After a few successful small orders, I decided to make some more substantial purchases with Achica. Unfortunately, the last four orders in a row have all arrived broken, or with damage from being either ex-display or manufacturer seconds.
After paying weeks in advance for most of my orders, and then having to wait further still for a collection and refund, I feel very cheated by Achica. I was promised some form of compensation 3 weeks ago but, despite follow-up emails, have still received nothing. Really poor service.
If it's breakable, don't order it from Achica...
After changing the fit of their slim fit shirts, from what I had already, I had to return a couple of items purchased at Christmas. Due to the high value, I returned them by special delivery to ensure that they were covered in case of loss in the post. This also gave me a confirmed delivery date.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, no refund came through, and no contact was made. It was only after sending my second email that I received both a response and confirmation that my refund had just been processed. This was 14 days after the order had been received back.
I experienced a similar delay during a previous return, so assume that this delay must be reasonably common for their customers.
To help future PC buyers avoid the seemingly endless catalogue of technical and service disasters that Alienware/Dell can cause for their customers, I would like to share my experience of the company. Although I still hold a considerable amount of anger towards Alienware/Dell, I have tried to focus on the facts. My purchase was of an Alienware Aurora R4, bought in June 2012.
Technical failures (which suggest no or limited product testing before shipping)
1. Faulty HDMI socket on graphics card - replaced following approx. a week of Alienware diagnosis
2. Faulty crackling/popping sound card - replaced following several weeks of Alienware diagnosis. Replacement also faulty
3. Faulty motherboard graphics card slot on arrival - replaced following several weeks of Alienware diagnosis
3. Multiple blue screen shutdowns on arrival - resolved following factory image restore after approx. two weeks of Alienware diagnosis
4. CD/DVD drive not functional on arrival - repaired after driver downloads provided
5. Unresponsive on switch, following engineer repair
Even with my 3 year next day in home repair warranty, the majority of these technical failures took approximately 3 months to resolve before a refund was agreed. This included me, at Alienware's request, having to complete countless hours of my own troubleshooting, based on their email guidance. This included 6 massively inconvenient and time-consuming factory image restores, and 2 complete re-installations of Windows. During this 3 month period, it was only after all of this and the sound still not being repaired, that my refund requests were even considered.
Service failures (which suggest that Alienware/Dell have little consideration for their customers)
1. The first Alienware Technical Support rep that I experienced was abrupt, and provided me incorrect information when asking me to re-fit my graphics card. Only after making a complaint about my Alienware machine and service on their Facebook page (which I strongly recommend that anyone experiencing a problem does), was my complaint escalated to someone with more experience and authority
2. The second Tech Support rep was considerably better, but the resolution process took approx. two additional months due to the number of faults and problems that I had, combined with Alienware's slow 24+ hour email response time
3. The one engineer who visited me was sub-contracted, and had no experience of Alienware. After he struggled to replace all of the faulty components, he fitted the processor and fan incorrectly, which resulted in the machine failing to start
4. When a refund was eventually approved and confirmed by email, after weeks of appealing, I purchased a replacement machine from PC Specialist. A week after Alienware confirmed the refund, and I had purchased the replacement, they then told me that the previously authorised refund may not now be possible. Only after worrying for two days about being stuck with two massively expensive machines, was the refund officially re-confirmed.
5. When finally arranging the collection of my machine for refund, I requested the required boxes for the Aurora, keyboard and mouse, after Alienware has asked what my requirements were. I also arranged the collection for a specific date so that I could arrange time off work. On the morning of the collection, I received a call that I would only be receiving the boxes, with the actual collection now arranged for the following day. I had to arrange another day off work, which just angered my more. Finishing my Alienware/Dell experience that I had become accustomed to, I then received two tiny boxes to pack my entire system in. So small that they wouldn't even fit my keyboard into.
6. Each Alienware/Dell department that I encountered seemed to instantly drop any ownership or in interest in my case, the moment it was passed onto the next department. As a result, it did not feel that the refund process was well managed.
Although I appreciate that technical faults can and do occur with any company, what I experienced was ridiculous, particularly when combined with painfully slow after-sales service. Although a minority of customers do rate Alienware/Dell very highly, they perhaps have not had the misfortune of having to deal with their technical support or customer service teams.
Based on this experience, I would strongly recommend against any purchase from Alienware/Dell. In my case, I purchased a replacement machine from PC Specialist who, like me, are based in the UK. In comparison to India-based Dell, they are considerably easier to contact and communicate with, which is critical when attempting to resolve any problems, or when seeking technical advice.
Unfortunately, the website had sold out of a particular ring that I wanted for my gf. However, although the item was still available in two of their stores, their customer service representative wad not willing to transfer the stock to the website, or send me the item from store.
As both stores were hundreds of miles away, I was not able to get the required ring, and feel pretty disappointed by Tiffany's lack of help.
Really pleased with the quality and price of all my products, with the exception of a few incredibly thin t-shirts. The website is easy to purchase from, quick to deliver with a reliable courier (DPD), with an easy return process.
No option to return online purchases in stores isn't great though, or having to pay for your own returns...
I don't use Hanon as regularly as I used to (because there are only so many high tops one person can own), but have always received great customer service both in the store and online.
Really pleased with all my purchases and the points that I've earned and spent. I've also had no issue returning a any items by post.
I'm surprised by some of the lower scored reviews. That definitely isn't my experience of Hanon.
Great website, fantastic choice, and good customer service. Unfortunately, Amazon frequently negates these positives by using 1/10 Yodel for the bulk of their next day deliveries?
I normally receive a few Amazon Prime deliveries each week, which frequently miss their guaranteed next day delivery date, which is very frustrating and wastes my time. Until Amazon make the decision to drop Yodel, their reliability as on online retailer will continue to be poor, at least when using next day delivery. Standard delivery does not seem to use Yodel, but does not guarantee a specific delivery date.
I regularly use Amazon's Prime service, which supposedly gives me free next day delivery. Unfortunately, they frequently use Yodel, who regularly fail to leave me missed delivery cards (if I'm not in - meaning I can't even contact them to arrange a redelivery!) and sometimes even fail to ring the doorbell when I am in.
I'm surprised Amazon want to be associated with such an unreliable courier, when they seem to take pride in their other services...
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