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Rant about Merlin Cycles

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Rant about Merlin Cycles

Old 03-14-16, 05:25 AM
  #1  
deepakvrao
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Rant about Merlin Cycles

I [placed an order for a crankset and some small parts on Saturday afternoon. They were closed at that time.

By Sunday, I realised that I had a friend coming from Australia, and I could save the VAT if I shipped there, so I sent them a mail.

Tried calling them at 9am [London time] Monday morning [today] and heard a recorded message saying that they were closed from Friday evening till Monday 9:30am.

9:35 am London time, I get a mail saying that the order is ready and the shipping address cannot be changed. I cannot believe that ANYONE was working over the weekend, so this is plain bull**** that they are feeding me.

How difficult is it to change a shipping address?

Last time I shop there.
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Old 03-14-16, 05:28 AM
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People do work evenings, nights and weekends.

Office staff will work weekdays between 9:30 and 5:30 ... but quite often warehouse staff work beyond that.
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Old 03-14-16, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
People do work evenings, nights and weekends.

Office staff will work weekdays between 9:30 and 5:30 ... but quite often warehouse staff work beyond that.
Ok, I might be wrong, but it has not shipped yet. Considering that they have a easy return policy, isn't this easier for them? Just change the address?
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Old 03-14-16, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Ok, I might be wrong, but it has not shipped yet. Considering that they have a easy return policy, isn't this easier for them? Just change the address?
Not necessarily ... on their website they say, "Our warehouses are huge ..." in the About section.

Some of the picking, packing and labelling could be automated. Pulling out one package to change the label might disrupt the system.

Or it could be inaccessible right now. If it is at the bottom of the container ready to ship (but not shipped yet), they're not about to dig it out and repack the container.


And here:
https://www.merlincycles.com/shop.html

The shop is open Saturdays (but not Sundays) ... and it doesn't indicate when the warehouse is open, but it could be 24-hour.

It also says:

"Anything ordered via this website can only be depatched to an address supplied by you at time of purchase. Please do not try to pick up an order from our retail store - it will alreaady be on its way to you in the post!"

Which suggests to me that there is a certain degree of automation to the process ... and also speed.

Last edited by Machka; 03-14-16 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:08 AM
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I agree that OP is likely not fully aware of how process driven modern internet-mail order commerce is. In order for the system to work as advertised (fast, nearly error free deliveries), it must adhere to the process. I can see how that won't allow any changes in an order.

OP, I would not reorder the item with the plan to send the original shipment back. I don't know about India, but in the USA getting one's custom duty payment refunded is not the easiest of tasks.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:10 AM
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So you're mad at a retailer...because they are too efficient, and you didn't have yourmind made up when you ordered?

Got it.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:21 AM
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I have ordered a couple of things from Amazon on a Saturday, and received an email on Sunday telling me that it was shipped. They do this because the competition for customers now has demanded faster service. If you make a mistake, you often can return the item once you have it. The competition is driving good internet return policy too.

It you order the wrong thing, don't blame the shipper for being efficient.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
I have ordered a couple of things from Amazon on a Saturday, and received an email on Sunday telling me that it was shipped. They do this because the competition for customers now has demanded faster service. If you make a mistake, you often can return the item once you have it. The competition is driving good internet return policy too.

It you order the wrong thing, don't blame the shipper for being efficient.
Right normally. But in the case of a duty payment, it can be very tough to get a refund.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:24 AM
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VAT is charged by billing address, so it won't make a difference. For example, a UK resident still pays VAT if they send something to the USA.
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Old 03-14-16, 06:25 AM
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Do you not save on VAT every time you order from them since your country is not part of Euro zone .
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Old 03-14-16, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
I have ordered a couple of things from Amazon on a Saturday, and received an email on Sunday telling me that it was shipped.
I have had items delivered on a Sunday from Amazon.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
I have had items delivered on a Sunday from Amazon.
Not even worth a comment anymore.

It is standard practice now. And surprise, surprise. It is often the USPS making the delivery...on a Sunday.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mapeiboy View Post
Do you not save on VAT every time you order from them since your country is not part of Euro zone .
Many countries outside the EU or the European Economic Area have GST or VAT. India is one of these. Come to think of it I think Australia does too, so I'm not sure how the OP thinks he'll dodge VAT shipping there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value-added_tax
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Old 03-14-16, 07:12 AM
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My mistake. I thought he was talking about customs duty, not VAT.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Not even worth a comment anymore.

It is standard practice now. And surprise, surprise. It is often the USPS making the delivery...on a Sunday.
I normally wouldn't bring it up but the OP seemed to be under the impression that the world shuts down on a weekend. And yes, it was the USPS making the delivery. FedEx delivers on Saturdays like the USPS, FWIW.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:42 AM
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Shipping internationally, internet order, changing the ship-to address after the order is placed is an opportunity for theft by fraud. E-mail is not very secure for conducting business.

Paypal for example would approve a charge-back if the buyer claimed that it wasn't shipped to the address supplied at checkout, regardless of emailed instructions. Credit card processors may have similar policies, and investigating the claim is more complicated, sometimes impractical, when the transaction is international. Even as a two-man operation when I could have easily changed the shipping and personally kept on top of it, and with a policy of bending over backwards for any reasonable requests, I probably wouldn't have done it either.

So I wouldn't hold it against Merlin Cycles that they'd decline to do it.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:01 AM
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There'd also be a change to the cost involved in shipping something to India vs shipping something to Australia. I think Merlin has free shipping, so from the customer end there'd be no change ... but from Merlin's accounting side of things there could be a change that would have to be processed through the system.

Also Australia is pretty picky about what comes into the country. Chances are a few bicycle parts would be all right. But they'd likely have to fill in Australia-specific waybill or manifest or other documentation indicating what's in the shipment. Putting those things together takes time and if you've got your Australia shipment just about ready to go, and someone wants to add a package at the last minute ... just all sorts of extra hassle that could delay the shipment.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:04 AM
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I seriously expect my items to ship or at least be dispatched the day I order them and that is generally the case with any big online retailer in the US and I'm pretty sure that's been my experience with Merlin. When everyone else operates at that speed you won't get much business waiting until Monday morning to process orders
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Old 03-14-16, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Not even worth a comment anymore.

It is standard practice now. And surprise, surprise. It is often the USPS making the delivery...on a Sunday.
USPS Sunday delivery is exclusive for Amazon but yes that's just pushing the envelope and setting precedent. Next comes the drones
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Old 03-14-16, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
VAT is charged by billing address, so it won't make a difference. For example, a UK resident still pays VAT if they send something to the USA.
Right, you wouldn't pay VAT either way.

But hey, you got good friends. I can't imagine asking someone, "Hey can you act as a courier for me and take this 2 pound crank plus parts on your trip with me?"
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Old 03-14-16, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Right, you wouldn't pay VAT either way.
Assuming that the OP is in fact where his profile says he is.

But hey, you got good friends. I can't imagine asking someone, "Hey can you act as a courier for me and take this 2 pound crank plus parts on your trip with me?"
My brother tries to get me to do this every time I fly over to the UK. I've learned to tell him to f*** off.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:27 AM
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Ok, maybe a bit hasty, but let me see when it actually ships. If they have not shipped it in say 2 days, I would still hold it against them.

For those asking about the VAT - shipping from UK to Aus is without VAT, and shipping is free. I had originally asked my order to be shipped to a UK address, and that was with VAT.

Anyway, let's see when they ship
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Old 03-14-16, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
I have ordered a couple of things from Amazon on a Saturday, and received an email on Sunday telling me that it was shipped. They do this because the competition for customers now has demanded faster service. If you make a mistake, you often can return the item once you have it. The competition is driving good internet return policy too.

It you order the wrong thing, don't blame the shipper for being efficient.
Let me see when it ships. If they are super efficient, I'll publicly apologise. If they don't ship it for a couple of days, I WILL hold it against them.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Assuming that the OP is in fact where his profile says he is.


My brother tries to get me to do this every time I fly over to the UK. I've learned to tell him to f*** off.
It is a common thing actually.

Working in productions I see world-hopping touring groups....Frequently tours will set aside a day for shopping between shows in City A to City B. It is par for the course for performers to take spare empty suitcases and go shopping for the Family back in the motherland and return loaded down. In one instance, someone bought a 27" iMac in the USA and put it inside its box in a suitcase to bring back to Russia for family.

Things like say brand clothing, electronics, and software especially are 1/2 the price inside the USA as opposed to outside the USA.

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Old 03-14-16, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Let me see when it ships. If they are super efficient, I'll publicly apologise. If they don't ship it for a couple of days, I WILL hold it against them.
Last thing I ordered from Merlin was shipped same day I ordered.
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