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www.247electrical.co.u k - My Nightmare
Member Name: grown_up_girlie
Date: 07/12/05, updated on 13/12/05 (4973 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use website. Competitive prices.
Disadvantages: Lots of long waits, goods never arrived, appalling levels of customer service.
Anytime when purchasing goods on the internet you are in effect giving the named company your trust and that’s not to mention your hard earned money. I have purchased a lot of items online to-date and have never experienced as such appalling service from a company quite like the one I am about to review for you. I am writing this review from the perspective of the levels of customer services offered rather than the more practical side of how to use the website. I wish to take you through my 3 week nightmare of dealings and how I was treated as the customer.
I am about to move into my own place for the first time and have been saving religiously to buy new appliances. I initially only budgeted £300 for a new cooker, but having fallen in love with one on sale from ‘www.247electrical.co.uk’ I found the additional £89.99 so that I could have this particular model.
**Who are 247 Electrical**
'247 electrical'is a UK based, online company that sells allsorts of electrical goods from household appliances to gadgets, tv/audio equipment and lighting. They offer competitive prices online and aim to provide outstanding service to its customers. So with this in mind I went ahead and placed my order for my new cooker.
**A Bit About Placing The Order**
Placing the order was very simple; it’s the all so familiar routine of ‘creating an account’, ‘adding the goods to your cart’ then ‘checking out’. The full amount of £389.99 was debited from my partner’s card straight away. All done, all I have to do now is wait for the cooker to arrive.
There is a section in your online account where you can check the status of your order, very useful to the buyer – so I thought. Now, I won’t moan about the website itself as it was very simple to navigate and the goods were displayed in a clear manor.
So how long do you give it until you start getting concerned that you may be being taken for a ride…? Well 5 working days went by before I contacted this company. The online status of my order was still sat on ‘processing’; this was since the order was placed on the 2nd November ’05. Naturally with the biggest purchase I had ever made I was going to contact them to see what was going on and to make sure there were no problems. I sent an email on the 7th November, to the customer service department of ‘247electrical’ to ask when I can expect the delivery of my goods. After waiting 24 hours for a reply I got one from a sales member who I will quote as saying “Please allow 5 working days from now for delivery. Any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me”. So going by what the employee of ‘247 electrical’ has said, I should have my cooker by the 14th November ’05.
I waited until Friday 11th November and checked the online status of my order again and it was still showing as being ‘processing’ so I decided to telephone 247electrical.co.uk to find out what was going on. Phoning a 0700 number I reluctantly sat in a phone queue for 22 minutes before finally being answered. The sales advisor said that apparently it would be dispatched that same afternoon for delivery on Monday 14th. Fair play, so I thought.
Monday 14th November 2005 – I was excited that I would be getting my first cooker delivered today…. I logged onto the website to expect to see my order status as ‘dispatched’. How wrong could I have been…..? I got onto that dear 0700 telephone number again at 10am when their lines went live and sat in yet another 20 minute queue. I could feel myself getting very angry but know from having worked in customer service environments that to get mad over the phone will get you nowhere. So I politely asked the sales assistant if I could expect to receive my cooker today or not. Putting me on hold to clearly speak to her supervisor I could literally hear my phone bill ticking as the call went on longer and longer. After sitting on hold for 3 minutes the advisor came back and advised me that my cooker hadn’t even been picked up from their warehouse by the courier service and that they couldn’t understand why…. I then of course politely explained that this is not good enough and quoted their earlier email correspondence.
I requested that the advisor find out what is really going on and then call me back to let me know what is happening as I clearly cannot sit around waiting for an order which as far as I was concerned would at this point probably never arrive. . I couldn’t understand why I had not been contacted by ‘247electrical.co.uk’ earlier; my point is… why am I, the consumer chasing them and why have I been told on 3 occasions that the cooker had been dispatched when it clearly had not?
Whilst awaiting a phone call back from the sales assistant, I decided to write an email of complaint directly to her manager to voice my dissatisfaction with the level of service I had received. I hoped this email would be read with some priority. After waiting all day for my return call I received one at 5.57pm – 3 minutes from closing and quoting the sales advisor “I don’t know why it wasn’t sent out, for some reason Feenix Distribution (The courier service) haven’t got our dispatch request” by this point I was livid so I requested that she put the manager on as I didn’t want to be fobbed off again with more lies. The manager initially seemed apologetic and assured me that first thing the next ‘morning’ she would telephone me with the REAL delivery date of my order, I took her word for it as you would do coming from a manager…..
Tuesday 15th November – 10 am came, the phone lines have gone live and I am waiting by the telephone for my ‘promised’ return call from the manager. I waited and waited and waited…. The clock went past 2pm and I thought right this IS IT! Again, I got onto that 0700 number (Another 25 minutes wait) to not be fobbed off by anyone…. I got through to yet another sales assistant whom didn’t have a clue what was happening and tried to tell me that my cooker had been dispatched when I knew it hadn’t. To say I was upset is an understatement…. This company were now taking liberties out of me and I knew that 12 days from placing my order and now 4 occasions of being told the cooker had been dispatched when it clearly hadn’t, that they were obviously completely incompetent and there was a great lack of communication within their company.
Having finally got in touch with the manager I clearly expressed my extreme disappointment with ‘247electrical.co.uk’. I asked for some form of compensation for the fact that I had wasted several precious days sat in and that’s not mention the huge phone bill that was coming my way from having to chase them. I was then offered a mere £20 discount for all the trouble and was told that it was definitely to be dispatched within 2 days to arrive on the 21st November.
As far as I was concerned I took the discount and requested contact information for the managing director of the company so that I could express my concerns and worries about the disgustingly poor level of service I had received, surely he would want to know especially seeing as clearly quoted on the website there a statement that reads “Equally as important to us is offering our customers the very highest level of sales support. Our Call Centre and Customer Service teams are dedicated to providing accurate, helpful information on all aspects of our business so as to help you with purchase”. I went ahead and emailed the managing director and for the purpose of this review will name as ‘‘Mr MD’’.
**The Ultimate Insult**
I emailed ‘Mr MD’ a copy of my initial complaint and a copy of the email I had sent the manager of the customer services department. He was very swift in his reply I will say, although the reply was somewhat the biggest insult to date. I was given the sales talk of how many orders the company fulfils per a week and how happy their customers are. I was advised how he “cannot deal with verbal discussions made” and this is the best quote as from his email “From my point of view I need to be able to trust my staff implicitly and rely upon them and on the other hand I could never suggest a customer is not telling the truth”. He then went on to insult me further by saying that “With regards to compensation we do have a company policy that we pay no compensation whatsoever. Whilst we as a company strive to provide the best levels of service possible, the investment we make is into our training and systems, not in ad hoc compensation payments. *NAME’S* (The manager) offer is beyond what I would have authorised”. Another point to make is that ‘Mr MD’ also advised me that this error was “due to an internal problem with the product that was largely beyond our control. Unfortunately, however hard we try and however good our systems are these issue do occur and this is unfortunately part of life”.
Now I don’t know about you readers, but as a consumer I would have hoped that it wouldn’t have taken several phone calls and emails to find out that there was a problem with getting my cooker dispatched and more to the point why I am having to chase them, surely they have MY money accruing interest in their bank and I have no goods – so where is the fact of life part of that. An error is one thing; I understand that delays do happen but to be told incorrect information now on 5 occasions is not ‘a fact of life’. It is despicable.
So having gone into a coughing fit of sheer shock, my initial reaction to this email is that how can a sales team and company run to the highest possible standard when the Managing Director offers such disgusting customer service himself. Having dealt with many companies online and worked for a leading one myself, I know that this is no way to speak to any customer and to inadvertently call them a liar is beyond belief. His end paragraph advised me as follows “It is clear that you have lost confidence in 247electrical.co.uk as your chosen supplier so I would suggest the best course of action would be for us to cancel your order and action an immediate refund to enable you to purchase the item from a supplier that you would be happy with and would have confidence in”.
I sent a very frank reply stating: “I would like an immediate refund please for the full amount of £389.99. I would like you to confirm this has been done this afternoon (Tuesday 15th) via email. I appreciate your comments however due to the lack of knowledge and competency on your companies part I have incurred a financial loss and an official complaint will be made to trading standards. As you say you would never suggest a customer is lying however I have an email from your team of sales staff to confirm my version of events. I look forward to receiving a full refund immediately. Thank you”.
His again swift reply was that “I have passed the action request to our customer services and our internal target is for refunds to be actioned within 4 days”. I figured that I would have my money back by the 20th November according to their “internal quality targets”.
I waited the 4 days quoted by this pleasant man himself and still hadn’t received my money back. I was very anxious and was starting to feel quite down and stressed by the whole going on’s with 247electrical.co.uk. The delay of my refund was preventing me from purchasing a cooker elsewhere and seeing as I was moving soon, time was very important. I decided to contact Trading Standards and Consumer Direct who advised me to contact ‘Mr MD’ via email explaining that ‘time is of the essence’ and they took onboard my complaint. It seems that this is not the first time Trading Standards have heard the all so familiar names mentioned.
I contacted ‘Mr MD’ once again, with the above information as advised by Trading Standards and to say I was expecting a rude reply from him, again is an another understatement. I shall leave you dear readers of this review with the reading of his last email:
“Firstly may I make it very clear that time is not of the essence.
Secondly, I would suggest that you go back to whoever it was you spoke to at both Trading Standards & Consumer Direct to remind them of the legal obligations of a retailer, namely that in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations (DSR), Sales of Goods Act and Supply of Goods or Services to Consumers Act 2002, which we very diligently act within the limitations of, we must action a refund within 30 days of cancellation received in writing. Written cancellation was expressed in your communication of 15th November so we must action the refund by 15th December.
However as a customer focussed organisation, and to ensure we more than comply with the above referenced acts, our internal quality targets are 4 days to action a refund, as per my previous email”.
I waited 9 working days for a full refund…… it was the 23rd November, 3 weeks from my initial order before I got my money back, they clearly cannot even keep to their internal quality targets as quoted by the managing director himself.
**My Overall Opinion**
Rude, incompetent, dishonest, patronising – In my opinion, this is a company that I shall never shop with again. To say that this was a bad experience for me is very much of an understatement.
I would also like to say that this review is not written to be slanderous in any attempt, merely to express my disgust as a consumer with a company with whom I whole heartedly trusted and was as you can see let down by in a huge manor.
© grown_up_girlie, December 2005
Summary: Rude, incompetent, dishonest, patronising - Exactly what I don't expect as a customer.