Let's get one thing straight to start with...Virgin Media's TV/ Broadband/ etc services are generally very good and have only really given me grief on a handful of occasions. However, what isn't good is the customer service that this company provides....actually, "fails to provide" is more appropriate.
Last year a glitch of some description at Virgin Media's end led to our monthly payment failing to be taken. Given that our monthly direct debit was set up (we checked our online banking and it was clearly visible) you'd thing Virgin Media would 1) inform us and 2) apologise for the inconvenience. No such luck...we checked the following month's bill and, sure enough, they'd charged us a late payment fee! After a lengthy discussion with what came across as a poorly trained customer service agent, they eventually agreed they were in the wrong and said that the late fee would be reversed.
This was only the start of it. I know that services such as Virgin Media's are linked to your personal credit report and will flag late payments. So, during the call with the agent to reverse the fee I specifically asked whether they had already alerted the credit reporting agencies of the (incorrect) late payment....and received a firm "no". Surprise surprise, upon checking my credit report a month later, there it was, a late payment flag.
Cue another call to another incompetent agent to this time demand that they contact the three main credit reference agencies to remove this blemish from my credit report given that the fault did not lie with me. The agent said they couldn't do this and instead gave me instructions to email my request to an alternative team in the business. I did so....and two weeks later had still received nothing. I'd had enough....so again I called the customer service team. Hallelujah, this time I FINALLY spoke with someone who was willing to take responsibility and said they would personally take care of the issue - thank you Paul McDonagh!
Despite the responsibility being taken on I'm STILL waiting on this issue to be corrected, now approximately 12 months down the line!
How can it be that a company of this size is willing to provide such sheer incompetence? It took me approximately 2 months to finally find someone who knew what they were doing in the first instance and it CANNOT be acceptable in anyone's world for this to still be outstanding after 12 months in total!
In a nutshell - fine for media services, but if customer service is a top priority for you you may want to think twice.
After an absolute nightmare with Next (see my review: http://www.trustpilot.com/users/2455887) DFS came to the rescue.
The in-store service was welcoming, friendly and not overly pushy (yes, there was the usual upsell-type talk, but not in your face) while our sofas arrived within the quoted lead time and on time on the specified delivery. Can't really ask for more than that, highly recommended!
First off, one thing I truly hate about Next is that, when you make a purchase on their website, you seem to automatically be given a credit account with a limit on it...which then shows up on your credit report as an agreement. Why can I not just buy the stuff I want like I do on any other retail website, I don't want a credit account!
Now to the major issues...Next's home delivery service. In preparation for a house move, my wife and I made three orders on the same day in a Next store for sofas, beds, units, etc, etc. The store assistant was great to be honest, making the order process very simple - from that point on it all went wrong.
The first delivery failed to show up despite Next having notes on the system of a conversation I had to arrange the delivery. Seems the person I had spoken with simply forgot to schedule the delivery - and I'd taken a day out of work for this.
The rearranged first delivery showed up on time but had the wrong items. A two-part bed had one part from the range we ordered and the second part from a completely different range. This first delivery was finally successful on the third attempt following a complaint, with me taking further time out of work.
The second delivery was actually successful, but the third (sofas) became farcical. The sofas we ordered were subject to a short (5 week) lead time, one of the primary reasons we purchased them. At the time the shop assistant had informed we should call to arrange delivery, we were told the sofas were still not available and were simply fobbed off with "supplier issues". We were also told that a letter had been sent to us earlier - which we'd never received.
After more to'ing-and-fro'ing with Next's call centre we were eventually told the sofas wouldn't be available until December, a full TEN weeks after we placed the order. For a specified original lead time of 5 weeks this was unacceptable...so we (eventually) got Next to agree to providing us with a loan sofa. This duly arrived but was too big to get into our house - by about 1 inch. The sofa was fully assembled so removing the feet would have solved the issue but were promptly told by the delivery guys "we're not allowed to remove the feet". WHAT THE?!
Yet more phonecalls between my wife and the call centre led to another loan sofa being sent to us. This time was even better than the first:
- The local delivery guy somehow got lost (sat-nav, maps on smartphone?!) which resulted in me having to direct him while he was driving
- Upon arrival he had his two kids with him. This, according to Next, was arranged as a "two-man delivery crew"
- This led to me having to help the delivery man lug the loan sofa into the house and try to get it up the stairs....and would you believe it was AGAIN too big (even with the feet off) despite the fact we'd fully instructed Next that a SMALL sofa was required. As nice as the delivery guy was and as much effort as he put in, his efforts led to damage being made to the walls in our house.
Enough was enough so we cancelled the order and escalated our complaint as high as possible. But this was STILL not dealt with sufficiently and my wife continued to be passed from pillar to post speaking with multiple people to actually try and get anything done...most of whom seemed to spend their time having the same conversation rather than using the (now essay-sized) notes regarding all of the troubles we'd faced.
After noting Next staff's email address format we eventually had enough of all the incompetence and looked up Next's directors, trying out applying their names to the email format to get through to them. It worked...and (surprise, surprise) things were then dealt with swiftly and efficiently over the next few days to resolve the complaints and compensate us for all the associated phone call costs, emotional distress, wasted time off work, wall damage, etc.
How can a company of this stature can get things SO wrong? How can it be that to actually get anywhere with complaints resolution we ended up having to contact directors? It’s beyond me...and quite simply a disgrace.
Since this debacle we've been to DFS and bought a sofa. Swift, efficient, great communications, on-time delivery to the specified lead time...fantastic! I’d suggest you do the same if you ever consider buying a sofa from Next. As for Next...avoid, avoid, AVOID. I’m not even going there to buy socks anymore...
I'm in my 4th year with eSure and can honestly say I've not had a problem with them. Price-wise the competition just can't get close to the renewal premiums I receive year after year (though clearly I'd be switching should that ever change!).
Customer service from eSure is great too. Their call centre agents are generally friendly and helpful, always willing to complete what you request with the minimum of fuss. Addressing just the few gripes I have below would get me up to a 5 star rating:
1) eSure's systems must be from the 1980s. On the occasions I've needed to call to make changes to a policy and there's quite frequently an "IT glitch" that's going on which leads to a further phone call at a later stage. The latest was yesterday when I needed to change my address - and a glitch caused my account to freeze so nothing could be done until today (thankfully it unfroze!).
2) Cut down on the sales mumbo jumbo for customers who are simply calling to make account changes. Yes I know you want to try and cross sell me walrus insurance or some rubbish, but I just don't care. Instead of having your agents bombard me with a few minutes worth of cross-sells, why not pose a simple question to start with along the lines of "would you like to here of extras we can offer you?" - which I can promptly say no to!
3) Admin fees for policy changes are extortionate. 5 minutes or so on the phone to an agent who tweaks my address in a database + a new policy print out, an envelope and a first class stamp = £26. TWENTY-SIX POUNDS?!?! I'm in the wrong career...
I have the fortune of using Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for flights to and from LA with work...and all I can say is "wow". From check-in to arrival nothing is too much. Whether it's the desk staff, the clubhouse staff, the in-flight staff....all of them treat you like royalty.
Quite simply top class customer service...
I've been using Play for years and until now have never had a problem with the site or had a need to contact their customer services. However, recently a bug seems to have developed on the site whereby I can only complete a purchase using a single means. For example, if I pay by card OR a single Play.com voucher, the purchase goes through fine...but if I use multiple vouchers or a voucher plus card combination the purchase simply fails. This wouldn't be such a big problem if I didn't have so many vouchers to use...as a Play.com credit card holder, I get loads due to the reward scheme.
This is where the problem begins...the customer service team aren't particularly useful. They just don't seem to care that one of their customers has effectively had their account rendered unusable. I've had conversations about this problem with about 4 different people now, promised emails/ calls back which I never receive and end up chasing...and the problem still continues to this day after about 2 months, despite the customer service team supposedly escalating it. Very poor to say the least.
Might be time for me to use Amazon and change to their credit card instead....
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