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I chose Comet as I felt they had a reasonably good image with a strong brand and if I needed good after-sales service then I would be likely to get a good response.
How wrong was I? I should have simply gone for the cheapest online offer and will do in future. I placed the order and a few days later I received an email to say my 'stuff' (Comet's words, not mine) was due to be delivered on Thursday 1 January 2099. By my reckoning I'd be 130; unsure it's worth the wait. I rang up the Customer Helpline (at my cost) and asked how could this date be accurate. The call centre operator asked me if it was an extended range item. How would I know that? She also then asked if it would be coming directly from the manufacturer? To me, the customer, why is that important? I simply wanted her to acknowledge that 2099 was ludicrous and that my dishwasher would be delivered on a certain date. She explained that their system defaults to that date if it's coming from the manufacturer. She didn't seem to understand the customer's confusion about 'their' system. I also asked if I could arrange for collection of my old machine; she said I could at a cost of £9.99 and I would need to arrange this once I'd been telephoned 'direct from the manufacturer' with the delivery date. Condescending was an understatement and simply kept repeating what she had already said regarding why the date had defaulted to 2099. I am a reasonably intelligent and articulate individual who has the time and money available to ring up and query this. Not all customers will and those will be simply left in a state of confusion.
I rang back to complain about how I was spoken to. The second individual repeated what the first one had said and also explained that Comet had a number of different complaints departments so she needed to get to the root of the problem first. It was clear she had no intention of passing me on to anyone else and said they would deal with it internally. What she seemed to mean was yes, you have a point, we have a system which isn't very customer-friendly and we've no idea or inclination how to respond to your feedback.
Incidentally when I was called again about this last week (following a call to head office) I asked if anything at all had been detailed against my order about my complaint? Surprise, surprise, no. 'With our extended range we only have a very small box that we can complete notes against'. Not a very good complaint handling system then?
Prior to delivery I logged into their site to try and track my order. When I put in the order number, surname and postcode, it gave no information whatsoever. I tried a few times, same result.
I had a call from a gentleman a few days later (I presume this was from the manufacturer) to say they could deliver on the Wednesday of that week. When I asked if I should call him back on the same telephone number he'd given me to arrange collection of the old machine he confirmed yes and that it would cost me £20, not the £9.99 mentioned on the telephone by the call centre. I ended up donating to the British Heart Foundation.
Very unimpressed with the service from Comet. Pretty ironic considering I'd chosen Comet based on my perception that service would be good. I suggested that as a gesture of goodwill they consider refunding me the difference between the cheapest price for the same product at the time (Prudent Panda) which came to about £40, quite a sum. Why would I consider paying nearly £40 more for a brand which I shouldn't have trusted to get it all right in the first place? Their response? 'Because it is outside of the 14-day price promise guarantee I'm afraid we can't do this.'. Argghhhh! I'd not even quoted a Price Promise policy! I've since found out that 'extended range' items (which means nothing to the customer) don't fall under this policy anyway!
In times of economic downturn and in such a competitive marketplace, I am astounded Comet take this approach with customers. Carry on with this appalling customer service and I do feel Comet's days are numbered.