I guess I might be a little spoilt by the services of amazon but I can’t help but compare and judge. So I am not overly impressed with the performance of waterstones online:

2nd January – Ordered 2 books, both usually dispatched within 24 hours ,2-3 day delivery.
5 – Books dispatched
7 – No books

8 – EDIT – still no books

9 – ANOTHER EDIT – still no books

10 – YET ANOTHER EDIT – they arrived!  8 days….not what it said on the tin (24h dispatch, 2-3 day delivery)

Not too bad so far considering that 3rd and 4th was the weekend. I might get them tomorrow.

However, this experience is poor….

29th December – Ordered 2 books (usually dispatched within 7-10 days) Used gift card.
Received notice that both books not in stock and are now on order from publisher.
Noticed one of the books was in stock in Ballymena and bought it. Rang waterstones to cancel one book. Cannot cancel one, have to cancel both. ***sigh***
30 – Cannot re-order book order or another book as gift card not refunded. Rang to find out it should have been refunded within 24 hours. Apparently Christmas break should not affect this as it is computerised.
31 – Gift Card still not Refunded.
1 – Gift card still not refunded. Email sent.
2 – Phone call made. Card refunded. Book reordered and another book ordered.
3 – Received notice that both books not in stock and are now on order from publisher. Estimated dispatch 2-3 weeks
7 – Still no reply to email.
8 – UPDATE – Cancelled the order!  I can get one of the books faster and cheaper somewhere else and I really don’t think they can get the other book.  I wonder how long it will take to get my gift card refunded?
26 – Estimated time it takes for Waterstones to contact me (based on 2-3 week delivery) and tell me one of the books cannot be obtained. We shall see. I am expecting one of these books to not be found as both amazon and bookdepository can’t get it and only abe has it. Maybe I will be surprised?

Some good book sites

Amazon.co.uk – brilliant

Amazon.com – also brilliant and includes faster delivery for many american titles

Amazon.ca – has some titles that you will not find anywhere else; mountain journals, cold weather forest storys and some Farley Mowat.

bookdepository.co.uk – Try here before amazon as bookdepository has free delivery and very fast delivery

abebooks.co.uk – if you cannot find your book here then you will be hard pressed to get it anywhere. Abe is a network of secondhand bookshops. Of the many books I have got from abe, they have all been as described and excellently wrapped. Most of the people on abe love their books.