We're a family of 4, Mum (Claire), Dad (me), James (16) and Lily (8). Since the original lockdown back in March 2020, I’ve been working from home, Claire’s been furloughed, Lily’s been doing schoolwork from home and my eldest James has left school and started college. At the start of the first lockdown Lily's school would send homework for us to print, she'd then complete it and we would hand it in by sending an image of the work back to school. This was fairly straight forward for an admittedly non-techie family.
Following the most recent national Lockdown (3.0), the school told us that they’d be moving to Google Classrooms for all schoolwork the following day, cue mild panic! Whilst we have an old tablet, it was clear almost immediately that it wouldn't be suitable for the amount of typing and work that Lily would need to do. News of the lockdown was unsettling enough, without then worrying that we wouldn’t be able to keep Lily connected to school.
After some quick research on Tuesday morning, a Chromebook seemed like the perfect fit. It was also clear that prices varied wildly, and that stock would likely be limited, which is understandable as Christmas was barely days behind us, and not forgetting the many other parents in the same boat. If I'm honest, AO was my first point of call, we've had fridge, freezer and electric fan "emergencies" in the past. So we knew that we'd be dealing with a simple, easy to use website, competitive pricing and fast service. We placed the order in seconds for a nice Asus laptop, the website said that (free) delivery would be on Thursday 7th. Given the pandemic, and the fact that we know we can rely on AO, we placed the order, accepting that we'd have to make do for a couple of days.
To my surprise, I woke up the next day to an email telling me that the laptop would arrive at 9.20 that morning! The parcel arrived bang on time, and I was able to unbox and set it up for Lily's first classroom call. The Chromebook is perfect for her - easy to use, perfect size, and a battery that lasts all day. Lily has now declared her bedroom as her office, and she's able to get through her work much more easily than if she was squinting and trying to type on a tablet.
As a family, we've relied on online shopping for almost everything we've needed since the pandemic began, from groceries to Christmas presents to clothing. Whilst it's totally understandable that there can be odd issues and delays, when you're buying something important, you need to be able to trust the retailer 100%. AO have always exceeded our expectations through clear communication and updates, the use of reliable (and trackable) couriers, and always doing what they promise. That's why they were our first port of call on this occasion and will always be in the future.