Use Live Chat

If you are sending something back to a shop, tracking down a delivery or querying an online bill.  Live Chat is often the easiest way to do it. 

We're all buying online these days and Live Chat is becoming increasingly popular on retailers' websites. It's sometimes the only way to get in touch  online. The alternative is a long wait in a phone queue.  Live Chat is a digital helpdesk, you type in a question and then after a short delay you will recieve an answer or some more questions.

Some people are nervous of Live Chat, and nervous about security and reliability.  Read our tips to help you feel more confident and let your fingers do the chatting ....


  • How safe is Live Chat?

Chat functions are as safe as the websites they're on. The chat function on a reputable, established retailer, or an organisation like your bank, is completely safe and the people at the other end are properly trained and monitored. On a less reputable website, you need to be sensible about what you disclose. (We have full guides here about staying safe online ). You shouldn't never disclose your payment details or passwords.


  • Before you start

Have your details at hand, like your order number or delivery address. To get going, just start typing in the chat box, which normally displays in the lower right hand corner of the screen.


  • Who answers the chat?

Quite often, you start with an "automated assistant". It will ask for things like your order number and try to identify your issue so it can hand you on to the right people.  Sometimes it can answer your query all by itself!

Some organisations make it clear that you are talking to a 'bot' not a person. Others can be a bit coy about it. If you think you're talking to a 'bot', be clear & simple. Type "delivery problem" rather than "I am concerned it isn't at my house when I was expecting it". That way, they can identify your issue quicker.


  • Who fixes my problem?  

You'll probably then be handed on to a real person to fix a problem. Usually they can then sort out your problem there and then, which is an advantage over email. If they do pass you onto another department, another benefit is that you don't have to repeat yourself every time - the new person can look back at the preivous messages. 


  • How long does it take?

You sometimes have to wait for someone to become available, just like you do on the phone.  Once you are chatting, you can wait for up to 45 seconds for a reply to each of your questions (as the operatives can be dealing with more than one person). If you are waiting for a response, don't close the chat window (as this will end the chat), you can however, get on and do other things on your computer with the chat box open at the side.

Live Chat can be a very quick and effective way to solve small issues. Once you've done it once, it gets easier and easier!  


Like this idea?

Then why not try it yourself! Let us know if you plan to give it a go.

1 person is going to try this

We can all help others connect online

Learn about becoming a Connector

We want to share your Connector's knowledge

Tell us your tips and win £100

More fun things to do this Xmas!

From the community!

Carry on Learning

No matter what the New Year brings!

Set up a device remotely

Help someone get their new device up and running

From the community!

Use Virtual Reality

Our competition winner this week has an inspiring story...

Use Live Chat

Make online shopping easier!

Become a Volunteer

Help someone use their digital skills to do good!

Add Filters to Video Calls

Add sparkle to your calls!

Watch a film online

What better way to spend a cold winter's day? 

Print stamps

Avoid the Post Office queues and print stamps for letters and parcels!

Find any Recipe

There are recipes for every taste online!

Get some Winter Sun

Go to a beach, visit a mountain or spy on a polar bear. All via a webcam!

From the community!

Be Inspired...

... by the the winners of first week's competition.

Create a Playlist in i-Tunes

All your favourite songs whenever you like!

Send an online Christmas Card

A lovely way to keep in touch.  Good for the planet and easy to do from home. 

From the community!

Learn online skills

An inspiring way to use digital technology to teach people digital skills!

Run an Online quiz

Have fun with friends and family by hosting an online quiz

Do Karaoke

Backing tunes so you can sing your favourite songs!