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Old Tuesday 1st April 2008, 19:49   #1
ikw101
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Alana Ecology

Has anybody tried ordering equipment etc. from this company recently?

I placed an order over 3 weeks ago and as yet payment hasn't been processed or the goods received. To date they haven't responded to emails either.

I'll post an update if I get a response within the next week otherwise I'll be contacting the credit card company to stop payment.

Seems a bit of a shame as in the past they've been reliable if a bit on the slow side.
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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2008, 13:40   #2
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Originally Posted by ikw101 View Post
Has anybody tried ordering equipment etc. from this company recently?

I placed an order over 3 weeks ago and as yet payment hasn't been processed or the goods received. To date they haven't responded to emails either.

I'll post an update if I get a response within the next week otherwise I'll be contacting the credit card company to stop payment.

Seems a bit of a shame as in the past they've been reliable if a bit on the slow side.
I have never dealt with the company.
There's a telephone number on the website . Call them first , it could be the order is lost in their system. Give 'em one chance ,only one, to make it right .
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Old Wednesday 2nd April 2008, 13:47   #3
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mate of mine ordered 6 Audubon bird squeakers for the lads, we got them within 2 days.

have you tried the old fashioned approach of picking up the phone, it normally helps ?
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Old Sunday 6th April 2008, 18:14   #4
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Yes, they're notoriously crap. It takes a strongly worded email/phonecall to get any decent response. An influential organisation with a large amount of spending power usually gets their attention too.

They have the same problem as Natural History Book Shop (NHBS) in that they advertise and sell you stuff that they haven't actually got on their own shelves. They have *some* stuff in stock, but not most of it, so they depend on being able to get it in time to be able to process your order. But if there are stock issues with the manufacturer/wholesaler - they've sold out, for instance - then you're screwed and Alana will keep you dangling while they try and source it. That can take weeks or months or not happen at all, and they're sh1t at keeping you informed. In fact, they sometimes don't even acknowledge orders.

Pick up the phone, tell them you're very unhappy with the service. Or email a strong letter. It's the only way to get their attention. If they don't turn it around in a week, then get your money back and cancel the order and tell them why.
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Old Saturday 12th April 2008, 18:20   #5
Nigel Addecott
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I have to say that I ordered a moth net from them recently,I had an email in hours to say that the net would be delivered within14 days,2 days later it arrived,excellent service for me.
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Old Sunday 13th April 2008, 00:35   #6
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I have to say that I ordered a moth net from them recently,I had an email in hours to say that the net would be delivered within14 days,2 days later it arrived,excellent service for me.
Try another 10 orders and take an average. An org I know has had huge problems with them (over many orders), and an order with them recently for >500 pounds was handled very badly - delayed, had to chase up twice, wrong order arrived. You'd think orders of that magnitude might be handled with a bit more care. Their system needs overhauling so they can deliver what they've sold, and their customer care needs a kick up the bum to keep you informed of what's happening to your order without you having to chase them.
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Old Sunday 13th April 2008, 21:20   #7
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I placed an order for some pond dipping kits to use on the reserve i work on. I received them last monday (7th April).
I placed the order on 25th January.
When i placed the initial order, they called me to advise some items were out of stock, but should be with me within 10 days. When i emailed them in the middle of February, they advised that they would chase it up - the next i heard was when the money was taken from my account and the goods arrived on my doorstep.
Annoyingly, their pond dipping kits are excellent and really do represent good value for money... it's just the delay in delivery and lack of communication that lets them down.
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 17:08   #8
amcleish
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As MD of Alana Ecology I am viewing this thread with interest! I have two comments that I wish to make in relation to posts made so far. The first relates to comments made about stock held and the second about customer service and delivery times.

Comments made about our stocks are not accurate. We hold at any one time around 150,000 of stock at value which roughly equates to 225,000 at retail and enough stock to fulfil orders for 6-8 weeks. On average we would stock as a matter of course 70-80% of the products listed in our catalogue. If a customer orders a variety of items then a delay is possible. One of the reasons for this is that a significant number of the items we sell are specialist in nature and are not produced in large batches. Moreover, demand for many products is seasonal and demand can outstrip the capacity of some manufacturers to supply. We have tried to pre-empt this by placing large orders early in the season. If we had unlimited funds we could of course hold more stock but like most businesses a line has to be drawn which reflects investment and affordability against likely sales/return.

Since 2006 we have doubled our staff from 7 to 14 and have 8 incoming phone lines. However, at this point in time we are challenged in terms of servicing all areas of customer service. In particular the level of e-mail has grown hugely and it has proved difficult to respond to all enquiries in the time scale that we would like to offer.

We are about to recruit more staff and new e-commerce, order processing/tracking and accounts systems by June will add to our ability to deliver the fast turnaround that our customers increasingly require. Excellent customer service is our number one priority. To those members who have not received the service they expected then please accept my apologies.

If forum members have any further comments or suggestions then please either post them here or e-mail me direct at amcleish@alanaecology.com if you wish for a personal answer.

Last edited by amcleish : Monday 14th April 2008 at 17:12.
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 18:31   #9
ikw101
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As MD of Alana Ecology I am viewing this thread with interest! .........
Great to learn of your interest. I wish a few other MD's of other companies would show a bit more interest as well.

In the past many members of this forum have personally felt comfortable to recommend your company to others including myself see http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....=alana+ecology. http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....=alana+ecology. As I'm sure you can appreciate the recent issues regarding slow delivery are therefore extremely dissapointing.

Whilst I'm sure most of us appreciate that on occasions your company is let down by suppliers it'd be useful to know whether or not an item is in stock before an order is made. Likewise if for any reason an order remains unfulfilled after 10 days perhaps an automatically generated email could be sent out with a revised delivery date.

Going back to my original post on the 4th April I received a response to my email of the 30th March stating "We are still waiting for the item to come into stock, we hope to take delivery w/c 7/4/08". Earlier today payment was finally made and I'm now awaiting delivery of the outstanding order - with interest!

Ian
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Old Monday 14th April 2008, 20:10   #10
KnockerNorton
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G
Whilst I'm sure most of us appreciate that on occasions your company is let down by suppliers it'd be useful to know whether or not an item is in stock before an order is made.
Indeed, and to know how long it will take, as Amazon does. Amazon tells you this up-front, and then gives a delivery time in the order confirmation. It's the not knowing that winds people up, such as the lottery of not knowing if your order falls in the 20% that is not in stock and will therefore take longer to process.

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Originally Posted by ikw101 View Post
Likewise if for any reason an order remains unfulfilled after 10 days perhaps an automatically generated email could be sent out with a revised delivery date.
I'd say 5 days. A working week. 2 weeks is too long to be kept dangling.

I've had orders arrive within 2 days, so when it works it's good. But when it doesn't, it makes you think twice before ordering again.
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Old Sunday 20th April 2008, 21:39   #11
ikw101
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Just a quick update to confirm the order placed on the 13th March eventually arrived on the 18th April. Item as described, well packaged and complete with useful notes.

Would I use them again - yes, but next time I'll phone first to check the item is in stock before placing an order.

I really hope the MD takes onboard some of the comments raised on this thread specialist suppliers are hard to find.
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Old Thursday 15th May 2008, 13:21   #12
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I have always had first rate service from this company. (Not that that would impress me if I was one of you guys who have had problems though)
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Old Thursday 11th September 2008, 12:14   #13
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I ordered a stereo lead from Alana Ecology, to connect my Bat Detector and Recorder, on 31st Aug, and emailed Alana Ecology on the 9th to enquire when I would recieve it....... Then I stumbled on this thread.

Automated reply from Alana Ecology as follows: "Thank you for contacting us!
We have received your inquiry and are assigning it to a representative. You can expect to receive a response from us within one business day for sales enquiries and two business days for technical support enquiries".

This is the third day since I emailed them and as yet I have had no further correspondence with a representative.

I may as well have gone into town and bought one, which is what I intend to do as soon as i've posted this and emailed the MD personally to cancel my order.

Suffice to say that I'll think long and hard as regards ordering from Alana Ecology again.

Bill.
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Old Friday 12th September 2008, 13:27   #14
amcleish
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We have responded to Bill and apologised for the delay. We are still investigating this order but the item was in stock and the order processed on the 4th September.

In relation to the e-mail enquiry we have introduced a system over the summer which sends out an automated reply to increase confidence that the customers enquiry has been received and will be responded to. Unfortunately, due to staffing shortages at present it has been hard to maintain the quick reponse which we wish to offer. We currently have a vacancy for a naturalist/ecologist to join our team as a technical sales adviser so if this post is of interest to any birdforum member we would be interested to hear from you.

In addition to e-mail and telephone there is also an online LivePerson service being rolled out. At the moment this is only accessible to customers who have e-mailed us via our sales or support addresses. Later this year this will be accessible from our website which is also being upgraded this autumn with stock availability and an order tracking facility.

Customer service remains our highest priority and in particular our focus is at present on improving delivery times and response times which seem to be the most important requests proposed by customers.

I would of course like to hear from anyone who has had difficulties in dealing with our company or wishes to suggest improvements to our service. I can be contacted at amcleish@alanaecology.com

Andy McLeish, Managing Director, Alana Ecology Ltd
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Old Sunday 28th September 2008, 20:51   #15
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I have not previously used Alana Ecology nor had I seen this thread prior to placing an order for a couple of hundred quids worth of kit from them last week, If I had I probably would not have placed the order.

I received an automated email telling me that my order was being processed and then received the full order yesterday, less than a week after the order was placed.

I am quick to criticise companies when things go wrong, if they don't take the opportunity I give them to put it right, and I usually pay a lot of attention to other such criticisms when deciding who to deal with.

I'm glad I didn't see this thread earlier, I have to say that I am honestly very happy with the level of service, speed of delivery and care and attention given to packaging and protection of the goods in transit.

It's also very refreshing to see that an MD of a company is prepared to stick his head above the parapet and take the knocks that his company were getting here, he could have said nothing and we wouldn't even have known he was lurking in this forum.

I'm delighted with my goods, I would recommend Alana Ecology to others and I will probably use them again (although I may phone before hand to check stock and availability).

Regards

Derek W
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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 17:56   #16
Mike Richardson
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I recently placed an order for a bat detector with Alana Ecology and was promised delivery in two weeks. If not an email would follow to advise me of any problems and a future delivery date.

Two weeks passed with no delivery or explanatory email. After a couple more days I emailed the MD on the above address telling him I was not happy with the level of customer service. First thing the next day I received an email and a phone call both apologising for the delay and the lack of an email. Apparently (conveniently?) new stocks of my bat detector had just arrived and I received my purchase in less than 24hours via express delivery.

The detector arrived well packaged with extra information leaflets etc at no extra charge.

Like Derek, I would use Alana again but would phone before hand to check stock availability.
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Old Monday 29th September 2008, 19:53   #17
claire78
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I placed an order with them for a bat detector a few months back. It arrived quickly, well packaged and with some additional info on using bat detectors. No complaints

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