So has anyone used M.J. Bale's online service much before? I've just had my first 'experience' of it and all I can say is if it is typical then they have a long long way to go to approach their overseas competition and be comparable to their in-store service standards.
Thanks everyone for their feedback. Their response so far is encouraging, they are apologetic and offering to rectify the problems and assuring me things like the shipping packaging are in the process of being improved. I'll see how it pans out in the end..
Since I really only went on line in the first place as the 'easier' option and to save Tom and Paulo some work in getting stock I don't think I'm likely to have much incentive to do it again though. I'll stick to the store!