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the washing machine, the call centre and the runaround


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In August our old washing machine packed in so we bought a replacement from Currys telesales. As it turns out, that was our first mistake.

 

A couple of weeks ago a few intermittent faults surfaced. It would sometimes stop before it had completed and the safety lock would sometimes engage when it shouldn't (like when it had finished after you had already unloaded the washing!)

 

Called Currys last week to ask for a replacement as it's well within the 28 days they talk about in their exchange/refund policy - so shouldn't be a problem, right?

 

Well, they logged the issue and gave me a number to call to arrange for an engineer to come out. This I don't have a problem with, from their point of view they just want to verify there is a problem with an expensive piece of equipment before they change it.

 

The engineer was here on Friday and surprise surprise, the intermittent faults didn't occur in his brief 20 minutes here and also not surprisingly his diagnostic kit told him it was working ok.

 

Called Currys today to ask for a replacement. :-x Call it our second mistake.

 

The first time I got through, Extremely Unhelpful Bloke took the details of the faults and just gave me the number of the repair centre. When I called that asking for a replacement they gave me a short "we don't do replacements, this is the Bosh service centre".

 

The second time I got through, Almost Helpful Bloke took the details of the faults and wanted the serial number. Something which is on the inside of the door ... but the machine was running at the time so I had to call back.

 

The third time I got through, Helpful Woman took the details of the faults (again?!?! don't these people write anything down?!!) and the serial number. She then attempted to get some pickup or lift code or something from somewhere and said she'd call me back.

 

Sure enough, about 15 minutes later she did indeed call back. To say that an Engineer would be out to look at the washing machine on Wednesday. Apparently this is because the 1st engineer said it working perfectly.

 

At this point I am now hacked off with Currys and no longer want a replacement. I want a refund. I'll go buy the same thing from somewhere else, even if it's more expensive.

 

This time I'll be prepared. I've captured one of the faults into a movie clip on the digital camera. The other fault is a bit more random.

 

What I need to know is what happens if the 2nd engineer says the unit is working perfectly? I have video evidence to the contrary but that's not what Currys will listen to. Hopefully the engineer will look at the video clip and certify the unit as faulty, but what if he doesn't?

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Hopefully the engineer will look at the video clip and certify the unit as faulty, but what if he doesn't?

 

Sorry to hear about your washing machine problems.

 

Good move, taking video of the fault!

 

IMHO, if you show this to the engineer he will immediately write this off as faulty. The reason being if he doesn't, he'll have to sit and wait for the fault to appear, then because it's fairly new, he'll have to arrange for it to be uplifted and replaced.

 

If he takes your word (or video, in this case!) for it, he'll just skip the first step and go directly to arranging a replacement. Thus saving his time and yours.

 

Good luck with it all!

edinburghbeerbucket :D

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Well, the technician was out today to have a look at the washing machine ...

 

Things were off to a good start when the washing machine entered one of it's fault states before he arrived. Then when he did arrive, he was shown the movie clip of the other fault.

 

However, what he wrote on the report made no reference to witnessing either the fault state upon arrival or the fault on the movie clip.

 

He did replace the "module control" to see if that would help, but that isn't what I wanted (or needed). I was under the impression he was to witness the faults and certify the unit as faulty, not attempt to repair it.

 

While it's too early to tell if all the origonal faults are present, I have been able to recreate one of them and I'm now painfully aware of the presence of a new one introduced by todays visit. :-x

 

I think I'll be phoning Currys tomorrow morning (and perhaps trading standards depending upon the outcome of the phone call with Currys)

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What i would do is if you can, take it back to your nearest Curry's with your receipt, ask to speak to the store manager tell them that its faulty and they have failed to fix it twice and you want a refund and let them know how badly you've been treated and you'd expect more from a major high street store, do all this with a slightly loud voice so people can over hear you and you'll be surprised what they will do for you.

 

 

Worked for me in Comet:D

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Yesterday I phoned Currys and almost got somewhere. I got someone who sounded like he wanted to help, but needed to call another department. He took my number to call me back and I still haven't heard anything.

 

So, today I phoned Currys - it wasn't pretty. I asked when it would be replaced, the bloke was more interested in some uplift code which the technician hasn't supplied (yet?). I asked again when it would be replaced (had to give them one last chance) and again I get some fob off about an uplift code ... blah ... needs inspected ... blah ... :mad:

 

I told them I'd arrange to have it certified as faulty by an independant 3rd party. They tried to tell me that they'd send their own technician to do that. I asked why does he need another attempt? Hasn't he done enough damage already? I told them their technician wasn't independant enough as he has a vested interest in not certifying it faulty.

 

I continued to ask for a refund, he kept talking about an uplift code. I then started talking trading standards, credit card companies, said goodbye and hung up. :-x

 

I've now logged a complain with Consumer Direct and raised the issue with my credit card company ... and about 15 minutes ago I ordered a new washing machine from somewhere else.

 

take it back to your nearest Curry's with your receipt, ask to speak to the store manager

 

Amusingly, that is something I discussed with the credit card company. Currys returns policy allows me to return faulty items to a store. I just don't have a car with a big enough boot and I'm not prepared to hire a van. I'll just pop it in the garage until they collect it.

 

I'll be writing letters this evening ...

 

One nice gem of advice I got from Consumer Direct is a phone number (08457 950 950) for the Royal Mail to get a proper address for a PO Box number. (Yes, Curry's Customer Service is a PO Box number - which of course won't accept recorded delivery items). :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nothing back from Currys yet, just an update on where I'm at.

 

20/9 Stopped using faulty washing machine (in order to reject it)

 

25/9 Moved faulty washing machine out in preparation for the new one I ordered from somewhere else arriving the next day.

 

25/9 Prepared letter to go to Currys

 

26/9 Verified my legal position with Which? (not that there was any real doubt, but I always like to check these things)

 

26/9 New washing machine arrived, fitted and working. This is an identical make and model - none of the issues with the faulty one are apparent on this one.

 

26/9 Sent Special Delivery letter to DSG Retail head office insisting on a full refund.

 

27/9 Checked Royal Mail website to confirm delivery of the letter. Confirmed.

 

I was somewhat generous with a response deadline of 16/10, so it's just wait and see now.

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To my amazement a letter from DSG arrived yesterday.

 

Alas, it was not in response to my letter. It was a letter confirming a part refund that they'd actioned several weeks ago.

 

When the faulty washing machine was purchased, I ordered an installation service. They were unable to carry out the install and I had to do it myself. I was told the install costs would be refunded ... after several weeks I called them about it and finally they did it. This letter was just telling me what I already knew.

 

Ah well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I received a letter from Currys on the 4th October trying to fob me off in the direction of Siemens with "They need to issue you with an uplift code".

 

Unsurprisingly I didn't accept this and sent a reply reminding them that the contract of sale was between myself and Currys and not Siemens. Furthermore that any lift codes they need are none of my concern and entirely their responsibility to obtain.

 

Apparently this didn't cut any ice as I've got another reply dated the 20th October telling me that the technician's report didn't warrant a replacement. This being the same technician who on his 2nd visit arrived to witness the machine in one fault state, was shown video footage of the other fault state, replaced parts and introduced two new faults, all the while, forgetting to mention any of this on his report.

 

I had a feeling the technician leaving those facts out would come back to bite me. (as he leaves a copy of the report with us).

 

What I have now is a letter claiming the technicians report lacks creditibility (based on the facts above) and that I can arrange to have an independent expert certify the unit as faulty if they insist (of course, charging it to Currys).

 

Before I send the letter on Monday, does anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed? I'm fully prepared to take them all the way, but would rather be able to beat them down to avoid the hassle.

 

The credit card company claims to be on side, but they won't issue a refund while I'm still in possession of the washing machine.

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I received a letter from Currys on the 4th October trying to fob me off in the direction of Siemens with "They need to issue you with an uplift code".

 

Unsurprisingly I didn't accept this and sent a reply reminding them that the contract of sale was between myself and Currys and not Siemens. Furthermore that any lift codes they need are none of my concern and entirely their responsibility to obtain.

 

Apparently this didn't cut any ice as I've got another reply dated the 20th October telling me that the technician's report didn't warrant a replacement. This being the same technician who on his 2nd visit arrived to witness the machine in one fault state, was shown video footage of the other fault state, replaced parts and introduced two new faults, all the while, forgetting to mention any of this on his report.

 

I had a feeling the technician leaving those facts out would come back to bite me. (as he leaves a copy of the report with us).

 

What I have now is a letter claiming the technicians report lacks creditibility (based on the facts above) and that I can arrange to have an independent expert certify the unit as faulty if they insist (of course, charging it to Currys).

 

Before I send the letter on Monday, does anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed? I'm fully prepared to take them all the way, but would rather be able to beat them down to avoid the hassle.

 

The credit card company claims to be on side, but they won't issue a refund while I'm still in possession of the washing machine.

 

I used to work for Merloni (makers of Indesit + Ariston) and now (ironically) I work for Siemens! Although I have nothing whatsoever to do with domestic appliances! However, I really do sympathise with you because I remember what it used to be like.

 

Basically, your washing machine stopped working within 28 days of purchasing it. That means that you have purchased an appliance which is not fit for the purpose for which is was intended, breaching the Sales of Goods Act 1982 (as amended). You are now perfectly entitled to a refund or a replacement (indeed, you do not have to settle with the one they prefer, which is a replacement).

 

Your contract is with the retailer (i.e. who you bought it off) and not with the manufacturer (surprisingly) and in legal terms, it is Currys with whom you have the grievance.

 

My advice to you would be to go into a store, keep calm and speak to a manager. Get buffed up on the Sales of Goods Act and remind them that you are entitled to a refund immediately, and that you wish to 'repudiate the contract' with immediate effect, due to the breach. If you want to be particularly fancy, you can go to Her Majesty's Courts Service - Home and navigate your way through to finding the form number "N1". Download it, type it all in there and take a copy down to Currys, and advise them that you will issue proceedings for the small claims court unless this matter is resolved within 7 days.

 

As for what you do not - mark your letters "WITHOUT PREJUDICE", which means you will be able to use them in court (if it ever goes that far) and tell them that should they attempt to cover up their breach, then you will also include claims for damages and report them to Trading Standards (which I think you have done?)

 

To be honest, so many retailers prey on the fact consumer's are generally "unsavvy" with the law, and that due to their size and popularity, what they say is correct - it's not, and no shop offers training on the ins and outs of the law!!

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Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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I would like to point out that I am aware the Sales of Goods Act was passed in 1979 and not 1982!!! Although, you could argue that they are not fulfilling their duties under the Supply of Goods and Services Act of 1982!!

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Yes, Trading Standards, Which? and American Express were informed of the issue quite early on.

 

I've amended my letter to include some of points mentioned (such as quoting the Sale of Goods Act). The main focus though is on the omission of key facts in the technicians report. Hopefully they will accept that I'm prepared to obtain an independant report should they not want to take my word for it (and of course, this is added to the costs).

 

I'll send it special delivery tomorrow to their register offices in Hemel Hempstead as I usually do.

 

I should probably send a similarly worded letter to American Express informing them they're just as liable and see if they will actually do something.

 

I'll wait for any response before deciding on whether to raise the issue in-store (as it was a telephone purchase).

 

I will let you know how it goes.

 

Thanks

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If it helps, Section 14(2) is the one which states the goods must be of a 'satisfactory or merchantable' quality, that is fit for the purpose intended, subsection (b) states:

 

s. 2(B): For the purpose of this Act, the quality of goods includes their state and condition and the following (amongst others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods: (a) fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied, (b) appearances and finish, © freedom from minor defects, (d) safety and (e) durability

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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  • 1 month later...

any joy on the above situation?

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Kind of, but not really.

 

Currys agreed to have an independant assessment of the washing machine. I have however been unable to find someone to certify it as faulty.

 

No-one is prepared to certify something as faulty if the insurance company they are contracted to didn't ask them to do it. It's not insurance related, but they don't care.

 

Does anyone know where I can find someone in the Swindon area who would be prepared to certify the washing machine as faulty?

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I'm presuming that they have agreed to you obtaining an independant inspection?

 

If so, look in the yellow pages or thomson local - or is the problem no one is willing to certify it??

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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thinking about it, why not just sue your credit card company? It clearly states in the CCA that the credit provider will be equally liable for any claims - so it might take a few discussions for them to admit to this, but if you print off a copy of the act (Office of Public Sector Information) they won't have a leg to stand on!

 

I have a letter here (c/o Trading Standards) which you can send to them:

 

Name or title of person to whom letter is being sent

Registered or head office address

Dear Sir/Madam

Re: Credit Card Number/Finance Agreement Number and Name of Trader from Whom goods Were

Purchased

I am enclosing a copy of a letter that I have sent to .............

I have written to the trader (please see attached copy letter(s)), but they are ignoring my complaint.

Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, Section 75, I am entitled to look to you for

compensation, as this law makes you equally liable with the trader for any breaches of contract or

misrepresentation.

I am therefore requesting that you note that this matter is currently in dispute and, should the trader fail to resolve the matter to my satisfaction, I will be seeking recompense from you.

Yours faithfully (if Dear Sir/Madam) / sincerely (if Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms etc)

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Kind of, but not really.

 

Currys agreed to have an independant assessment of the washing machine. I have however been unable to find someone to certify it as faulty.

 

No-one is prepared to certify something as faulty if the insurance company they are contracted to didn't ask them to do it. It's not insurance related, but they don't care.

 

Does anyone know where I can find someone in the Swindon area who would be prepared to certify the washing machine as faulty?

 

Phone your local Trading Standards department - they will have someone that they use and can recommend

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Don't know if this will be of any help but I have been fighting Samsung about a washing machine that I bought 18 months ago with a two year warranty.

 

It developed it's fourth fault the week before Christmas phoned them they sent an Engineer who had to order a part etc, still hadn't seen him again by 3rd January so I phoned them and told them I wanted it replaced got the usual junk "we can't do that etc".

 

Yesterday (Saturday) decided that I had had enough so I wrote a letter stating the problems and sent it to Argos (bought the washing machine through them), Samsung, Trading Standards and Watchdog, and stated in the letter that I was sending it to Trading Standards and Watchdog and e-mailed this at about 10am.

 

I got a phone call from Samsung at 2pm who said that they had spoken to Argos and Argos have agreed to give me a replacement washing machine, we will wait and see, someone from Argos is phoning me on Monday.

 

I wonder if this is a coincidence or whether the threat of Watchdog or Trading Standards did the trick.

 

Battle number one hopefully won, the next one is my Bank Charges!

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  • 2 months later...

Amazing isn't it they'll take our cash faster than the speed of light. When it comes to customer service and you want something back, they'll put the most awkward, cumbersome "system" in place which guarantees the issue will drag on and on for months, with the occasional illusion that something is being done, but in practice it isn't.

 

Eventually we may or may not win. Don't let them grind you down, use the legal process against them, they'd be very quick to do the same if you owed money. Make several annoying calls a day to them, write letters, copying the Chief Executive every time, but if you phone never lose your temper or use bad language. The one thing they do not want above all is bad publicity. Companies hate that, they'll dive for cover pretty damn quick. Threaten them with the media if all else fails and watch things happen fast.

 

It works - trust me.

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