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After spending many months looking through electrical shops at their LCD TVís in late September 2008 we finally bit the bullet and purchased a 32" LCD Panasonic costing £500 from Currys. . . In December I switched on the TV and commented to Boyf that the TV was making an annoying constant bumble bee buzz. Boyf said he couldn't hear it, but I could and whenever we watched the TV I was aware of the noise in the background. As we watch DVDs more than TV, once we had the surround sound on the buzz was blanked out but even so, I was concerned and irritated by the fault. . . February 18th, I was about to go to bed and went to switch off the TV at which point it made a higher pitched screechy buzz which this time Boyf said he could hear. February 19th, TV gets switched on in the evening - we have sound yet the screen stays black. After about 3 seconds the TV switches itself off but the power button on the front flashes rapidly until the power is totally switched off at the mains. No amount of re-setting the TV, removing power cables, you-name-it-we-tried-it did the job. Our TV had died. . . And here is where the fun starts. For the sake of your sanity and blood flow to your nether regions, I've removed all the repetition, of which there was absolutely loads but it's still quite long which really should serve as a warning to ANY OF YOU considering buying anything from Currys. I've been through this so you don't have to. . Here goes. .
Boyf arms himself with all the necessary bumf and receipts and rings Currys. You can't actually ring Currys, you ring an 08 something number and after much "Press 1 for blah blah.." automation (which lasts for OVER THREE MINUTES) he is finally put through to The Tech Guys. After asking a few questions they confirm our TV is dead and that they will be ordering spare parts. Now this is the fun part. They say they are ordering EVERYTHING, the only part of our TV that will be original will be the casing. Boyf is then told that "...usually parts arrive in 7 to 10 days, but we're finding they take over a month right now. Once the parts come in, we send you a letter, you then ring back and book an engineer to come out and fix it. But we usually find the TV is totally dead and give the customer a new TV anyway". . Boyf informs me of this. I am not impressed by the wait for (up to) a month then its replaced anyway comment so I ring them. . . Me:- My fiancť spoke to you a short while ago (I give all order codes). He was told that parts take around a month to arrive then the TV is found to be irreparable anyway. Tech:- Yes. Me:- Well, if that's the case why can't you just arrange for the TV to be replaced now. It's only 5 months old. Tech:- You need to speak to Customer Services, dial the number again and press 5. . . After ringing the same number and automation, I press 5 and speak to someone sounding like Gareth Gates with a strop on. Me:- My fiancť spoke to your Tech Guys a short while ago. He was told that parts take around a month to arrive then the TV is found to be irreparable anyway. Iíve just checked with Trading Standards and they say that a repair should be carried out within a reasonable amount of time and without inconvenience to the Customer. Waiting a month for the parts to arrive, then several days to receive the letter then more days for an engineer is quite an inconvenience. Him:- Well yes, but those are our rules. Me:- Surely it isn't ecominically viable, the only original part of the TV left would be the case. Him:- Currys says that 28days for a repair is reasonable. Me:- The TV is only five months old and cost a lot of money. Him:- Well, if the parts don't arrive after 28days you can claim under our "Breach of contract rules". Me:- But the parts alone are going to take 30 days to arrive, totally exceeding that. Him:- Then you can call us for an exchange. Me:- So I have to wait 28days before you'll do anything?? Him:- Yes. But if you can get the Tech Guys to confirm it will take 28 days for the parts to arrive, they'll give you an Uplift Number, you then ring us back and we arrange for an exchange. . . Back to the Tech Guys. Tech:- No, we donít give out the Uplift number. That's Customer Services. Me:- I just spoke to them. They said it was YOU. Tech:- Nah, it's never been us. . . I then ring Customer Services and am told, you guessed it, "Nah, itís Tech Guys that give out the number, not us". I throw a bit of a hissy so then I get transferred to someone else in Customer Services and have to go through the whole story again. This person tells me to "Pop along to your local Currys, tell them, they'll ring us and you can collect your replacement TV there and then". . Quite happy I cancel the gym that evening and drive to Currys. I speak to a friendly girl on the cash desk who cannot understand why Tech were trying to perform a repair which is not economically viable. She then rings Tech and not Customer Services as I told her and her face drops. Apparently, a girl called Nyla has said "No" and she has put the kybosh on everything as now the girl on the till refuses to call Customer Services for me as 'íve clearly been marked down as some raving mental who isn't to be helped. . . ==Monday 23rd Feb== I ring Customer Services explaining the problem and my frustrations at what I was told and what actually happened on the Friday. He says he'll ring Tech for me and if they can 100percent confirm that the repair will take 28 days, then he'll arrange for a replacement. If Tech refuse - which I told him they would as Tech refuse to commit themselves to anything, they even mumble their name - then we will have to wait 28days before we can do anything. As the TV needs so many parts, Tech shouldn't have suggested repair anyway however, as they did, their opinion over-rules. He said he'd call them and ring me back. . Not only do I not hold out any hope of getting good news, I also refuse to hold my breath for fear of turning puce and falling off my chair. . I finished the call at 16:38, no one bothered to call me back so next day I ring them (again), go through the whole story (again) and am now told by someone else "If the parts take 28days only then can you claim for a new TV". In a nutshell, admit defeat, sit and wait...... . . Incredibly on Friday a letter arrives - the parts have arrived. Woo hoo!! Boyf rings Currys and they say they will send someone round on Tuesday. Double Woo Hoo. Tuesday, Mr Engineer arrives, looks at TV, is told of fault and says "Sounds like the Inverter - and ....... hmm, that's the only thing Tech didn't order". Nevertheless Mr Engineer tries all the parts Tech did order and it confirms his earlier comment, it looks like the Inverter has gone. "So, we get a new TV then??". Err, no. The dud TV will be collected next day and taken away for repair. Only then if it exceeds 28days will we get a new TV. We are given a number to call after 9pm and we'll be given a collection 'window' for the next day. Currys don't seem to think that people have jobs and can't just take days off at the drop of a hat. . Its no surprise we have been given the wrong number so we can't get through and Customer Services is closed after 9pm so we can't call them either. . Wednesday - 07:50am, yes, ten to eight, and Currys knock to collect the TV. Except of course, Boyf is in the shower, totally not expecting anyone to come *that* early. This time, he is given as "We called, you were out" card so he calls them. They refuse point blank to come back the same day, despite it being only around 15minutes since they knocked. The earliest they can arrange is Friday and they give us the correct phone number to call - again, after 9pm Thursday night - to arrange collection for Friday which thankfully goes without hitch. We sign a sheet to say they have collected our TV and they say they will call us in "A few days". . And.... . It should come as no surprise that Currys don't call us. We call them a week later and are told that our TV has only just been collected by the repair company and they'll ring back in a few days with a progress report. They don't so we do. Our TV is still sitting there, gathering dust in some warehouse, waiting for the parts which will take about a month to arrive. . . ===Friday 20th March.....28 days later!=== I ring Tech at Currys and am told to go through the whole story again at which point I say "I have gone through this with your department umpteen times - do you not record anything on your PC?!" No response to that one. They finally agree that yes, 28 days and I can now get a brand new TV. . . After much further faffage of not being allowed to ring the store direct, I finally speak to Currys Enfield, and yes, you guessed, explain the whole story all over again. Once that happens, they need to check with Tech Guys and then ring me back. This time, they ring back!! Yes, Tech have agreed to give us a new TV..... "Do you want the same one or a cheaper one?". Erm, a cheaper one? You are kidding me right?. Iím then told that our TV isn't made anymore and as this person "Doesnít do that section" she says to take the receipt, fault report number and remote control (to smack an assistant round the head with, my words, not hers) to a store and then pick a TV thatís the same price. Oh joy. . . After another call I discover they still have our model TV in the Brent Cross and Barnet stores - the newer model superseding ours costs an extra £100 which quite frankly we are loath to pay. I ring Enfield and quote Trading Standards at them - the bit about a repair or replacement being offered in a timely manner and not inconveniencing the customer. I tell them that travelling all the way to Brent Cross is a huge inconvenience and I want them to order in the TV to the Enfield branch for my collection. I am told they "need to check" and will call me back. One hour later I get a call - the person handling my problem doesnít get in until 11am so when she does, she needs to check everything out and then I'll be called back. How much checking do they need to do?! . . At mid day I get The Call. Currys are un-willing to get Brent Cross to send the TV to Enfield. Instead they are telling me that I have to drive to Enfield to sign the paperwork for the exchange and then DRIVE TO BRENT CROSS to collect the new TV. Apparently in 'exceptional circumstances' Currys will let you have a more expensive TV (as I mentioned our TV has been superseded by a new model £100 more expensive) but for us, they are apparently unable to do this. Nor are they willing to have the TV delivered to my home address. I was then told "We are open til 8pm". Once again Currys seem unable to comprehend that people have a life and can't simply go gadding about all over the place at whim. .It seems I was lied to again! After speaking to someone else in Customer Services, I was told that they never have offered anyone a more expensive TV in any circumstances and they don't know why I was told this. . . ==Thursday 26th March== We drive to our local Currys at Enfield and sign the paperwork, only it hasn't been prepared like I was told it would be so we have to explain the whole story yet again to a disinterested Duty Manager who constantly looks confused and asks us to "Say that again" lika Marjorie from Fat Fighters. Whilst the paperwork is being prepared we look about the shop to see if there is another model TV we can get instead of doing the Brent Cross schlep. There are two possibilities - a Toshiba and a Sharp. Boyf asks a sales assistant if he had to recommend one, what would it be. His reply "It's just a TV, I'm more concerned about my children's education" stunned us. I'm sorry but what?!. Other words that fell out of his mouth (such as "I tell the customer what they want to hear. If they say LG is the best TV I say 'yes sir, you are correct'") astounded us to the point that in the end we told him he'd been of no help at all and we walked away. . .
Friday 27th March
I ring Brent Cross to double check they are holding our TV. Except you can't dial the store and the person on switchboard won't transfer me so we end up having a relayed conversation. I'm told that Brent Cross have 2 TV's. One is a display model but the one they are saving us is, get this, "A customer return - most likely faulty". At which point I let rip with a "We paid £500 for a TV which developed a major fault and died. Why on earth would I want to accept a customer return which is most likely faulty? Would YOU accept that?!". . In the evening we drive to Harlow as weíve given up with Enfield. Buoyed with the fact we've signed the Exchange Paperwork we pick out a TV.....only for the Manager to check the PC and not see any information about us at all. She tries Tech but gets some clueless dimwit. She tries Customer Services and it rings for eternity. She cannot give us a TV as there is no proof on the system that we have (a) not already accepted another TV and/or (b) had our faulty TV repaired and returned to us and basically, we could be trying to pull a fast one. . . ==Saturday 28th March== Boyf rings Tech. He spends one hour on the phone trying to get them to issue an Uplift number. Again they say it isnít their job and they wonít help (Yes, I did say wonít, not canít there). He then rings Customer Services and tells them, they refuse to help and for a further 40minutes we are going round in circles. Until SOMEONE updates the system (which no-one wants to take responsibility for) the system shows we have a TV in for repair but it doesnít show anything else and until that anything else box is ticked, we are stuck. I then hear Boyf make an ďah!Ē type noise.....heís now on to something..... . And then a miracle.... . He gets through to Harlow store and a girl called Laura on the Customer Services desk who is an absolute STAR of the show answers the phone. He explains the situation to her. It transpires Tech and the Store have different PC systems and somewhere along the line, someone has to access this other system to get the information but the PC systems arenít compatible so this has to be done by phone. Laura takes our numbers says sheíll make the calls for us and ring us back. She calls back within 10 minutes having sorted out the problem. She says to ask for her when we arrive but to avoid 1 til 2 as she's on lunch then. We arrive around 2:30 and speak to her. We pick out a TV and sadly, itís now out of stock. Un-swayed by this, Laura asks us which stores are local to us as sheíll ring them and get them to hold a "Pristine". She then has a Eureka moment....in the corner of the retail park is a PC World and they are connected to Currys. She rings them, no answer. She then calls a guy called Dylan over and asks him to go over to PC World and collect the TV for us. He does and returns about 30minutes later - he told us it was chaos in there as they have a new PC system which was going seriously wrong. . Laura then gets the receipt all printed for us, makes sure we are OK taking the TV to the car (Dylan said heíd happily wheel it out to the car if we wanted) and wishes us well. . Laura was a Saturday girl, probably about 17years of age but that girl showed far more kindness, common sense and customer service skills than anyone in any of the branches of Currys we have been in. Were it not for her, weíd still be staring at out little 19Ē portable TV, squinting away. Infact, Dylan and Lisa who were also there helping us all looked to be about 17 years of age and all showed us far more courtesy, helpfulness and common sense than all the blinkered senior staff and so-called managers at Enfield, Tech and Customer Services call centres put together.
~ Recommended ? ~
For the Enfield store then its a loud resounding no. Harlow was better but this was only due to Laura, Lisa and Dylan as I get the impression if we went back on a weekday weíd still be at stalemate as it seems the more senior staff will only follow a set route to solve something, itís as if they donít think that to solve a problem sometimes you need to deviate from that route. Boyf and I agreed that in future we would rather pay that little extra and shop at our local electrical retailers, so what if itís a bit more expensive - at least if it goes wrong you can go to the shop and speak direct with a person rather than go through annoying call centres which far from helping in this instance delayed the situation and made it worse. Incidentally, I emailed Currys Customer Services with my gripes. I got a brief reply saying how they were surprised it had gone so very wrong and that copies of my correspondence would go to Enfield, Tech and Customer Services. I also told them to promote Laura! They sent me a £25 gift card by way of compensation. Pah. Finally, I do apologise if you have a numb ar*e and sorry for the bizarre way Ciao hasn't properly formatted this review!