and certainly won't be rushing out to tell anyone else to use it.
I will update more if and when my goods arrive.
[twiddles thumbs] Still nothing here either... According to the original email the delayed products should have arrived at the warehouse at the end of last week.
I'd have expected to receive the products or at least a dispatch email by now, but I've received no communication from Achica at all... Even another email saying the order was further delayed, while not ideal, would have been better to silence.
However I have noticed that the company lists on their front page have now stopped shuffling themselves randomly between page loads. Thanks for that! It's much easier now to work through and check them all.
Ahah, I have now received an email from Achica telling me that my non-delayed items have been dispatched!
The first batch of my products arrived yesterday, delivered by Hermes who were happy enough to leave the box in my side shed. The box size was reasonable and everything was relatively well packaged inside, though being picky there were a few smaller items that could have done with being put in a smaller box/bag to keep them together next to the big item.
The products were what I ordered and in good condition, there was a packing slip with all the relevent information on. So on the whole, taking receipt of the order was relatively ok. Achica just need to sort out their communication in the event of delays and if possible speed up the turnaround a bit.
Well I have just sent yet another email to Achacia about my goods which have been sat at there warehouse according to them for the last week. I got back their generic email to say that they were busy with the backlogs so can't reply to the email as of yet. My order is now hitting the 30 day point and their website states a 15 day delivery. Is there any chance that Achica are watching this thread and someone might actually respond to querys. To say I'm fed up is an understatmnet and under no circumstances will i be recommending them to anyone I know. They must be the only company around that doesn't have a phone number to speak to anyone about queries. What a shambles way to run a company.
Latest update I have just had a response from my email enquiry to them telling me that my order was despatched on the 22nd july. It will be with me between 2-4 working days. No tracking number sent not even what company is delivering it so it looks like I am expected to spend the rest of this week sitting in waiting for it to arrive. The more dealings i'm having with this company the more they wind me up.
Latest in the towel saga upon finding out that the company delivering to me was hermes and getting my traking number i managed to trak my parcel.
According to there online system teh parcel was delivered to the courier at 11:28 today at 11:51 the parcel was to large to be delivered. I tried contating heremes through their online system to be told they they could only deal with the suppliers. So I contacted Achica with the problem.
Through money saving expert i found a phone number for hermes and spoke to a lovely helpful lady who couldn't believe it had been sent back as to big when i told her waht it was. She contatced the depot for me who confirmed it had been returned and would be delivevered to me via a larger vehicle in the next few days. So I am now sat waiting for an articulated lorry and forklift truck to deliver my towel bale. If it wasn't so comical I think I would cry.
I received my parcel today! woohoo, only 2 weeks later than EDD but I did get an email saying it was going to be late.
I have new bakewear and a fab cuisinart oval casserole dish thingy, very heavy.
Packaging was good and I am happy with my items. Will be baking and casseroling this weekend.
I have looked at other items and will order again soon.
I still haven't heard anything about my delayed items... It's been 6 weeks since I ordered them! If it was my own money, I'd definitely be starting to get annoyed now. I'm a little afraid they're going to try and deliver them while I'm on holiday...
Well some of my order has arrived today. I've got 2 towels that will follow on when they are in stock. Its over 2 weeks late with no email to say it was being delayed. The box was bashed around and had holes in it which would be down to the couriers, who quite frankly have come across as a bunch of clowens in this process after first refusing because the item was to big. Then it disappearing for 3 days before finally being delivered. If I was Achica I would be finding a diffrent courier company to use. I know hermes are heap but doesn't make them the best.
The towels are good quality were well packed in the box, only one problem is I was sent the wrong colour it wasn't till I was taking labels off I noticed. I had order chocolate colour for my ds as hes a mud magnet. The plastic bag that the towel was packed in sud choclate the label said nutmeg, The towel is to light in colour to be choclate. As that colour is one of the delayed items I have emailed them and told them about the olour being worng and seeing if my delayed item can be nutmeg when it arrives rather than chocolate so we have a matching set.
I've currently got teh towels in the washing mahine as they smelt where they had been packaged so will be interesting to see what the wash like and wether teh colours run they are being washed as stated on the label.
Just to conclude the woeful tale... 2 months after my order was placed with no further communication on the delayed items, I finally emailed a query to their helpdesk system asking what was going on.
I did get a reply after 24 hours, saying that one of my items had failed to be delivered by the supplier, but the rest would be sent out ASAP with the last item to follow.
Received the items fine, well packaged, etc. However, a week later I got another email saying that basically they were giving up trying to source the missing item and would just refund my account the money.
Naturally, I haven't received a refund. Probably because technically my entire order was refunded when I ordered it due for the testing feedback, and otherwise they would essentially be giving me money. But without the missing item, I'm basically only receiving 75% of the agreed benefit for the feedback provided.
Obviously there's no communication between departments or notes on my file saying that I was part of the testers on Mumsnet.
I've thought about taking this up with Achica, but to be honest given all the hassle so far I don't think I can really be bothered. I'll just stick with what I've received. After all, something is better than nothing!
However, sorry, but I won't be recommending Achica to anyone. Far too much of a fiasco from order to delivery!
Well I am still waiting for the missing items from my delivery. There has been no communication from Achica so I'm assuming that I wont be getting them.
Like spirael has said above there is absolutly no chance I will be recomending them to people if anything I willbe telling them to stay well clear.
If anyone from Achica are reading this I think there is a lot of things you need to sort out for this to be a good company.
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