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Please note:

We are not taking orders for delivery at present. More Information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: 5/4/2020

More information on how the current situation is affecting our services can be found here.

ORDERS & DELIVERY

I placed an order for delivery - why does it look like you’ve charged me when it hasn’t yet been delivered?
At the time you place an order with us, our security software contacts your bank to verify the card details and to ‘authorise’ the payment. Authorisation effectively ring-fences the funds, and you may see the transaction in a ‘pending’ status on your bank or credit card balance. At this stage, The Society has not taken any money. We claim the payment at the time the order is despatched from our warehouse at Stevenage. So during the period between order and despatch, this pending status may remain.

Why has my ‘pending’ payment to The Wine Society now disappeared from my online banking balance?
This will happen in one of two scenarios.

  1. If you’ve asked us to cancel your order, the pending payment will drop off, though not necessarily immediately.
  2. Your bank or card company will hold a payment authorisation (pending) for a limited period of time, which depending on the bank may be for up to four weeks. After that time, the ringfenced ‘pending’ payment disappears. However, unless you’ve cancelled your order with us, it will still progress and you don’t have to do anything: The Society will charge the amount to your bank when the order is ready to leave our warehouses.

Are you still offering a delivery service?
Having reopened the warehouse, our team’s first priority is to clear the backlog of orders generated in the weeks leading up to our closure. All members with an outstanding delivery will be contacted shortly by Member Services with more details. We will work as quickly as possible to clear this backlog, but demand during the period before closure was extremely high, and this process will take some time. We are hoping to be able to open for new orders during the Easter weekend. Inevitably, there will be some changes to what we are able to offer due to the new processes we have had to introduce. For example, initially we will be taking orders for full cases only. We will be in touch about these details in due course. In the meantime, for the most up-to-date information, please visit this page. We'll also be providing updates via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and on our online Community page.

Why are you only using DHL for delivery?
Our decision to use DHL only at this stage is for simplicity. Our own van deliveries are co-ordinated from one of the very congested zones of the warehouse and our new measures couldn’t accommodate this either efficiently or safely. We will be able to deliver more wine, more quickly if we use DHL currently and they have very sound social distancing measures in place. Our fleet of Society vans will be back on the roads as soon as is operationally practical.

What has The Society done to ensure the safety of its staff working in the warehouse?
The decision to close on 23rd March was based on the fact that the complexity of our warehouse operation simply meant we could not provide a safe working environment for our employees. During the shutdown, we worked out a complete redesign of the operation to ensure adherence to the social distancing protocols issued by the UK government. We now have social distancing in every step of our process. Each employee has their own designated zone and new protocols have been established on everything from the flow of work instructions; to how our employees enter and leave the warehouse; to one-way movement on staircases and across the warehouse floor, and to protocols at breaks. Cleaning activity is constant across the whole warehouse at opening and between shifts, and staff have cleaning materials available throughout their shifts. No staff are using public transport. Last week we tested the operation and systems to the full satisfaction of our workforce and our union representative. These major changes will restrict the service we are able to offer members but enables us to bring our warehouse team back in with confidence in their safety.

Why can't I add anything to my basket?
As we are currently not taking new orders, we have removed the option for members to add products to their basket on our website. However, members can still browse the website to see wine notes and enjoy our online Discovery content.

Is The Cellar Showroom in Stevenage open?
Unfortunately The Cellar Showroom is closed until further notice.

I have already placed an order. When is my delivery coming?
Our Member Services team will be in touch with all members who have placed an order with us as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Part of my order is missing or damaged. What should I do?
Under normal circumstances, we would arrange a swift replacement or credit for the goods you have ordered. Unfortunately, however, given the current circumstances and having to deal with unprecedented levels of demand, we are unable to do this. A credit for the products in question will be raised to your account. The Member Services team will reply to your email in due course.

Can I change an existing order I have placed?
Currently we are unable to add any further items to your order. Our Member Services team will be in touch with all members who have placed an order with us. We are unable to add products to orders that have been placed. We would ask you to place a fresh order for any additional items once we are taking orders again. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Can I add new delivery instructions for an existing order I have placed?
When delivering our backlog of orders, carriers will 'knock and drop' as a matter of course in order to adhere to the government guidelines on social distancing. If you want to change the instructions, we would suggest a note on your door to help minimise inbound queries.

MEMBERSHIP, WINE PLANS AND SERVICES

Can I still join or buy gift membership?
Unfortunately, we are not currently accepting new memberships for a temporary period. However, please feel free to sign up to our newsletter here and we will be able to let you know when we are accepting new members again.

Are you accepting new subscriptions for Wine Without Fuss or Vintage Cellar Plan?
At present, we are not currently accepting any new members into our Wine Without Fuss and Vintage Cellar Plan subscription services.

Can I withdraw wines that are held in Members' Reserves?
The decision to pause new orders and deliveries does also include pausing the facility for members to withdraw their wines from Members' Reserves. We have been in contact with members affected by this and will continue to keep you updated.

What is the latest on your Tastings & Events?
We have stopped our Tastings & Events programme until the end of June. Members with tickets will be hearing from us in due course if they have not already, and will receive a full credit or refund.

Are en primeur offers still available?
As en primeur offers involve reserving wines still in their country of origin, and therefore do not require our warehouse staff to operate, we are proceeding with en primeur offers here.

Are you still offering your Export Service?
Unfortunately our Export Service has now been suspended in light of the current situation.

ONLINE ACCOUNT

How do I log in to the website for the first time?
You will need your share number to set up your online account for the first time. Your share number will be in your original welcome pack that you received when you joined The Wine Society.

How do I change my email address registered to my account?
For security reasons you'll need to do this online. You do not need to contact Member Services. Log into your account and you can amend your email address through the 'My Account' section of our site under 'Personal Details'.

WINE

Does The Society's Promise currently apply?
Yes! You can report any problems with a faulty or disappointing bottle of wine here.

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4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.