Dear Mr Browett, Your service is disgraceful

25 06 2011

Followers of my twitter stream will have seen that I had a particularly poor experience with Knowhow, the delivery service of Currys. I always think I write a good complaint letter, however, this one is one of my best! I have redacted names in fairness to the individuals but I hope you enjoy my prose. I’ll keep you updated on the response from Mr Browett in due course.

FAO John Browett
Chief Executive Officer
Via Currys Customer Services
PO Box 1684
Sheffield
S2 5YA

Dear Mr Browett,

Reference Number 7449xxxxxx

I am writing to complain concerning the disgraceful service that I have received from your delivery teams and your telephony customer service.

If you should care to review the order you will note it included a sum of £15.00 for “Laundry Install” and £26.00 for something laughingly called “Time to Suit Delivery Service”. I specifically requested the Time to Suit Delivery Service as I had plans to attend an event at mid-day which required a 30 minute travel time, this gave me plenty of time to both have the washing machine delivered and installed and attend the event I had planned. Unfortunately the planning of your logistics company is not as advanced as mine is.

At 11:02 I called the number on the knowhow track it page which was still stating that my order would be delivered between 09:00 and 10:59 – I took the options to talk to someone about my delivery and was only provided with a recorded message telling me that my order would be delivered between the above hours and did not allow me any break-out option to speak to an agent. Therefore Complaint Number One I would like you to respond to is “Why do you not provide an option to speak to an agent to respond to customer concerns on their delivery which they have paid an additional fee for?”. I therefore had to re-call (at additional cost) and didn’t take any options so that I guaranteed I could speak to someone (I do work in the call centre industry and know that this is the way around poorly designed IVR systems). I encountered an agent who firstly could not get the right order details, despite me clearly articulating the number, and I was forced to listen to his mutterings on why the system wasn’t doing what he expected it to. I was advised at this point that there had been a problem at the delivery centre and they were running late, I asked the obvious question as to why I had not been informed of this and I am still waiting for the answer, therefore Complaint Number Two is “Why do you not contact customers who have paid an additional fee for specific delivery times when you know that you are not going to meet these delivery times?” I explained that this had ruined my plans and I was not happy and asked what he would do to compensate me for this fact. I was advised that he would refund the fee for the delivery times to which I responded this was not good enough and I wanted additional compensation for the impact it has had on the res of my day. I was told that this was not possible so I asked to speak to a manager, xxxxx xxxxxxx. Mr xxxxxxx repeated the comments of the earlier agent and despite agreeing that the service was poor he confirmed he would only refund the fee for the service I had not received and wouldn’t consider any offer of compensation for the impact on my day. Therefore Complaint Number Three is “Why are your policies so rigid that you do not give either agents or managers the ability to compensate customers for obviously poor service?” During the call I received a call at 11:10 from the delivery driver advising me that they would be there in ten minutes – there was no hint of an apology to explain why they were late. For the remainder of the conversation with Mr xxxxxxx I advised that I felt entitled to additional compensation as I had not received the stated product of Time to Suit Delivery service and effectively I was only reverted back to the position of any other customer, Mr xxxxxxx told me that this was not the case as I was getting Free Delivery which is not available to other customers – I advised that delivery was free to customers only to be told by Mr xxxxxxx that he knew the products that were offered to the customer and I was wrong – the attached screen print taken from your website at 13:31 clearly shows that free delivery is available to all customers. Complaint Number Four “Why are your Call Centre managers insufficiently trained to be able to articulate the products that your company offers?” I obtained your contact details from Mr xxxxxx as it was clear that he had no intention of providing any customer service and waited for the delivery men to arrive.

At 11:23 the delivery men arrived (late against their promises of 13 minutes ago) and when they eventually got to my flat door complained that I was living so high up and that they weren’t fit enough to deliver bulky items like this. I had clearly stated on the order that it was a second floor flat and there was no lift. They eventually put the washing machine into my kitchen and then offered the machine for me to sign to accept delivery of the order. I refused and explained that I had paid for installation of the machine and was abruptly told “We don’t do fitting!”. Complaint Number Five is “Why does your order system not correctly transfer the details to your delivery system?” I offered the receipt for the order and showed that I had paid for delivery and was then told to wait whilst he contacted someone. Several minutes later he came back with his colleague and repeated that fitting wasn’t on their sheet but as I could show I had paid for it they would do it. The colleague started to unwrap the new machine from the wrapping in an abrupt manner, muttering loudly enough for me to hear “We haven’t got time for this!” In his temper the unwrapping process resulted in a mask obtained from Africa being knocked to the floor and three deep scratches being made into my wooden flooring (pictures are attached for evidence). Complaint Number Six “What are you going to do to make good the damage caused by your delivery men during the installation of the washing machine?”

Eventually the washing machine was fitted and the comment I received was, the instructions are in the bag, my understanding of the service offered as part of installation is “We’ll give you a demonstration of your new appliance and its settings” – Complaint Number Seven “Why do your delivery drivers not deliver the service that is described on your website?”. Finally when the old washing machine was taken away I was left with my hallway and kitchen covered in packing (again photographs attached). My final complaint is Complaint Number Eight “Why do your delivery drivers not leave the area they have delivered to in the same state as it was when they arrived?”

To recap therefore, my complaint has eight parts to it which I require you to specifically respond to each one in turn.

  1. Why do you not provide an option to speak to an agent to respond to customer concerns on their delivery which they have paid an additional fee for?
  2. Why do you not contact customers who have paid an additional fee for specific delivery times when you know that you are not going to meet these delivery times?
  3. Why are your policies so rigid that you do not give either agents or managers the ability to compensate customers for obviously poor service?
  4. Why are your Call Centre managers insufficiently trained to be able to articulate the products that your company offers?
  5. Why does your order system not correctly transfer the details to your delivery system?
  6. What are you going to do to make good the damage caused by your delivery men during the installation of the washing machine?
  7. Why do your delivery drivers not deliver the service that is described on your website?
  8. Why do your delivery drivers not leave the area they have delivered to in the same state as it was when they arrived?

I have no doubt that you will agree the standard of service here is, at best, poor. I am therefore requesting the following;

  1. Refund of the “Time to Suit” delivery charge.
  2. The cost of making good the damage caused to the wooden flooring.
  3. Compensation for the upset that has been caused by the poor service of your organisation.
  4. An apology addressing each of these concerns.

I do not think it is unreasonable to expect a response to this e-mail by Thursday 30 June 2011. If you believe this is unreasonable then I would appreciate a holding e-mail advising me when you will respond to the concerns stated.

Yours sincerely

Richard Dyson