Monday, 5 September 2011

Dodged a bullet. Possibly.

On Friday, I finished my latest pair of Prom Socks and decided, reluctantly, to give them to a friend for her birthday.

They're in Regia Marrakesh, colourway Sylt 5497.  I really like it.  In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to buy another ball, to make a pair for myself instead of just making a pair of Use-Em-Up socks with the leftovers from this pair. 

About 10 minutes after I finished the socks, I was on-line searching for a replacement skein.  Google to the rescue. There weren't many options listed, so I felt really lucky when I found a skein at the very yarn shop who owned the stand at Ally Pally where I'd purchased the ball in the first place!  Web of Wool.

An alarm bell chimed softly in the back of my mind when I saw the website address.  It wasn't the store name, but the website looked legitimate so I rationalised that maybe they were using a hosting service.  Everything went well, including the "thank you for registering at our website" email, until I tried to pay for my purchase.  Then I got an error message from WorldPay:

Sorry, there was an error in processing this transaction: The information sent from the merchant's site is invalid or incomplete. Please send the following information to the merchant:
The transaction cannot be processed due to one or more of the following:
  • the merchant account is suspended
  • the order currency you selected is not supported
  • the authorisation mode is incorrect
  • test mode is unavailable
  • the installation is not live

Since it was after 10pm, I thought that maybe the site was down for maintenance.  Just to be sure, I emailed Web of Wool to report the error message by replying to the "thank you for your order" email I received from them.  I also emailed the Hotmail address quoted on the website.  When both of those bounced, I tried the "Contact us" page.  That didn't bounce. I hadn't paid anything - I hadn't entered my payment details anywhere - but I didn't want that ball of yarn sold out from under me.

I was a bit concerned that I didn't hear anything from them on Saturday or Sunday, so this morning I tried to phone them.  The number was disconnected.  Huh?

Back to Google.  This time, my Google-fu turned up a discussion on a knitting club's board.  It was nearly two years old but talked about poor customer service, non-delivery of orders after the money had been taken, unanswered emails and non-returned phone messages.  The writers talked about reporting Web of Wool to Trading Standards. I posted on the Midlands UK Crafter's Board on Ravelry:  has Web of Wool closed?  A kind Raveler responded and said yes.  She linked to the forums on the Laughing Hen website.  And there I got a definitive answer:  Trading Standards had taken Web of Wool to court and got a judgement against them; effectively, they closed them down.

It looks like I dodged a bullet, since I hadn't paid any money or given any payment details, I'm not out of pocket.  Beware, though, if your search for a yarn shop turns up this website for Web of Wool, it's an archive and not functioning.

- Pam

1 comment:

Frugal Queen said...

hi - thanks for the comment - lacura is from aldi - it's lovely!