I ordered an Apple 13 inch MacBook Pro at a cost of £1,179.99 from Currys PC World through my business account on 26 November which arrived on 29 November.
I returned it because it was faulty. An Apple technician confirmed and said Currys could refund or replace it because I had it less than 14 days.
The firm arranged a collection – it refused to let me take it to store because I bought it online – and it is now sitting in its warehouse but it still has my money, more than a week later.
Currys said a credit note would appear in my account within 48 hours but it didn’t and each time I call, staff say they’ll escalate it and the money will be in my account the next day. Why haven’t I got a refund and should I be concerned? J.P., via email
No connection: Currys failed to refund their customer after sending a faulty laptop to him
Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, replies: Currys PC World has faced a barrage of criticism from customers this year.
I have received hundreds of cases in 2020 from frustrated consumers who have had orders lost, faulty items delivered and complained about a lack of customer service.
You are the latest customer to contact me about the tech retailer after your brand new, very pricey, Apple laptop did not work as expected when it arrived.
However, your story differs slightly in that you bought the 13 inch MacBook Pro through the Currys business site.
By buying through this method, you agree that you are buying goods or services only for business purposes – you tell me you’re self-employed and work remotely, and planned to use it for your new freelance job.
When trying to contact the company, you say that Currys first told you to contact Apple which you did.
However, Apple then told you to go back to Currys – and it then agreed to initiate the refund.
No doubt being sent around the houses was frustrating, especially as Currys should have known it was responsible for fixing the issue in the first place.
You say it took around a week of calling the company to eventually get through and arrange a refund, as opposed to a replacement.
I contacted Currys – as I have done multiple times over the course of this year – to find out why you were still waiting on such a chunky refund.
Currys PC World has been criticised this year by customers who have had various issues
It said, after investigation, it seemed there was a system glitch at its warehouse meaning his returned MacBook hadn’t been scanned correctly.
Its refunds team weren’t notified that a payment needed to be made.
Currys said this has now been resolved and the refund will be in your account in the next two to three working days.
A spokesperson for Currys PC World said: ‘We are very sorry that Mr P experienced a delay on his refund. Unfortunately a one-off system glitch meant that his returned item hadn’t been scanned on arrival at our warehouse.
‘As soon as we were made aware of Mr P’s issue our customer services team investigated and have now processed the refund. Mr P will receive a full refund to his bank account in the next three to five working days.’
You have since confirmed you have received the refund but say the only currys you will be relying on in the future are ones you cook, at home, of the spicy variety…
Currys PC World woes
Unfortunately, you are not the only person who has had such troubles – I have heard from hundreds of people with similar issues.
One such reader who has had huge problems with the firm after buying a cooker from Currys in February of this year.
It broke several times throughout the year with the reader having to consistently chase Currys to come and fix it.
GRACE ON THE CASE
Welcome to our new weekly column, where This is Money consumer expert Grace Gausden tackles reader problems and shines the light on companies doing both good and bad.
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On 16 November, after numerous phone calls and web chats, it promised her a refund and collection of the cooker as it was unable to replace it as there were none in stock.
However, she is still waiting for both the collection and the refund.
Another reader said they bought a £1,000 fridge freezer from Currys and paid for fitting.
However, the drivers refused to fit it due to not having enough driving time so it was left in the middle of their path.
Legally, if your item was bought online, over the phone or by mail order, as a customer you have consumer returns rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations.
This gives you a cancellation period that starts the moment you place your order and ends 14 days from the day you receive your goods.
You then have a further 14 days from the date you notify the retailer that you would like to cancel your order to return the goods to them.
Most retailers also choose to provide a ‘goodwill’ returns policy offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns.
However, shops aren’t required by law to have a returns policy, but if they do, they must stick to it.
One customer faced bills that reached into the thousands after moving energy supplier
Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and nice list
Each week, I look at some of the companies that have fallen short of expected standards as well as those that have gone that extra mile for customers.
Miss: This week I heard from Philip who moved to Utilita from Eversmart for his energy supply when it went bust in September 2019.
When he took out the contract with Eversmart in August 2018, he was told that his annual bill would be £422.52 and was asked to pay £70.42 a month, which seemed to be normal.
However, over the next few months, he was told he had bills backdating for months meaning the grand total for his 13 months with Eversmart ended up at £2,498.05.
He continued to pay the monthly amount £70.42 until July 2020 when, after numerous calls and bills from Utilita, he agreed to pay £200 in August.
Philip also agreed with one of their customer service people to begin paying £100 a month until the matter was resolved but was astounded a few days later to receive a letter from them to say his monthly payments were going to be £583.14 from September.
He cancelled the direct debit immediately and spoke to complaints again but on November 20 his gas and electric were cut off with his wife and him spending the day and evening in near freezing conditions.
The next day he was forced to settle the whole bill which totalled £4,171.
This means since he started the contract with Eversmart in August 2018 he has paid £6,082.52.
This is an absolutely shocking amount and I have contacted Utilita for a response.
Whilst it is rare to be disconnected, it is possible, however, to leave two pensioners in the middle of winter without any electricity or gas is unacceptable.
It will likely be worth speaking to the Energy Ombudsman to resolve this.
Hit: On a happier note, Michael, from Stirling, wrote in to say what a good experience he had from Bose.
In September 2018, he bought a pair of Bose Soundsport wireless headphones from John Lewis which included a two year warranty.
In November this year – just two months out of the warranty date – they broke with the power and volume buttons falling off.
Michael called John Lewis to ask if there was anything they could do but they said no.
However, he called Bose and after providing the product serial number, the representative acknowledged that, although his headphones were two months out of warranty, he would send him brand new Bose Sport headphones free of charge, no questions asked.
Michael said: ‘I’m really glad I called as I was tempted not to bother as I was out of warranty and thought it might be a waste of time.’ Hear, hear.
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