We recently (July 2021) had need of buying a new washing machine.
Our old Beko (Aquired in 2012) was starting to make some horrible noises.

So, having heard lots of positive noises about AO.com we decided to give them a go.


The ordering process was fairly easy, I was less impressed with the idea of ordering being like ordering a flight with Ryan Air with charges and fees appearing.
It was clear what extra charges were being added for and how much those fees would be. The extras weren't sneaked in.

In fairness to AO, those fees are not without reason. I guess it took me by surprise they weren't included in purchase price.

Item £
Machine 349
Disconnect old machine 9.09
Connect new machine 22.73
Take old machine for disposal 18.18
Delivery 10.00
Total 409.00
The £10 delivery fee here is because we wanted the washer ASAP, there was a free option but would have to wait a little longer.

Order confirmation email arrived, so we're all set.


Now the fun begins.
The delivery 'slot' we were given was 0700 - 1900hrs.

So we have to make sure we were at least awake before 0700 as AO promised they would send us a message with a more accurate delivery slot before delivery.

The only phone call we actually got between purchase and delivery day was a call to try and persuade us to take out a Domestic & General appliance insurance, I explained I wouldn't be taking it because of previous less than positive experience of D & G insurance. The person I spoke to was pleasant but determined to make the sale!

I was hoping we'd get notified about delivery slot the evening before, but that didn't happen.

We did get an email the day before though, making sure we are ready for delivery day ....
Screen shot of email from AO checking we're still ready for our delivery

We dutifully got up early (so we were showered & dressed by 7am) on delivery day and waited 'eagerly' for the notification to say when it would be arriving. One of benefits of working from home I guess, I would at least be in all day.

I heard nothing all morning, at this point I was starting to get annoyed I hadn't been notified of a delivery time. At 1245 I get a call from AO.com. At last, time slot notification!

AO called on the day of delivery to tell us they wouldn't be delivering today.
They cancelled the delivery at 1245 on delivery day, a week after ordering after sending us a "Still on for tomorrow?" email the day before.

Ok, things go wrong. Delivery trucks break down, people call in sick, you know things that can't be predicted.
So what went wrong? Why couldn't they deliver?

Apparently they had no stock!

It took until the afternoon on delivery day to figure out they had no stock.
Stock presumably wasn't checked when ordering.
Stock wasn't checked when they sent the "still on for tomorrow?" email.

I can only assume AO.com take orders and hope they can buy from suppliers in the time frame they promised the customer.

If they had called us shortly after ordering, even the day before delivery day, I could live with the irritation. No, they cancelled in the afternoon of delivery day.


What did AO.com offer to do about mix up about stock?
Well they offered us a similar machine (we pay the difference), but that wouldn't be here for at least a week. I declined.

They did send us a £30 voucher for our inconvenience, which was nice.

Of course that would mean having to use a website/company again that hadn't made a good first impression.

Order number 2

So we had a £30 voucher to spend at AO.com, did we want to use it?
I put my better judgement to one side and decided to buy a replacement microwave for ours which was past its best.

Again, no problem ordering. I was able to use the £30 voucher without problem.

After ordering I got a "thanks for your order" email saying I'd be notified by email & text message between 0630 and 0830hrs with a four hour delivery slot.

I got an email from DPD (no text message) at around 0900hrs saying it would be delivered in a 1 hour slot, between 1431hrs and 1531hrs.
It turned up at 1850hrs. Though that's presumably a problem with DPD rather than AO.com.

How can AO improve?

So what should AO do if they want me to shop with them again?
Sort out your logistics! Cancelling because of stock issues on the day of delivery is not acceptable.

Thankfully on this occasion I didn't have to waste a day of annual leave to be in for your failed delivery.

Problems happen. But you should know if you're going to have stock for delivery before delivery day is half way gone.