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

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16 responses

25 06 2011
Andrew Burnett

Damn, Rich, that’s a positively terrible experience.

I know now that there is no way I will ever order from Curry’s.

We once had an issue with a washing machine from John Lewis, their handling of it has meant that since then we have bought:
A dishwasher, a freezer, a fridge, a television and an iPad from John Lewis AND we have become ambassadors for their GREAT service.

Companies whose service and employees disappoint to the degree that Curry’s have in this instance deserve the reputation they get and, in my opinion, cannot be endorsed. Those which act with humility, grace, manners and above all great service equally deserve the reputations they get. The difference being that John Lewis fosters brand ambassadors through their actions and Curry’s fosters reputation management disasters.

You have been incredibly gracious in not linking to Curry’s with an anchor text that adequately portrays your feelings toward them!

25 06 2011
Rob Haile

Hi Richard. Good complaint (although merits a few expletives). Any response as yet?

25 06 2011
Richard Dyson

Good point Andrew, I’ve added a link and anchor text, I wouldn’t want to be known as incredibly gracious when complaining about this poor service.. You wouldn’t care to retweet to your followers on twitter to increase the number of viewers?

25 06 2011
Baxter Tocher

Poor customer service is something that I utterly detest, Rich. I know this won’t help, but after horror stories over the years, I’d never buy anything from Dixons Retail or any of their companies (and I’m sure you won’t in future). We bought a new washing machine a few months ago from laskys.com, who as it turns out are owned by Comet, though Laskys sell some items cheaper. I’d never used them before, but the guys were excellent, arriving when they said they would, fitting the machine properly, and taking the packaging and old machine away. It was all a very slick operation, and I’d certainly use them again. The price was excellent too. I do hope you get a meaningful reply, and compensation, from Curry’s.

25 06 2011
Baxter Tocher

Oh, and for info, there’s a list of companies owned by Dixons on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixons_Retail

26 06 2011
Richard Dyson

I’ve had my first reply from Currys/Dixons/PC World – do you think they want to call instead of write so that they can’t be included in blog posts so other people can see how poor their service is?

Dear Mr Dyson,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 25 June 2011.

Sorry to learn of the difficulties that you have experienced with some of the aspects
of our service.

I have assigned your case to a member of the KNOWHOW™ Customer Action Team and they will be contacting you within the next 48 hours to discuss your matter on behalf of the Dixons Retail Executives.

May I politely request, if you have not done so already, please provide a contact telephone number in order for us to provide you with the best possible service.

Yours sincerely

KNOWHOW™ Customer Action Team

26 06 2011
David Smout

Hi, just wanted to say that’s an excellent letter and shame about the rubbish service.
The one part I’d DSGI which seems ok is it’s professional IT procurement Equanet.com. Although they do use DHL to deliver I’ve rarely had poor service and order hundreds of things from them.

26 06 2011
Queen Flumking

As a recent ex employee at the head office I would suggest you send your letter to John Browett direct and Johnathan Hurst to the head office and bypass the call centres in Sheffield. Dixons, maylands ave, Hemel Hempstead hp2 7tg. This will give you a quicker response and mean you do not have to deal with the nobody’s in Sheffield. Mr Hurst is head of the delivery (Tech Guys/Knowhow) and reports to Me B. You can also e-mail them at Firstname.Sir name@dsgiplc.com (@knowhow.com) if needed. Hope this helps. And the switch borde number is on the corporate site and you can ask to be put through to John Hurst 🙂

27 06 2011
Richard Dyson

Latest update: Just received a call from the Scottish delivery centre, I’m getting someone to come over on Sunday and assess the damage caused to the flooring and the delivery men are now subject to disciplinary action. A more formal response is coming later in the week once the call centre manager has had a chance to look into that element of the complaint. It’s looking good for some reasonable outcome on this but I’ll keep you posted.

20 07 2011
GrammarNazi

You complain in more recent posts about the grammatical errors in correspondence from the company, yet you are unable to spell correctly. What, might I ask, is “telephony”? Pot. Kettle. Black.

21 07 2011
trixtaphotography

Dear Mr GrammarNazi,

The word ‘telephony’ is a term used in the communications industry that encompasses voice communication, interactive voice response (sometimes referred to as IVR), and other technologies using telephone systems. It is a word quoted in many of the major dictionaries and is common usage. May I point you towards such tomes that provide advice on word usage and ask you to refer to the word ‘Research’?

22 07 2011
GrammarNazi

“Mr” GrammarNazi? Strange assumption to make Miss trixtaphotography. It’s a shame you weren’t able to utilize these tomes to realise that “res” is not an actual word. May I point you towards the section of your letter where you complain about how “the res of my day” was so disrupted. Or is “res” a term used in the communications industry too? Perhaps you could do some of that ‘Research’ you’re so fond of to find out.

23 07 2011
trixtaphotography

Dear Sexless (I’m assuming in many ways) GrammarNazi,

Let me settle your beating heart and apologise (or should that be apologize, you seem to mix up your American spellings) for the slight error that crept into my post. I hope you realise (or is that realize) that I didn’t utilize (or maybe utilise) the spelling check as well as I should have done. However, I am sure I wouldn’t miss out punctuation marks as you are so keen to uphold. Perhaps you should consider the use of the question mark?

23 07 2011
GrammarNazi

Ooh bitchy. A comment on your (questionable) grasp of English and you have to hit below the belt (with a completely irrelevant, and might I add false aside)? I’m not surprised you’ve had poor customer service, you intolerable being; you probably deserved it.

You amuse me; the fact that I comment on not being a man makes me ‘sexless’, does it? Perhaps you’ve not had very much contact with those people you might see with long hair, maybe wearing a skirt, with bumps on their chest. They’re called women (or perhaps fat Scottish men). Maybe if you spent a little less time whining about a little scratch on your floor and worked on your people skills, one might actually take an interest in you (a woman or a fat Scottish man – whatever floats your boat).

23 07 2011
trixtaphotography

Dear GrammarNazi,

You were the one that called me Miss trixtaphotography despite my blog clearly articulating my name and therefore gender. Perhaps if you were brave enough to reveal your true identity instead of hiding behind a made up hotmail address I may take your comments more seriously instead of picking up your blatant inadequacies of the British English language. Decide on your use of ‘z’ or ‘s’ in words such a utilize (the English equivalent is utilise) and be consistent. Try and live up to your name instead of proving you as the mindless idiot that you come across as.

I do feel it is sad that you feel the need to discuss irrelevance when my campaign here is to improve customer service as opposed to ‘whinging about a little scratch’ (although if you read my posts properly you would see there are three quite substantial scratches). The next time you feel the need to reply, please put down your glass of whichever alcohol you are obviously consuming, and think about what you are typing.

Here is hoping that you disappear without a trace in future and crawl back into your anonymous world that you feel compelled to exist in.

23 07 2011
GrammarNazi

No worries babes, I’m off.

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