On 28/03/13, I went to a Currys outlet in Sheffield at Heeley and I spent some time in the store talking with the sales assistant to find the best laptop for my wife who is disabled and is her main form of entertainment and communication. That day I purchased a laptop - a SAMSUNG NP3530EC, on a price plan over 10 months (£51).
This laptop was the best gift I bought my wife, she was very grateful and appreciate. She treasured this item, looked after it well and when not in use, it was stored safely away in a cupboard.
On 03/04/13, the laptop appeared different when we switched it on. A portion of the screen was not showing properly and appeared to have a ‘leaf’ on the left hand side. Thinking this was a system error, I contacted Microsoft that same day through a live chat. During the chat, I sent a photograph from my Ipad to the technician who then phoned me to say that this was a physical fault.
The following day, after work, I went back to the Currys store to show them my problem. I spoke with a Mike who stated that it appears as if the computer was damaged. I explained to the person that the laptop has not been damaged and was properly looked after by my wife, stored safely away in a cupboard.
This person was very unhelpful, stating that I would have to pay a repair fee of £50. I stated that I should not have to foot the bill as I know how it has been looked after. He also stated that I should have got the insurance cover. As they would not repair it, I then asked for a replacement or a refund, to which he and his Manager (who I asked for) declined stating that I had damaged the product and this, would not be possible. I also stated that I would contact Trading Standards with regards to the situation and Mike stated that they would agree with him and his assessment.
I then left the store with the laptop and went home. I then phoned Currys Customer Service department. I retold my story to them and that I wanted to put in a complaint, i was told I would hear from someone within 7 days.
On the 10/04/13 (6 days later), I had no response from Currys so I called them to find out what had happened. Upon speaking to that person, I found out that my complaint had not been looked at. I voiced my frustration and asked for something to be done as this was poor service.
The advisor spoke to the store and it was arranged that I take my laptop to the store and that they would take pictures of the machine (also keeping it in store with them) and send an e-mail to Samsung. I have a paper copy of this e-mail which I requested. The e-mail stated that there is no visible damage to any area of the computer and I will attach a scan of this for you to see. I was told that Samsung could take up to 48 hours to respond.
On 12/04/13, I phoned Currys whilst on a break from work. I stated to them that 48 hours has almost passed and I would like to know what is going on. My wife then received a phone call (within 10 minutes of my initial call) from the store. He stated to my wife that Samsung have just got back to him and that they had seen the photos and they agree with him that there is damage to it (contradictory to the e-mail he had sent on 10/04/13) and they would not be prepared say that this was a fault. My wife found him to be arrogant in his manner and not very understanding.
My wife then phoned Customer Services and spoke with and voiced her frustration at the whole situation. He stated to my wife that the store should have at least, offered to have it sent to Samsung to be looked at and waver the repair fee if they found it to be a fault. He then stated he would be the direct contact and would be the liaison between us and the store.
Customer services contacted my wife again and informed her that the store had told him that Samsung have seen the machine. My wife stated to that all they have seen are photos.
Upon my return home, my wife then received a call from the store (who was not supposed to contact us). He stated to my wife that Samsung are quite happy with the situation and they do not want to see the laptop personally and that is it. My wife found his tone to be sarcastic and seemed overly happy to be giving us the information.
At this point, I was infuriated. I then phoned customer services, who had just received the same news from the store, I told him that he had just phoned and how he spoke to my wife and how she was affected by the situation (including their manner). They responded that he should not have phoned the house.
Customer services stated that he would bring this situation to the attention of his managers. As this was just before closing time, he informed me it would be early the following week before we hear anything.
By 16/04/13, I did not hear any news, so again I contacted Customer Services and left a message for them to contact me. I repeated this on 17/03/13 with no response and then 18/03/13.
I eventually got a call to inform me that I would need a third party to look at the laptop and get an assessment from them. I informed them that this was not possible (due to money constraints) and that I personally should not have to do this. He offered me the other alternative of having the laptop sent to Samsung but I would have to pay the courier fee. I stated to that this was not an option.
I also stated that I am ready to contact Trading Standards (as I held off so I could deal with Currys directly) to which he advised me to phone instead of writing, he also added that he would speak with Samsung and try to help the best he could.
I phone my local Trading Standards – the advice line and they informed me to quote the Sales of Goods Act 1979 and write a letter of complaint directly to Currys (send it by recorded delivery). I then phoned Andy again and informed him of the advice they gave me.
Customer services had spoken with Samsung and that they have offered that the laptop be sent to them and they would inspect the machine, wavering the cost of courier and repair if they found the laptop to be faulty and not damaged. However They said that I had to go to the store and set this up, I said that this was not a good idea due to my recent dealings with that store.
However could not get in contact with the store whilst he was dealing with me (I was on hold) so he was sending them an e-mail. I also asked for a Manager to contact me as the entire situation, I felt, had not been dealt with both by Currys and Samsung. They phoned me back to inform me that a Manager will phone me on the 22/04/13.
I had to make three calls on 22/04/13 until I was responded to by a manager, who stated that the other manager (who was supposed to call me), did not get a message. They offered to go and look at the machine personally the next day and call us back.
On 23/04/13, my wife recieved a call to state in fact that there was physical damage to the screen (despite us knowing that there was not). The customer services stated that if this was not the case (instead of a possible manufacturers fault), that they would send it to their team and assess it. If they deemed it accidental damage, that we would have to incur their costs.
We are collecting he computer and intend to sell it as spares as we see no other options.
I have never been treated like this by a company before, the entire situation has been an unnecessary process and mentally straining for both me and my wife. I feel the store has been inconsistent with me and Currys’ own customer service team and I am stuck with a bill with nothing but a fault machine and a heap of grief. I would like to warn people about this and see if anyone else has had issues.
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