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AO to the rescue

Why you shouldn’t fear online shopping

Michael was concerned when a broken oven disrupted his and his elderly mother's lockdown cooking sessions. Here's how they got back to baking in no time.

At the start of lockdown, I decided to keep my elderly mother company by moving in while she was observing the full 12 week shielding period. To try and bust our boredom, we kept busy by trying out new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen.

All was going well until strange noises started appearing from the kitchen one night. No, it wasn’t a ghost or an intruder, but something similarly scary. Our fan oven was most definitely on the way out.

We panicked. Shops that sold ovens were closed and we weren’t sure if we could get it fixed either. Cooking had been such a fun pastime for us recently and we hated the thought of having to stick to microwave meals for weeks.

Then came a flash of inspiration. I’d seen a bright green AO delivery van dropping something off to a neighbour recently, so we decided to check them out for ourselves.

Although my mother was used to visiting stores to make purchases, we’d bought clothes and ordered food online so we figured that it shouldn’t be any different for a large appliance.

We had some reservations at first. Would they be able to install the new fan oven? And what about the old one? Would that end up sitting around for weeks until someone was able to collect it from the local authority?

In the current climate, I was only aware of one other company still delivering and installing appliances. However, after over an hour on hold and several unsuccessful webchats, they were unable to confirm whether they could remove and dispose of our existing oven, so we ruled them out.

From the initial search to getting all the measurements correct (crucial in this case as the oven would be built-in) things couldn’t have been easier. The AO website was clear and it was easy to sort and refine specifications (we HAD to have white, for example). The most crucial element was that we would be able to add installation and removal as part of the purchase.

I was impressed with the range of delivery options AO provided and, even though we were at home all day anyway due to lockdown, they still sent us a text informing us of when they’d be arriving which was really helpful.

On the day of delivery, the team arrived exactly on time. Anyone concerned about the social distancing measures being an issue need not worry, they were stars. Chris was clearly experienced as an installation engineer and he removed our old oven and installed our shiny brand new one efficiently and professionally. They were even so careful and clean that it was difficult to tell that anyone had been there. Totally stress-free!

It sometimes takes an unprecedented situation to make you see things differently. This experience has made us (particularly my elderly mother) realise the benefits of online shopping for large appliances. If we’d not had an oven in use during this period it would have been a major disruption and our new one from AO works like a dream.

AO will certainly be our first port of call for future purchases and I’ve already recommended them to friends and family. Let’s get cooking again!