07 February 2011

Wiggle Ahead Of The Curve, Or Adventures In Online Ordering

I didn't start this blog to shill for anybody.  But I want to offer praise to an online retailer.

About two weeks before Christmas, I placed an order with Wiggle.  They were running a sale and, as I'd placed several prior orders with them, I got a couple of additional discounts. So I bought some items I didn't need immediately, but will probably use in the future.

All of my previous Wiggle orders arrived within ten days of my placing them.  However, the order in question hadn't arrived a month after I placed it.  I contacted Wiggle.   They shipped ("dispatched") my order two days after I placed it.  They promised to investigate the matter.  Two days later, they said neither they nor Royal Mail could find the package.  The US Postal Service hadn't seen it, either.

Wiggle then gave me a choice:  They would refund my money, or send me a new shipment.  I chose the latter, and paid an additional 3.99 pounds (about 6 dollars) for expedited shipping.  The original order, and my previous orders, were sent by the standard shipping service they offer for free with orders of 50 pounds (about 80 dollars) or more.

I received the order last week, ten days after I chose to receive a new shipment.  

So, while praising Wiggle, I also want to warn you--if you don't already know--that shipments between the US and the rest of the world have been a good bit slower than normal.  That is due, in part, to the severe weather that's been part of this winter in much of and Asia as well as North America.  But it also has to do with the tighter security that came with the perception of increased danger during the holidays.

What I think of the security alerts and measures is the topic not only another post, but another blog.  But I found out two things that should alarm (or at least annoy) anyone, regardless of his or her political apathy.  For one, packages of more than one pound (453 grams) aren't being allowed into the US unless the shipper fills out a form with detailed information about the recipient.  (Also see this link.) And, packages of more than one pound aren't being allowed on aircraft.  So, even if you pay for an airmail shipment, your package could end up on a boat.   And, of course, Customs procedures have become more intrusive.

So, in this Orwellian milieu the US is becoming, the government isn't banning shipments to the US outright.  Instead, they're making it so inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive that lots of people and businesses will simply stop shipping to the US.  Of course, the only ones these encumbrances won't stop are the ones who actually want wreak havoc.

OK...Enough of my rant.  The good news is that Wiggle has been good about it.  So is an eBay retailer named "stigshead," who are re-shipping two rolls of handlebar tape I ordered just after Christmas and still haven't received. 


  1. Oh man, that's extreme. I think the government's doing a bit too much in the name of security.

  2. Do you have any links to further information about this shipping problem?

  3. Anon: I can't believe I didn't include any links when I posted! I've added links within the text.

  4. I experienced this firsthand when my housemate in Vienna tried to mail me some of the winter clothes I left behind there. She put the stuff in the mail at the beginning of December. By the time the holidays came around, I began to worry. In mid-January, the package was returned to her, because of the "extra forms" problem you mentioned. The Austrian Post had not asked her to fill those out when she was mailing the package and failed to inform her of these rules, but refused to reimburse her shipping. To make a long story short, she re-shipped the package via the UN, but it's been 2+weeks now and I haven't yet received it this time around either. Frickin insane.