Advantages STORES everywhere
Disadvantages no aftercare service
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When I find a company that I get good service from, I tend to stick with them. It isn’t always about price, but the fact I can trust them. This is why I have saved and mortgaged and had my salary paid into the same bank for 25 years, have bought my contact lenses from the same high street store for 22 years, and just renewed my car insurance with the same company for the 20th year in a row, and I not even 44 yet.Unfortunately, the carphone warehouse is not going to make it into that list, not now or ever. When my contract was up for renewal late last year, it clashed with around the time the iPhone 4s was due out for sale. I had visited the Orange store (another on my list of companies I stick with) and was a little bit indecisive on what model to get, plus the store was mobbed, they didn’t have one of the alternatives I was considering in stock and I had a lift waiting outside. I wanted to reduce my monthly tariff as I felt I did not use the IPhone 3 gs enough to warrant a £35-40 per month bill, and so on a whim I popped into the Carphone Warehouse store in Nottingham’s Victoria centre, to have a look at alternatives to the iPhone.
On getting the phone home, I was a little alarmed that there was a sim card from a different network in the phone, nevertheless I followed all instructions to set the phone up, losing most of my contacts on the way unfortunately. I thought the phone might have been rejected by someone else, otherwise why was there a rogue sim card in the box?.Within a few days, the most annoying fault had become apparent. Although the battery life was appalling, even with someone like me (44) who is not exactly surfing and texting all day, the main problem was the phone could not keep time after the battery went flat.
This coincided with a long period where I was simply unable to get into town to exchange the phone, and so I had to send my hubby in twice. They refused to deal with him initially, but on his insistence did various software upgrades, and changed both the battery and cable. None of which made one jot of difference.Now one of the things I do use the phone for is as an alarm clock, but quickly this became pointless as the battery would often not last the night, and more annoyingly the time was constantly wrong. Hubby went in again, was fobbed off again, and they told him I had to come in and resolve it, even though he explained this was impossible. They gave him a number to ring to authorise him to act on my behalf “under the data protection act” but this was a waste of time and did not work. I tried to raise the problem via the website, but once again I was either ignored or fobbed off.
I, finally, one broken toe later, made it into their store this weekend, and explained I was not happy with having paid for a mobile phone for nearly six months that did not work and was not fit for purpose. The lack of service was appalling. They advised me that a phone needs to be sent back to their service centre THREE TIMES before they will replace it, and even then the replacement will be a reconditioned phone. Really? As you can imagine this was not satisfactory to me, and hubby did point out that in the aerospace repair industry himself, three tries at a fix and anything up to 900 people might lose their lives, surely three times cannot be reasonable. We asked them if they would be happy if they had spent say £700 on an electrical appliance, and when it broke down it would be replaced with a refurbished one, and as you can imagine, few people would agree to that scenario.What frustrated me more was the lack of listening skills demonstrated, and their insistence on calling their geeky colleagues “Agent Smith” something the store manager kept up for the whole hour or more of discussion. Agent Smith had failed to listen to my frustration and kept blaming the phone’s poor performance on the apps on the phone. Now given I am 44 not 14, I expect I have far fewer apps than the majority of people and are these phones not meant to run apps anyway? None of which addresses the problem that when the battery dies, the clock also dies.
This review is here to share my experience of carphone warehouse so far. It is not a happy one, and it is certainly an expensive one. If they only put half of their energy into resolving complaints promptly when they arise instead of being obstructive, and with ridiculous policies in the way of store management, then they might actually be a better company for it.
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