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Apparently, The Customer ISN’T Always Right…UPDATED.

August 1, 2011

I’ve written many a product review here on Mum’s the Word and over at Brew Drinking Thinkings and I always say things as honestly as I can. Remember the Roomba review? Or the unofficial Moon Dough assessment? Just last week I had a crisis of conscience over a product which I had terrible results with, which resulted in me emailing the PR company and telling them I’d had a bad experience. To their credit, they said I was welcome to review it but they’d appreciate it if I didn’t. I didn’t review it, but if anyone would like to know what the product was, get in touch and I’ll let you know. I wouldn’t want you to waste your money.

But sometimes, a company can treat you so badly that you just have to talk about it. You may remember this post back in January about how I’ve been trying to improve my health with diet and exercise and how we’d bought a Reebok Edge exercise bike from Argos? Well, shortly after we bought it, we noticed a worrying grinding noise coming from the mechanism. We called Argos and they offered us a straight replacement, which we took. So, we got the new one and within weeks, we were having problems with this one too. So back to the shop it went and this time we were sent the same bike in a different colour as Argos had stopped selling the original one. This one seemed worse than the others, the display barely worked and the resistance would give up at random moments. We’d had enough, so we sent back our final bike and asked for a refund. Argos tried to refund us the unit price and withhold the delivery charge, but after I pointed out how patently unfair that seemed, they refunded that too but only “as a goodwill gesture”.

The point of getting an exercise bike was to enable us to workout without having to go to the gym, so against our better judgement we went back to Argos and bought a treadmill (A Roger Black Silver Medal Treadmill, in case you’re interested) which cost us all of our exercise bike refund plus an extra £100 or so. Within days, Husband noticed that the band was slipping and stalling during operation, so we performed the prescribed maintenance of tightening the belt (which, the manual said, shouldn’t need to be done for at least the first two months). The problem didn’t seem to be any better and the final straw was when Husband was running on the treadmill and the belt actually stalled so badly that Husband was basically thrown off and narrowly avoided being really hurt.

Obviously, my immediate reaction was to get on the phone to Argos and tell them. They put me through to their maintenance team, who told me that the unit sounded dangerous and he wasn’t confident telling me to do anything with the treadmill after it had behaved in this way. So, back to customer services, who told me I could have a replacement or a refund. Again, I had to ask for the delivery fee to be refunded, which once again was described as a ‘goodwill gesture’, leaving me feeling like they thought I was a liar. I decided to complain to Argos about the seven months of disastrous experiences that we’ve had with them and received a standard template email in reply, ignoring every single one of my complaints and telling me that unless I keep the faulty item, there’s nothing that they can do to compensate me for my wasted time, money and effort.

So, seven months after the original purchase we still have no fitness equipment, have missed many hours of work and commitments from spending time waiting in for items to be delivered and collected and we’ve had not so much as a ‘kiss my arse’ from Argos. You could say I’m feeling a little bit let down.

Let this be a cautionary tale. If I can prevent my readers from going through the same thing we have, then at least I’ve got one thing out of this mess.

 

UPDATE

The Argos Twitter Team have been in touch since reading this post and have offered us a cheque for £50 to cover the inconvenience caused. I’m happy that they’ve made this decision and feel sufficiently bribed into leaving it at that, but I’ll think twice before I buy from them again.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sian Grovez permalink
    August 1, 2011 1:05 pm

    I purchased a bedroom furniture set from Argos, a beech finish wardrobe, bed side table and 6 drawer dresser.

    I was never able to actually use the drawers in this set. Not only were they so small I could hardly fit any clothes in, but when I put in 3 pairs of jeans, the bottom fell out of the drawer!

    On calling Argos, they basically told me that I had built it wrong, and wouldn’t offer any kind of refund. It was basically my own fault.

    So a year later, I’m left with a wobbly bed side table, a 6 drawer dresser that has been “no more nails” together and duct tape holding the drawer bottoms in. The only thing that works is the wardrobe.

    I know my brother has had the same problem recently with Argos furniture too, so I try to warn people off Argos furniture.

  2. August 1, 2011 5:27 pm

    Hmmm interesting! I do buy from Argos on occasion, but would be wary of doing so for large purchases after reading your experiences. The true measure of a business is how they respond when thinks haven’t gone well.

  3. August 1, 2011 6:53 pm

    You fell foul of what I call “The Curse of Argos”. Rarely does a purchase go by without some defect or deficiency in the product. I also think there’s an object lesson in what you’re buying. Someone is telling you not to worry about getting fit! 🙂

  4. August 1, 2011 9:46 pm

    I must say I love Argos customer support, everytime i have ever had a problem or simple changed my mind they have always refunded me straight away or offered a replacement, I figure alot of other places can be less than happy and refer you to the maker of the item which in turn ten to snub you, Argos at least do bother to refund

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