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Smooth refunds: what’s your best service experience?

We’re always quick to highlight when companies aren’t giving consumers the experience they deserve, and rightly so. But sometimes things do go well – what’s been your best customer service experience?

When you work at Which? you’re always on the lookout for areas where companies can improve – after a few years it just gets hard-wired into you, and that’s especially true for Which? Conversation.

But sometimes companies do get things right, and a good customer service experience is just as worth highlighting as a bad one, and I was pleasantly surprised to experience one just a couple of weeks ago.

Graphics power

I own a pretty powerful laptop that’s usually more than capable of holding its own when it comes to modern PC games, but it’s not a gaming laptop by nature.

Like with most products these days, the game I was buying from the Steam Store was a digital download – you don’t get anything physical for your money. 

I didn’t realise at the time that this game’s recommended graphics card was a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD RX 480, while even the minimum is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050.

Sorry for the techno-jargon, but when you look at the numbers you’ll see where the problem was – my laptop has a GTX 960m – slightly undercooked when you look at those higher numbers above!

Inevitably I ran into graphical problems to the point where the game was pretty much unplayable. Even with the settings turned down it was struggling, so I set about applying for a refund.

Refund processed

But this was my mistake after all, and it wasn’t like I could just return it to a shop – would this be a simple process? Would I need to uninstall it and state what had gone wrong?

Fortunately the store’s policy is that if you’ve played the game (or indeed, any game) for under two hours and decided it wasn’t for you, you can apply for a refund.

I did so, selecting performance issues as the reason, and within minutes received a confirmation. The very same day the refund had been processed and the money was back in my account less than a week later – as simple as that.

No grappling, no long-winded email exchanges, just a smooth process with no issues at all. I was so pleased with the experience that it’s made me a lot more confident in my online purchases from them, and much more likely to use them again.

Over to you

Have you had an unexpectedly smooth customer service experience? Perhaps someone went above and beyond to get your problem sorted, or maybe, like me, you simply found a relatively automated process to be surprisingly hassle-free.

Either way, let’s shine a light on some of the companies getting things right.

Averil Patel says:
7 August 2018

I flew with easyJet for the first time and experienced a 3.5 hour delay on the outward bound flight and 1.5 hours on the return (for only a weekend break). Needless to say I was not impressed and said I’d never fly with them again by choice. I filled in the easyJet online compensation claim form not expecting any great results (I honestly expected a protracted battle), but within just 2 minutes of submitting the form I received an email confirming they would be refunding me more than the cost of my return ticket, although it could take 7-14 days to receive the money into my bank. So far they’ve redeemed themselves (provided of course the money does hit my account), so I may give them another try after all.

For your next Easyjet flight it might be worth picking a day when long delays are inevitable!

Not a refund, but a free part. The condensate pump on my gas boiler has a non-return valve on the vertical drain pipe. When the pump would not turn off as it should it turned out the reservoir was not emptying and having removed the non-return valve it seemed blocked, but cleaning didn’t cure it. i emailed the manufacturer, they gave me their main stockist contact details and one day later a new valve arrived in the post, free of charge. All works now. Nice to find helpful businesses and people; I think there are more around than some think.

I had a motorised valve on my central heating system fail a couple of years ago. It should have been an easy job to replace the control head without disturbing the plumbing but I could find no spare parts listed. I called the company and they explained that they had changed their supplier years ago and I would have to change the valve. When I explained that I knew that it was just the motor that had died I was told that most of these valves used the same motor, irrespective of brand. I bought a spare motor from Screwfix and it was easy to fit, saving the cost of a new valve and the hassle of draining the heating system.

It’s often assumed that all work on gas central heating systems should only be done by Gas Safe-registered engineers but some parts such as pumps, valves and accumulator tanks are outside the sealed boiler casing. In my case the faulty valve was in the airing cupboard.

I posted earlier about Apple providing an expensive repair for a computer that was three and a half years old and only had a one year guarantee: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/apple-ripping-off-replacement-batteries/#comment-1530769

I ordered a large banner for a small charity from a small local company and when I went to collect it was given two for the price of one. One of the banners had a tiny imperfection that I would not have seen if it had not been pointed out.

So far, I have had the best experience with ASOS. I have been shopping there for years and never had any issues to get a refund from them. Not to mention their user-friendly customer services! Maybe it’s luck, but never ever had any issues with this online retailer.

I often wonder if I’ve had good luck as well. Asos, for one has always been very good with returns. They say you’ll get a refund within 7 days, and I’ve never had to wait longer. I also recently returned 4 items to Boohoo. I got an email confirming 3 out of the 4 refunded. I was not happy at all and thought I would need to get some consumer rights knowledge out. They asked to see the proof of postage, which I showed, and apologised and refunded the additional item.

I know that this isn’t always the case with retailers, so perhaps I have been lucky.

Two people are lucky with ASOS, such positive statistics so far!

A bit off topic, but I also like how their clothes are actually AS ON SCREEN, ASOS does live up to its name.

Ocado tends to give refunds easily in my experience. If there’s an issue with my shopping delivery, I can either call them, email them, chat them, or just go into the website and request a refund. No quibbles and no fuss.

Of course, I’d prefer to get my eggs in one piece, but we can’t have everything.