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Have you been let down by Currys PC World?

We received more than 1,700 complaints about Currys PC World through our faulty goods tool this year. Have you experienced problems with your order?

Alison, an NHS key worker, is one of many Currys customers who has been left with a faulty machine during the pandemic. When her washing machine began to leak, she told us:

“The hall and kitchen were flooded. The dryer cuts out every time you put it on too, it doesn’t do a full cycle, it’s not fit-for-purpose at all.

I work for the NHS, so I have to wash my uniform every night because of coronavirus. I’ve also been washing my stuff in the sink, but I can’t do that in the winter, it will be mouldy before it dries”

Currys PC World instructed Alison to get in touch with the manufacturer to organise an engineer visit to confirm the appliance was faulty.

Guide: Consumer Rights Act 2015

Despite numerous engineer visits and attempts to repair the leak, Alison continued to experience faults with the machine, and only used the machine on a low cycle for fear of it leaking again.

“I can’t leave the washing machine. It’s put me under so much stress, having to stand in the kitchen and watch it. I’m cross that people can treat me in such a cavalier way. All I want is my washing machine so I can get on with my life”

We got in touch with Currys and it arranged to remove and exchange Alison’s faulty machine for a more expensive model. It said:

“We are very sorry to hear about our customer’s ongoing experience with her appliance and for the manufacturer’s delay in confirming the fault, a necessary part of the process that allows us to exchange a faulty machine”

A litany of Currys complaints

Unfortunately Alison isn’t alone in her poor experience with Currys.

Scores of other customers have complained about faulty goods, missing deliveries and poor customer service since the beginning of lockdown.

We received more than 1,700 complaints about Currys PC World through our faulty goods tool between January and October this year.

One in 10 faulty goods complaints sent to us between these dates was about Currys, compared with one in 20 in the previous 10 months.

And prior to this, we heard from a string of customers who have been ripped off by Currys’ Knowhow set-up service.

‘Unprecedented demands for products’

Currys told us:

We are truly sorry to customers who haven’t received the standard of customer service we expect of ourselves. While we are fulfilling the vast majority of our services successfully, we appreciate that one complaint is one too many”

It says it’s experienced unprecedented demand for products during the pandemic and has had to adopt new ways of working since the first national lockdown, such as new training, launching a new webchat function and upgrading its systems to ensure refunds and returns are processed as quickly as possible.

If you’ve experienced poor service from Currys, we want to hear from you in the comments below.

Whether it’s with a faulty product, a delayed delivery, or poor customer service – let us know what happened.

Which is more important to you: a good deal on a product, or good aftersales customer service?
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Comments

I’m so glad to see this forum. I bought a printer and have tried to contact Currys PC world re a refund as it is faulty. Other than being given 3 different explanations, it refuses to do anything saying it is the manufacturer’s problem and nothing to do with it. Wrong wrong wrong on every law. Why is Trading Standards not looking at this company? Maybe if everyone on this forum put in a complaint to TS it would. I’m astonished that this is happening in the UK without any form of apparent recourse.

We need an association of consumers that makes us as powerful as the organisations we have to deal with. Any ideas?

That would be nice but shouldn’t we also have a government that is prepared to fund Trading Standards to take action for individuals?

I once provided the local TS with evidence that a company had committed fraud but they would not act unless they heard of more cases. Fortunately I managed to get my money back by telling the trader that I had contacted TS.

As we have said many times. We need a publicly accessible Trading Standards organisation, at national level for UK wide problems, and at local level for issues only on our doorstep.

However, until that happens, we could employ other organisations to help consumers. Do they exist?

Hello

I’ve done some further research, having read a number of the reviews on here. I’ve emailed the company explaining that I have also posted a review on Trustpilot. Currys is part of Dixons Carphone. If everyone on here, who has a complaint about its refusal to refund or exchange, emailed they’d be forced to accept that they have a problem with their inappropriately named “customer services”… this is arguably unlawful behaviour when it is suggesting that it does not have to deal with issues that fall within its legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. At best, they are providing misleading and inaccurate information.

The Directors can be contacted by email (and I copied in BBC Watchdog to my email as well –
watchdog@bbc.co.uk):

alexander.baldock@dixonscarphone.com

tim.morris14@dixonscarphone.com – Head of Complaints

SCCCustomerSolutionsTeam@teamknowhow.com – CEO Resolution Team

You know they have breached their contract with you. You know your legal rights. Why are you not taking action to enforce the rights you know you have rather than waiting for someone else to do it for you? The state has already provided a system by which one contracting party can claim the other is in the wrong. Lots of people find Currys hard to deal with ( including manufacturers) . But they are not above the law and if you take action they will probably crumble and provide the recompense you are entitled to. They don’t want judgements against them nor to spend time dealing with court cases.

This is the link where you start from. It’s a bit long winded but if you went to trading standards or anywhere else they would probably ask you all the same questions. https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money. The only thing I would say is that it is best to write to Currys first telling them what you plan to do and giving them a period to compensate you before you start action against them.

See below. Not waiting for any one to do it for me but Trading Standards does exist for a reason!

Ld – I expect you have found out by now that trading standards is no longer a public-facing organisation. You have to approach it via Citizens Advice who would probably have assisted you administratively [consumer rights information, template correspondence, guidance] but, so far as I know, they do not take enforcement action. The fact is that ‘trading standards’ barely exists now and few local authorities still have a trading standards/consumer protection service directly available to the public.

I gather that, following the advice given by David Brush, you have now received a refund from Currys PC World. Well done – and thanks for sharing your experience.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 April 2021

” Why is Trading Standards not looking at this company? ”

Why is Which? acting solely as a sounding box? In February in a weekly email it actually recommended buying two items from CurrysPCW as they were the cheapest supplier. Cheap is not the best criteria for shopping.

In Austrlaia the consumer champion there instituted the Shonky Awards [in English that would be the Shoddy Awards] to highlight companies that were doing the dirty on customers. W? has avoided this despite it being a very powerful and public weapon against companies.

I realise that it is not the inanimate “Company” that creates systems that deter the public, that feed their staff lies to regurgitate to customers – it is the Board of the company that arranges matters.

Few people realise that for most of the last decade Which? Ltd was run by businessmen and heading the Board was Mike Clasper a multimillionaire businessman. During this time W? moved heavily towards becoming a business and invested in two ventures that collectively failed to the tune of £40m.

The energy amd money expended on these ventures took W? further away from its charity roots and the control of the elected Trustees of the Consumer Association who own Which?

As a reader here you may wish to consider that the self-proclaimed consumer champion needs YOU to take an interest in what is happening to the largest UK consumer charity. Possibly I am wrong but the failure of W? to mention early the leasehold scandal is but one instance of several where being uncritical has cost consumers dear or aided the continuation of poor practices.

TO become a full member [by guarantee of 50p] of the charity should be your aim as then recieving the Accounts and the Annual Report you may also become a guardian of the original aims. Paying £2.24m as a bonus to four staff is not what charitities do apart from when businessmen have taken control.

Perhaps the current Trustees need to realise that with a destroyed Trading Standards organisation W? desparately needs to up its game by introducing Shoddy Awards to publicise the wrongs and also to illustrate that W? does have some bite rather than being a bottomless pit of Conversations.

Patrick – that is a really interesting post. I have long found Which? a useful source of information and advice ( though not always agreeing with its preoccupations and the things it regards as important). But as an organisation to act on our behalf on anything and everything? Especially for individual case by case grievances. I think that is a pipedream. I think collective action and mutual support only really work when the focus of action is much more narrowly drawn.

Patrick – The danger of Which? going down the road of making shoddy awards is, I believe, that it could be sued for defamation. I don’t want my membership money being used to in legal battles.

My criticism of government for running down Trading Standards is emphatically not political since the opposition has, as far as I know, done little or nothing to reverse the decline. National Trading Standards attempts to keep large companies on track through Primary Authority agreements, generally with a single TS office. Which? provides advice to government and its agencies and has produced some excellent reports, but it’s difficult to know if this advice is heeded.

I share David’s view that we cannot expect Which? to tackle anything and everything on our behalf. It simply does not have the resources, hence the need to focus and prioritise. Perhaps we should encourage those who have problems with Currys to make use of the affordable Which? Legal service. Publishing the outcome of selected cases could help other customers who have been let down.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 April 2021

As a member for 30 years I also think W? is a good resource and there are some areas where it does not duplicate other bodies/charities and is therefore of some value. Given its duplication of the Citizens Advice pages on legal matters one wonders if sharing the load might be helpful to all. However W? with an income of £100m I think it fights well below its capabilities.

Unlike most people I have actually been a member of three other consumer bodies and drop in on two others. Choice of Australia when I last saw its accounts was turning over around £10m yet was hugely more effect than W? and I have suggested over the last decade that we adopt some of their methods. Their version of conversations is hugely more inclusive and useful as members of the public can start conversations and anyone can join for free and add to the topic.

If you are a sensible persons after a while your contributions will not be checked unduly but as a beginner your contributions have to be to the topic. Contributors also get a running record of their postings and approval from other members. A weekly update showing new topics is another useful thing. I recommend anyone reading here have a look and if you disagree let us know here why.

See how this perennial topic gets dealt with:
choice.community/t/oven-door-shattering-has-this-ever-happened-to-you/12929/55

The other consumer bodies I am or have been a member of are ConsumerReports of the USA and Que Choisir of France. Que Choisir punches above its weight and has at around 150,000 members the same as Choice. ConsumerReports is huge and to be honest the least use to Europeans but remarkably cheap. In fact all of them are cheaper than W? by a considerable margin.

I also look at the Dutch Consumentenbond for which I have great respect and the German test.de which apparently was the third most trusted organisation in Germany. They do serious testing like running washing machines for 6 months continuously to establish longevity.

Now you talk of “everything and anything” and “individual cases” as problematic. I agree. The point is where there are problems affecting thousands W? fails to spot them even if they are being covered by the general media.

For instance the penchant for the major builders in shoddy completions has been known for decades. In Holland the gitation resulted in a change in the law so that builders received 95% of the sale price with the 5% retention held against fixing snagging issues. Simple and elegant.

The matter of those unfair lease agreements was raised for at least a decade by the Guardian and other sources in Scotland before it relly hit the news when the Nationwide Building Society said it would not lend on such properties. Just think nil coverage for a decade on a matter deeply affecting tens of thousands ….. consumer champion or ostrich? I should point out one of the Trustees was a beneficiary of thousands of agreements with the major housebuilders as Chairman of GreenBelt Group a fact mentioned in the Scottish media and the Company in Parliament. You can view some problems on Trustpilot and on other internet sites.

You would think that a current case concerning a national company lying about contracts entered into at times in the last decade would be of great interest to all consumers. If I promise you free eye-tests for life following laser surgery and then decide to break that promise is that not of great importance? Should Optical Express become invisible to concerned consumers or should the case be commented on?

So as you see I am not advocating taking individual cases up – unless of course W? felt a test case would be a great education for the public and the business community.

I would add that consumers all over the world do face similar problems and we should be as a matter of course looking at the best solutions out there that help consumers and lobbying for them if there is a significant benefit.

Patrick – The danger of Which? going down the road of making shoddy awards is, I believe, that it could be sued for defamation. I don’t want my membership money being used to in legal battles.”

It already does this, in more than one way. It makes products “don’t buys”. It lists retailers, from different categories, from time to time from good to bad. As for defamation, it warns us not to buy certain products that claim to meet UK/EU safety standards but that Which? (contracted out) tests say do not. If they are wrong I suspect they could be taken to court.

Why are we (they?) frightened of being sued? They are a professional organisation with expert reporters and a legal team. Therefore they should know when they have a robust case. They certainly get plenty of reports from the general public on which to base an investigation or challenge. I don’t know who reads Private Eye but that just shows what can be done by proper investigation and reporting. They survive against the rich and powerful.

And Which? have an income, from members subscriptions that we pay to it to do a job for us, of around £100 million a year, out of which they pay extremely generous salaries to their staff and, no doubt, high headquarters costs in prime central London. They should use that money to be equally generous to their members by “making them as powerful as the organisations they have to deal with” and holding delinquent organisations to account.

The incompetence and ill-considered ventures like the India debacle and quite unnecessary Mortgage Advisers that lost £40 million and large directors bonuses are, hopefully, a thing of the past but show what inappropriate management can do with ineffectual control. Time to show now that it has the teeth to act on behalf of consumers and has lost the obsession with chasing fringe income. Recruit more members by offering a product and a service they want.

I wish it had some competition.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 April 2021

Wavechange – As far as I know W? Legal Services provides exactly the same advice as Citizens Advice – they do not ake action on your behalf. Here Que Choisir provides me with my annual subscription the ability to confer with a solicitor twice a year. The local department groups also launch actions and write up their local members cases in the national monthly magazine. Seems a tad more hands on?

” The danger of Which? going down the road of making shoddy awards is, I believe, that it could be sued for defamation. I don’t want my membership money being used to in legal battles. ”

Defamation ? If you and I and thousands of others agree that CurrysPCW delivers appalling service then we are not allowed to declare our opinion? I find that concept extremely unlikely given W? continually publishes surveys saying who offers the worst service, or indeed reports that one product is inferior to another.

Perhaps on reflection you will see that your fears are groundless. Stiftung Warentest, test.de, have only ever lost one court case in 50 years on such a thing and that hinged on something they stated as fact which was unprovable.

As for priorities and resources I read the Accounts, sometimes I get to see the Annual Report, but I know full well that Which? has high overheads and compared to vastly poorer consumer bodies is ineffective. Please look at Choice to see what they manage on a minuscule amount.

I refer to Ethical Consumer with a staff of ten where the budget was the same as Vicary-Smith had as salary AFAIR £435,000.

Wc , over the years I forget, are you someone who recieves the Accounts as a Guarantor of the charity?

Patrick – I appreciate that the Which? Legal service does not take action on behalf of behalf of its members but through its involvement of cases it does gain an insight into consumer problems. Some of the cases are reported in the magazine and on Conversation. I hope that they encourage others to use the service or to fight the battles themselves, which has been my approach so far.

We only hear one side of the story in complaints about companies such as Currys but I believe there would be a good opportunity to assemble clear evidence of breach of consumer law. What I don’t know is whether Trading Standards would take any action.

Patrick Taylor said: Defamation ? If you and I and thousands of others agree that CurrysPCW delivers appalling service then we are not allowed to declare our opinion?

The UK is widely viewed as the most desirable place to launch defamation actions. It’s so popular that it’s given rise to the term “Libel tourism“. Although the British legal system is reacting – slowly as always – I can understand why Which? is perhaps being over-cautious. On the other hand, Which? is still essentially controlled by Which? Ltd and the cultural inertia with which the institution is shackled continues to prevent any real progress being made as long as the prime internal aim remains focussed on income.

I am happy to subscribe to Which? Legal in case I need personal advice. That is no substitute for Which? taking “collective action” when many consumers have suffered similar detriment. Some have been pleased that Which? now has that ability; it seems odd to support that on the one hand but reject it on the other.

I totally agree that we should see the “other side of the story”. Which? are not always good at providing balance. In the case of Currys I contacted their CEO, pointed out the many complaints over several years of both, allegedly, poor customer service but, more importantly, apparent denial of customers’ legal rights. I linked to the Conversation and suggested they might like to respond. So far they have not. (Why should they respond to a lone voice?). There was an exchange of a few emails but they only wanted to know if I was a customer with a specific complaint; they seemingly cannot understand an email. Maybe they would feel it more in their interests to respond if an organisation representing 600 000 consumers made a more robust approach?

Many Which? Members no doubt just want a monthly magazine and a quiet life. Any organisation could do that. I suspect, though, that many Members also want someone to stand up for their rights.

Hello. I don’t need legal advice but thanks to those who have pointed out how to do it. I am not waiting either for anyone to take action on my behalf, I was simply sharing information given the number of complaints on this forum about the same issue.

I contacted Currys as mentioned using the emails I’ve shared.

I’ve had a refund. Job done.

But the greater the number of people who do complain, the better the outcome is likely to be for everyone collectively, that was my point.

No company can take a position to repeatedly ignore so many individuals if it wants to continue to stay in business.

Unfortunately not enough people do take any action and these companies do stay in business.

Patrick Taylor says:
11 April 2021

There are members of our society who are not capable of comprehending what action is required, often the aged, and I am not a fan of leaving those people to dfend for themselves. A civilised society tries to look after all its citizens and not leave them to the mercy of companies playing games with the system.

I am dealing with a German company and as part of their details it tells me which local court they come under. Interesting – how do things work in Germany that this is a requirement? !!

John Hamilton says:
13 April 2021

The Brighton, Old Shoreham Road store is just awful. I went there today hoping to buy a vacuum cleaner – as I arrived in the car park I remembered what awful service I received the last time I was there. Thought I’d give it a go….. Was told that I’d have to wait half an hour to spend my £200!

Not enough staff! I will NEVER ever use them again. Previous visit a female manager was so rude to me – again I was trying to spend ££££s on a laptop, but they didn’t seem to want my money.

3 months on and I’m still waiting for the rest of a refund I was owed back in January calling in just doesn’t do anything anymore.

I got in contact to exchange a faulty product I received in December last year. But they booked in the wrong order.

I called and they promised that they had corrected the issue, the delivery man picked up and have me a tracking number for the original wrong order. I called in again and was told they they would add a note to the incoming order for the warehouse.

It arrived in the warehouse and they refunded the wrong amount. Now out £200 I’ve reached out 4 more times always getting the same answer. “Sorry but I can’t see anything on our end I’ll begin the process now for you”

I’ve had to unfortunately raise a case in small claims court because of it. I’m just tired of being used as a cash cow. I work in finance and I desperately needed the large display for my work. But this has meant that I have had to pull long shifts on a screen far too small and I believe I have now damaged my eyes irreversibly due to strain.

Patrick Taylor says:
14 April 2021

Looking at Trustpilot analytics for CurrysPCWorld there has been an amazing rise in people fully satisfied over the last few months such that it is now rated a 3 out of 5 business. Apart from the curious number of positives elicited the analytics say Currys respond to 98% of the adverse comments !!!! I have never seen one reply.

Of course having a product delivered following an order is not really a 5 star event which suggests that there should be a specific code separate from the star values to record trouble free transactions versus problematic. Obviously this could be done manually by a researcher but does tend to indicate the current system is rather crude and favours manipulation.

The open Dutch system where major companies and customers correspond on a public forum has to be seen as a potentially much better system for consumers. I doubt Currys would/could join such a system but the likes of Richer Sounds, and AO would certainly look to demonstrate their superior customer service.

“KLACHTENKOMPASS: This is an online forum established by the Consumentenbond [equiv of WHich?] which allows a consumer to file a dispute with a company and for the company to reply either with corrective action or to deny the claim. All communication is public record.

DE GESCHILLENCOMMISSIE: This is the Dutch complaints board for consumers in Holland to file a grievance against a company they have purchased from in the Netherlands.

Patrick Taylor says:
14 April 2021

Incidentally this is an interesting comment on Currys systems:
“Stock levels. An item says ‘not available for delivery’ but it can be collected. I searched for a nearby store. It said ‘not available nearby’, so I expanded to the next furthest stores, again it said not available. I kept expanding the search over and over until I had covered the entire country. Then it said ‘not available in any store’. In other words, it was not in stock and I had wasted time finding out. I then did a ‘chat bot’ and asked about stock and it suggests you click on the link on the product page to inform you when stock is available. There is no link.”

Derek says:
16 April 2021

I was due a delivery of a large item, yesterday, the driver called at 2pm stating that the delivery had been rescheduled to the following day, nearly 1pm the following day I’d heard nothing so rang customer services, they told me that the delivery was rescheduled for the day after! WTF! Out of principle I cancelled the order, if they don’t treat the customer like a customer and put out incorrect and poor communication via the delivery side, then my money will go to someone else, I don’t care if someone else is more expensive. I can’t abide poor service and poor communication. I won’t even consider Curry’s for future purchases, slap happy unprofessional delivery service, no thanks!

Jamie Hay says:
19 April 2021

I have had a terrible time with curry’s..

I bought a tv in December which I was so happy with but had a nightmare with delivery etc.. when I moved the tv wouldn’t come on and can assure you it was carefully moved and didn’t have a scratch on it it was only 3 months old… I have evidence that the tv was in as new condition.. they assured me it would be refunded and talked me into buying a new tv an upgraded version..

I then bought the new tv and was offered it for a lower price but then was told i couldn’t have it at that price and charged the full amount.. after weeks of complaining I eventually got it at the originally sold price as it was effectively missold..

However I was told the old tv would be returned without refund or repair with no explanation as to why..

I have since spent 2 weeks of calls every day to speak to the relevant team but I keep getting fobbed off..

I am disabled and can’t take deliverys easily and this has been ignored..

I then had a fault with the new tv the sound isn’t right and the screen is so dark..

They refused to refund me on the new tv as I don’t have the box even though it is faulty and within the 30 days of origin…

So I’m down the amount of two TVs with nothing to watch..

I was told I could have the exact tv as a swap but nothing else..

I declined.. I wanted to speak to a manager but no one calls me back and when I waited on hold for 2 hours the manager I spoke to said he needed to pass it on to someone else as no notes on case..

Absolute shambles and still isn’t sorted out..

This has caused me great stress and anxiety and I suffer with serious mental health issues and mobility issues..

I am unable to have sky installed and the tv is pretty much all I can do in my recovery state..

My complaints have not been dealt with properly and still no clearer as to what is going on..

They simply want to land the old tv back on me without explanation when I’d struggle to accept the delivery and just ignore the rules surrounding the collection of the new one for the refund..

Going out of my mind and will never use them again.. what an awful company..

Sorry to hear your story Jamie. Emailing the top of an organisation often brings results.
https://www.ceoemail.com/

Be nice (not easy in your circumstances), polite, truthful and upset. The person you will have contact with is not directly responsible for your situation so give them a chance to sort you out.

John, having been the recipient of a few damaged, broken or already-used items over the last year from various companies, I think this is a result of home-shopping and returned products. Items that come to mind as rejected are a fan, bread machine and PC monitor.

Alfa, it might work. But, when I emailed their CEO about the many complaints posted in the Which? Conversation, his “team” had no interest.

I noticed in the Daily Telegraph [Saturday 17/04/21 edition] that a problem with Currys PC World had been dealt with by their consumer problem adviser. It was similar to many that have been reported here. The adviser had taken the case up at a high level within CPCW and obtained a satisfactory resolution together with an apology for poor customer service. Maybe people should be advised to send these problems to the press which seem capable of achieving useful results. The company appears to be most obliging when it is likely to be exposed to public criticism by the media.

I am surprised that by now Which? has not had any engagement with senior management over the hundreds of complaints that have come in – not to resolve individual problems, for that would not normally be Which?’s role, but in order to get to the bottom of what is going wrong within the organisation and its culture causing so much dissatisfaction across so many of its branches. These are not isolated incidents but part of a pattern of deliberate management authorised or incentivised behaviour. It would also be worth Which? exploring why CPCW delivers so many faulty goods in the first place, and even after so-called technical attention.

But John, Which? have written to Currys PCW – at least twice I think in the last 4 years – and been assured, they tell us, that things would be put right. So what more can they do…………..? Perhaps some of their Members might pass on some good ideas?

I think those two brushes with Currys were to do with the miss-selling of laptops, Malcolm. I don’t think they have been exposed to the full wrath of Which? on the most vexing issue of the rotten customer experiences with the purchase of domestic appliances.

Andy Jones says:
19 April 2021

I purchased a dishwasher for £270 from Curry’s in November 2019 (16 months ago). The dishwasher runs continuously, never stops. I contacted Curry’s, not the slightest interested. Contacted Hotpoint who made it; not interested even though they accepted it was probably a controller fault. I explained I felt it was inherently dangerous to have a machine that never switches off. Neither company was bothered by this. I am resolved to go down the Small Claim route; such utter disregard for the customer is disappointing and at least I can make them incur some costs. The current legal remedies are to be honest utterly inadequate.