Fortnum & Mason - online in London, Greater London
1/5
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SimplyJenW rated this place
1/5
and said Edit

Final Update: Bad technology, decent but slow service. I had to get my credit card company involved as they are well beyond the window of time they told me for processing my refund….. Once the ball got rolling, they handled the situation pretty well. For a November 2011 order, it is finally getting resolved in May 2012.

Order from here at your own risk, though. Be sure to check out other online reviews for their delivery service, especially for overseas from them. I recommend looking for local sources for their products. If you are in the US, please go to Williams-Sonoma or a US vendor.

Just to show it was not only me:
http://www.urbanpath.com/london/department-stores/fortnum-and-mason.htm

Original review: If I could give them 0 stars I would. My order that was mostly tea (at least 5 big tins of tea) ended up being only two jars of preserves. They have offered a full refund in one email, and a refund of shipping and the items I did not receive in another. We will see what I get as I am not totally opposed to actually paying for the preserves I received, as long as I don’t have to pay the shipping that is twice the value of what I received. (I received the value of 10 GBP of an 80 GBP order. Then add 20 GBP shipping onto that.)

Dec. 30, 2011….I ordered a few things (tea, jams, confections) for gifts for myself as well as a friend on Nov 23, 2011. The email receipt I got in return showed a delivery date of Dec. 8 (and I did double check to make sure it said 2011, rather than 2012, LOL!). I was pretty certain I would then have plenty of time after receiving the items to get them out in the mail for Christmas. Unfortunately, there was no package by Dec. 17. I tried contacting them by email and finally received a reply stating that they were having warehouse issues, and that my package would not get to me by Christmas as it had not left the warehouse as of Dec. 22. I was given the option to cancel the order, and I would have but part of the gift for my friend was some of the commemorative Diamond Jubilee items which are limited in offering. I asked them to send it out as soon as possible. Finally, on Dec. 30 I received two of the 10 or so items I ordered with no indications on the packing slip that there was more to come. I have since started the email process again trying to find out if the rest of my order is coming as there is no information online for my account or on the packing slip…. Their communication with me as a customer is severely lacking. At this point I have paid $166 USD for 2 jars of $7 jam, which includes $30 USD to ship them……

Upon research on the web, it seems they have had a serious IT failure this holiday season. Yet, the only communication I have received is that I could cancel my order well after it should have been at my door….. I would expect more from a company who caters to the elite. Or maybe since I am just your everyday Jen, I don’t get good service. I say skip it if you were even entertaining the idea of placing an order unless you are the gambling type.

First week of Jan…: It has been a week and there is no response to my email. If they would just let me know some of the items are currently out of stock, or anything at all…..even if they say it will be a month until my order can be fulfilled that would be better than waiting….. I was offered a refund and I declined it as I really want the tea. It is better to keep the customer informed rather than making him or her feel ignored! I know I have the option to call, but I don’t feel it is fair for me to have to pay for an international phone call for their error.

Update January 16, 2012. I finally got an email response. They say the items left on my order are all out of stock, but they are still selling three of them on their website. Another one could be made up with two smaller bags of tea. Really pretty crappy for service. They also tried to refund my shipping in the form of a gift card. As if I would consider another online order with them any time soon…… I did request a shipping refund, and they finally said they would do so.

Harney & Sons - online in Millerton, New York
4/5
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SimplyJenW rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

Tea is good quality and well priced. Packaging is great. They often have free shipping promotions for orders over $25. For these reasons, I order here the most out of any company. If mistakes are made in your order, they are incredibly prompt to correct them with a phone call. There have been a few times where customers requested that a tea offered in sachets also be offered in loose leaf and they did make it available.

Customer service is average at times, but I am sure that has something to do with the volume of orders processed. I also recommend asking specific questions in an email, as the response can be hit or miss on occasion. If you are looking for a more personal shopping experience (even over the net and by phone) try the Harney & Sons Millerton Shop or the SoHo Store.

Harney & Sons SoHo in New York, New York
5/5
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SimplyJenW rated this place
5/5
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Cast On Cafe in Willoughby, Ohio
3/5
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SimplyJenW rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

Edit to add: This place has closed.

This place is quaint, inviting, and it really caters to the knitting crowd well as it is also a yarn shop. The cafe is in a separate room from the yarn shop, and it is big enough to hold a small gathering. The owner offers many types of baked goods and some homemade chocolate treats. Plus there is tea (I should have spent more time checking out the menu!) There is a few types of loose tea for sale as well as some in boxes from a few good tea companies. I am just sad it is a little too far away to go often, and the yarn temptation plus tea is really too much for this knitter/crocheter/tea drinker to handle.

Profile

Bio

My motto: Drink the good tea!

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

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