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Asda Direct Cockup Reveals Terrible Customer Service From South African Call Centre
Member Name: marksreview
Advantages: One stop shop for many items
Disadvantages: Terrible Customer Service, Stores not setup for Argos copy, Unable to help, Breaks Consumer Law
My partner is heavily pregnant and I'm doing all the running around getting things ready for our new baby.
My partner ordered from Asda Direct Maternity Jeans, the website allows you to pick sizes from dress sizes 8,10,12,14,16,18,20. My partner selected her size and paid for them together with various other Maternity clothing and also a selection of Baby Bottles, Teets, Warmers, a Steriliser, Brushes etc.
Everything bar the Maternity Jeans turned up correctly as advertised, however the jeans came in a "LONG" leg length, not even an option that could be picked.
I thought it would be simple to contact Asda Direct and swap over the wrongly picked product with the original item ordered.
First the 0800 952 3003 helpline is based in South Africa, now normally I hate overseas call centres as both parties can not understand each others accent, but as South Africa speak English as their first language I didn't expect there to be a problem on this occasion, however technology got in the way as they route the call through the Internet so the beginning and ending of each sentence both spoken by me and the Asda Direct staff were lost as the it is compressed? transmitted? or what ever the reason behind the poor audio levels. When neither party spoke the line was completely silent, but as soon as they spoke it was digitised and cropped. I assume they had the same problem their end as for the first few minutes of the call every other word they used was sorry (as in pardon) when they could not understand either.
Once I got to understand that the first second and last second of each sentence is lost I could construct sentences with padding both at the beginning and end to allow the meat of the sentence to be heard.
I was told that even though Asda Direct had made the mistake I had to find the time to time to take the goods to a drop of point and make a new order, I explained that I would prefer that they send out the original ordered goods and their delivery company HDNL can collect their mistake at the same time - a service offered as standard by any other online retailer in such cases.
They refused point blank, and that was even confirmed by a so called supervisor. I do not have the time to run around after Asda sorting out problems they create.
I have learnt after the call that the reason they have chosen South Africa over UK based call centres is due to the South Africa minimum wage is only 0.63 pence, so they would rather offer sub standard customer service and save some money. Obviously the 0.63p will not be the final price as they will need to pay for the overseas call routing and I'm sure other aspects to the service but the saving is obviously big enough to decide not to employ British workers.
I phoned Asda UK phone number 0800 952 0101 and managed to speak to a member of Asda staff based in the UK who were sympathetic to my request and acknowledge she was aware of the South Africa call centre problems.
She managed to transfer the call back to South Africa Customer service without the Internet routing audio problem. She spoke to a manager and requested that they deal with the problem correctly.
Speaking with Sean from Asda Direct in South Africa he claimed he would try to resolve the problem and call me back but admitted as he was some 12 hours by plane distance from the UK there is little he can do apart from send an internal message back to the UK for them to action within four days.
He suggested that we were to keep the "LONG" jeans and he would credit us by £6. I explained that my partnet was pregnant as I didn't think that saving £6 was worth risking my partner falling over the trousers incorrectly delivered as that would not only harm my partner but also my unborn baby.
In the meantime I'm left waiting, never mind plenty of things to be getting done in preparation for our first baby, but getting the frustration of my chest is a relief in the knowledge that one other person may think twice about using Asda Direct just in case they have a problem.
Summary: 63p per hour S.Africa call centre staff unable to help, still awaiting resolution...