The Wine Society terms and conditions

We are The International Exhibition Co-Operative Wine Society Limited (but you probably know us as The Wine Society), a registered co-operative society with registration number 1824R. You can find out more about us here.

Our registered office address is Gunnels Wood Road, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2BT, and you can contact us at the details below:

Freepost:        Freepost RRZZ-RKEE-UUYJ, The Wine Society, Stevenage SG1 2BT

Phone:           01438 741177

Website:         thewinesociety.com (or use the enquiry form or live chat on our contact page)

If we need to contact you about any order you place, we will contact you using the details you have provided for your membership account, which you can change at any time by logging into your account.

You must be a member of The Wine Society (and aged over 18) to order wines and other products from us. You may place an order in the following ways:

  • On our website
  • By phone or post, at the details stated above
  • In person, at our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage

Placing an order does not guarantee that the requested products are available or that we are able to accept your order (see Section 3: The Contract Between Us for more information).

3.1.      Your order

Your order is an offer to buy from us. We may acknowledge your order in writing and take payment details from you at the time you place your order, but this does not mean that we have accepted your offer.

3.2.      Our acceptance of your order

The Society will not sell or be involved in the sale of wine and alcoholic drinks to persons aged under 18. If your order is for a gift, the recipient must be over 18 years. By placing your order, you confirm that the recipient is over 18 years old.

The point at which we accept your offer depends on your order:

  • For most purchases of wines and other products, our acceptance of your order takes place when we notify you that your order has been despatched for delivery or is ready for collection or storage in our Members’ Reserves (as applicable).
  • For En Primeur wines, our acceptance of your order takes place when we confirm that your order was successful and invoice you for the wines at the En Primeur price. The En Primeur campaign will indicate the expected date by which you will receive this confirmation.

At the time we accept your offer, we will take payment from you and a contract will come into existence between us.

3.3.      If we cannot accept your order

We will inform you if we are unable to accept your order for any reason, and you will not be charged. This might be, for example, because the products are out of stock, because of unexpected limits on our resources which we could not reasonably plan for or because we have identified an error in the price or description of the product.

We reserve the right to refuse to accept your order or to restrict your ability to purchase wines on a temporary or permanent basis, for any reason. This may be, in particular, where we consider that a member (or group of members) is purchasing in such a way as to cause a detriment to other members of The Wine Society.

4.1.      Our prices

Prices of our wines and other products are stated in our wine lists, promotional offers and on our website. Prices set out in printed materials such as our wine lists are intended to be valid for the period stated, but these may be  subject to change (please see Section 4.3: Incorrect Pricing below).

Unless stated otherwise, all prices shown include UK duty charges and VAT. If the VAT rate changes between the date of your order and the date that we take payment, we reserve the right to adjust the rate of VAT that you pay.

4.2.      Delivery Charges

Many orders are entitled to free delivery to a single UK address, but delivery charges may apply to some orders. Please see Section 8: Delivery for more information about delivery charges.

4.3.      Incorrect Pricing

It is always possible that, despite our best efforts, some of the products we sell may be incorrectly priced. This might be due to error, fluctuations in market conditions, changes in taxes or duties or other reasons.

We will normally check prices before accepting your order so that, where the correct price at your order date is less than our stated price, we will charge the lower amount. If the correct price at your order date is higher than the price stated, we will contact you before we accept your order to confirm if you still wish to proceed with your purchase.

We reserve the right to cancel the contract between us if we have already accepted your order or taken payment for a product that was under-priced in error, if the error could reasonably have been recognised by you as a mispricing. In such cases, we may recall a delivery or notify you within 30 days of delivery to require you to return the products to us, and you will be refunded in full for any charges that you have paid (including any delivery charges).

Images of our products and packaging on our website or in our wine lists or promotional materials are for illustrative purposes only. Products and packaging may vary slightly from these images.

6.1.      Stock availability

All wines, spirits and other products and services are subject to availability. The availability of stock is indicated on our website, and we will inform you if you request unavailable products by phone.

6.2.      Substitutes

If a wine or other product you have requested is unavailable, where possible we will seek to suggest an appropriate substitute product that we believe you will enjoy, selected by our expert buyers.

For website and phone orders: suggested substitutes will be displayed on the website or notified to you on the phone, and you may choose whether or not to accept them.

For postal orders: please indicate on the order form (using the checkbox provided) whether you wish to accept substitute products. If you do, we may substitute products in your order without further notice to you (these will be of equal or greater value to the products you requested).

6.3.      If we have already accepted your order

If, due to an error, we accept and take payment for an order for stock that is unavailable, we may:

  • cancel your order and the contract between us, and refund in full any charges that you have paid (including any delivery charges); or
  • where possible, provide an appropriate substitute product selected by our expert buyers of equal or greater value to the product you requested (at no additional cost).

6.4.      If you are unhappy with a substitute product

If you are unhappy with any substitute product that we have provided to you, you may have the right to cancel the contract between us, return the product and receive a full refund (see Section 10: Returns and Cancellations for more information).

7.1.      How to make payment

Unless otherwise stated, we accept payment using any of the following:

  • Debit or Credit Card (please note that the types of cards accepted will be notified to you on the website when you place your order)
  • Cheque payable to “The Wine Society” (for posted orders only, excluding En Primeur)
  • Standing Order

Card payments will usually be taken at the point of despatch. We reserve the right to request earlier payment for high value orders.

Payment for any new subscriptions for services requiring regular payment (including our Wine Without Fuss and Vintage Cellar Plan schemes) must be made by credit/debit card. We will retain a “token” that enables us to take further payments, but we will not retain your full card details.

7.2.      Direct Debits

We are no longer accepting new direct debits for ad-hoc orders or for Wine Without Fuss, Vintage Cellar Plan or Reserve Rental payments.

For Wine Without Fuss, Vintage Cellar Plan and Reserve Rental payments, existing direct debits will remain active until they are cancelled (either by you or by us). We will notify you in advance before cancelling any direct debit to give you the opportunity to arrange an alternative payment method.

The Wine Society adheres to the standard Direct Debit Guarantee below.

The Direct Debit Guarantee

  • This Guarantee is offered by all banks and building societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits
  • If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit, The Wine Society will notify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request The Wine Society to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
  • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by The Wine Society or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society.
  • If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when The Wine Society asks you to.
  • You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify The Wine Society.

7.3.      Your account balance

If your account with the Wine Society has a negative balance, meaning that there is an outstanding payment that you owe to us which is due and remains unpaid, we will not accept any further orders from you until the outstanding amount has been paid. If you wish to make a further order, you will be required to pay the additional amount to clear the balance on your account before your order is accepted. Otherwise, you must pay any outstanding debt to us within 30 days of us sending you a notice requiring you to do so.

If your account with the Wine Society has a positive balance, meaning that we are holding any funds on your behalf, those funds will automatically be used to reduce the amount payable by you on your next order (or orders) until the balance on your account has been cleared.

8.1.      Delivery dates and times

We will usually deliver your order on an agreed date, depending on the delivery method that you choose.

Please note that we cannot specify an exact delivery date for deliveries to  The Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight, The Isles of Scilly and some areas of Scotland.

Any anticipated dates or time windows for deliveries are estimates only and subject to change and we will not be liable for any delays outside our control. Deliveries may arrive earlier or later than the date and time indicated.

8.2.      Free UK Delivery

Subject to the conditions below, we offer free delivery to a single UK address when:

  • Your order contains at least 12 bottles (any size); or
  • Your order value exceeds £75.

The thresholds above for free delivery are calculated based on newly purchased wines that are due to be delivered, before any vouchers, account credit, delivery or handling charges or duty or VAT charges are applied. Withdrawals of wines from Members’ Reserves, deliveries of En Primeur wines and any non-wine products in your basket do not contribute towards your order total or order value for free delivery.

For any orders, you may wish to choose our next-day or Saturday delivery services and free delivery is available subject to the conditions above. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer next-day or Saturday delivery to addresses in Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight, The Isles of Scilly and some areas of Scotland.

8.3.      Wine Society Fleet

Our fleet of Wine Society vans deliver to many parts of the UK. If your address is within our delivery area, you will be presented with dates when our van can deliver to you. You will be advised of a delivery time window by email shortly before your delivery date and normally will be able to track the progress of your van on the day.

8.4.      Carrier Services

We operate a name the day national carrier service for most areas of the UK*. You will be advised of a delivery time window by email shortly before your delivery date and normally will be able to track the progress of your van on the day.

*For deliveries to The Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight, The Isles of Scilly and some areas of Scotland, we may not be able to give you a specific delivery date. Orders to addresses in these areas will be despatched as soon as possible and will be delivered within 6 working days.

8.5.      Delivery Charges

Small orders (which do not meet the criteria in Section 8.1 above for free delivery) incur a delivery charge of £5.

For any orders, you may wish to choose our next-day or Saturday delivery services, subject to availability. 

The delivery options offered may vary in exceptional circumstances. Any alterations will be clear during checkout on our website or will be explained if you order by phone.

8.6.      Collection from Stevenage

Members may pre-order wine for collection from our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage. Pre-orders must be placed before 12pm Monday to Friday for collection on the next working day.

8.7.      Delivery Instructions

If you will not be at the delivery address at the time of delivery and wish us to leave your order in a safe place or with a neighbour, please advise us at the time of order. The delivery driver will put a card through your door to confirm that the order has been left.

Please ensure that the location you indicate is safe and collect your delivery as soon as possible. Delivery is completed when we leave the order at the location you indicate, and we will not accept responsibility for any subsequent loss or damage to the order.

8.8.      Damaged or missing goods

Please check your delivery on arrival and report any damaged or missing goods immediately by calling Member Services on 01438 741177 or contacting us via our online enquiry form. Claims for non-delivery, breakage or leakage are only accepted within 30 days of the confirmed delivery date.

8.9.      Delays

We will always try to deliver your order on time, but sometimes there may be delays for reasons beyond our control. If you have not received a delivery that you were expecting, please contact Member Services on 01438 741177 or via our online enquiry form.

Please note that some multi-case orders may get separated if delivered by carrier. If you do not receive the balance of your order within 3 working days of the first delivery, please contact us.

Except for En Primeur wines, we remain the owner of all wines, spirits and other goods that you order until payment is received in full, at which point ownership passes to you.

We remain the owner of En Primeur wines until such time as they are stored in Members’ Reserves or delivered to or collected by you (and we will insure the wines at the original En Primeur value until this point).

Responsibility for any loss of or damage to the goods remains with us until we have delivered the goods to the address or location specified by you (or until you collect the goods or have them collected). After this point, we will not be responsible for any loss of or damage to the goods.

If you give us instructions for an alternative delivery location, such as a safe place or with a neighbour, delivery is completed (and you will be responsible for any loss of or damage to the goods) once we have left the goods at the requested location.

This Section 10 explains your rights to cancel a contract between us for the sale of wines and other products. Please note that this section does not apply to the storage of wines in our Members’ Reserves (please see Section 17: Members’ Reserves for information about the cancellation of Members’ Reserves services).

10.1.      Your rights as a consumer

When you buy wines and other products from us as a consumer, you have certain legal rights in respect of the quality of the goods and the circumstances in which you can cancel the contract and receive a refund.

You are always entitled to exercise your statutory rights as a consumer, but our Returns and Cancellations policy is more generous than the law requires. If you have any questions about your rights as a consumer, or under these terms, please contact us.

10.2.      If you change your mind

If you change your mind about some or all of your order, you may contact us within 14 days of receipt of the goods to cancel the contract and receive a refund. We will arrange to collect the unwanted wines free of charge. If you change your mind later than this, you can still rely on The Society’s Promise (see Section 12: Quality Guarantee – The Wine Society's Promise).

Please note that you will not be refunded any enhanced delivery fees (if you opted for one of our premium delivery services), and we may deduct a reasonable sum from your refund if any of the returned goods are not in saleable condition and their original packaging.

We cannot offer refunds or exchanges if you change your mind about an order for any perishable goods (such as hampers or other items containing food).

If you change your mind about an En Primeur order, you may contact us within 14 days of receiving the invoice from us (after wines have been allocated to you) to cancel your order and receive a full refund. Due to the unique nature of En Primeur campaigns, we are unable to accept cancellations after this time.

10.3.      Ending the contract because of something we have done

If you wish to cancel the contract between us for any of the reasons listed below, please contact us to let us know. The contract will end immediately and we will refund you in full for any products which have not been provided. These reasons are:

  • we have told you about a significant change to the product, or to these terms, which you do not agree to;
  • we have told you about an error in the price or description of the product you have ordered and you do not wish to proceed;
  • there is a risk that supply of the products may be significantly delayed because of events outside our control; or
  • you have a legal right to end the contract because of something we have done wrong (including where we fail to deliver your goods on the agreed date).

10.4.      Gift returns

We will only accept returned gifts, and arrange refunds in accordance with these terms, where this is sought by the member who purchased the gift originally.

10.5.      How to cancel your contract

If you wish to cancel your contract with us for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know by:

  • using our cancellation form, which is available here;
  • calling our Member Services team on 01438 741177;
  • contacting us via our online enquiry form; or
  • writing to us at the address at the top of these terms.

10.6.      Refunds and account credit

Where you are due a refund under these terms, we will process your refund within 14 days either to the same payment method that you originally used to make payment (or, if this is not possible, by BACS transfer), or by crediting your member account with The Wine Society.

Where a credit is placed on your account following the cancellation of an order and/or return of goods, you may contact us to arrange a refund to the payment method that you originally used to make payment (or, if this is not possible, by BACS transfer).

Where you opt to receive a voucher rather than a refund payment, please note that the voucher may only be used once and should therefore be used against an order that is of equal or higher value than the voucher. If you use a voucher against an order that is of lower value than the voucher, the voucher will expire and any outstanding value on the voucher will be lost.

11.1.      If you break the contract

If there are any issues with the contract between us, we will always seek to contact you to resolve them first. However, we reserve the right to end the contract between us in the following circumstances:

  • if you do not make a payment to us when it is due, and you still do not make payment within 30 days of us reminding you that payment is due;
  • if you do not, within a reasonable time of us asking for it, provide us with information that is necessary for us to provide the products that you have purchased; or
  • if you do not, within a reasonable time, allow us to deliver the products to you or collect them from us.

If we end the contract for any of these reasons, we will refund any money you have paid in advance for products we have not provided, but we may deduct or charge you reasonable compensation for the net costs we will incur as a result of your breaking the contract.

11.2.      If the product is unavailable

We may end the contract between us if:

  • there was an error in the pricing (see Section 4.3: Incorrect Pricing) or description (see Section 5: Product Descriptions) of the product; or
  • the product is out of stock (see Section 6: Stock Availability and Substitutes).

If we end the contract for these reasons, we will refund any money you have paid, including any delivery charges, but we will always contact you first to try to resolve the problem (such as by offering substitute products).

We want to ensure that you enjoy every bottle of wine you purchase from us. If you haven't enjoyed a wine, whether you believe it to be faulty, not as you had expected, or simply not to your taste, please contact us on 01438 741177 or report a problem by reviewing the wine via 'My Wines'.

Our Quality Guarantee applies to all wines that have been stored in suitable conditions and are still within their recommended drink dates (including wines that have been stored in Members' Reserves and wines purchase through our Wine Without Fuss and Vintage Cellar Plan schemes).

12.1.      If the wine is faulty

If the wine is faulty (such as if it is corked or oxidised), you will be entitled to receive either a refund or a voucher for the value of the faulty bottles.

We reserve the right to collect faulty bottles for inspection so please retain them for a period of 45 days after notifying us of the problem.

12.2.      If the wine is not faulty but you did not enjoy it

If the wine is simply not what you expected, or not to your taste, you will be entitled to receive either a refund or a voucher (at your option) for the amount that you paid for the bottles that you didn’t enjoy.

If you have any more bottles of the same wine which you no longer want, we will arrange to collect them from you (free of charge) and provide you with either a refund or a voucher (at your option) for the amount that you paid for them.

Please note that, unless the wine is faulty, we will not provide a refund or voucher for any bottles that are opened or otherwise not in saleable condition (other than the first bottle that you didn’t enjoy), except where we have specifically asked you to open a second bottle to determine whether the wine is faulty or simply not to your taste.

13.1.      The Wine Society Rules

When you become a member of The Wine Society, you become a lifetime shareholder in the Society. In addition to these terms and conditions which apply to your purchase of your membership, as a shareholder you must also comply with the Rules of the Wine Society.

13.2.      Gift memberships

When you purchase a gift membership for another person, the recipient will not automatically become a member of The Wine Society. The recipient will receive a voucher code that they may use to activate their membership and receive their share when they are ready to do so (within two years of issue).

A member may only hold one share in The Wine Society. If you are a recipient of a gift membership and you are already a member of The Wine Society, you may either:

  • contact our member services team to request that the value of your gift membership (£40) is credited to your share account; or
  • pass your voucher code to another person so that they can become a member.

If you are a recipient of a gift membership and you do not wish to become a member, you may pass your voucher code to another person so that they can become a member. You will not be able to exchange your voucher code for any monetary value and the person who gifted the membership to you will not be able to return the voucher for a refund.

Where we sell tickets to our tastings or other events, the following terms apply:

14.1.      Age verification

You must be at least 18 years old to attend our tastings and other events. Attendees who appear to be under the age of 18 will be asked to produce photographic identification and will not be permitted entry without identification. It is your responsibility to ensure that you and your guests have suitable ID with you, and no refunds will be issued if you are refused entry for not providing valid ID.

14.2.      If we cancel the event

We reserve the right to cancel any advertised event if insufficient tickets are sold, or if we are unable to proceed with the event for reasons beyond our control. If you have purchased a ticket, we will contact you as soon as a decision is made and a full refund will be arranged.

14.3.      If you wish to cancel your ticket

If you wish to cancel a ticket that you have purchased for a tasting or other event, please contact us as soon as possible. If you cancel your ticket at least 7 days before the date of the event (14 days for Wine Dinners) a full refund will be arranged.

If you cancel your ticket later than 7 days before the date of the event (14 days for Wine Dinners), we will seek to find another buyer for your ticket. If we are able to re-sell your ticket, a full refund will be arranged. If we are not able to re-sell your ticket, you will not be entitled to a refund (but you may still attend the event, if you change your mind).

Wine Without Fuss is our on-going ordering scheme designed for members requiring regular wine deliveries for drinking now, where you can choose from a range of plan options to suit your requirements. Click here for more information about how our Wine Without Fuss scheme works. Where you sign up for our Wine Without Fuss scheme, the following terms apply:

15.1.      The Wine Without Fuss scheme

Once you have set up your Wine Without Fuss plan, we will continue to deliver your wines and take payments until you inform us that you wish to change or cancel your plan. There is a minimum order quantity of 1 case (12 bottles) per year, but you are not required to commit to any further purchases. Wine selections are changed every two months. If you subscribe to the same Wine Without Fuss plan selecting deliveries falling on consecutive months, you may receive the same wine selection. You will not be informed of the specific wines within a Wine Without Fuss mixed case before delivery.

15.2.      Price and payment

Payment for new Wine Without Fuss orders must be made by debit/credit card. We will retain a “token” that enables us to take further payments, but we will not retain your full card details. If you have an existing Direct Debit set up for Wine Without Fuss orders, please see Section 7.2: Direct Debits above.

Prices indicated in the scheme represent the maximum case price that will be charged. If the wines delivered to you cost less than the prices indicated, you will only be charged for the lower amount.

15.3.      Cancellations and amendments

We will always notify you approximately 2 weeks before your next case is due to arrive, to allow time for you to change your delivery address, skip an upcoming delivery or cancel your plan. You can skip an upcoming delivery however many times you wish, and you can cancel your Wine Without Fuss plan(s) at any time.

If you wish to change the types of wines included in your plan, you may cancel your existing plan and subscribe to a new plan of your choice.

You can manage your Wine Without Fuss plans (including any cancellations) by logging into your account on our website or by contacting our member services team.

Our Vintage Cellar Plans offer a subscription ordering scheme designed for members wishing to lay down wines for future drinking. Click here for more information about how our Vintage Cellar Plans work. Where you sign up for our Vintage Cellar Plans, the following terms apply:

16.1.      The Vintage Cellar Plan scheme

Once you have set up your Vintage Cellar Plan, we will continue to allocate wines and take payment until you inform us that you wish to change or cancel your plan. There is a minimum order quantity of two six-bottle cases each 6-month period.

Our Vintage Cellar Plans may be started on any of four dates throughout the year (in March, June, September or December). If you sign up between these months, your scheme will automatically begin in the next possible starting month.

16.2.      Price and payment

Your first payment will be taken on the start date of your Vintage Cellar Plan, and further payments will be taken each month. You will receive notice of your allocation of wines after your sixth monthly payment.

Payment for new Vintage Cellar Plan orders must be made by debit/credit card. We will retain a “token” that enables us to take further payments, but we will not retain your full card details. If you have an existing Direct Debit set up for Vintage Cellar Plan orders, please see Section 7.2: Direct Debits above

Wines are priced based on the market conditions at the time of allocation. If the value of the wines allocated is less than the cost of your Vintage Cellar Plan subscription, the balance will be credited to your account. If the value of the wines allocated is greater than the cost of your Vintage Cellar Plan subscription, no further payment will be due.

16.3.      Delivery, Storage or Collection

Vintage Cellar Plan wines will be stored in our Members’ Reserves by default, but you may choose to take delivery of the wine instead. We will contact you following allocation to give you the opportunity to request delivery.

You are entitled to 12 months’ storage in our Members' Reserves, free of charge, for each allocation of wines that you receive under your Vintage Cellar Plan. After the first 12 months, annual rental for storage of those wines in our Members’ Reserves will be payable at the prevailing rate (please see Section 17: Members’ Reserves).

16.4.      Cancellations and amendments

You may cancel your Vintage Cellar Plan at any time. If you wish to change the types of wines included in your plan, you may cancel your existing plan and subscribe to a new plan of your choice.

You can manage your Vintage Cellar Plans (including any cancellations) by logging into your account on our website or by contacting our member services team.

En Primeur allows members to order wines that are still maturing in their producers’ cellars abroad, taking advantage of first-release prices and securing a share of wines likely to be in high demand (subject to supply availability). When you order En Primeur wines, the following terms apply:

17.1.      En Primeur Orders

En Primeur campaigns have a close date, indicated on our website or any materials promoting the campaign, by which orders must be received. If you submit an order after the close date, it will not be accepted.

En Primeur campaigns will also indicate the estimated date by which the wines will arrive in the UK. These dates are subject to change, but we will provide up-to-date information on our website and inform you if we anticipate a significant delay.

There may be other terms and conditions that apply to specific En Primeur campaigns, in which case we will notify you of these before you place your order. Any other terms and conditions that we notify to you will supplement these terms and will form a part of the contract between us.

17.2.      Price and payment

Prices indicated for En Primeur wines are “in-bond” prices which are exclusive of VAT and duty; these are the prices that you pay when we confirm that your En Primeur order was successful. The prices include shipping to The Society and insurance.

“In-bond” (or “bonded”) means that taxes in the form of VAT and excise duty will be payable by you at the prevailing rates at a later stage. These taxes will be payable when you withdraw and take delivery of the wines, or when you choose to transfer the wines from our in-bond Members’ Reserves to our duty-paid Members’ Reserves.

The taxes that you pay will be at the prevailing rate at the time they become payable. If the rates of VAT or any duties increase between the time that you placed your order and the time that the taxes become payable, you may end up paying more than you expected when you initially placed your order.

Please note that VAT is calculated on the duty payable as well as the original in-bond En Primeur price.

The En Primeur price indicated includes free delivery to a single UK address (please see Section 8: Delivery for more information about delivery options).

Please note that we will take your payment details at the time you place your En Primeur order in order to validate your payment card. Payment will not be taken from your account until the wines have been allocated and we have invoiced you for the cost of the wines allocated to you.

17.3.      Limited Supply

If demand exceeds supply for any particular wine, we will seek to share stock equally amongst those members who have expressed an interest. This may mean that stock is rationed to six, three or, exceptionally one, bottle(s) per member, regardless of how many cases were ordered by each member.

For some wines, cutting down orders in this way is sufficient action to ensure that everyone gets something, at least. However, for very oversubscribed wines, this may still not allow every member to have some wine.

In such cases we will allocate the stock. Allocations will be prioritised according to members' levels of support for the Society (based on ordering history). Members who have given greater support to the Society will have a better chance (but no certainty) of being allocated a rationed amount of wine, and those who have given less support will have a lesser chance (but still a chance).

Indicating a willingness to accept a substitute will not influence your chance of receiving the original wine.

17.4.      Substitutions in En Primeur orders

If we are unable to fulfil your order due to stock availability, we will seek to complete your order with substitute wines chosen by our buyers to be of a similar style, quality and value. Where any substitute is of lower value, you will only be charged the lower amount.

If you are unhappy with any substitute wine that we have offered to you, within 7 days of receiving notice of the substitution you may contact us to amend your order or cancel the contract between us and receive a full refund (see Section 10: Returns and Cancellations for more information).

17.5.      When the En Primeur wines arrive at Stevenage

We will contact you by email or post to let you know when the En Primeur wines arrive at our warehouses in Stevenage and are placed into In-Bond Members' Reserves, giving you the opportunity to provide instructions for alternative storage or delivery.

The wines will be left in In-Bond Members' Reserves unless you instruct us otherwise. You may opt to have your wines delivered within the UK, stored in Duty-Paid Members' Reserves, made available for collection from Stevenage, exported or transferred to an outside bonded warehouse.

Please note that only unmixed cases can be exported or transferred to outside bonded warehouses (for which there will be an administration charge).

If you wish to transfer any wines from In-bond to Duty-Paid Reserves, the entire quantity of that wine will need to be transferred and Duty & VAT will be payable.

Where the wines are stored in Members’ Reserves (whether In-Bond or Duty-Paid), we will charge you for the relevant rental charges from the start of your account’s next annual rental period (please see Section 18: Members’ Reserves below).

Our Members’ Reserves service allows members to store their wine in our warehouses in perfect conditions. Where you rent wine storage in our Members’ Reserves, the following terms apply:

18.1.      Duty-Paid and In-Bond wines

Wines purchased for storage in our Members’ Reserves warehouses may be described as either “duty-paid” or “in-bond”.

“In-bond” (or “bonded”) means that VAT and duty has not been paid on the wines. The price indicated when you order these wines is exclusive of VAT and excise duty, both of which will be payable by you when you wish to collect or take delivery of those wines or transfer them to duty-paid storage. Please note that VAT is calculated on the total cost of the wine, including the excise duty charges.

“Duty-paid” means that VAT and duty has already been paid on the wines.

18.2.      Storage

Only wines purchased from The Wine Society may be stored in Members' Reserves. Wines must usually be stored in full cases. A mix of different individual bottles of wine (not including any full cases) may be stored in Members' Reserves provided that the total number of bottles is divisible by 12.

We may, at our discretion, allow you to store smaller quantities of certain wines (including individual bottles) in exceptional circumstances, including where we have restricted the amount of such wines available for sale.

18.3.      Withdrawal

You may withdraw your wines from Members’ Reserves at any time. Depending on the type and quantity of wines that you withdraw, either delivery will be free or you may be charged a withdrawal handling fee of £10 in accordance with this section 18.3 (N.B. the handling fee of £10 will be waived until 31 October 2021).

No handling fee is payable for the following types of withdrawal where the wine is being removed from Reserves in the same unit as it was placed in Reserves:

  • Full cases of a single wine (in the case size originally offered, e.g. six or 12-bottle cases)
  • Pre-mixed cases (cases which are sold as a mixed case of different wines pre-selected by The Wine Society), which must be withdrawn as a full case. Individual bottles may not be withdrawn from any pre-mixed cases.
  • If a wine was originally sold only in restricted quantities (i.e. full cases were not offered), then these wines can be withdrawn without a handling fee.

You may withdraw any other combination of bottles from Members’ Reserves subject to a handling fee. For example, you may want to withdraw just two bottles from a full case of 12, or you may want to put together a 12-bottle case made up of various bottles from full cases you have stored with us. These withdrawals are subject to a handling fee of £10 per order (per delivery address), which we will notify you of and take payment for when you request the withdrawal.

18.4.      Delivery and collection

When you withdraw wines from Members’ Reserves, we offer free delivery to a single UK address (please see Section 8: Delivery for more information about delivery options) or you may collect your wines from our Cellar Showroom in Stevenage.

18.5.      Insurance

Where you store wines in our Members’ Reserves, we will insure the wines for their replacement value. The cost of insurance is included in the cost of rental charges, but please note that your wines will not be covered by insurance if you have failed to pay your rental charges.

18.6.      Rental charges

18.6.1.     We will invoice you annually, in advance, for rental charges for the storage of wines in our Members’ Reserves. We will include with your invoice an inventory list of the products that you currently have stored in our Members’ Reserves.

18.6.2.     We will contact you during the month prior to the month in which your invoice for rental charges will be due, to remind you about the upcoming payment and give you the opportunity to withdraw your wines. If you notify us that you wish to withdraw your wines prior to the 1st day of the month in which your invoice for rental charges is due, we will not invoice you for the subsequent year’s rental charges.

18.6.3.     The cost of rental charges is indicated on our website as a cost per 12 (75cl) bottles. Where you are permitted to store less than 12 bottles, the rental charges will be pro-rated.

18.6.4.     Invoices for rental charges must be paid within 21 days of the date of the invoice.

18.6.5.     Rental charges are non-refundable, and you will not receive a partial refund if you withdraw wines part-way through the annual invoicing period. If you store additional wines in Members’ Reserves part-way through the annual invoicing cycle, you will only be charged for storage of these wines from the next occurring annual invoice.

18.6.6.     We reserve the right to increase our Members’ Reserves rental charges from time to time. We will notify you of any increase in charges in our next annual invoice to you.

18.6.7.     If you fail to pay our invoice for rental charges within 21 days of the date of the invoice, we will send you a notice after the end of that period requiring you to make payment. If you have not withdrawn your wines, and you still fail to pay our invoice within 30 days after the date of that notice:

  • we reserve the right to sell the wines that you have stored in our Members’ Reserves; and
  • we will credit your account with the proceeds of sale, after deducting our reasonable costs of handling and selling the wines as well as the unpaid rental charges.

18.7.      Cancellation

You may cancel the Members’ Reserves contract between us, and withdraw your wines, at any time. You will not receive any refund of rental charges if you cancel the contract part-way through the annual invoicing period.

If you withdraw all of the wines that you have stored in Members’ Reserves, the contract between us will automatically come to an end following withdrawal.

If you cancel your Members’ Reserves contract or withdraw any wines prior to the 1st day of the month in which your invoice for rental charges is due, you will not be charged for the subsequent year’s rental charges for those wines.

19.1.      We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us

If we break the contract between us, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the sales process.

19.2.      We do not exclude or limit our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so

This includes our liability:

  • for death or personal injury caused by our negligence (or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors);
  • for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;
  • for breach of your legal rights in relation to the products; and
  • for defective products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

19.3.      We are not liable for business losses

Unless we otherwise agree with you in writing, we only supply our products for domestic and private use and you are not permitted to use our products for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose. If you use our products for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose we will have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

20.1.      Protecting your personal data

We will only use your personal information as set out in our Privacy Notice. If you have any questions about our use of your personal data, or your privacy on our website, please contact us.

20.2.      Changing these terms

We may update these terms from time to time and we recommend that you check these terms on our website prior to placing an order so that you know which terms will apply to the contract between us. We will give you reasonable notice of any significant changes to our terms, where possible.

Where we have an ongoing contract with you for recurring products or services (including, for example, our Wine Without Fuss scheme, Vintage Cellar Plans and Members’ Reserves) we will give you reasonable notice (at least 14 days) of any changes to these terms and you may have the right to cancel your contract with us if you do not agree to such changes.

20.3.      We may transfer this agreement to someone else

We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will always tell you in writing if this happens and we will ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under the contract.

20.4.      You need our consent to transfer your rights to someone else

You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these terms to another person if we agree to this in writing. We may not agree if, for example, the other person is not a member of The Wine Society (or is not eligible to become a member).

20.5.   Nobody else has any rights under this contract (except someone you pass your guarantee on to)

This contract is between you and us and no other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms. Neither of us will need to get the agreement of any other person in order to end the contract or make any changes to these terms.

20.6.      If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force

Each paragraph within these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.

20.7.      If we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later

If we do not insist immediately that you do anything you are required to do under these terms, or if we delay in taking steps against you in respect of your breaking this contract, that will not mean that you do not have to do those things and it will not prevent us taking steps against you at a later date. For example, if you miss a payment and we do not chase you but we continue to provide the products, we can still require you to make the payment at a later date.

20.8.      Which laws apply to this contract and where you may bring legal proceedings

These terms are governed by English law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the products in the English courts.

If you live in Scotland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the products in either the Scottish or the English courts. If you live in Northern Ireland you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the products in either the Northern Irish or the English courts. If you live outside the UK, you may have the right to bring legal proceedings in your own country.

 

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