T J Hughes – England’s worst online toy store? (Update – maybe not)


A week ago I ordered a Push N Go Thomas for my nephew from T J Hughes (Amazon only had the Percy version).

The site showed that they had it in stock (unlike some of the other sellers that I’d found on Google Shopping), and I was even willing to bear the somewhat steep P&P to get it in time for Christmas.

I went through the usual check out process, and received an email with an order number. Had I been more paying attention then this might have bothered me:

What happens next?

The details of your order will now be processed and a further email confirming acceptance of your order will be sent to you, usually within 3 working days.

Yesterday – 6 days after placing that order I get another email:

We regret to inform you that we are temporarily out of stock of your requested item

As we are currently unable to confirm when we are likely to receive a further replenishment of this item(s), we are therefore sadly unable to accept your order at this time.

How can it possibly take an entire working week to figure out that you don’t have something?

If T J Hughes had a functioning stock control system and web site then I’d have never bothered.

Thanks for nothing guys – a total waste of time.

I’m also not impressed with Google here. They’re showing 4 stars based on 44 seller ratings. I took the trouble to put all of the ratings into a spreadsheet and work out my own average, which turned out to be exactly 3. So what’s juicing the ranking up to 4?

Update 22 Dec – I just had a call from the customer services manager at TJ Hughes. He told me that they have managed to find a Push N Go Thomas, and that he’s getting it sent out to me. Given the state of the postal system after all the snow we’ve had neither of us expects delivery before Christmas, but still it’s a nice gesture.

Update 17 Jan – the Push N Go Thomas that was supposed to be sent to me before Christmas never arrived. After waiting for the mail to return to normal following Christmas and all the snow it became clear that there was a problem, so I contacted TJ Hughes again. Another package was sent out last week, and it was just delivered. Since I was never after a freebie I’ve donated £18.50 to Help for Heroes (which when tax is taken into account is roughly what I was expecting to pay for the toy when I ordered it).

One Response to “T J Hughes – England’s worst online toy store? (Update – maybe not)”

  1. 1 ConorwitheoneN

    The ‘”we’ve got it in stock” when no-one else appears’ to have is one of the most unfair online scams.
    Consumers can’t tell whether the retailer simply doesn’t know their inventory or are deliberately trying to draw your turnover in.
    Reminds me much like the estate agent rental scam – show a Too Good To Be True rental in their window which has astonishingly JUST been let and we haven’t had time to take it out of the window.
    Unsustainable business model either way, but nonethleess frustrating.

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