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My Acer laptop that I have owned since 2006 has been dodgy for the past few months, running slowly and refusing to perform as a laptop should, so I figured seeing as the poor thing was over 4 years old that I would treat myself in the new year with a brand new one, kind of a belated present to myself. My partner and I had been around both Curry’s and Comet looking at appropriate replacements for my old system and I found a nice little HP laptop in Comet for an affordable price of 379 in the January sales. I decided that rather than make a snap decision there and then to purchase the laptop, I would mull it over at home. Well no sooner were we home than I began thinking to myself that I should have just bought it while I was in the store and bit the bullet – heading to comet.co.uk to spend my pennies after a little internet research on alternative options.
Who are Comet
Comet are part of the Kesa Electricals PLC Group which operates in 10 different countries and is Europe’s 3rd largest electrical retailing group. According to Kesa Electricals there is a common trading philosophy shared across all of the groups operating companies consisting of Best price, best choice and best service.
Comet.co.uk is basically an online electrical retail website which brings the convenience of in store browsing to your home. Comet provide electrical products in a range of different categories from kitchen and home appliances to home entertainment products, health and beauty products, camera’s, camcorders, games and consoles and so on and so forth. If there’s an electrical item to be purchased then comet should be able to cater for your needs. The website is very basic and not really that exciting to look at but everything is presented neatly and the website itself is relatively easy to navigate. There are 8 product categories for you to select from depending on your electrical needs which are as follows.• Kitchen and home • TV, DVD & Blu-ray • Computers • Cameras & camcorders • Games & consols • Ipod, MP3 & HiFi • Sat Nav & Phones • Health & Beauty
The 8 categories are located near the top of the comet home page in the form of large tabs. Easily identifiable even at first glance…you don’t have to go searching for them.
If you hover over each category then a separate box appears with sub-categories within the main category for example, hovering over computers I have the
option to look for specific products such as; Desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, Ipad, printers and ink, computer accessories, data storage and comet on call computer services, thus making it easy to filter down to a specific product within the category . There is also a search bar located at the top of the screen above the category tabs so if you know what product exactly you’re looking for you can just search for it directly. Once you have filtered down into the category you require you can search for a product by brand name, and you have the option to filter the searches again to show results according to; popularity, price low to high or high to low, brand A-Z or Z-A and rating low to high or high to low. You can also select from a range of availability options such as collect from store, free delivery, next day delivery or within 2-5days. The product lists do advise if a product you are looking at is currently not available to purchase so you don’t have to go through the hassle of adding something to your basket, only to find out when it comes to paying for the item that it’s currently not available for purchase, which can be disappointing, especially if it’s something you’ve become excited about getting.
Placing an order
Once you have found the product you’re looking for all you have to do is select from the 2 available options which are to buy online or collect from store. Some products only have the option of collecting in store, and some only have the option to buy online for example if the product is part of a websave promotion, but generally you are given both options. Once you have selected your preferred purchase method, the product automatically drops into your shopping basket and you can either proceed straight to the checkout or continue shopping.
I decided that although there is a comet only 15 minutes away from where I live that I would go for the Home Delivery option. Once you select home delivery, a new box pops up requesting your post code so they can provide you with the latest home delivery date options available. I was placing my order on the 30th December and the next available delivery option was for the 4th January between 7am and 6pm at a cost of 5.94. As I wasn’t in a hurry for my new laptop I decided that this was suitable and selected this from the dates available to me. There was an alternative delivery option costing 7.95 which guaranteed your delivery in the morning between 7am and 12pm, but as the 4th was not a working day for me I figured it wouldn’t be too inconvenient to stay in and wait for the delivery.Once your delivery date has been selected simply click continue and you will be taken to a page where you need to enter your details such as full name address and contact information. Once you have completed your personal information, the next step is to make a payment. The website accepts pretty much all forms of credit and debit cards and takes only a couple of minutes to complete. After your order is complete and the payment has been processed comet send an e-mail in the form of a receipt confirming your purchase and your allocated delivery schedule, so all you have to do after this is sit back and wait.
How competitive was the pricing
I have to say that of all the places I checked both online and in store for the same model of laptop, comet came in cheaper by a little more than 20 pounds so I thought I was onto a winner ordering my new laptop from them.
Was my product delivered on time
I made the decision to wait indoors all day on the 4th January in anticipation for my new laptop being delivered. I checked Comet’s online tracking system around 11am that morning and was very pleased to see an update confirming that my parcel had been loaded onto a vehicle for delivery, and thought to myself how nice it was to see a same day real time update. 6pm came and went and no sign of my anticipated package so I decided to call Comet to find out what the current status was. In short my laptop did not get delivered on the 4th January instead I received it on the 7th January – 3 days late. I requested for my delivery charge to be refunded as the product hadn’t been delivered within the allocated time slot and was told that the request would be entered into my notes. So far I have not seen any refund.
As indicated above, when my package wasn’t delivered on the allocated date, I did call comet customer services as this is the only means of contacting them. After being on hold for around 20 minutes I was put through to a very pleasant representative who politely asked me how she could help. I explained the situation and was told that the courier delivering my parcel was Parcel force and that they had been experiencing a backlog of deliveries due to the bad weather experienced across the UK and that my parcel should be put on an automatic next day delivery if they hadn’t managed to deliver it on the day in question. I accepted this and was also provided with a parcel force tracking reference so I could track the package directly with the courier. I was also told that correspondence would be sent to the courier regarding my package and that I would receive a telephone call the next day to update me on its’ progress.
Unfortunately I received no telephone call on the 5th January, nor was my parcel delivered, so I called Comet customer services again. This time I spoke to a young man, who advised me that my parcel was at parcel force’s national hub (somewhere in England) and the system would be updated when it was put onto a vehicle for delivery. I advised the man that the comet website had already shown an update that the parcel was on a vehicle for delivery so how was it that it was still at the national hub to which he offered the same response as I had received the previous day, that the weather was causing huge backlogs with deliveries. I was advised to contact parcel force to find out when delivery was estimated. I couldn’t believe it…..the company I purchased the product from and paid the delivery cost too, telling me to contact the courier that they had organised. I have to say the level of customer service received from these guys is very disappointing.
My overall experience
I have to say that this has been a disappointing online experience for me. The website itself was great....a little slow to load pages, but I didn't find that too troublesome. There was a great range of products to choose from and placing an order was relatively quick and easy. Unfortunately this is not my only disappointing experience with Comet.co.uk. I gave them the benefit of the doubt even though my partner did try to warn me not to use the comet delivery service. A couple of weeks before I ordered my laptop, my partner ordered a 3D TV and scheduled for it to be delivered in between Christmas and New Year so we could watch some of the Chrismassy blu-ray's in 3D. My partner unlike me did not receive the confirmation e-mail and phoned Comet to confirm with them that they had received the order. They confirmed that they had and that their e-mail server was running a little slow and that he should receive his confirmation shortly. The confirmation never came and a couple of days later he called them back only for them to turn round and say they had no record of his order. He decided to go with Curry’s instead and collected it from one of our local stores. Had I decided to click and collect with Comet, I probably wouldn’t have had as many issues with them in the long run. So between the 2 of us the overall experience has been a pretty negative one.
The delivery service and customer service are what lets Comet down.
Easy website to navigate Wide range of products to choose from Competitive on Price Ordering couldn’t be easier.
Offer delivery schedules that are unachievable and charge customers for the service Poor after sales care / customer service