What Do I Think of La Redoute?

Do I or do I not like La Redoute. Well, let’s examine that question, shall we?

La Redoute first caught my eye when I saw the catalogue at a friend’s house a few years ago. It’s a catalogue shop with a difference. It’s French. That means lovely styles, different models (Grattan, Additions, Choice all seem to use the same ones) and a different way of organising the catalogue. All in all, a very nice change.

The problem, I later found out, is that they also have a different way of handling fulfillment and customer support.

I have ordered from La Redoute 5 or 6 times now over the last few years. And while that may not be enough to give me the label of an expert it means I do have some experience with the mail order company. I usually order from the website although the ordering is more often than not the result of the print catalogue or an “order now and get this free” offer put through the letterbox.

I have unfortunately never had a perfect ordering experience with La Redoute. More often than not the website just doesn’t work. It is there but won’t let you search, takes you to the wrong page, doesn’t let you put any items in your shopping cart and so on. When I have managed to get it to work I have been pleased with the lovely items it lists at very reasonable prices.

However, that’s just the beginning. After the order goes off you would think I’d receive the items I ordered, right? Hmm, not so sure. The coat I ordered for my son in November didn’t arrive until late January. In the UK we are used to very quick fulfilment of mail order and online orders. Even the stuff I order from eBay sellers usually arrives the next day. So I have not been overly impressed with La Redoute’s extremely laid back approach to order fulfillment. I have never received an item in less than 2 weeks and most have taken around a month.

Now that I’ve finally received my items it’s inspection time. To be honest, it’s been so long since I ordered the outfit that I can’t remember what it was supposed to look like. I have kept some things and others I’ve sent back.

That’s where the second major problem shows itself, their customer service certainly leaves something to be desired. After waiting a month for a refund on an item I sent back I finally emailed them about it. The reply was “be patient”. What???? What do you call waiting an entire month?

Maybe I’m just spoiled. If I send something back to Figleaves or ASOS I get an auto email stating it’s been received, then I get an auto email stating when they will refund it and then another one a few days later saying the money has been returned to me. So maybe it’s not the French company’s fault, maybe it’s the fault of UK mail order companies for being so efficient.

So back to the original question, do I like La Redoute. It’s still hard to say. I love the clothing, the prices are great and I think the catalogue is refreshingly different in its layout and choice of models. But I haven’t bought anything from them for several months and don’t see myself rushing off to do so any time soon. Maybe I will if they finally decide to refund me for that item, but apparently I’m still supposed to “be patient”.

La Redoute Website

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