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Why I would NEVER shop at Currys PC World ever again

When making a big electrical purchase from a huge retailer like Currys PC World the last thing on your mind is usually searching through bad reviews, problems with the warranty, bad or even terrible service or trouble getting a refund for a faulty item.  These thoughts are usually reserved for smaller stores we haven’t heard of or feel we need to do our due diligence on.  Sometimes I feel the need to leave a review or comment when I feel I have been treated unfairly.  But my treatment by Currys PC World was a whole new level of disgusting service that I had never experienced before in my life

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Looking through the Teamknowhow reviews after you have purchased is a sickening feeling.

Currys PC World has become such a huge electrical in-store and online retailer now in the UK that its very name is now practically synonymous with the term ‘electrical items’.  It therefore stands to reason that when in need of a new TV or washing machine it is the first place that many of us Brits will go to instigate a purchase.  I thought that perhaps things had improved since they were voted the worst shop in Britain back in 2010 by Which magazine.  I did initially stop myself from ordering from Currys as friends at work all told me about bad experiences with their aftercare support.  Foolishly however I went with the cheaper option and boy did it cost me in the long run…

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Teamknowhow – Curry’s choice of repair center seem to struggle to get any positive feedback

After researching and checking various websites I finally decided that when buying my son’s Christmas present (a new TV) that I would head over to the Currys website and see what I could find.  I was not disappointed with the choice available, it seemed that they had something to cater for all budgets and in a great variety of sizes.  As our budget was rather limited last year we were mainly looking at the lower end of the scale but the TVs on offer were coming up with good reviews so we finally made a purchase.

We were then given a delivery date and as promised the TV arrived on time and after a quick power on to check for faults it seemed ok.  That was until Christmas day when I set it up for my son to use and plugged in an HDMI cable.  The problem was not apparent at first but after around an hour the screen would start flickering violently.  A restart of the TV and pushing in all the cables initially seemed to resolve the problem but it then occurred again.  I then purchased a brand new HDMI cable and tested again but the problem persisted.  Just to be sure I tried a 3rd HDMI cable and the problem resurfaced.  Looking in more detail the whole board that the HDMI ports were connected to seemed to have a loose connection.  If you even lightly touched the TV near the HDMI ports the problem occurred.  Whether its relevant or not I am a senior network engineer in my day job so do know a thing or to about troubleshooting a cable fault.

Well, no problem I thought, its a new product I’ll just call Currys and initiate a repair on the warranty.  This is where the ‘fun’ started.  Just to summarise here is a list of my initial dealings with ‘Teamknowhow’ – this is the company Currys uses to carry out its warranty covered repairs.  All events listed are 100% factual and I have not exaggerated in any way.

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What should have been an open and shut repair case has turned complex and ugly.

I first contacted Currys on the 06/01/2018 and reported the above problem, I received a confirmation, reference number and forgot about it thinking it was in hand.  I heard nothing. I then proceed to contact them again on 11/01/2018, 16/01/2018 and the 17/01/2018 and informed them of the above problem and was given a different reference number each time.  This made my case impossible to track and basically cleared my history each time.  I was told in every response someone would get back to me shortly.

I contacted Currys again on 18/01/2018 and finally managed to arrange a collection for the TV.  I was a bit relieved as I was starting to think that I was being ignored and powerless to do anything about the situation but wait.

One of the things that really resonated with me with Currys PC World is that they spend so much time and money trying to prove you wrong and disagree with you that it must often overshadow the original purchase price of the product when originally bought.

The TV was collected (on the agreed date and time) by two (what I can only describe as very rough looking heavies – not their fault I guess but didn’t fill me with confidence) they offered me no documentation in return for the TV, did not package it in anyway and took it outside over his head in the pouring rain. (It was the middle of a thunderstorm).  When I tried to quiz them on the fact that it was not packaged and that it was raining both of the men became very stand-offish and neither of them claimed they could speak English.  My wife and I looked at each other, what an earth had we gotten ourselves into.  As I had no choice and I finally managed to get one of the men to show me a reference number I allowed them to take it out to the van, unprotected and in a heavy thunderstorm.  At this point I said to myself, ‘well if it wasn’t broken before it certainly is now.’

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A quick look on most popular social media sites reveals a lot about ‘Teamknowhow’

Later on in the week I received a notification that the TV had arrived at the repair center on 22/01/2018 and engineers were working on the problem.  I thought that this was a good sign and hopefully it would all be over soon.  That was until I received a call at 6PM at night on the Friday evening 26/01/2018 (just before the TV was due to be returned repaired) from a an engineer who I thought to be particularly rude. He proceeded to tell me (not letting me speak) that he had tested the TV and the fault didn’t exist.  He then (without letting me interject) simply said I will be sending it back ‘No fault found’. I then asked to speak to a manager. He said a manager would call me back. Surprise surprise, no call back.

I then phoned Teamknowhow (Yes I was beginning to doubt the validity of this brand name at this point) and explained this whole situation all over again and was then put on hold. I waited for what seemed like an eternity and was then cut off.  This seemed to be the point that Currys just stopped talking to me.  No matter what I tried I could not get hold of a human being that would be able to help me with my case.  Being a bit of a stickler for principle this is where I began to a) publicise my treatment on Twitter, Facebook and Google + b) Raise a case on Resolver.co.uk c) Write a review on trustpilot.co.uk d) Made 10s of phone calls and countless emails to Teamknowhow.

Finally I did manage to get a response from a manager but only because I had written a negative review on Trustpilot!  I was given a reference number (on Trustpilot!!!) and then later sent the below email from Teamknowhow:

‘Thank you for your email, dated Saturday 27th January.

I was most concerned to learn of your recent experience, regarding your repair. A case has been logged, reference XXXXXX1284, so that we may note your dissatisfaction.

Having read through the repair notes, I can confirm there was a number of attempts to contact you from our Repair Centre, as they were unable to replicate the fault reported. I do appreciate your feedback regarding an outstanding manager callback, this is something I will be asking to be look into and investigated with regards to why this was not done.

With everything that has happened taken into consideration, I regret that unless a fault can be confirmed, we would be unable to comply with your request for a full refund. Your TV is currently scheduled to be returned to you on Tuesday 30th January, and you would be notified of your ETA via SMS notification.

Going forward, if you are still experiencing issues with your TV upon its return, we can either offer to assess it as a separate booking, or you could confirm a fault via an independent engineer report. If we are unable to confirm a fault, and this independent report was to do so, we can re-assess the situation.

I am sorry if this is not the response you was looking for. If there is anything else I can help with, please let me know.

Many Thanks’

Considering what I had been through with Teamknowhow at this point I was pretty miffed at this response.  All I managed to really get from this is that they had acknowledged the fact that I didn’t get a call back from a manager when promised.  They also seemed to be attacking me for the fact that they had called me whilst I was busy at work and unable to take their call until I had finished.  Hardly the forefront of my concerns though.  It appears that Teamknowhow are simply sending the TV back to me with a ‘No Fault’ sticker plastered all over it and there’s not a damned thing I can do about it.  I also thought that their offer for me to get the TV checked by an ‘independent’ engineer (at my expense) was particularly kind of them.  Even with report in hand stating the fault from said engineer I still doubted my chanced of getting this resolved by Teamknowhow.

I immediately replied highlighting the following points:

1. I had tested the HDMI ports with a number of cables and proved the fault to exist and shown others (yes I wish I had taken video evidence but I didn’t think it necessary – I will be sure to take some for next time). So by saying that they cannot see the fault and rejecting my claim I can only assume one of two things; a) The engineers haven’t actually tested or looked at the product or b) They have seen the fault but are falsely accusing me of lying.  (I guess option c could be that the fault miraculously disappeared in transit but I highly doubt it).

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Sadly all to often customers are experiencing the worst levels of service.

2. The TV was collected, not packaged and taken out into the pouring rain (I know strictly not evidence but a historical whether check shows this to be true for my area.  Again I wish I’d taken photos). I do not want a device returned to me that was treated in this manner.

3. I understand that essentially this is a ‘my word against yours’ scenario but what did they really think I would have to gain by a) Making up a fault?! b) Depriving my little boy of his TV c) Wasting hours of my team trying to make headway with a customer service team unable and unwilling to help me. All I wanted out of this was the repair I was entitled to under the warranty.

4. No one consulted us about a delivery time so simply arranging it for a busy week day when people are at work is of course a ridiculous and thoughtless thing to do.  Its obvious that they just wanted the TV out of their repair center ASAP.

One of the things that really resonated with me with Currys PC World is that they spend so much time and money trying to prove you wrong and disagree with you that it must often overshadow the original purchase price of the product when originally bought.  I mean so far they have employed the use of countless customer service staff, three engineers and three managers.  I’m guess in terms of staff costs this is quite a significant spend for them.  This is something that Amazon and John Lewis seem to understand and treat their customers with respect rather than constantly trying to find fault with what they are saying or trying to wiggle out of honouring warranties.  The constant email replies containing quotes like the below show their lack of interest in helping and desperation to get the faulty product back to me.

With everything that has happened taken into consideration, I regret that unless a fault can be confirmed, we would be unable to comply with your request for a full refund. Your TV is currently scheduled to be returned to you on Tuesday 30th January, and you would be notified of your ETA via SMS notification. 

Since the 27/01/2018 I have had no less than 9 emails in what I can only describe as a bullying tone in which in no uncertain terms I am told to accept the fact that Currys/Teamknowhow a) Will not repair the TV b) Do not accept any of the problems I have with the faulty product c) Will not conduct any kind of official electrical safety tests or accept that the heavy rain that their delivery drivers subjected it to might be an issue.  I am still very suspicious about any tests that were conducted and any diagnosis performed.  I am basically told to accept that their engineer is right and that my family and I are imagining that we a have a TV with a flickering screen.  It really is an unbelievable scenario that in the Western world in a civilised society, companies like this are allowed to operate.

This is another update (24/02/2018) to the case in which I seem to be making progress with Currys but I bought the TV in November and am still without it.  After several more emails/phone calls Currys agreed to take the TV back, repair it and give me a full safety report.  They did this and returned the TV to me, unfortunately the TV was returned with damage in the form of a scratch to the screen and a bad scuff to the bezel.  I contacted Currys again and they have now agreed to replace the TV and have also agreed to compensate me in some way for all he trouble I’ve had.  The main issue I have now is getting the TV back to them.  Between my wife and U we have had to take 4 days off of work waiting for delivery drivers but none have come.  I will post another update with the final outcome of the case when it happens.  See below for images of the damage I noticed, the damage is minor but this was a brand new TV that had no damage wen it left my house – fortunately I took plenty of photos to prove this as I knew this might happen.

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Minor scratch to the screen upon the TVs return
Scuff marks to the bezel

It seems that I am far from being alone with these kinds of issues when dealing with Currys PC World too.  The well respected ‘TrustPilot’ website has over 8,390 reviews from genuine Brits trying to make their voice heard after their ordeals with the firm.  These reviews range from Excellent, Great, Average, Poor all the way to Bad.  A staggering 32% of all of these reviews for Currys PC World receive the worst possible rating of Bad.  A further 10% gave the company a Poor rating with 7% rating it as average.  It seems that Currys PC World management either don’t know or simply do not care about these statistics. I mean after all shouldn’t every company dealing with customers be after a Great or Excellent rating of at least 90%.  Currys PC World manage just 42% at the top tier rating for customer satisfaction.  In actual fact they are listed twice on TrustPilot, once as Teamknowhow and once as just Knowhow.  After 3,413 reviews using the Knowhow name the company managed a staggering 87% in the Bad category! That must have taken some effort.

Currys are listed again separately on TrustPilot and under this name and 10,795 reviews they manage a 51% Bad rating.  If I had seen these figures before buying the TV I can tell you know I would not be in this situation.

The situation on other review sites such as reviews.co.uk doesn’t seem to be any better with 65.03% of reviewers giving Currys a 1/5 Star review.  While trying to find out more about the company and understand the way I was being treated I stumbled upon the Teamknowhow staff reviews below and it told me a lot about the company.  Staff comparing their environment to that of a ‘battery chicken’ is hardly conducive to an place where people are likely to be happy and want to help.  While I really feel for their staff it doesn’t help me and the countless others that just want the goods/services that they paid for and no more.

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It seems that the inherent lack of a will to help customers needs to be addressed at all staff levels.

Perhaps I should have done more research and more digging before buying from this store (It is always after the purchase you see the bad reviews!).  Most recently the firm has gotten into hot water for hiking prices on sale products,Not giving a refund for faulty washing machine,and exaggerating the ability of its Knowhow cloud backup utility.

I will continue to update this post with my case and whether or not I actually manage to get the TV repaired properly or a complete refund (which I think at this stage is not unreasonable).  The TV was bought on a credit card so I’m investigating whether a section 75 chargeback is feasible but I’d rather it didn’t come to that.

It seems like there are many many dissatisfied customers (mainly to do with the aftercare) and this company needs a serious management shakeup if not government intervention to turn it around.  As it currently stands I for one can safely say that I will never purchase from Currys PC World ever again.

2 Comments

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  1. You’re entitled to a refund under the Sale of Goods Act. Why even entertain a repair fandango?
    If there say no, give 14 days notice to take out claim in small claims court (balance of probability needed only, not proof. You’ll be fine). They may conceded before you lodge claim. Or you are most likely to win and be awarded any costs, do include costs and in-convince in your claim to date.
    Consumer credit Act is worth trying with your card provided, but they are less likely to want to get involved in making a judgement. Easier if the product never arrived, or form went bust.
    And Curry’s going bust is a possibility imagine!

  2. This is a reputation which this organisation has upheld for many years and over the many brands it has operated under.

    Personally, I don’t even consider them for electrical purchases. John Lewis will match their prices and offer a level of service which is worlds apart from that described here.

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