PLEASE ENSURE YOU READ MY CONCLUDING POST #30 ............
Having read so much praise of the Stowa range and customer service, and falling head over heels for the FO, I placed an order for one last year. Like most of us I was given the delivery date of June this year. Perfect, I thought, the timing as a self sourced present for an event at the end of May made it even more special.
Earlier this month it became clear that the delivery date will be more like mid to end 2010, which I accepted given the circumstances being described on this forum.
However I still wanted a watch for this weekend, and I was still keen to experience Stowa workmanship first hand. As luck would have it I have had my eye on a black dialed Seatime, and low and behold the standard model is listed as being immediately available (all colour bezels) and so are the spare straps.
So on the 16th May I placed my order, 17th of May I made payment if full with additional payment for expedited delivery of a standard Seatime on bracelet, spare strap, 2 spare bezels and a deployment.
All items immediately available so I sat back and waited expecting to receive shipping confirmation a couple of days later.
It didn't come, so I wrote and asked when it would ship. A note came back saying Friday 22nd. OK it would miss the weekend event but I would have it Monday via Fedex.
Friday close of business and no shipping confirmation so I wrote again. I got a prompt email back saying it would ship Monday (promise!) and the offer of a small token to compensate. OK I thought not ideal but they recognise its below par.......... 40 minutes later I get an email telling me to delete the email promising Monday and compensation as it was sent in error , my watch will ship 'next week'!
Now I am confident some may defend Stowa against my "unreasonable" expectations, but this is the first time in many internet transactions I have experienced an item specifically be listed as in stock, not shipping within a few days, at least not without an explanation. I feel even more let down by the fact that having stuck with Stowa in ordering a "replacement" for the original FO order delayed by them, I have been rewarded by a failure to deliver the second order in a timely manner.
It strikes me that whilst the quality of the products may well be superior (I have yet to find out) Stowa needs to address the growing gap between delivery expectation and reality, either via more accurate forecasting or more resource in the supply chain. Without addressing this they run a risk of eroding some of the goodwill the brand has so impressively built up in the past few years.
Whilst I still retain some excitement over my pending deliveries they have now, unfortunately, lost some of their sparkle.