ARRANLANDOWNER.COM – Laird of Largybey – £29.99
Registrant: Tim Hodkinson (Bay News)
Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire KA27 8PR
The web site is owned by a newsagent (Bay News) in the Isle of Arran and Lairds and Ladies are offered a 5% discount on any toys or fishing tackle that they buy from the shop. Curiously the “Contact Us” directs us to a farmer’s wife, Mrs Bev Hodgkin of Braehead Farm with another tempting offer of 5% off holidays. Her husband, Tim offers Bed and Breakfast farm holidays here and presumably selling square feet from a field in their farm is just a sideline.
We were initially disappointed by the Arran Land Owner website. Despite being designed by an excellent local web design team at Arran Digital, the design was poor and the layout lacking in any sort of consistency. Too many links, all given equal prominence, make the site hard to navigate. The offer to make a donation to “Save the Red Squirrel” campaign without either saying how much, or giving any further information about the charity rings alarm bells. We have had smoke blown in our faces before. We can find no record of any group with this or a similar name.
The missing squirrel sent another shock wave, because it is missing from the web site!
The wayward rodent should appear – indeed used to appear – on the left hand side of the header picture at the top of the masthead. But it does not and has not for more than a year. What business is so disinterested in its “shop window” that it fails to mend such a prominent error. Nor was it the only web site error.
However when we contacted Arran, we received a prompt, though fairly uninformative reply from Edward who promised that we would be able to identify our plot, that delivery would take a depressing 5 days, with no option of a quicker delivery time. Edward did offer us a full refund if my grandfather did not like the gift but apologised that no themed merchandise was available now or in the foreseeable future.
Ordering is simple, possibly too simple. There is nowhere to select “Laird” or “Lady” (Lord is not an option). The customer has to think to add this information into a “Notes” field. We are always wary of shops that only take PayPal; lots of internet scams make use of PayPal. The Largybeg Estate only accepts PayPal.
The pack arrived promptly in the standard “manila board backed mailer” with a truncated address handwritten on the front – the number and street address had been omitted. We were fortunate that we are not Smith and Jones, because the postman would not then have recognised our names. Other companies put a return address on the envelope, the Largybeg Estate do not. The rather nice A4 glossy folder contains eight sheets of paper, mostly cheap copier paper. Four pages describe generically the Estate. A sheet of flimsy parchment is the welcome letter
New for 2013 was the LairdCam. As this offer appeared after our purchase we cannot say exactly what this offer represents or how well it works, but it is an excellent idea.