Saturday, 22 August 2009

Moan, moan, moan

As usual there hasn't been much going on in the world of Londonbackpacker through the Summer; well there has but most of it has been domestic, painting and decorating being the main hobby over the Summer.

With most of the decorating finished; I've started to turn my attention to some walking, the first real one will be in September, a 4-5 day backpacking trip probably in Wales.

Also in September will come the publication of the October issue of the TGO with the application form for the Challenge; hopefully I will get on for next year as I missed out this year, so that means looking at possible new equipment.

I have been looking at some pieces and have actually bought some; the bought items are the X-Socks, I have heard a lot about them so thought it would be good to get a couple of pairs to try. So far I have been impressed with them especially with trainers.

Talking of trainers the next purchase will be a pair of Innov8 Terroc's that's if I can find a place in London selling them in my size.

I need a new pack, not want a new pack. My Sixmoondesigns Comet pack is showing signs of heavy use and a few of the seams are starting to unravel and although it will see me through another few years of 2-3 days backpacking; I wouldn't want to trust it to a 2-week backpacking trip across Scotland (forget to say IF I don't make the challenge I'm off to Scotland for a coast-to-coast anyways!).

I'm reluctant to order a pack from the USA, mainly because of the import taxes, actually not the import taxes but the extra tax the Post Office impose on items.

So its a case of buying one in the U.K. I know the sort of pack I want and like; its either the Comet or the Gossamer gear Mariposa plus mainly because of the side pockets, I really like these on the Comet and the G4 I own. It gives me great flexibly in the way I can pack my pack.

Like I said I don't want to order for the USA, so it means ordering from the U.K; and as far as I know there is only one company in the U.K. that sells a pack that I want and that is the Mariposa Plus.


On the 3/8 I ordered a pack and on the 5/8 the monies was taken from my account, then nothing.

On the 11/8 I happened to notice on the sellers website (I'm not going to name them; as, 1. I don't want to give them any publicity; 2. I'm guessing that anyone reading this will know who I mean) that the item was now out of stock (if OOS you can't add to your cart, so was in stock when I ordered).

I fired off an email; to find out what was happening with my order as I hadn't heard anything for 8 days. Now I'm not sure how long you should wait for an email to be answered but personally I think 48 hours is plenty of time.

On the 15/8 (a Saturday) I decided to give them a ring but got the usual 'we are only open Mon-Fri 9-4'.

So on Monday morning I phone to find out exactly what is going on. The person I speak to tells me that they have been on holiday and don't know what is going on, and the person who needs to deal with it, is on holiday until tomorrow (Tuesday) but if I give them my phone number they will get back to me.

Tuesday 3pm; no phone call, am I surprised, no not really. So I phone them, 'oh we still not sure what is happening but xxxx will be in touch soon'.

Wednesday I arrive home to the following email:-

Sorry about this but the mariposa is sold out and xxxx does not have an order in the pipeline. In view of the fact it takes several weeks for these to arrive from the states we will refund you. We are sorry for the delay in this update and regret having to let you down.

O.K. so I'm a bit annoyed, especially as I have had to do the running around to find out what was happening and I was going to let it slide.

What has really F****D!!!!! me off with this company and prompted this post; is that they refunded me on the 9/8, I know this because my statement arrived on the 19/8 and has the refund on it, and they couldn't be bothered to get in touch and let me know or even tell me this in the two phone calls THAT I HAD TO MAKE!!

I am willing to give companies the benefit of the doubt and sometimes things happen that causes a problem and items can't be supplied but when it seems that you don't know your arse from your elbow; then they don't deserve to have my custom.


  1. Annoying service there. Chin up and try some other brands in that search for kit for the Challenge. As for the company in question lets hope they improve their service ASAP.

  2. I know the company and the service they provide has always been ropey. The few bits I've ordered through them have all had 'issues' with them. That said the situation isnt helped by the fact that GG are having production problems...

  3. I had a similar problem only mine was a few weeks prior to yours for the same item. I left several enquiries and all I got was nonsense about whether there was or wasn't stock, when it might arrive and what would happen in relation to the new 2009 model etc... Luckily I held off ordering despite the website showing stock but was still frustrating all the same.

    Grant from GG on the other had was very helpful and honest about stock and the expected arrival date. I won't be able to get one for my coast to coast at the end of this month but at least I know for sure!

    Its a real shame that it had to be that way because I think a UK stockist of the american ultralight brands would be a real winner here in the UK.

  4. I think PodBob tried to get one of the American brands on board but it never worked out.

    You'd think with the mumber of outdoor bloggers about; that we could form some kind of co-operative, to get these type of items into the country.

    10 packs from GG
    10 tents from TarpTent
    10 bush buddies from, em bush buddy.

    Although PodBob does seem to have a good source for the bush cooker.

    If I win the Lottery; I know what to do with the monies now :-)