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After checking out a price comparison site, I decided that Dixon's online offerered the best value for a Packard Bell PC that I wanted to buy in time for Christmas 2006. On Thursday 14th Dec after encountering several problems on the website, I ended up calling the helpline to place the order.
The person that I spoke to seemed to be very helpful. My order was placed and I was told that I would have my order in the next 5 working days. I was also advised that if I ring DHL (the delivery company) on the 19th Dec they could confirm if my order would be delivered in the morning or the afternoon.
When I called on the Tuesday 19th Dec to enquire as to what stage my order was at, I was told that the information I had been given was incorrect and they could'nt specify when the order would be delivered. I was then promised a call back to confirm if the order would still be delivered on Wednesday 20th Dec.
After waiting for several hours and not getting a call back, I called the aftersales helpline again. I was told they they were unsure as to whether my order was still going to be delivered on the 20th Dec or not. I then asked to speak to a manager as I was unhappy with this response.
I was passed through to a manager who basically told me the same thing which was he couldn't confirm my delivery date so I said if that's the case, then I would like to cancel the order and get a refund. He then told me that I cannot cancel the order as they don't know where the equipment was. according to Dixon's system the order had already been dispatched but according to DHL's system the order had been returned to Dixon's.
This all lead to me asking how to make a complaint and I was given the complaints address.
Later that day (19th Dec) I recieved a call back from Dixon's and was told that they had confirmed with DHL that my order was actually still being delivered on Wed 20th Dec and if I no longer wanted it, then I should just refuse the goods! I think that particular person missed the point as I didn't really want to cancel the order, I just wasn't prepared to take the whole day off work when nobody could confirm that it was being delivered.
After waiting at home in the morning of Wed 20th Dec till 13:00, I got fed up waiting and called aftersales again. The person that I spoke to said that I won't be receiving my order as it has just been returned to Dixon's! I then asked if I could have a refund and the person said yes but I would have to wait 48 hours for a message to be sent to Head Office, then he does'nt know how long they will take to process it.
After hearing this I wrote a letter of complaint to Dixon's explaining everything that had happened from when I placed my order. I pointed out the fact that I had spent in excess of £10 calling the expensive aftersales service line and I have no PC, or my money back. To date I still have not had a response.
By the 4th Jan 2007, I still had not received my refund and by this time my credit card company were demanding payment. So not only was I now paying interest on this money but I had also incurred a £25 late payment charge.
I called the helpline again on 4th Jan 2007 and once again asked to speak to a manager as what I was being told made no sense. Speaking to a manager I was expecting a sympathetic ear and to reach a resolution however, he didn't seem to care. He advised me that the refund would take another 7-10 working days. To date I still don't have my money back!
I then wrote another letter of complaint, in an attempt to try and speed up my refund.
By this time my impression of Dixon's was that they don't seem to know what they are doing. I felt like staff at Dixon's were specially trained in 'How to fob off customers' I was told various different things by different people regarding the order to begin with and then getting a refund!
What really surprised me was the speed at which Dixon's took the money from my credit card but then it's a totally different story when it comes to getting your money back. I really don't understand why the moment I cancelled my order, my refund was not processed straight away. Any issues between Dixons and DHL should not become the problem of the customer.
Having worked myself for a High Street retail bank, I know the importance of good Customer Services and I have to say Customer Services at Dixons is non existent. They are quite happy to pass customers from pillar to post and nobody takes any ownership when things go wrong... which seems to be all the time.
Although Dixon's appear to offer very competitive prices for electrical goods, I would seriously urge anyone considering buying anything from them to think again. You may have to pay slightly more money to get what you want from elsewhere but the difference is it might actually get delivered! In my opinion Dixon's are quite happy to take your money but they don't deliver your goods.... for me that's a disaster!!!
P.S. You don't always need to learn from your own mistakes- learn from other's mistakes and save yourself a lot of stress and money!