Loathy London: Boohoo.co.uk (A Review by Pinar Djafer)

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The fashion capital’s reputation is in the hands of sloppy sites like Boohoo.com.

Boohoo.com is famous amongst teenage Brits because of its cheap tat. With student discount, promotional codes and offers added to the already affordable items of clothing, Boohoo.com appears to be a place for stylish and affordable fashion.

However, the site is far from being a place of bargains. You get exactly what you pay for – poorly made, ill-fitting clothing. But, it’s cheap and chirpy for students with pieces starting from just £5. I don’t particularly mind paying £25 for a red polyester dress because it’s unlikely to make it through one or two messy nights out anyway.

My issue is that when transactions get messy, you will find yourself dealing with a half-hearted customer service department that make your life that bit more difficult.

I ordered three dresses from the site a while ago on a Thursday afternoon to wear for a friend’s birthday on the Saturday. I ordered three styles as I am aware that due to the poor materials used, some size 8 dresses fit like a size 12 and others like a size 4. I paid the extra fee for Next Day delivery and was well within the time period for a Next Day arrival of my items.

None of the dresses came the next day or in time for the friend’s birthday. I ended up wearing an old black jumpsuit that I already had several pics in on Instagram. I was very annoyed.

One of the dresses came the next Monday and the other on the following Thursday. Despite my vexation, I didn’t contact Boohoo.com as they do not have a contact phone number. You can contact customer service by email, but I wasn’t bothered for a reply 24 hours later. The damage had already been done.

I was more concerned later when two weeks had passed and I still hadn’t received the third dress I paid for. Annoyingly, the most expensive one. This time I was compelled to write an email. The next day I received the stupidest response I could have ever expected. It read something along the lines of: We are sorry to hear about your order. We have investigated into your order details and it appears that your item was sent out to you. Please check inside the delivery bag again.

How dare they insinuate that I could not see a dress in an A3 sized delivery bag. Unless, of course, it was a special kind of Mary Poppins bag whereby the walls of the bag were endless.  I sent another email confirming that I had tipped the bag upside down and inside out.

Another lady from the customer service team responded saying that the item had actually been cancelled from my order due to the stock being unavailable at the time. She explained that sometimes an item may appear as available when this is not the case. This was understandable, but should have been communicated to me without the unnecessary hassle especially when ‘Next Day’ delivery indicates that the item was required urgently.

As an apology, I received my refund. I am most grateful. I received nothing else as a goodwill gesture to apologise for the inconvenience caused. It was only when I made a public complaint on the site that someone decided to comment back offering to put £3.99 in my Boohoo account to use on my next order.

I decided to call this an ‘unlucky transaction’ and have given Boohoo other chances since. I have had several more issues with delayed refunds and slow delivery. I will not be using the site again.

Despite the advancement of technology and the purpose of online shopping to bring ease to the shopper, it appears that in-store shopping is still much simpler. In stores, we can find whatever catches our eye, try the fit there and then, and hand in your payment without the need of a third party like Paypal or filling out long billing details. You can then take your items away with you in time for your event. Saves me dealing with sloppy sites like Boohoo.com again.

It seems Boohoo has brought other shoppers to tears too:

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Loathly London: A City Overcrowded with the Unhappy. (An opinion piece by Pinar Djafer)

The probability that you watched that clip right to the end is unlikely. The truth is, it’s draining and depressing – just like London.

In an annual Global Liveability Ranking and Report conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, London was one of Europe’s least liveable cities.

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Many tourists are impressed with the City, its iconic sites and landmark venues. You know the ones – the Big Ben; Buckingham Palace; Oxford Street; Downing Street; the London Dungeons; Madame Tussauds and so on.

But the sad reality is that most tourists will have seen more of London’s beauty than Londoners themselves.

Students spend thousands of pounds on university to get their dream job in the city.

The reality is in fact that most Londoners are exhausted, completely exhausted.

Most Londoners rise at the crack of dawn, still half asleep, to put on a suit that’s not properly ironed because of the lack of sleep. They will carry their strenuous rucksacks on their backs and put on their commuting trainers, whilst adding extra weight to their backpacks with the Loakes office shoes they could barely afford.

They stack layers and layers of outer garments on to their attire and still manage to freeze when they step outside. The smack in the face of sharp London air wakes them up and if that doesn’t do it, caffeine will.

They pay several pounds a day on the tube to find that they’re squeezed into the train carriages like a bunch of sardines. Their £10 travel fare is spent on smelling armpits and bad breath in the morning because in London you don’t get what you paid for – you get conned.

They get off the train to see grey clouds ready to shower down, grey pavements, tall grey buildings and mismatched red buses. The closest thing to heat they see is that which is permeating from their boss’s face due to their lateness. Of course somehow the train delays end up being their fault and they are advised to catch the earlier train next time. So now they’ll be up at 4am instead of 5am.

They’ll spend hours in the office dealing with a boss that hates them, colleagues that compete with them and clients that challenge them. They’ll miss their lunch break because there’s too much to do and they spend every hour praying it was home time. Of course when home time comes, their boss finds something else to do before they leave.

Students will spend a great majority of their lives working hard to pay off a lot of their debts which got them the qualifications that put them in this kind of job in the first place.
As a student, being broke is something that is made fun out of. But when you’re thirty and working to keep up with London living – it’s not so funny.

You usually end up biting off more than you can chew with the house that you’re still trying to pay off and your dream car will always remain a dream.

I think vacations put people in greater depression. You spend months saving for the holiday you so rightly deserve. You finally go and the two weeks fly by. The sun, sea, and friendly faces are a reminder of everything you don’t have at home. Instead, you have deadlines, bills and the cold grey streets.

I’m not surprised that you don’t see warm smiles from Londoners. When hearing an announcement on a platform that a passenger has jumped in front of the train, and passengers will need to find alternative routes, I’m not surprised that people are more angry than compassionate. When you live in a depressing, expensive and hostile place like London, you will become as grey and cold as the city itself.

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Loathly London – List of 36 Things We Loathe About London

Rush Hour on the Central Line

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If you manage to squeeze in the infamous Central line during rush hour, you’ll be unluckily enough to have your personal space completely invaded. I’m talking directly face to face… or face to armpit. 

Parking

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Finding parking in London is merely for the lucky. And if you’re lucky enough to find parking, it usually comes with a cost and a heavy penalty charge if you forget to get a ticket.

Congestion Charge

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Many areas in London, especially Central, will charge for passing through, known as a congestion charge. These usually run from Monday-Friday before 18:30, but this can vary from area to area. Thinking about driving into Central? Don’t.

Driving in General

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London drivers are advised to switch their manual cars to automatic. You rarely drive over 20 mph on a typical road in the city because you are nearly always stuck in traffic. Avoid driving around 8am-10am and 3pm-6.30pm. This leaves you pretty much only driving comfortable very early in the morning, very late in the morning, or a little in between. Or just use the Central line? Maybe not.

Roundabouts for Cyclists

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Cycling in London in general is dangerous, but roundabouts make it almost impossible. I hope cyclists never have to encounter Elephant and Castle’s roundabout in particular.

Pigeons

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These rats with wings have no mercy. They will swoop down and flap you in your face if you’re close enough. If dodging Londoners on the streets weren’t enough, you must master dodging these beasts.

Their poop

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On our cars, windows, clothes and heads – these ghastly droppings are not an unfamiliar sight in London. Ever been paint-balling before? No? You can practice in London.

Foxes

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London’s foxes will tear your bins, jump in front of your cars, and sleep in your gardens. They are becoming increasingly less afraid of the human presence and are hungrier and more determined than ever before.

Rats

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Last of our furry friends are rats. We don’t get beautiful tropical peacocks or parrots or ponies. No, no. But rats, we have in abundance. It is said that there is always at least one of these filthy rodents approximately 2 metres away from you in London. Eek!

Oxford Street Shopping

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Our iconic shopping centre, Oxford Street, is one of London’s busiest destinations. You don’t just dodge people here, but cars too. The place is manic. The complete and utter opposite of retail therapy.

Passenger Forgetting to Prepare Oyster Card

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Queuing is not a foreign concept for Londoners. We queue for everything, because we’re clearly overcrowded. But queuing unnecessarily can really piss off commuters. So when you get to the front of the barriers in the tube station, and you haven’t still rummaged around for that oyster card, be prepared to face moody commuters.

Please Stand on the Right Side of the Escalator

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Part of the unnecessary queuing, it is usually tourists that are foreign to London’s rules and regulations. They should put up the sign in many languages. Please stand on the right hand side so I can keep moving down!

Victoria Station

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If like myself, you’re unfortunate enough to have to encounter this station on a regular basis, you will understand what I mean by “luggage-lugging”. Getting from A to B in London Victoria Station is a battle between man and luggage.

Transport Weirdos

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They’re everywhere. This is the weird person that forgot they came out their house and into the public. They’re usually the one that sits right next to you on an empty train and make annoying conversation.

Fee for Cash Machines

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Paying to get access to your own money is absurd. Many card machines require a payment of around £2 for using the service. Otherwise, you’ll have to walk to the next main road for a free machine.

Customer Only Restrooms

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Even if you’re dying to use the toilet, most Londoners have picked up the new rule of only allowing customers to use the restroom facilities. Be prepared to buy a coffee even if you don’t want one.

Charge for Restrooms

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There is a price to pay for preventing bladder eruption. Many London venues charge for toilet use.

No Money for a Pint

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A pint in London will cost you around £4. The cost of drinks has gone up since the old days, and the number of offers to buy the round has gone way down.

Queues for Bars and Clubs

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It’s Friday night. You’ve had a rough day at work/university and the guys and girls want to drag you out. You just about gain your energy for a full-on smashing night out. You get to the venue and the queue takes up any bit of party mood you had in you. Beers and DVDs look a lot better now.

Even worse, Wimbledon

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Queuing for Wimbledon can only be described as outrageous. Many eager campers will queue all night and still face the chance of not getting a ticket. What a nightmare!

Annoying Drunks

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It’s not OK when it’s not your mates. These annoying drunks are the ones that couldn’t hold their drinks down, were twerking on the dance floor, and were toppling over every minute. You’ll mostly find them in Brick Lane or Camden.

Taxis

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Taxis are one of the most expensive forms of travel in and around London. If you’re looking for a way back home after a night out, or a comfortable alternative to the tube, expect not a single penny left in your pocket.

Renting 

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Renting and buying a home in London is a serious issue. Many students looking for accommodation would never have anticipated the cost of living in London. Keep me home as long as you can, mum.

Rubbish

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These juicy dumps of rubbish are what make London so seductive… for the rats and foxes. Each borough and council have their own assigned rubbish collectors, yet roads are still dump sites.

Black Snot in Your Nose

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Many Londoners will understand. Especially if you regularly commute on the tube, expect to build up this nasty black snot.

Bus Diversions

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This is mostly applicable to Sunday commuters. Bus diversions mean you will have paid your £1.40 fare to get no where near to the destination you want to get off at because the bus has diverted elsewhere. Thus, you will have to get off at the stop and walk back where you need to go, or get another bus and pay a new fare.

Road Closures

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 You’re fairly new to London or you want to just get to your mate’s new place so you’ve got your sat nav on the ready. You start your journey to see that the road is closed due to maintenance work. You take an alternative route that you don’t know too well, and because every other driver is in the same pickle, you find yourself in traffic on an even longer route.

Corner-Shopkeepers 

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Who said anything about not wanting my 1p change? Shopkeepers in London will automatically round £1.99 to £2 and will shut the till before giving you your change. But, if an item was ever £2 and you only had £1.99 on you, it would be a different ball game.

House Sizes

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You spend so much money to keep up with having a home in the city, yet your house is the size of a kennel.

Let’s compare it with homes in America…

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It’s worse if you have to live in flats/blocks…

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Rain

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In London, rain is all year round. You are never too far from a black cloud, yet we hardly ever have an umbrella on the ready.

Cold

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Fancy that barbecue that we spent all that money on outdoor equipment in Homebase for? Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next day. Maybe we should have spent it on a holiday abroad.

Moody People 

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It would only make sense that most Londoners have the face of a baboon’s backside when the weather is awful and we are cramped.

Ignorant People 

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You could be passed out on the floor and it is likely that most Londoners will walk straight passed you. Everyone is still too peeved off with the cramp conditions of the Central line to bother with you.

Suit and Trainers

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This would be the typical image of a Londoner. Commuters especially, waddle around the city in their skirt suit, trainers and briefcase. What a combo!

Rude Bus Drivers

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You’d expect a smiley face from the leading figure of the iconic big red bus. Well, you will have to settle for attitude, rudeness or no response whatsoever.

The Guy Who Made It All Possible

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Boris Johnson.

What can I say?