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Live event: ask your questions about Consumer Rights – 3pm 19/8/21

We were joined by the Which? Consumer Rights team on 19 August 2021. Lauren, Luke, Adam and Hannah answered your Consumer Rights questions in the comments.

Monday 16 to Friday 20 August 2021 is ‘Customer Service Week’ here on Which? Conversation. We’ll be discussing the best and worst ways to get complaints dealt with throughout the week.

As part of the week-long takeover we were joined live by the team on Thursday 19 August at 3pm. They answered your questions in the comments – and there had been plenty of them over the years!

📄 Consumer Rights Q&A

🗓 3pm Thursday 19 August 2021

        

The event took place in the comments with the team’s answers appearing as text – it was not a live stream/Zoom meeting.

Check the comments for the team’s answers.

Comments

For years I have had problems with retailers pushing me to deal with manufacturers rather than accepting that I should be able take faulty goods back to the shop where I bought them. I appreciate that a manufacturer’s guarantee can provide additional benefits beyond our rights under the Consumer Rights Act but some staff have been adamant that I must contact the manufacture.

I’m keen that more people are aware of their rights and understand that the CRA is not a guarantee, but it would be very helpful if Which? provided a simple summary of the key responsibilities of retailers in a form (e.g. pdf) designed for printing from the website.

Lauren may remember me moaning about retailers a few years ago. 🙂

My first move would normally be to invoke the guarantee while it is within the time if there is a fault with a product. For other issues or for faults I believe are unacceptable but out of warranty I would attempt to exercise my CRA rights with the retailer.

I have been asked to send products back to the manufacturer, involving time and expense. I want to be able to simply return a product to the shop and let them take care of negotiations with the manufacturer. After six months a retailer could ask me to provide a report about the nature and cause of the problem but so far this has not happened.

Using a guarantee – a very rare occurrence – has not involved me in any great inconvenience. Less than returning to a distant shop. Just use the most convenient option, but guarantees almost always are longer than the CRA 6 month “simple” period. And you don’t normally need a report. The two are complementary. Take your pick.

Hi WaveChange,

Thank you for your comment and it’s important to know that this unfortunately happens daily.

After consulting with the experts in this hour Adam referred to a guidance document that was created in conjunction with Richer Sounds. I believe I’ve found a copy of this linked below, if that may be helpful:

https://www.richersounds.com/media/pdf/Consumer_Rights-6Yr_Supercare.pdf

This may be a useful start. Beyond this I think a suggestion may be to direct the retailer to our Which? Consumer Rights site, to ask them to consult their local Trading Standards or failing that directing them to get their own independent advice. I imagine even I would run into this issue in some instances, and I feel that persistence, confidence and confirming their liability is key.

I hope this helps,

James Shelton

Thanks very much for your reply, James.

This document is obviously on the Richer Sounds website but I could not find any link to it. That is a pity because it outlines our statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act. Nevertheless, Richer Sounds does provide a link to information about consumer rights on the Which? website, which goes into more detail. Most companies do not do that.

Debenhams was taken over by Boohoo last year.

As they are still using the Debenhams name, do we have any consumer rights over products bought from Debenhams before the takeover?

Isla says:
18 August 2021

I bought a high value electrical appliance online earlier this year. The seller arranged for a replacement to be shipped out, which I received after about a month due to stock shortages. However, the defective item has not been collected. No money has changed hands and I am satisfied with the replacement.

How long to I need to hold onto the defective appliance before I can dispose of it ,or ideally give it away to someone who could repair it? Is it 6 months?

Unfortunately not, Boohoo bought the brand name and website, but it is a totally different legal entity, so anything it does decide to honour will be entirely voluntary.

Interestingly the Law Commission has put out a consultation on updating the rules on when you own an online order that should mean more orders can be fulfilled when a retailer goes bust instead of joining the long list of unsecured creditors.

https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/consultation-to-update-victorian-era-rules-transfer-of-ownership-rules/

Hi Isla,

That’s annoying, you shouldn’t have to hold on to something you don’t want or need for so long, especially if you’ve already got your replacement.

In this instance you should give the retailer 28 days written notice to collect the item before doing anything with it. You can also try and send it back to the retailer with proof of postage to try and claim back the money spent having to do this.

Be wary though, the retailer may be able to bring a claim against you if you dispose of what is effectively their property.

In short, notify the retailer that you still have the product and get them to come and pick it up!

Hannah B says:
18 August 2021

If you were offered a voucher for a restaurant as a result of poor customer service at the end of 2019, valid for a year, but were unable to take it up – is it solely at the company’s discretion if they honour it?

Isla says:
18 August 2021

@Hannah B – I would say yes. You agreed to those terms (including the year’s validity) when you accepted the voucher as compensation for poor service. It could be classed as an ex-gratia payment in kind, there is no further legal liability. No harm in asking though.

Hi Hannah,

Thank you for your message.

Broadly speaking if the voucher was granted on a good will gesture basis with no admittance of liability, then the terms of the good will gesture will be key. If the vouchers do unfortunately only last a year, then you may be out of time.

I would, however, suggest returning to the company and asking them to extend the voucher briefly touching on your previous experience. This may persuade them to extend the timeframe on the voucher provided or issue a new voucher.

I hope this helps,

Yours sincerely,

James Shelton.

We bought a kitchen plus installation from John Lewis at a cost of £30,000. Right from the start they failed to give us confirmed dates for kitchen items to be delivered. The kitchen fitter arrived but was unable to complete sections as deliveries had not been made. I had tried to chase the project manager every day to find out status but he either didn’t respond or said he would get back and didn’t. By end of the week there was no response, I reached out and got hold of his manager and found out certain items were not even ordered. The kitchen remained finished. What is the best way to complain, and is it reasonable for me to ask for a part refund? They were also handling my kitchen floor and after 10 weeks still no kitchen floor.

Hi Tazeen,

Thank you for your message. I’m sorry to hear of the problems you’ve had with John Lewis.

The biggest consideration in a dispute of this kind I think is going to be the value and determining what is left to be complete.

In my view if you are dissatisfied in anyway then I would suggest submitting a formal written complaint to John Lewis setting out what you are looking for. I’d also suggest providing a bullet point list of things John Lewis should be doing to complete/finish your kitchen.

In moving beyond this and when quantifying your claim I think tailored advice will be necessary. With this in mind, please consider getting step by step advice from Which? Legal.

I’ve included some information about this below:

Tailored, affordable advice from experts on consumer contract disputes to help tackle your problem. £9.00 a month plus a £29.00 one-off joining fee. Service from W? Ltd

I hope this helps,

James Shelton
Which? Legal – Solicitor.

Hey all the consumer rights team will be with us today from 3pm. The event will take place in the comments with the team’s answers appearing as text – it is not a live stream/Zoom meeting.

If you’ve got a question related to your consumer rights, customer service, refunds or regulations, let us know in the comments in advance. Look forward to seeing you all there soon!

Charlotte Duberry says:
19 August 2021

Hi,

Any advice would be appreciated.

I have an HP laptop that was in warranty when it suffered from issues with the hinges – this happened at about the 10-month mark. Like all laptop providers, hinges are not covered by HP’s limited warranty, which I did not know. I also purchased an HP care pack, which I seemingly cannot use to claim.

According to HP, anything that happens to laptop hinges is due to external conditions – basically accidental damage. They state unless it has been recognised by the design team as a mechanical failure, then it cannot be a fault with their product. I have been back and forth with them and the only thing they can offer is a paid repair. They do not have an ADR scheme and complaints are handled in-house.

The customer relation team last stated ‘ your unit’s issue, fall under the exceptions mentioned in CRA 2015, as it was not caused by a faulty component. but rather due to external conditions. Therefore the only solution and resolution applicable is a paid repair and from (their) end there is no further action to take, therefore and following due process we will hereby close the escalation.’

I have had an independent report done and it claims my laptop has not suffered physical damage but the screws around the hinges have lost their thread due to wear and tear from opening and closing the laptop – as you do. In an article on HP’s website, they write that a midrange HP laptop should last 2-3 years. I have seen two accounts of hinge issues with my laptop model from other users too. HP has closed my case and will not go any further.

Do I have a case to challenge their decision or is it a lost cause?

If I do have a case, what are the next steps I should take?

Thanks

Hi Charlotte

Unfortunately yours is a common complaint we hear about warranties. It is essentially a contract between you and the manufacturer

Whatever it says is covered is covered, and whatever it says isn’t covered, isn’t.

The good news is it does not change your statutory right to ask the retailer you bought the laptop from to repair or replace it if it is faulty.

We’ve got a page linked below that explains more about your statutory rights, but essentially you should take it back to the retailer you bought it from and ask them to fix it. The fact you have gotten an independent report should help also.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-are-my-statutory-rights-and-when-do-they-apply-acif94x8QOoH

Charlotte Duberry says:
19 August 2021

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your response.

The trouble is that I purchased it from HP’s website. I have spoken to them about my consumer rights but they have responded with ‘your unit’s issue, fall under the exceptions mentioned in CRA 2015, as it was not caused by a faulty component. but rather due to external conditions. Therefore the only solution and resolution applicable is a paid repair and from (their) end there is no further action to take, therefore and following due process we will hereby close the escalation.’

Also, the report I have mentions wear and tear, which I was told by someone at Citizen Advice will be a problem for me. Though I think this should surely not happen before a year as you are supposed to open and close a laptop lid.

I have spoken to them multiple times regarding my rights but I keep getting the same answer.

Is it still worth pursuing? Is this something I should take to a small claims court?

hmmm – sounds like an impasse could have been reached.

The independent report you have is valuable evidence, but I always recommend speaking to a legal expert before pursuing small claims action. Small claims isn’t a quick process, and sometimes you can be better off getting repairs made independently.

If you paid using your credit card it will likely be quicker and easier to try a Section 75 claim first (https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act-aZCUb9i8Kwfa)

I would have thought such a failure would fall under the lack of reasonable “durability” provision given in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Why not pursue that as a claim? The “fault” may well be described as inadequate thread size on the hinge fixings, or insufficiently strong material into which they fix. This, unless there has been abuse, would be an HP problem not a user problem. Why not recommend pursuing that approach with a claims court action as the resolution if HP were uncooperative?

I would have thought such a failure would fall under the lack of reasonable “durability” provision given in the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Why not pursue that as a claim?

I am not a lawyer. Without in any way questioning the wisdom of Adam’s suggested Sec 75 approach, I concur Malcolm’s line, beit one more time at HP, Sec 75 or joint and several.

Small claims isn’t a quick process, and sometimes you can be better off getting repairs made independently.
Indeed. However, Money Claim On Line (MCOL) can be straightforward and reasonably quick if the defendant times out submitting a defence. But watch the fees.

Have you had an estimate to repair? It may not be exceptionally high if it is a sufficiently common problem – repair kits for the fault may well be available in the trade. If the actual cost of repair is low, HP may be banking on victory by attrition – and having been on the “case dismissed” end as plaintiff in a case where I was (wrongly) categorised as a vexatious litigant, a judge may be similarly minded for you if the collective costs for you and HP significantly exceed the size of prize had you simply gone ahead with the repair.

HP will not be out to prove a pint of principle, just what’s cheapest for them. If you lodge a MCOL they may well automatically defend which raises the ante for both sides (but in their case with retained lawyers, by precious little on a marginal basis).

Charlotte Duberr says:
20 August 2021

Unfortunately, I stupidly paid with PayPal and doubt they have an equivalent to a section 75. A mistake I wouldn’t make again.

The laptop was £499 and the repair was quoted, with a discount, £170.

Thank you all very much for your help, all your points have been very useful for me and I feel I now have a good strategy on how to proceed moving forward.

I will definitely go back to them with the durability angle and push with that before considering a legal route.

Thanks again!

Please could a member of the team give us some advice on making a claim against a retailer when a product has failed after the manufacturer’s guarantee has expired but within the five or six year period during which we can make a claim under the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act.

A common response by retailers is that ‘nothing can be done because the guarantee has expired’ or to refer the customer to the manufacturer, who has no legal responsibility (but can sometimes be helpful). Although the Which? website has useful advice on using rights our rights under the CRA, it lacks advice on how to make a claim for older products and how best to obtain the best outcome. Which? Legal has published some excellent examples of what can be achieved but some general advice on how to make a claim would be useful.

The truth is, the law doesn’t explain how you can prove the fault was present at the point of purchase, which can make it problematic when you’re asked to do so.

Official guidance tends to focus on getting an independent report from a repair shop or expert, but this advice dates back to a time when these were more commonplace on high streets. But it’s worth looking in your local area for a repair shop if you need to get an objective opinion.

Here are a few suggestions on what you can do:

If you can find a repair shop or expert to undertake an independent report on a defective product, it’s worth doing so as long as the cost isn’t disproportionate to the value of the product. It’s also worth checking that the retailer is happy with your choice of independent expert.

Are people on social media or forums (like W? convo!) complaining of the same fault? What about any reviewers or journalists? The more evidence you can collect about the faulty product and how widespread the defect is, the stronger your case will be.

If you paid with your credit card make a Section 75 claim.

If it’s a particularly high value product it might even be worthwhile consider a letter before action and small claims court.

There’s also the option of going down the sustainable route and getting it fixed, the Restart Project are often a good starting point https://therestartproject.org/

Thanks Adam. I’m unhappy with retailers simply turning consumers away or referring them to the manufacturer, when I think they should acknowledge that we have statutory rights under the CRA and outline the claims procedure. I’m surprised that I have never been asked for an independent report. You make a very good point about getting the retailer to approve your choice.

If I had a washing machine that failed just after the two year guarantee period I would have no hesitation in making a claim against the retailer because (assuming that I had not misused the machine) it seems reasonable to assume that the appliance should last longer than that, and a free or reduced price repair might be a reasonable solution.

I recall that there were numerous complaints about screens cracking on Sony Xperia phones, both on Conversation and elsewhere, but have no idea of whether they were worse than other phones. Social media is probably an easy way to informally collect information but getting expert opinion could be harder.

The reply from Adam does not mention an important requirement of the Consumer Rights Act. As proving a fault existed from new is often very difficult – and the failure may not be due to a “fault”, but poor choice of components or product design for example – another requirement is a product should be reasonably durable (given its price, for example). Which? seem very reluctant to mention this.

It may be necessary to threaten a claims court action if the retailer is not helpful, but show them the written requirement in the CRA 2015 first to show them it is a legal requirement.

A case is helped, of course, by quoting typical lives of similar products, and Which? does show some of these on its website – tvs, laptops, some domestic appliances for example. But it seems to me that clearcut cases are when a products fails just after the manufacturer’s fairly short guarantee has expired.

Hi Malcolm

We do address durability in our guidance on the Consumer Rights Act – copied below.

It’s really tricky to advise on durability in the broad terms with which we can provide advice as it can be quite subjective and very product/brand specific, and often the burden of proof will be on the consumer as durability issues will likely rear their head after the initial 6 months of ownership. Usually it is best left for 121 tailored advice, the kind that Which? Legal Services can provide.

— Consumer Rights’ Act guidance on durability below —-

One aspect of a product being of satisfactory quality is durability, in other words how long it lasts.

Durability takes into account many different factors like product type, brand reputation, price point and how it is advertised. For example you’re unlikely to be able to claim a cheap kettle that’s stopped working after four years isn’t durable. Whereas a more premium and expensive kettle that’s been well looked after and has stopped working after 14 months could be considered to not be durable, and therefore not of satisfactory quality.

Malcolm – It’s really up to the consumer to make a case supported by as much evidence as possible. It may be that a product has been subject to considerable wear & tear, for example a laptop computer that is opened and closed numerous times a day. It’s common for this to fracture one of the conductors in the ribbon cables linking the screen with the computer. Having seen examples of this problem and read about them, I generally leave my laptop open to reduce the risk and it goes to sleep after a minute or two. Cars can suffer the same problem when one of the wires connecting the tailgate to the car fractures due to repeated bending, resulting in failure of the heated rear window, rear windscreen wiper. or lights.

If the owner can gather information about their problem being commonplace, that could help achieve a good outcome if the case goes to court.

I would like to see more consumers making use of their statutory rights. You and I have the confidence to give it a go and neither of us has had to go to court.

The flexible wiring in laptops and car tailgates should be designed to withstand the flexing they will get in service from a reasonably heavy user. Same as the hinges on a laptop. As many laptops and cars withstand this treatment so should others. Just a question of d3cent design.

It’s worth checking for reports of problems with your laptop and your car, Malcolm. These problems are common. I had one car where a couple of wires broke and I had to repair them, but that was in the days when I opened the tailgate very frequently.

Another one from Colin about faulty PlayStation headphones from a previous discussion

“My wife bought my son headphones to use on his PlayStation from Sainsbury’s in March 2021. The headphones have become faulty and he can only hear from one side. My wife took them back to Sainsbury’s with the receipt but the manager refused to refund her or replace them as she doesn’t have the guarantee receipt. He also told her to contact the manufacturer to see if they could do something. Is this correct? I’ve tried speaking to Sainsbury’s customer service but they too tell me to go back to the store. Any advice will be most appreciated.”

When I contact a company as an existing customer I prefer to use email or, for a simple enquiry, the phone. Email makes it easy to keep a record of correspondence for as long as necessary and allows inclusion of photos and other files that could help provide evidence of a problem. Using a web form can take longer and there may be no direct way of adding attachments or recording the contents of the message. It is often difficult to find a phone number on websites because companies seem to prefer us to use other means of communication.

In another discussion, Adam French wrote: Schedule 2 of the Consumer Contracts Regulations sets out all the information and contact details online retailers are supposed to provide, although it has plenty of loopholes https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/2/made Among the requirements is that companies provide: “the geographical address at which the trader is established and, where available, the trader’s telephone number, fax number and e-mail address, to enable the consumer to contact the trader quickly and communicate efficiently”

Sometime completing a web form will result in a conventional email response, but the sending email address may or may not accept incoming email.

I have tried online chat a few times but my experience is that it is slow and can be difficult to keep a record of the correspondence. I am not keen on using social media for communication with companies.

I would be interested to know how many companies are seemingly able to deny our rights under the CCR. Better companies manage to put their customer service email and phone number under ‘Contact us’ on the homepage of their website.

I agree.

I won’t do business with companies that are difficult to contact.

I found it almost impossible to discuss an issue with British Gas recently and, improperly, had to use a route designed for special purposes which I would have preferred not to do.

A few days ago I needed to speak to BT and needed to receive a code via e-mail before I could proceed. Security and protection are vital elements but having to be logged in to e-mail while making a phone call is bordering on the ridiculous. I was subsequently asked to recall the amount on my last phone bill – I hadn’t a clue because I never open it.

Before sorting something out on the landline now I also have to have my PC open and my mobile to hand.

Is institutional ignorance the antonym of artificial intelligence?

I’ve yet to experience the BT approach, John.

It concerns me that John Lewis, which is widely regarded as a good retailer, insists on the use of a web form rather than providing an email address. If I use their form it will be to ask for a customer services email address.

I agree too.

I think spam is the big problem that businesses struggle to manage – risk of baby in bathwater – so while they broadcast at our email address they define a labyrinth for return comms to separate the wood from the trees. The trouble is of course this makes it hard for the likes of you and me who were brought up with personal attention and detest the modern cutthroat commercial lowest common denominator that the “progress” to on-line has inevitably led.

I have said many times, I am prepared to pay for good service. One example, I didn’t buy many suits in my working life, but always went to a pucker tailors – on recommendation from a works colleague – and never looked back. Was welcomed on first visit and each time thereafter. They measured me right and attended not only my non-standard paunch but also my idiosyncrasies (proper belt tunnels instead of those flimsy thin things, extra strengthening on one pocket. Even if it was 18 months since previous visit “… Good afternoon Mr Pittock lovely to see you”… The hallmark of personal service – and yes I probably paid double per suit compared to one off the peg from Marks and Sparks. That outfitter is still in business.

However, most other independents have gone to the wall as unable to compete on price.

Have you ever tried to phone a John Lewis store? In my experience you only get through to a call centre with no means of direct contact. So if I have seen, for example, a product in a particular store sale, ex display, damaged slightly for example and want to know more when I return home, how can I? If I want to see if something is in stock at my local store, the central centre appears not to be helpful if stock showing is less than 3, whereas phoning the shop could have checked and reserved it. Apparently when one is shown it might not actually exist for sale as it is probably the display one. Gone are those days when you could check, it seems. I’m not sure where this stands in the customer service league.

Another example where I support locally – a wine merchant. Big enough to be able to select – and personally provide tasting notes with conviction (with which I have agreed throughout). It’s been some months since I stocked up – and noticed one of my favourites was down to two bottles. I sent a very short email saying I’d be ordering later today and hoped these would still be available for me. Got a lovely reply back – in its entirety below save address details:

Hi Roger,

It’s great to hear from you again!

I was only driving through Xxxxxxx the other day when I thought I must get in touch with you to ask if you enjoyed the wines.

Yes, we are down to our last two bottles of the Pouilly-Fumé and similarly the last two cases of the Sancerre from Domaine de la Villaudiere. If you’d like to take your time when ordering I will happily remove those two bottles from the website for you and include them with your order?

I believe that we are out of stock now with the 2018 Cuvée Margaux, but we have recently imported their 2019 vintage. It is more fruit driven with a greater flavour intensity of red fruit but like all of Domaine de Cardon’s wines, it still has plenty of body with integrated tannins. We feel it’s a better vintage and would highly recommend it.

Should you wish to try any of our new wines before you order please let me know and I would be happy to arrange that for you.

Order placed – received a lovely personalised acknowledgement on top of the automated stuff – to identify precisely when I’d like the order delivered – and a doorbell will ring at 11:00 tomorrow morning :-).

Would that W?Local were still around I’d give them a shout on there.

Roger wrote: “I think spam is the big problem that businesses struggle to manage – risk of baby in bathwater – so while they broadcast at our email address they define a labyrinth for return comms to separate the wood from the trees.”

Spam has been given as a reason for not providing an email address but that’s a problem we all face, and the worst of spam can be dealt with by service providers these days. Another reason given is that some customers fail to provide essential information when using email to make contact. It would not be difficult to list the information that customers should include in correspondence.

Some companies do manage to provide email addresses for customer services and complaints.

Malcolm points out that it is difficult to check whether goods are in stock at John Lewis branches. Many companies do manage to provide this information online – even the infamous Currys, I believe.

I have discovered today that you cannot contact TV Licensing by phone or e-mail [except for payments for which there is a phone number] . The website forces you to use a ‘virtual assistant’ which eventually ends up telling you to send an e-mail but the ‘contact us’ link sends you back to where you started and the web form [that pretends to be an e-mail link] replies to say that within five days you will receive a code that will enable you to contact them by some other means as yet undisclosed!

I have decided to write to their HQ in Darlington and see whether that is any use.

After some fruitless searching I managed to find a phone number under ‘About us’:

How can I contact TV Licensing?
TV Licensing can be contacted via:
Our website at http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk
By our Contact us form
The post at: Customer Relations, TV Licensing, Darlington, DL98 1TL
Our call centre by phone on 0300 790 6096*

No joy with finding an email address, John.

Thanks Wavechange. That’s a more appropriate number than the one I found after wasting a considerable amount of time going round and round in circles in their spider’s website. I shall try it in the moaning and have a packed lunch with me.

My letter is on its way as a backstop.

“I shall try it in the moaning…” 🙂 Sometimes moaning is justified.

The spelling was no accident.

https://press.which.co.uk/whichpressreleases/delivery-dramas-and-return-nightmares-which-survey-reveals-the-best-and-worst-online-retailers-for-resolving-customer-complaints/
JD Sports, The Range, Homebase, Sports Direct, Funky Pigeon, Scan, Appliances Direct, Debenhams and Carphone Warehouse were all bottom of Which?’s rankings – receiving the same one star out of five for overall customer service.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho, morning Jon 🙂 . There is no mention of Currys PCW in this press release although I believe they also operate on line? Yet they are the only one who feature heavily with complaints in Conversations. Was their omission an error or are the many complaints we see here such a very small proportion of their sales that they don’t warrant a place?

Ah, I now see the full results in Which? News and if I dig down there is a complete table of results. https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/best-and-worst-shops/article/best-and-worst-shops-aELTV0b6P86n
Currys just miss the bottom group. They scored as follows (out of 5 stars):
Helpfulness of customer support staff 2
Speed of dealing with your issue/complaint 3
Making the issue-raising process straightforward Straightforward 2
Efficiency of resolving issues 2
Access to customer support 3
Overall customer service 2
Having, over the years, seen the reports from customers of how they have been dealt with by Currys then the bar for customer service must be set very low. Few of the above ratings seem to accord with what customers have reported here. Perhaps those reports have been ignored in the survey?

Currys have been the only retailer recently to have a warning put against them by Which? in view of the poor service reported. Do those who do the surveys not look this or at Convo reports?

Morning, Jon’s off today. Currys is on the list – you can see it in the second graphic (titled ‘the bottom half’), so it’s pretty far down. However the survey results rated it 2 stars overall – certainly not a good score, but better than the 1 star rating JD Sports, The Range, Homebase, Sports Direct, Funky Pigeon, Scan, Appliances Direct, Debenhams and Carphone Warehouse all received. The press release focuses specifically on the retailers scoring just 1 star.

@gmartin, Morning George, thanks. As I concluded in my comment I had then dug out more information from Which? News. Given the continual criticism of Curry’s by very dissatisfied customers I was surprised, as I say, to see it not at the bottom. The others must either be atrocious or we have gained the wrong impression of Currys PCW.

I do note this:
” Which? affiliate activity
How and why Which? uses affiliate links

We link to a number of external websites where you can buy products or services that we feature on our site. We do this to make it easier for you to complete your purchase and to earn commission revenue that supports our not-for-profit mission….

And those who pay commission include Appliances Direct, Carphone Warehouse, Homebase, Sports Direct, The Range – all condemned as the worst for customer service – as well as Currys.
This does seem to be a conflict. Surely Which? should not provide links to retailers that are known to give atrocious customer service? Or, if they do, add a warning of what to expect?

I think this has been asked a fair few times before – I can only really point back to the response Jon has given: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/currys-pc-world-complaints-faulty-goods/#comment-1617874

I think it bears repeating, as a number of responses to the comment you refer to explained.

Maybe Which? pointing to various suppliers of a product is helpful to some consumers, whereas others will be capable of doing their own search. However what I find difficult to understand is if Which? point consumers to suppliers that offer atrocious customer service and accept commission from them, without at least putting an explanatory warning against them. I saw a link to Appliances Direct for a washing machine; that could lead to an extremely bad customer experience.

I just think Which? should think a little harder about such matters. Certainly price should not be the only issue.

Many companies offer poor customer service compared with others but I hope that Which? will continue to push Trading Standards to take action is where the company is not complying with legal requirements. I hope that Which? will follow up the worst cases for evidence of non-compliance. It would be good to see some cases where Which? has helped members take companies to court where there is little doubt that they will be successful.

We frequently hear of cases where Which? Legal has helped members achieve a good result when faced with difficult companies. I cannot recall if any cases relate to Currys.

From the comments made in Convos about Currys, a fair proportion seem to show a contravention of the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act. That is illegal and open to prosecution. I am not aware of any action by Which? or Trading Standards to instigate this. So bad practice can continue unabated.

They do indeed but it is obviously necessary to select cases that can be supported with good evidence. I wonder how many of those who have complained on Conversation have taken their case to Which? Legal.