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My name is Jane Ward and I was lucky enough to be chosen to do a £50 mystery shop at Amazon. Upon receiving my gift card I immediately went on to the Amazon website full of excitement. However, it was harder than I thought it would be to find something I wanted. I use Amazon a lot and I am a Prime Member although when I buy anything I always know exactly what I want and go straight to it via the search.
This time I wanted to browse the departments and I actually found it quite off putting. I found I really needed to know what it was I was looking for specifically. I then decided to go onto the deals section. This was easy to use and easy to scroll through but nothing caught my eye. I had to really think about what I wanted to purchase. I looked at the section that was recommended to me based on my previous orders but nothing new came up just the things I had already purchased. So I decided to search for a birthday present for someone who liked cats. I had seen a cuddly cat on Amazon the week previous so decided I could purchase that, however, it had gone up in price by £7.72 from the previous week! There was nothing to suggest that it had been on a deal so I decided against that in principal. I did find another cuddly cat and placed that easily in my basket.
Next I searched for Mickey Mouse tee shirts and easily found exactly what I wanted and added that to my basket very easily. The description was very good stating chest sizes and I found that very helpful. I then searched for my favourite items in jewellery and easily found a silver bangle and some silver earrings which I placed in my basket. I also needed some nail preparation fluid which again came straight up on the search and placed in my basket easily. I had spent approximately an hour searching for these products and then checked my basket and found I had spent £50.56 so decided to check out.
As I am a prime member I was able to have four of the items delivered the next day. The cuddly cat was unable to be delivered with the other goods even though it said it was available on prime. It just said it had to be delivered later in the week with no explanation which I found most unhelpful. If you are a prime member and the item displayed is on Prime then I expect it to be delivered the next day or at the latest the day after that! I found it very easy to put the gift card code into the section and it immediately said that £50 would come off the gift card and 56p would be deducted from my debit card. I was very impressed with how easy that was. Delivery address was all set up and with one click all my items were ordered. I then received emails stating the confirmation of the order and then regular updates as to despatch and delivery updates.
The following day four of my items came. One in a box and three wrapped in cardboard but all secure and acceptable. No invoicing paperwork or anything accompanied the items. All were in a very good condition and in sensibly sized packaging. It is now 2 days since ordering the items and I have not received the cat! I haven’t received any more details on despatch but the original email confirming the order did say it should be delivered Friday or Saturday this week but as it is a bank holiday I need to get this review in and don’t like to wait until after I have received the item. I will of course advise you when it comes if you require me to. I would rate my shopping experience as a 3. 1 point dropped because I found browsing the website harder than I would have liked and another point dropped because the cat said it was on prime and obviously it wasn’t as it didn’t have the one day delivery guarantee so this was misleading.
Firstly I would like to give a huge thank you to UK Mystery Shopper for giving the opportunity to visit Dunelm to carry out the Mystery Shop.
My wife and I chose to visit the Poole in Dorset Store, and went on Saturday 7th May around mid morning so the shop would be fairly busy. On arrival the car park was very busy although it is shared with other stores. I did notice that the trolley park was quite untidy and there was a lot of litter around it. Outside the front of the store there was rather a lot of litter and I felt that this had been there some time.
Moving into the store my first impression was that there was no lighting inside and I then realised that they were in fact very cleverly using the natural light coming in through the roof and the light background music, all added to making it a pleasant shopping experience. The store looked very well laid out with lots of displays in the middle of the main walkways which were promoting some lovely products. These were clearly labelled with prices and some were marked as special offers. The layout of the store generally looked clean and tidy and good use was being made of the floor area. Moving around the store we found that all the shelves were well stocked again all clearly priced up. We decided to replace our dining service set so headed to the relevant area. We were both surprised at the large selection there was and there was a large range of prices, colours and shapes available to choose from. Having chosen the set we wanted we decided to look at some cutlery and after looking in several aisles we found a good range to choose from. We also decided to buy a burger press and thought this was a good opportunity to ask for some help. We quickly came across a male member of staff who we think was fairly new to the role. He was very helpful and quickly advised us that he did not know where to find them. He then found a female member of staff who was also very friendly and helpful, engaging well in conversation whilst taking us to the right isle to find the burger press in. Although both members of staff were helpful, it was difficult to praise them by name as neither members’ of staff were wearing name badges.
We had a look in the cafe area in the back of the store and there was certainly quite a lot of people sat eating. The tables all looked clean and were clear of empty plates. We had a look at the serving counter and this all looked spotlessly clean and tidy. The food that was on display all looked very appetising and fresh. We eventually made our way to the checkout area and all the checkouts were open and even though the store was quite busy there were no queues. The checkout operator was a lady called Ione and she was very polite and cheerful. She offered to put the packages into bags but as we had brought our own we declined this offer. The whole experience went very well and I could not fault the staff or selection of goods and would rate the store as 4 out 5. I would like to thank UK Mystery shopper again for the £100 voucher and the chance to do this.
There are two Boots stores situated in Darlington town centre. One is a small unit on High Row, and the other is a much larger unit on Northgate. I visited the latter on 14th December at around 11:45am. From the outside, everything looked tidy. There was no litter outside of the store, though Wednesday is rubbish collection day for the town centre stores. All bags put out front for collection were kept at the furthest point from any of the shops and at the roadside so as not to look unsightly.
Stepping into the store, the first thing I noticed was a cautionary ‘Wet Floor’ cone as the weather hasn’t been too great lately, so naturally water had been trailed in from the outside (this had been cleaned away). For the most part the entire store was quite clean. The only thing that let them down in this respect was the cosmetic aisle. There were marks on the floor where products had been spilled and had not yet been cleaned up. The general layout of the store was quite easy to navigate. There is quite an extensive cosmetic collection front-left and central to the entrance, and refreshments front-right. Continuing down the store the bays move from hair care, styling, skincare and finally down to medicines and pharmaceuticals at the back, with fragrances down the left side of the store and gifts/photo products down the right. All the aisles had clear signage, so it didn’t take me too long to find the few things I’d already had in mind to purchase. For a relatively large store with a lot of products to offer, the bays were well-spaced out and it didn’t feel cramped or over-stacked.
As it’s nearing Christmas there are a lot of great offers stores at the moment - Boots is no exception. All special offers and prices were marked clearly. However, general pricing labels had a little room for improvement. I picked up a Yankee Candle set that were on offer, but there was another, conflicting price label which, upon closer inspection, was for a different product. It looked like that product had run out and the vacant space had been filled with the special offer, but someone forgot to remove the price label. At the end of this particular bay there were also a couple of boxes of stock stacked waiting to go out on the shelves. These were kept tidily to one side and were gone by the time I made a second trip round to that area. There were a few price labels missing in parts of the No.7 cosmetics section too. There were also a few gaps where odd items of makeup had yet to be replenished, though the rest of the store overall seemed to be well-stocked throughout.
Conveniently, I ran out of a few essentials prior to my visit, so I entered with a mini-shopping list. One item my husband had requested was hand sanitiser, and I wasn’t 100% sure where this would generally be so I took the opportunity to ask a member of staff. I didn’t quite catch her name as her badge was a little obscured, but she directed me to where I needed to be and gave me a little bit of information on the various types of hand sanitisers on offer. One staff member I did manage to get the name of was Angela, who was working over at the fragrance counter. The store was quite busy by that point and Angela was successfully working her way around the various customers that had gathered around that area. She had a friendly approach in asking me if I needed help. I told her I was looking for a birthday present for someone (true) and that I had a vague idea of the perfume they like, but didn’t want to get anything I knew they already had. Angela spent a good deal of time demonstrating the various fragrances based on what I’d told her I was/wasn’t looking for. As more customers gathered, Angela politely excused herself to tend to them while I made a decision and soon returned to open up the cabinet for me. She also informed me I could pay at any of the till regardless of what I was purchasing.
Incidentally, it was one of the fragrance tills that I returned to in order to finally make my purchase. The main tills had a relatively small queue of approximately 5 or 6 people, but I had an ulterior motive for using the fragrance till as it was right next to the No.7 cosmetic section and they had an offer on. The offer gets you a free ‘Beauty Bauble’ worth £26 when you purchase any two No.7 cosmetics (gift sets excluded). I picked out a couple of items, but purposefully didn’t pick up the Beauty Bauble before finally making my way to the counter. I was first in the queue and served by Daisy, who was quick to alert me to the No.7 offer which I gladly accepted as she popped over to grab one for me. She then asked if I had my own bag (I didn’t) before offering me a 5p Boots bag, which she herself packed for me. Daisy was also very friendly and conversed with me throughout the transaction. As my purchase came to a little over the £100 I was given, she had a little bit of trouble putting the Love2Shop gift card through the card reader, but soon worked out that she just needed to put the extra balance through first. After that, the gift card went through just fine.
Aside from the aforementioned essentials, I purchased a set of six miniature Yankee Candles (on offer for £8.27), a candle holder, a 50ml bottle of BOSS Femme (on offer at £25), a 200ml bottle of CK Be (on offer at £28) and some gunmetal smokey eyeliner and lipstick from No.7 - all great quality items. I wouldn’t normally purchase No.7 cosmetics as I’m not heavily into makeup and tend to stick to less expensive ranges, but I was happy enough that I was getting that little bit extra for those with the free gift. What impressed me most about this experience were the huge discount offers on the fragrances and also the fact that I was given points on my Boots card despite the fact I was using a gift card - something I hadn’t expected. Overall, I would give this experience 4 out of 5. Had it not been for the minor negative aspect of missing price labels and the staining on the floor of cosmetic area, this would have been an all-out 5 as the staff were very friendly, helpful, and showed excellent product knowledge.