Each month we will be bringing you a review of an online shopping experience we’ve had personally with a NZ/Australian online women’s clothing retailer. We’ll share with you how their site performed, how easy it was to browse and find what we were looking for, and the interaction between the company and us, the shopper. Plus we’ll share how the sizing is and how the store handles returns.
Established in 1993, the Millers brand has grown to 380 stores across Australia and New Zealand and is the largest women’s retailer nationally. They prides themselves on great value fashion and everyday wardrobe essentials for all women. Their extensive range covers all of her wardrobe needs from seasonal fashion, key basics, weekend wear, denim, sleepwear, swimwear and shoes and accessories. Sizes range from size 8 to 26.
Millers has a good range of clothing and the sale prices are much discounted, ensuring you will get a great bargain. However, you have to weigh this against the fact that returning items is virtually not worth the time and money involved to do so from New Zealand.
- Make sure you’re viewing in NZD (top right hand corner of the website), you can select New Zealand or Australia.
- Double check you’re ordering the right size.
- Allow for postage to NZ of $15.00.
The first time I used the Millers website I had great difficulty getting the site to work in Internet Explorer. Clicking on ‘next pages’, just didn’t want to work at all. So I went to my Firefox browser and it worked better there.
The contact form’s submit button mysteriously disappeared off the page if you started typing, making that rather interesting. However, since then I have been back to the site and any issues I was experiencing with IE appear to have been resolved.
The sizing filters made it easy to search for items, and it was easy to add to bag, adjust quantities in the shopping cart.
At checkout, I was given the option of ‘being in a hurry’ so I didn’t have to go through the tedious process of creating an account which is always a bonus in my book.
The only niggle I had was that the layout of fields was in a very strange order; for example the Country Field being ABOVE the city field.
And I absolute HATE having to give out my birthday details, even if you are bribed with a reason they will send you something on that date. Why, oh why do you really need that?
When registering, the welcome email didn’t make any allowances that I was a non-Australian resident and still offered “Free returns to store if you are not completely satisfied.” Which is not actually the case for NZ (read on).
I did have an issue whereby I wanted to include some jewellery in my order as it stated a two for one deal on each item. However this didn’t appear to be the case once I got to the checkout.
So I thought this would be a great reason to test the customer service at Millers. I sent a question via the submit form querying this at 7pm on the 11th May and waited… and waited… and waited… I didn’t expect an immediate answer but still…
Finally on the 25th May I got a response… that this promo was no longer running.
But then I had another query about the returns situation after reading the small print and I emailed customer service once again. This time, I did get a more timely response – by the following day.
Although my order came to over $100 there was no free shipping. Shipping was NZD$15 and could be expected to take up to 20 days.
I did notice though, that Millers offer free Aussie delivery on orders over $60. Again the NZ customers seem to miss the boat on any such offers.
The order was placed on Tuesday 12th May – 8.25pm
And subsequently received by courier (signature required) on Wednesday 20th May 3pm.
It did seem like a long time, but in fact was only a 7 day wait.
Here’s what I ordered:
- Paisley Print Dress – Print Paisley 12
- Paisley Floral Pencil Skirt – Print Multi 14
- Purple Oval Earrings – Mid Purp One
- Oval Drop Necklace – Silver One
- Contrast Print Soft Pants – Print Multi 14
I was undecided about the Paisley Print Dress, as it didn’t feel very nice. But decided to keep it and wear something underneath as it looked ok on. The size was accurate.
The Skirt was nice, a snug fit as a 14, and I loved the colour. Sizing closer to a 12.
The jewellery was a bit disappointing and probably would have returned if I could have.
The Soft Pants were WAY too big, which is a shame as they feel nice and I would have been keen to swap them for a 12. (Funny that the skirt in a 14 was snug, but the pants in a 14 were very loose).
So the website puts prices in NZD, which I’m guessing include GST and is not separated out or deducted at checkout – but just states prices are inclusive.
Some Australian websites like Esprit are upfront about the payment process and mention NZ customers are exempt from GST and will not be charged GST. I’m pretty sure the same goes when buying jewellery at Colette.
Whilst I was on the site, I did take a quick look at the returns policy and from a quick glance at the I thought I could return items to a Millers Store – there’s even one in our town, so I thought I was set.
Once I received my order and one of the items was too big, I thought I’d return it. However, upon closer reading of the somewhat confusing returns policy text, I discovered that no, if you bought online and are in NZ you do still indeed have to POST your returns back and WITHIN 30 days.
I emailed customer service to get confirmation of this and did actually get a reply within one day.
“Any orders sent to NZ unfortunately do need to be sent back to head office and cannot be returned in store. Please post this back to us in a registered post bag with your invoice included and addressed to the following address in NSW.”
So if it takes 8 days for your order to arrive – don’t muck around too much if you want to get your returns back within the 30 day limit.
I did some quick calculations and a parcel back to Australia is likely to cost somewhere around $10 for a 500gm parcel by NZ Post. (International Air, delivery 3-10 working days). If you do wish to get a signature delivery, that would push the cost up to around $27.
Hardly worth it in my book – so when ordering online be VERY careful with sizing, or do what I do and sell what doesn’t fit on TradeMe so you at least recoup some expenses.
So whilst it was an overall good experience shopping online at Millers, I feel the New Zealand customers do get the raw end of the deal. GST was completely ignored (and therefore not deducted, like some of the other Australian sites do), no free shipping if you spent over a certain amount, and the returns process of sending items back to Australia makes it costly.