I’ve long wanted a gazebo/marquee. They are handy for outside broadcasts to protect you and the kit from the elements, but also for parties and events in the garden. They’re very expensive though, and I’ve always held back.
With the nice weather recently I thought I’d google search marquees again and discovered a company called Dancover. They’re based in Denmark even though the site has a .co.uk address.
Browsing their site the prices looked very good and they promised a three day delivery to the UK. I had an event that weekend and as it was only Tuesday morning I thought it a reasonable assumption to assume they can get me a marquee in time for the weekend. I submitted the order, paid via Paypal and the confirmation code came through. I sat back looking forward to my marquee arriving ready for my weekend event.
My suspicions were raised when after a couple of days I didn’t receive any confirmation of delivery or tracking number through – I’d only had the automated confirmation of my order and no further communication. I emailed them.. email@example.com
Is there a tracking number I can use to see progress of delivery please? I want to make sure I am around to receive it.
Dancover replied within a couple of hours:
Your order should leave our warehouse today. When it does, you will receive an automatic email with the tracking details. The estimated delivery time for the UK is 2-3 working days.
I ordered two days ago and yet the order hadn’t even left their warehouse? This doesn’t seem right, and doesn’t match their promise of 3 days delivery on the website. Perhaps they didn’t actually have the stock. Knowing this wouldn’t arrive in time, and knowing I was out of the country the following week and unable to take a delivery, I emailed back to request cancellation of the order.
I was lead to believe it was 2-3 days from point of order. I need it for an event on Saturday so can I cancel please if it’s not going to be here by then and if it hasn’t left the warehouse yet?
But within seconds of pressing send on this reply I got a bounceback:
Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
Your message wasn’t delivered due to a permission or security issue. It may have been rejected by a moderator, the address may only accept e-mail from certain senders, or another restriction may be preventing delivery.
Rejected? Not accepting emails from certain senders? Another restriction? Perhaps one to deny me my rights of cancellation? I needed to investigate this further. Turns out that when Dancover customer support reply back to you they send from a “no-reply” email address. They are assuming their answer is final and you shouldn’t need to reply further, essentially shouting “The conversation is over, leave us alone”! Undeterred I forwarded my original reply back to the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
I left the country in the hope that when I returned I’d have a marquee or a refund. 13 days after I had placed my order I had neither and no further emails or information from Dancover. I emailed again to email@example.com
Please update me on the status of the above order number? It has now been 13 days since any communication from you and I am no clearer whether the item has been put through or cancelled.
I do not want to have to go through the paypal dispute process so please communicate with me your intentions and timescales with regards to this order.
I had no reply.
The next day I forwarded the same message again requesting a reply and eventually I got this in answer:
We have opened an inquiry with the forwarder in order for us to locate your shipment. We thank you for your understanding, and apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.
But wait? What? They were suggesting the order had been shipped, but where was the promised automated email with the tracking number? I chuckled at “Dear Client” too, compared to “Hi Simon” in previous messages their tone had altered considerably.
I’d had enough, there was something not right about this but I couldn’t be bothered to argue any further. I placed an order with another company and I replied to Dancover:
A response came back:
We apologize but for today it is all we can do since it is a holiday in most parts of Europe today and nothing is open. We will get back to you with more information tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly there was no further information provided the next day, nor any subsequent messages. I’m still waiting on a refund!
Dancover’s mission statement is listed on this page
Best service and support, attractive prices, wide assortment and skilled employees are important factors in our substantial progress since the beginning in 2003. In order to be able to guarantee accessibility and short wait for delivery we stock and ship all our products from our central warehouse in Denmark.
To me it is clear they are falling short of that mission. I’ll leave you to decide whether to make a purchase via this company or not! I obtained another marquee from a uk supplier in the end, it was more expensive but it arrived the next day! Now that’s how to do business!