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Q: Trying to find clock ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Question  
Subject: Trying to find clock
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: cipius-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 15 Aug 2002 17:20 PDT
Expires: 14 Sep 2002 17:20 PDT
Question ID: 55053
Please find for me an alternate location to purchase the following
clock.  It is located at http://www.oceanuk.com .  Under "Search by
category" go to "Clocks".  It is the third clock down listed as
"Brushed aluminum wall clock".  I've had trouble ordering from the
company or even contacting them (email links don't work).  If you guys
could either find an alternate location where I could purchase this
clock OR simply figure out who the manufacturer is (they don't have
the manufacturer listed) I could do the rest.  I've tried for hours
over the web with no luck.  Thanks.

Request for Question Clarification by huntsman-ga on 15 Aug 2002 19:18 PDT
I'm using Internet Explorer 5.5 and can't get many of the site's features to work.

From the home page, exactly where is "Search by Category"?

Huntsman

Clarification of Question by cipius-ga on 18 Aug 2002 19:57 PDT
I guess I should have been more specific in my question.  This is what
orignally happened.  I placed an order for the clock with my credit
card.  The web site said that I would be sent an email after placing
my order.  This DID NOT happen.  A few days later I got a call from my
credit card company.  Firstly they were checking that I did in fact
place an order with a British company (they want to make sure it isn't
something suspicious).  Secondly they told me that the company had
tried to run my credit card through a few times unsuccessfully, most
likely because they did it incorrectly in some way.  After doing this
a few times the credit card automatically locks you out from trying to
run it through again.  They told me to contact the company (Ocean) and
tell them to run it through AGAIN.  The credit card people said they
set it up so the next transaction would go through easier.  So I tried
to contact Ocean.

   First I noticed on the web site that no email address was listed
for questions regarding an order.  Only a PHONE NUMBER.  Of course
this would not have bothered me had I been BRITISH or living in
Britain, but the thought of calling a store in Britain from the U.S.
seemed pretty ridiculous for a $50 clock!  So I finally found an email
link on their web site that says "Website Query".  I sent out an email
to them explaining my situation.  The email BOUNCED back to me (no
such email address)...So I tried sending the email again from another
email account.  Again no success.  I tried sending an email with the
only other address from their site (regarding applying for a job at
Ocean).  AGAIN the email bounced back (no such address)...This
absolutely ASTOUNDS me that a company that lists it's mearchandise on
the web WOULD NOT have a place to contact them via email.  For god's
sake they could get a hotmail account for free, or a HUNDRED other
free email accounts...I understand that they may be working on a new
catalog, are between sales seasons, or even reorganizing their entire
store.  But I don't see how that could justify not having an email
address that customers could contact them by!  And to tell customers
from other countries to call them if they have questions!  Pretty
audacious if you ask me...(sorry this anger isn't directed at you guys
but at this store). Man, it's not the friggin 1980's....geez.
   
   I thought I might be able to just find the same clock at another
retailer.  Unfortunately I don't know who manufactures the clock.  I
scoured the web for days looking for "aluminum clock", and just about
every other search term I could think of and checked NUMBEROUS web
sites.  No luck.  The closest clock I could find to the one at Ocean
is the one that you guys located at Target.  Not to sound too uptight
but that clock just doesn't do it for me.  I'm going for a certain
look in my room and that just doesn't work (though I appreciate your
effort on my behalf).  In response to the last comment posted:  I
don't have an issue with their web site per se--only the fact that I
can't contact the company via email.

   So I saw your guys add and decided to give it a shot.  It sounded
like a very INTERESTING service.   I always thought such a thing would
be nice to have.  After all you all know how frustrating it is to
search the web!  Anyway, so I thought my price of $15 would probably
be CHEAPER and MUCH LESS of a hassle than a long distance phone call
to the U.K.!  Plus I might have to call them a COUPLE of times to see
if they were having any other problems with my credit card.  This
could be quite a phone bill.

   So in conclusion what I am looking for is either: 
1--Find out the manufacturer of the clock (so I can then find a
retailer or contact the manufacturer directly)
2--Find another retailer who has this clock OR
3--(Just added) Find an email address for Ocean so I can contact them
WITHOUT having to call the U.K.

    One of you guys already called them so I HOPE the person in
question was in the U.K. at the time!  Otherwise it was probably an
expensive phone call.  If one of you IS located in the U.K. perhaps
you could do #3 (above)?

    If it ends up I HAVE to call the U.K. I'll do it (though I would
rather not).  And of course for your guys' effort regardless you can
of course charge the $15 on my credit card.  I appeciated all your
effort and thanks for putting up with my rambling explanation! This
has been an interesting experience.  Let me know if you think I'm
going to have to call the company in the U.K.  Thanks.
--Jeff
Answer  
Subject: Re: Trying to find clock
Answered By: huntsman-ga on 20 Aug 2002 00:06 PDT
 
Cipius,

Don't pick up the phone quite yet.

Ocean's web site seems to be working a little better. In the sections
below are a direct link to their clock, along with a more reliable
email address and other contact information and suggestions.

Thanks,
Huntsman

--------------------

Direct Link to the Clock -

Ocean's main page (http://www.oceanuk.com/index_live.htm) contains the
following paragraph:

"For a short period of time we are offering a range of "Sale items"
along with a selection of some of our "favourite items" on this
website."

If you click on the words "favourite items", you will see a two-column
scrollable list of items: the clock is in the right column about 3/4
down the list. If you click on the clock's thumbnail picture, you will
see the following description of it along with a larger picture:

   Ocean
   BRUSHED ALUMINIUM WALL CLOCK
   http://www.oceanuk.com/CGIBIN/PERLCON.PL?RANGE=LVG1101

"A really large wall clock with a brushed face and contrasting
polished hands, ideal for the lounge, kitchen or office, its good
looks make it a wall decoration as well as a timepiece. Battery
operated (not supplied).

We are temporarily unable to confirm stock levels. If the products you
have ordered are out of stock or discontinued we will advise you
accordingly. Otherwise you will receive your order within 7 working
days. Thank-you."
 
   Product Code   Description                      Retail price
   ICL031         Brushed aluminium wall clock     39.95 
                  Dia 46cm, D 4cm [18.1" x 1.6"]

-------------------------------------------------------------------

If the Clock is Discontinued -

Regarding Ocean's "out of stock/discontinued" statement in the above
description, remember the old cliche, "On the Internet, nobody knows
you're a dog."?

Ocean certainly offers some nice products, so "dog" doesn't apply in a
derogatory way. Like many Internet retailers, Ocean might be a
marketing company that doesn't keep much physical inventory. They
could just pass your order on to a wholesale distributor or
manufacturer who then ships the item directly to you.

It's possible that Ocean's distributor may not have any more clocks,
or that they are no longer manufactured. Smaller home accessories like
clocks are typically made in mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, and
their product lifetimes can be short.

If it turns out that Ocean no longer carries the clock, ask them for
the name and contact information of the manufacturer. This could come
from an instruction sheet (if Ocean has a copy in their files), or
from the back of a clock (if Ocean has one hanging on their office
wall).

You could then contact the manufacturer and find out if the clock is
still made, and if it is distributed within the USA.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Another Email Address -

You mentioned that you tried the following email addresses (from
Ocean's Web page) without success:

   webquery@oceanuk.com
   all-personnel@oceanuk.com

However, Ocean has another business name that gives us something new
to work with:

   1. From their main page, click on the "Help" tab. 
   2. Scroll down to the bottom of the Help screen.
   3. Click on the text link that says "contract terms". 
   4. The "Contract Terms" screen appears.
   5. Scroll down to the bottom of the Contract terms screen.

Note the address in the following company details:

"We, ‘oceanuk.com’, are registered in England under the name of Ocean
Home Shopping Limited. Our registered company number is 3043063 and
our registered office is 689 Mitcham Rd, Croydon Surrey CRO 3AF."

If we also do a Google search on "Ocean Home Shopping Limited", we get
a result that mentions the domain name "oceancatalogue.com".

If we take the "oceancatalogue.com" domain name and plug it into Sam
Spade's "Do Stuff" field (at http://www.samspade.org/), we can find
out the name and business addresses of Ocean's domain name contact
person:

   Sam Spade Macro
   http://www.samspade.org/t/lookat?a=oceancatalogue.com

For clarity, I've edited Sam's results and posted the pertinent facts
below. These domain name records were last updated on July 7, 2002:
since updates are usually done by email, the new email address should
be very reliable:

   Registrant:
      Ocean Home Shopping Ltd
      689 Mitcham Rd
      Croydon, Surrey CR0 3AF UK

   Administrative, Billing, & Technical Contact:
      Rich Theobald
      Email: rich.theobald@oceancatalogue.com
      Phone: 1-44 20 8664 1313
      Fax:   1-44 20 8664 1314

Note that the physical address and the email's domain name match what
we found earlier.

Mr. Theobald is more than likely in Ocean's information services
department. In fact, he may be the entire IS department.

If you email him with an explanation and a polite plea for help, I'm
sure he can give you the name and email address of someone who can
check on your order. Hint: ask him for the name and email address of a
Manager or Supervisor, along with an alternate name in case the first
person isn't available.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Old Fashioned Way -
   
It's cheaper than a phone call, so you could always send snail mail.
Here is Ocean's contact information for international customers (from
the "Help" tab on their main page):

   Ocean Home Shopping Ltd 
   Unit B, Maritime Business Park, 
   Campbeltown Road, Birkenhead
   CH41 9HP, UK 

You should also send a copy of your letter to the address given in
Ocean's domain name records:

   Ocean Home Shopping Ltd
   689 Mitcham Rd
   Croydon, Surrey 
   CR0 3AF, UK

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Search Terms and Google Results -

"Ocean Home Shopping Limited"
://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=%22Ocean+Home+Shopping+Limited%22

"oceancatalogue.+com"
://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=%22oceancatalogue%2E%2Bcom%22
Comments  
Subject: Re: Trying to find clock
From: rebeccam-ga on 15 Aug 2002 17:53 PDT
 
cipius-ga & fellow researchers,

Neither the fax nor the phone numbers listed on the site appear to be
working either.

Best,
Rebeccam-ga
Subject: Re: Trying to find clock
From: alisonscott-ga on 16 Aug 2002 01:34 PDT
 
I've just rung their phone number 0870 2426283. I got through to them,
and they confirmed that that orderline number is also for use outside
the UK, and they can check stocking details on items for you over the
phone.

If you're dialling from outside the UK, the number is +44 870 2426283
(you replace the + with the code you use to dial international
numbers).

Ocean are an established housewares company -- I've ordered from them
in the past and found them helpful and delivery quick. However, they
appear to be at the end of their sale period, and between catalogues,
and most of the features of the site aren't working at present
(including the 'search by category', so I wasn't able to check whether
the specific clock you were looking for is in stock).
Subject: Re: Trying to find clock
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Aug 2002 12:14 PDT
 
Here's a clock with a similar appearance that might be of interest to
you:

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/sr=2-1/qid=1029525172/ref=sr_2_1/602-4230109-9893428?asin=B00005OU18

Nice price, too.
Subject: Re: Trying to find clock
From: shadow9-ga on 18 Aug 2002 08:28 PDT
 
The Ocean website seems to work fine for me. I'm not sure if you've
seen it recently but it doesn't seem to have a "search by category"
button, but on their main index page
(http://www.oceanuk.com/index_live.htm) I found the clock you're
looking for. Ocean don't seem to be sure of what they do and don't
have in stock at the moment, as they have a disclaimer stating:

We are temporarily unable to confirm stock levels. If the products you
have ordered are out of stock or discontinued we will advise you
accordingly. Otherwise you will receive your order within 7 working
days.

The site seems to be up and running again though. Maybe if you try
ordering it from them now it will work.

Hope this helps!

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