A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the owner of a company to pick-up some laptops on his company’s behalf from Currys / PC World. At the time of ordering and paying for them my friend was assured by the business manager of the branch concerned that, as long as I had the relevant reference number(s), electronic copies of the receipts and proof of who I was (my mobile number had been given as the sole point of contact) for collection, it would be perfectly acceptable for me to collect the items in question.
So on the very day they called me to say the laptops were ready, I attended the store with the aforementioned references, emailed receipts, photo identification and the very mobile phone that the store had called me on. I politely outlined the circumstances to a young lady on the ‘Click and Collect’ desk and she immediately asked to see the original paperwork. I explained that I didn’t have that but told her that I did have the reference numbers and offered her my mobile phone to view the emailed receipts. She neither waited to hear me recite the numbers nor looked at the emails on my phone but merely turned to a male, clearly more experienced, colleague to seek advice. He immediately took over my case and point blank refused to even look for the laptops or seek out the electronic record of the purchases that must have been stored on the computer terminal in front of him. He clearly felt if he kept to a ‘no paperwork – no collection’ stance he wouldn’t have to go to the inconvenience of looking anything up or trying to find the items my friend had paid over a thousand of pounds for. It didn’t matter what evidence I offered of my qualification to collect, he just told me to come back when I had the paperwork. So at great inconvenience to all concerned I had to return some 3-4 days later with the original paperwork that had been hastily posted to me.
Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed with the way I had been treated and vowed at the time to avoid buying anything from Currys / PC World again.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly memories fade especially as you get older. Proof of that very concept came along this morning when I needed a document scanner and checked the very same store online to see if they had one in stock. The website showed that they had the make and model that I wanted at a reasonable price so I used the ‘Click and Collect’ facility on there to reserve one for collection.
Some two and a half hours later I went with my daughter to pick up and pay for my scanner. I should have ‘smelt a rat’ when the lady on the desk didn’t have my intended purchase to hand. She disappeared deep into the store in the direction of where I assumed the scanners were on display. We stood for over 10 minutes while I fumed to my daughter (don’t worry – she’s used to it!) that I might as well have not bothered asking for it to be reserved if I have to wait for one to be found from stock. Eventually the assistant return only to inform me that there had been a “stock mismatch” and they didn’t have a brand new scanner to sell to me. The only one they could offer me was the one that had been on display and I could have that, if I wanted it, at 10% discount.
I explained that I wanted and indeed expected, after reserving something for collection, that a new one would be available and should have been, all things considered, at the ‘Click and Collect’ desk on my arrival. I was told there were 43 new scanners in their central store and one could be ordered from there: It would arrive in about five days. I was also told there was one in another store some 2-3 miles away if I fancied fighting my way through the traffic and paying for parking in that location. I declined both those offers and left chuntering on as loudly as possible about how big stores don’t care about their customers and how good Amazon was.
So what have I learned today?
- Don’t rely on Currys / PC World’s ‘Click and Collect’ function – they might not have a new one in stock;
- Don’t expect an email or phone call if there’s been a ‘stock mismatch’ – they will tell you that when you get there two and a half hours later;
- How ever old you get, don’t forget which shops give bad customer service!
N.B. On returning home I ordered the exact same scanner but cheaper from Amazon and it will be delivered free tomorrow.