The online shopping stampede may have proved a saviour for many retailers but for Currys PC World it has all turned sour with the company facing a tsunami of complaints from customers struggling to get in touch about missing orders, returns and repairs.
The retailer’s advertising strapline is “Always Open”, yet it appears to be anything but, with customers fuming about delays in receiving orders, arranging returns for faulty goods, and difficulties sorting out repairs for goods that are under Currys PC World warranties.
Many claim they have spent hours waiting on the phone trying to get through to the company, with other channels such as email and live chat also clogged.
On its Facebook page, a post which asked customers how their home workout was going was greeted with a torrent of complaints. One customer wrote: “Can someone please contact me, I’ve tried on several occasions now to call and I’ve been on hold for 90 mins each time then the phone cuts off! I wrote a complaint on the 17th April and have yet to receive any form of communication from you even though stated in your automatic reply it would be up to 6 days! I expect there to be a delay but this is ridiculous and I can’t even get through on your complaints line!”
A second wrote: “I’d love to walk to my lovely American style fridge freezer we bought from Currys PC World in November. But it’s broken. We made the initial call a week a go. I’m a key worker and for the past 6 hours we have been trying to talk to someone from Currys PC World after the repair team visited this morning and told us to get in touch as it’s likely we need a replacement…we have had no joy and spent all of the time being on hold or transferred or, rudely, cut off.”
Meanwhile MoneySavingExpert has also been inundated with complaints about the company, ranging from a reader who had spent 10 hours waiting on phone lines and sending numerous messages on social media to a customer who said he had called 17 times over four weeks and still had not got through.
Currys PC World has acknowledged it is experiencing delays to its response and delivery times, citing the huge levels of demand during the coronavirus lockdown.
A spokesperson said: “Due to the high level of demand for vital technology, which keeps customers connected to loved ones, their families fed, clean and entertained, and helps them work from home and home-school children, we are experiencing some delays in our response times and occasionally in the delivery of certain items.
“Through retraining more than 340 of our store colleagues to support our customer service teams who are working from home, we are answering more customers every day and the majority of our customers have a positive experience.
“We are also working hard with our suppliers and in our distribution centres to make sure every order is fulfilled correctly. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience caused to our customers.”
Parent Dixons Carphone does not have a great rack record when it comes to protecting customers’ data either.
Earlier this year, it was fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for “systemic” security failings, which saw an attacker install malware on 5,390 tills at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores back in 2017, collecting personal data between July of that year right up when the hack was finally detected in April 2018.
The ICO found that the company’s failure to secure the system allowed unauthorised access to 5.6 million payment card details used in transactions and the personal information of about 14 million people, including full names, postcodes, email addresses and failed credit checks from internal servers.
The company is appealing the decision, although in January 2018, Carphone Warehouse, which is part of the same group, was fined £400,000 after a 2015 cyber-attack of allowed unauthorised access to the personal data of over 3 million customers and 1,000 employees.
The retailer’s advertising and marketing activity is handled by Rapp (formerly Proximity London), Omnicom sister agency AMV BBDO and loyalty specialist Ecrebo.
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