I ordered various products from Dunelm, these shipped as 4 separate packages, it took a week for the items to arrive and one was missing. I phoned up and was told that it was still at the depot, so I waited a week, still nothing so phoned again, it was still at the depot, they said they'd ring back and let me know what was going on, another week passed with no contact and I get an email from Paypal saying that I've had a refund from Dunelm, no call, no email, no explanation, no offer of a replacement, just a paypal refund. Saying that, the items that did arrive were okay quality for the price.
Having been on a fixed rate plan and been overcharged constantly (which SP won't adjust but will refund you when you hit £500 of credit on your account) I applied to move my account to E-ON. SP seem to have dragged their feet over the transfer and surprise, surprise my unit rate has doubled, dropping my £430 of credit down to £200. Incidentally the new supplier's unit rate is still 2/3 of the new unit price of SP, so it's not as though it's market rate they're charging, it's designed to fleece those coming out of fixed rate deals. I'll certainly never use them again.
They were notified of changes to my account 3 weeks prior to my direct debit coming out, but chose to sit on them until 1 day before the go live date which resulted in the direct debit being taken from a closed account. On phoning them I was told that the no I wouldn't be charged, I would retain my interest rate and yes they were in the wrong, don't worry (I paid that months amount in full by card as soon as I realised). Next month they started charging me an inflated rate of interest, which I queried and was told that I had defaulted on the loan, completely contradicting what I had been previously informed. As soon as I mentioned the banking ombudsman it all went a bit pear shaped, they initially stated that I could have a copy of all phone conversations but it would cost £10, they are now stating that they don't provide them. On-line messages are now going missing from my account (on-line messages are the only way I can get them to engage in a properly documented conversation).
I haven't even flown with United yet, but so far they've made me re-book my flights 3 times, and there's still another 3 months before I fly. I booked a return flight to the US from the UK in January, I went on-line in March to check some details to find that my flights had been changed and my seat upgrades had been cancelled with no refund. So I re-upgraded and chose new seats, a month later I checked again, the flights had changed again, still no warning or refund, so yet another, re-select the seats and pay the upgrade fee again, 1 month later, same thing. Each time I re-upgrade my seats my bank charges me £1.50 for each transaction (United put each seat on each flight through individually from the US whereas the original booking was taken from the UK). In terms on transaction costs alone I'm down around £18, if you add to that the fact that not a single cancelled seat hasn't been refunded then it's around £250. I feel a small claims court action coming on.
I bought 2 packs of riven slate, the product itself is great, my conversations with customer services (I spoke to them about delivery) were great and professional. The delivery company, well, let's just say that I had to help the guy offload the lorry. He was a nice guy who had seemingly been tasked with delivering 2 tonne pallets of aggregates, paving etc with a pump truck and a delivery lorry with a tailgate lift (rated at 1 tonne). He said it was a joke and that they needed a proper lorry to do the job, he also said that if there were any further deliveries on hills that day then he was refusing to do them.
I've had 2 occasions to use the resolution service and on both occasions the dispute has been rejected due to the transaction having taken place more than 45 previously. Buying products from foreign countries generally takes 30 days for delivery, if the product dispatch is delayed (for example out of stock items), you're pretty much screwed. But the part I particularly like is that you have to ask them why your dispute has been rejected, they don't tell you. I've just spent 2 days trying to find out why, to be told to email them the details and then emailed that I need to use the dispute form on the site and then email us the details, etc, I only had a straight answer when I started mentioning litigation. All emails are from templates so don't expect a straightforward answer as that would require some sort of thought process.
I now can't even close my account because I have "ongoing transactions", I haven't used Paypal for a month, I have no outstanding transactions, no disputes because Paypal refuse to deal with them and I am waiting for Paypal to tell me why the account can't be closed (probably another week of email template chasing). I've blocked my cards and bank account from allowing any more financial processes to go through them and am pursuing my claim through Visa which is so much easier.
I've been using Play since 2002, ordered over 400 items from them and up until Rakuten took them over they had been faultless. They've now removed any sort of communication with customer service and made the whole returns/missing items process amazingly convoluted. I'm currently trying to chase a missing item which was tracked, it was allegedly delivered 2 weeks ago, the only communication I have had from play after 2 weeks and multitudes of contacts is:
"We are sorry for the delay in responding to your email but we have recently moved our contact centre back to the UK and whilst we are currently in a transitional period we are unfortunately taking slightly longer in responding to emails."
It has taken them 2 weeks to send a standard apology email, and they think that's reasonable? Just don't bother Play, you've lost my custom and if you don't give me a proper response soon then I'll be taking you to small claims court.
I ordered about £350 of computer parts from a small retailer in North London who used Citylink. Not too sure what happened, but the goods were allegedly delivered to my house when I wasn't in and signed for by someone with a Spanish surname. I checked with all of my neighbours (whom I trust and who have taken in deliveries before) and none of them had taken it in. The long and short of it was that CityLink refused to accept responsibility, I had to take the company I ordered from to small claims court and the poor guy I bought from was stuck with the bill for the missing goods and court costs (not good for a small company), whilst Citylink refused to cover a thing saying that the goods had been delivered. I wouldn't buy from a supplier who used them again.
I always look around to see if people can give a better price than Mazuma and they generally can, however, if you look at the reviews of those companies they're not at all flattering. I've used Mazuma for about 20 phones now and not once have they tried to say the phone was unusable (apparently a common occurrence in the industry), they've always paid the price that stated and I've never had a problem with them. They've paid the money into my account within 3 days of receipt of the phone and have always emailed me to tell me that. Pretty darned good all in all.
I remember when they were a small shop in London Bridge when I was a teen, I used to get my dad to bring me home the catalogue as he walked past it every day on his way to work and we'd pore through it at school drooling over the equipment that was out of our reach. Since then I've ordered thousands of pounds worth of products from Richer and never had a problem, the staff are always knowledgeable and honest (I've had some very frank opinions from staff about the quality of some of the items), which is refreshing to say the least. Bizarrely, I've never bought anything on-line, I've always bought in store, and the only problem I've ever had is an item being out of stock.
I bought a kitchen hood from Boots, they were the cheapest on the market for this particular product, the turnaround was fast, they delivery good and generally what I'd expect... except, the item turned up opened with parts missing. I'm guessing it was a return, so I contacted customer services who were faultless, apologised profusely, organised a new date for pick up of the old item and delivery of a replacement, frankly they were perfect and behaved exactly as they should have, if it hadn't been for the warehouse then I would have given 5 stars.
I've been using Debenhams as a store since I was a child, their on-line is a relatively recent thing, they were quite late to the game. Initially there were teething problems with their site not reflecting the stock levels and orders being cancelled due to a lack of coherency. However, this all now seems to have been resolved and I've not had a problem for the last 2-3 years. My orders always turn up, returns to the shop are always accepted (I find it far easier than sending back by post) and the whole thing is pretty streamlined. In fact the only reason I've only given 4 stars is because occasionally an order will be delayed and they don't inform me, as yet it's not been a problem but I can see that if you were waiting on something urgently the lack of communication in this regard would be very annoying.
I've been using ebuyer for about 10 years, probably since they were run from a garage in fact and have never had a problem. I've returned products, I've spoken to customer services (via the messaging system) with no problem, all in all no problems whatsoever.
However, I've removed a star from them as their customer reviews process is heavily biased, I've yet to have a single poor review published, which is hardly objective.
I've been using Amazon since they first opened, I've bought shoes, books, dvd's, electronics, etc and never had a problem. I've returned items with no problem, customer services is completely on-line and I usually have a response same day, all in all, they do exactly what they are supposed to with utmost efficiency.
I think fear of what they can do to my account if I leave.
I've been a customer for 20 odd years and I dread having to deal with customer services, it's like being in a keystone cops film. I once was so frustrated I wrote them a letter telling them that if they persisted I would close my account, 5 days later my card was denied, it turned out they had decided that my threat was tantamount to asking for the account to be closed, this was 3 days after moving house and 4 days before getting married, cheques were bouncing, direct debits were going unpaid, my credit rating went through the floor and I ended up with multiple threats from multiple trades persons. I wrote to the board of directors at their home addresses, only one of 15 responded (the guy who started Carphone Warehouse), the others couldn't even be bothered to forweward the complaint on.
As for their website, well, it works, but in terms of technology it's about 10 years behind everyone else, they've recently implemented security that was being used by Smile and Egg in 2000. At one point they had an on-line customer services site which opened a new window linking to a different site in India, when I questioned the security of a) being passed to a different site and b) how exactly having to give your login details to 3rd parties in India via a different site was secure, they fobbed me off with the equivalent of "it just is", needless to say, this fiasco was pretty short lived. All in all avoid, I'd move myself but seeing as last time I threatened they destroyed my account and credit rating, I'm too scared to.
Was previously a Tiscali customer, not the greatest ISP in the world but a high uptime and decent connection, until TalkTalk took them over, then the phone line and internet connection started disappearing for days at a time, email never worked and I was just fobbed off with excuses. Shut down the account, the guy I spoke to sounded bored and pretty much admitted that he was dealing with hundreds of the same type of calls a day.
Tried to close my account due to appalling customer service on a "premier account" (paying £5 a month to be treated like rubbish). It then took them 3 months to close the account, each month charging me £5 on the account and then charging an overdraft fee of £50.
I bought my parents a Canon camera from Pixmania, after 3 months it started failing, after 4 it gave up the ghost completely. After multiple attempts to contact them I got through, they advised me to send the camera back to France as it was under "French warranty". I duly sent it back, paying the exorbitant postage which they won't refund, they then allegedly sent it back to Canon who apparently said that the camera was broken in such a way that it wasn't covered under warranty, I queried this and asked Pixmania to send me a copy of their report, they then informed me that to email me a copy would cost me around £20, I told them to stuff it. This whole process took about 3 months, they obviously had no intention of replacing the camera, I had already paid out for shipping to France, there was no way I was going to keep throwing good money after bad.
Good prices, if you're willing to risk the product failing and no customer services (and they do seem to fail an awful lot from what I can tell, I'd question whether they were refurbs frankly).
I ordered a Hypnos mattress that had a 6 week lead time, due to the bad weather this was delayed by 2 weeks and then by a further 2 weeks, not Absolute's fault but they kept me informed at every stage of the order, emailing me without the slightest prompting to keep me informed. Whenever I did email them their response was always same day.
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