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They have my money, but neither of us have my laptop.
Member Name: sy2kgbr
Advantages: Special web prices, easy-to-navigate site and an online contact form.
Disadvantages: Lack of communication, broken promises and no geographical numbers or direct dials.
Lack of communication, lack of empathy and a lack of product in my hands right now. This is my experience of dealing with Comet's online store and I believe it serves as a rather cautionary tale. I'm afraid that due to the nature of my experience, this review might seem a little one-sided, but I felt that other Dooyooers might find it helpful anyway. We shall see!;)
I ordered a new Sony Vaio from Comet on the 3rd of August, which was scheduled to be delivered on the 15th, between 8am and 6pm. I was offered earlier dates, but they were all impossible for me to commit to, so I chose the 15th and took the day off work. As you may be able to deduce from my last review on Dooyoo, not working means not getting paid, indicating just how much I wanted to safely receive this product. I'd been saving up for a new laptop for a long time, and having finally decided on the model, wanted to play with it!
At 5.35pm on Tuesday the 15th, I called Comet to ask if my laptop was indeed still coming, as it was getting close to the end of the promised delivery slot and I was starting to feel increasingly doubtful it would arrive. My call was dismissed as worrying over nothing and I was informed that my laptop was still going to turn up.
At 6.45pm, 45 minutes after the slot had closed, I called Comet again and enquired about the whereabouts of my laptop. After being placed on hold several times (again), I was finally informed that the delivery van had in fact broken down, and the driver would call me to reschedule a date, probably for the day after as the customer service rep reckoned that he was sorry about the inconvenience. I was told I could not have his phone number, but that was okay, as he would call me. I provided Comet with my direct dial at work and with my mobile.
I was disappointed, of course I was, but was understanding of the situation. The van had broken down (I assumed this was no fault of the driver) and Comet did seem keen to sort things out.
On Wednesday I did not receive the promised phone call from the driver and called the Comet helpline as soon as I got a break at work, well aware that if he did not speak to me soon, my chances of seeing the laptop that day were disappearing. I was told that the driver would call me that afternoon. He did not.
On Thursday, I called yet again. Same story. "The driver will call you, but you cannot call him. We are not authorised to give out his phone number." He was meant to call me that afternoon. He did not. I called after work after 6pm (assuming that this was when the driver finished his round and as such, I had given him every opportunity to reach me, and he'd failed to do his job once again) and was told by the delivery centre that everyone had gone home and no one could help. Someone promised to send an email to the driver.
On Friday (today), I called again at lunchtime and was told that someone would call me back. I was a bit dubious anyone would return my call, but a customer sevice representative (not the driver) called me back to inform me that the warehouse had been broken into the night before and the laptop had been stolen. Consequently, there were no laptops in stock and he could not guarantee when one might become available.
It's my birthday tomorrow, and I was really looking forward to having a new 'toy' to play with. Am I gutted? You bet I am.
Given that the payment has already been taken off me and I have had poor dealings with Comet so far, I'm at a loss what to do. I can't order another laptop with a different company and cancel the order with Comet, as I don't trust them to return my money promptly, and I can't afford to sustain that kind of hit. Paying for a laptop once is one thing, but paying twice over is impossible for a student. I feel as if I have very little choice but to wait and see what happens.
If my laptop had been delivered when promised, it would not have been stolen from the warehouse, which is what really gets to me. It's probably not Comet's fault the laptop got stolen, but had they delivered it before the break in, I wouldn't be stuck with no laptop and no customer satisfaction.
Throughout this entire saga, it has been me who has been forced to get in touch with Comet, me who has been calling their 0870 number (mostly at daytime rates, and this is not free) for over 10 minutes each time, me who is now £1,148.99 out of pocket plus phone calls and me who has nothing to show for any of this.
There has been no attempt on the part of Comet to keep me informed (save for the last guy I spoke to, credit where credit's due) and it's the lack of communication which I have found the most upsetting. I have been constantly told that I have been worrying over nothing and my product is going to turn up soon.
Comet's site is easy enough to navigate, branded in their recognisable colours, and if you're looking to purchase a laptop like me, you can search for one based on specs or enter a specific product code. The prices offered seem to be very competitive and several products are sold by Comet in their high street stores at a higher rate. By purchasing online, you receive a special "web price" for certain products, and if you are happy to pick a day long delivery slot from a limited selection of dates, delivery is free. Sounds good.
It is possible to put questions to an actual person via their help form, although they do request you check the FAQ first to see that your question has already been answered. I initially equired about the possibility of arranging an upgrade and whilst I did receive a response within 24 hours as promised, it was incomplete. I asked whether Comet did do upgrades and if so, how much it would cost to upgrade the specific model I was interested in. I was told that they did upgrades. No indication of cost. The second time round, I did receive a more satisfactory answer, although I was little put out at having to request the same information twice.
As far as I'm aware, there are no facilities to track your product - I have looked!
It is possible to look for your nearest high street store if you provide your postcode or the name of your town, which might be a better bet than ordering online. I have no experience with Comet on the high street - who knows, maybe the service is better!
In general, I can't really fault the site's design. It's really easy-to-use.
Although I was initally swayed by the price (the same model I wanted was roughly £150-200 cheaper at Comet Online than most other stores, including both online and offline shops), I have experienced some of the worst customer service in my life, and this includes dealing with the French government.
Even if I eventually receive my laptop (and if it arrives faulty, I'm going to struggle with behaving like a rational person) I have been put off buying from Comet ever again. It has been a very frustrating experience, and whilst I cannot make a generalised statement about the customer service Comet provide to everyone, I personally have not been treated well. Every read of this article will go towards the cost of the phone calls to Comet's customer service line!
I will update this article should Comet actually get in touch with me again (they have repeatedly promised to reschedule a delivery to my work address rather than my cardholder address, despite not knowing where it is I work) and to let you know the final outcome. Should they reschedule a delivery and the laptop turn up in one piece, I will still be pretty mad and if nothing happens, well, I probably won't be able to write any more without breaking the Dooyoo guidelines on swearing in articles!
Thanks for the 3p :)
Summary: What's the point in buying something discounted if it won't ever arrive?