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.
- If you’ve asked us to cancel your order, the pending payment will drop off, though not necessarily immediately.
- 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.
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'.
Does The Society's Promise currently apply?
Yes! You can report any problems with a faulty or disappointing bottle of wine here.