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Offline Members?


I have just received the below email which begs a question:

Dear Mr Chaquico

Your order/request for wines to be placed in The Wine Society’s duty paid Members’ Reserves as detailed on the attached invoice has been processed.

A statement of wines held in your Reserves will be sent to you annually with recommended drinking dates. If you have a password, this information can also be viewed on our website www.thewinesociety.com by selecting the main menu option ‘My Account’ and sub menu option ‘Personal Reserves’.

If you have a password…

Does anyone else adore the romantic idea you can be a member and happily order away, eschewing all forms of technology, save maybe the odd call on the landline to the lovely member services (possibly dialing on a rotary phone, definitely with a cord attached)?

I mean, occasionally I’m tempted to place an order on paper using the form sent with the mailings, but my lifestyle can’t handle the uncertainty. Perhaps if I cave in to the Rhone EP this year.

I wonder just how many active members don’t have passwords??

Oh, and that order confirmation is for a case of the fantastic Tomáš Čačík Frankovka 2017 from this month’s TWS Taste. I’ve managed to find a way to convince myself putting it in reserves is OK even though I’m not buying any wine at the moment. :smiley:


Can you still order by pigeon?

I wouldn’t know my butler gets the footman to run over in the carriage.


was it your valets day off then ?


My dad (70 in a few weeks) only uses his computer for occasional emails, and doesn’t have a smartphone. He’s a member of TWS, and orders by (corded, but not rotary dial) landline. Not particularly romantic, but I am impressed by how stubbornly he’s resisted anything technological over the years.


I’d always assumed that a sizeable proportion of members must order by post / phone for them to keep sending the leaflets out.

I’d often thought that wine must be one of the last remaining holdouts of mail order as I still get regular printed catalogues from a few merchants, whilst every other industry seems to have gone email only long ago. It must cost a fair bit to print and post them but I guess they do the maths to check it’s worthwhile?


I’d be interested in any stats on the use of telephone and postal orders
I heard from another merchant that it’s still quite a high percentage phone order and that their website is a low very percentage. People may look but still order by phone.
I found it surprising.


Neither I nor my other half have a Smartphone… My ex-husband, who is a gifted computer programmer, doesn’t have a mobile at all. Quite something in this day and age!
Still, can’t imagine ordering via phone or paper! I’m only a half Luddite, I guess…


I stubbornly held out for a few years before I got a mobile phone.

My reasoning was that I was either (i) in the office or at home, in which case you could get hold of me on the landline; (ii) at work in a meeting in which case I couldn’t speak to you anyway; or (iii) out with friends, in which case I couldn’t speak to you anyway.

Those were happy days! 20 years ago though!


That’s my mother you are talking about @danchaq! She goes through the catalogue, makes a list then rings up TWS. She has no computer, tablet, internet or smart phone. A total technophobe thanks to my late father’s wrongheaded fears that he would get obsessed if he ever got online.


not sure how misguided that is… sometimes I wish I had not


Ideally, it would be good to order through the grapevine - I’ll get my coat!


Well, I order by phone despite having the technology to do otherwise. In fact by phone on my smartphone! I like talking to someone, and the possibility of making changes if needed, as well as discussing delivery options.
Never actually looked at the online ordering forms and very rarely use the post at all.


I too was a programmer. If you are nearly always in front of a computer, why would you need a mobile phone? Now retired I have replaced my smaller laptop with a smartphone, but treat it as a toy computer rather than a large phone. Occasionally it is handy for calls too - mainly outgoing when I need to contact someone.


That’s exactly his argument - and has been so for years. He’s managing very well, and that’s with two kids under 5 as well!
Our daughter gets frustrated at times, when trying to reach him - but as he lives 10 minutes down the road, I usually go and knock on the door if I need him urgently :smiley:


Snapshot for December orders tells me:
73% via web/app/email - 26% by phone - 1% by post.

Interestingly, research tells us that many members browse the literature then order by phone or via the website - some browse the web then call in. Our multi-channel strategy isn’t only one-way - members are multi-channel too! :wink:


I should have clarified that I do that too! It’s a well laid out catalogue so it’s easy to idly flip through and select wines that I may have missed if I just ordered online.


Does keeping the option to order by post cost more than what it brings in?


I don’t like the idea of disenfranchising any member because they haven’t technology * . I% of members is still a large number, and the order for is one piece of paper in a mailing.

I do browse the website, but I often see wines in a mailing that I’ve missed seeing online.

I collect my orders from Stevenage because I can do so at my convenience rather than workd out when I should be at home to receive them - thus losing any spontaneity on the day about going out. And I can browse the bin-ends.

I usually order online, but I phone too. The difference is that online orders have to be paid then, whereas with phone oreders one can opt to pay on collection (and thus incorporate bin-end and impulse buys into one order.

*A certain restaurant group email me heavy discounts, but to get them I have to download an app from an appstore. But when I go to the appstore it says that my device is not suitable. Seems only way to get their discounts is to buy the latest smartphone


We take payment details with order, but payment is taken on day of despatch.


What about collection?