Start Fitness Online Shop - Never Again

I thought I put my experience with Start Fitness on this forum given I have read lots of positives and some negatives about them on this website and hope that my experience will help other determine whether this is a good place to make purchases from or to help them find resources when looking up for issues with Start Fitness should they encounter with them.

First of all, their service is good only in terms of if you went through the buying process online without having to contact them. Order place, item shipped and everyone happy. My first transaction was just like that and everything was great.

Their service becomes bad when you have to contact them to rectify issues. This is a common thing that I have read in this forum and on their ebay feedback. My second order, they did not have stock of an item I ordered. They offered the current model or a refund which is a common thing I have read of what they do (offering an alternative model). I decline the alternative model and ask for a full refund instead.

Took them 3 days to process a refund after confirming for a full refund. When I first received confirmation from them that the refund has been processed, I checked their website and noticed that on their notes only the cost of the products were refunded and not the shipping cost. Emailed them about it to ensure that they have processed the full refund but never heard from them. 3 days later, the refund hit my credit card and confirm that shipping cost was not refunded. Emailed them again and am yet to hear from them.

I will wait another day before I file a dispute with my credit card company of the difference. I email them instead of calling as I am not in the UK and I can use the email to support any disputes I put through with my credit card provider.

If you are looking for new season items which are readily available or are not too fuss about the things you order and don't mind alternatives offered, then I guess it's fine to go through them with low probability of having issues. However, if you have to contact them, their service is just non-existent. I for one will never shop with them again. There's always a chance you get sent a defective product, an incorrect item or missing items, and if their after sale service is this bad, I would avoid them and look for an alternative place to shop. I will most likely try Wiggle in future or a local shop over here.


  • I have never used them myself, I would recommend wiggle they have been great for me, replied to all my questions within the hour. I would also recommend the website for runners by runners

    I hope you get your postage costs sorted, nothing worse than getting no replies from the retailer.
  • Better still, play them at their own game - Order some old discounted type of shoe, safe in the knowledge that they won't actually have it in stock, and then revel in them sending you the newest version for the price of the old one image

  • They've been great with me, and very helpful when I had to ring up and contact customer services. Dealt with knowledgeably, politely and resolved the issue very uickly (and to my advantage).
  • I've never had a problem with them. I have returned things to them and they have refunded no problems. That may have been with free postage. 3 days for a cc refund sounds ok to me. If they didnt send anything to you then you certainly would expect postage to be refunded. Not sure where you stand with postage on returns.

    I actually ordered with them yesterday. Had to do it by phone as their website wouldn't process my order (their website has always been bad, a theme for lots of noncorporate sports sellers). I've always found them very helpful on the phone.

    I can understand why you wouldn't want to use them again after your experience, but I trust their service and their pricing.
  • I must have used them at least a dozen times and never had a problem, including returns and refunds.
  • I got sent a couple of pairs of the wide version of the regular width shoe I ordered. Duly sent them back, and had to chase like a b****** to get them to do the refund.

    Email after email was unanswered, and when I finally phoned, the person I was speaking to said, "Oh, yeah, we don't read our email because there's lots of spam in there. We do have a note on our website that you should phone us."

    As an aside, and admittedly this was peculiar to my circumstances, they processed the refund wrong, which caused me to get stuck with foreign exchange charges on my (north american) credit card.

    (This was November, 2010. I don't know if they read emails now. I'll never have to find out.)

  • Just an update. I received an email yesterday apologising for the mistake and they have refunded the shipping cost to me. I don't know whether this was due to my last email stating that I would dispute it with my credit card company if I don't hear from them or they genuinely just manage to get back to my email.

    From the responses from this forum, it looks like you need to call them to get things sorted out quickly. I find that they should review their payment process and not charge the credit card immediately until they have the items ready to ship. I have used other online shops where this is the case. This would save a lot of issues.

  • Spent ££££ with them from running ,triathlon and swimming gear.Great service and products and use only there site.
  • Great company.

    Had one issue when as a birthday pressie my bro ordered the wrong shoe size. Took a while to rectify but any call to to a company where a real person answers your questions straight is OK by me.

    I'd rather have Starts, and I quote, "For fucks sake haven't they done that yet" and then the correct size sent out, rather than a corporate non-speak/bland response by some drone in a call centre.

    Every other transaction has been 100% hassle free - including the odd return & refund.

    Highly recommend the Geordies.
  • Prodirect I would never use again, rubbish online and rubbish customer service! Startfitness have always processed my orders quickly and delivered on time, so I guess they are pretty good from my experience. I think some of these stores though don't operate a customer service desk all the time, particularly when buying off the internet can make you feel like you're talking to a brick wall when you're being put on hold all the time! Prodirect didn't even process my online order, I had to call them to confirm my order "o yes, here it is...sorry i'll put it through now" - "my race is tomorrow, you said it was next day delivery!!" "o i'm very sorry i'll put it through now and it will be with you special courier tomorrow"....did I get my stuff before my race? No. I had cold head and cold legs doing a winter marathon. Not fun!
  • Have nothing but praise for Start.  Always go to their site first because I have found them the most reliable.  At various times, I have had clothing, shoes, etc. with no problems at all.  Have had to return items (ordered wrong size etc. not due to their error) and always had the refund immediately onto my card.  Would recommend them to anyone. 
  • I always use Start Fitness and have recommended them to other people...never had a problem, been using them for years.
  • Great for price thats why I tried them, great for delivery not so good for returns; took weeks and several phone calls to ship replacement; not at all helpful when I called or in the least apologetic. Like many others on this thread go WIGGLE! I do now and on the very odd occaision they are a few pounds out I do not worry in the least a few pounds well spent.
  • Bought some trainers from them in Newcastle and found the fit to be a little too loose having walked around the house in them for a while! Upon getting home (110 miles aways) I checked the sizes on my existing Asic's and discovered I had 44 and brought home a 44.5

    So I have returned the shoes and they were delivered on Sat 13th October back to them -

    I put a note in the returns to ask them to contact me when received. No reply so far.
    I emailed them on Monday of this week. No reply so far.
    I rang and left a message in the middle of this week. No reply so far.
    I emailed again this morning. No reply so far.
    I rang and left another message this morning. No reply so far.

    Nobody answers the phone there - And it is looking suspiciously like nobody answers emails there.

    Is it a Bank Holiday in Cramlington today?

    Watch this space.

  • Spoke to helpful shop staff member where I bought the Asics and he said call 01670 700030 which I duly have done (again):

    10 a.m. : I emailed again this morning (3rd email to them). No reply so far.
    10 a.m. : I rang and left another message this morning (3rd msg left). No reply so far.

  • 10:21 a.m Just emailed them again to another customer service email addres:



    Can somebody please email/call me regarding the several emails and messages I have sent this week.


    I returned some shoes for a replacement size and this week nobody has answered my 3 phone messages so far and 3 emails – The shoes were delivered and signed for last Saturday at Cramlington.


    Your website states ‘E mail queries will normally be responded to within 48 hours. If your query is urgent or your e-mail is not responded to after 48 hours, please telephone us on 0844 848 8803’




    ‘We trade as a mail order company as well as over the web. Therefore the quickest and easiest way to contact us is by phone on 0844 848 8803 during normal working hours Mon - Sat, to get an immediate response to your query.’


    My query is urgent and I have not had the immediate response (or any) you quote on your site.


    Just want my replacement shoes to go running in that’s all "

  • 10:34 a.m - Just managed to get to speak to a human called Caroline (after ten phone calls so far today).

    She is sorting it all out now after a little confusion - She asked me for an order number reference which I could not give her as I bought the shoes in one of their shops!

    Anyway I am quietly confident my perseverance will pay off and expect my replacement pair imminently (have I spoken too soon?...)

  • Sorry to hear you had problems.

    Have spent more money with these over the years than I care to add up, they've been great. Also the first running / triathlon shop I recommend to people.

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