BLACK FRIDAY (and any other day) BEATS ARGOS
Today, the so-called ‘Black Friday’, seemed to be one step too many for Argos’ support and delivery services.
Let me give you one example.
I purchased an item (I won’t say what as it’s a Xmas pressie, and my family follow my sites!) on Wednesday, with the agreed delivery slot of Friday between 10am and 1pm.
On the Friday (the Black one) I waited in for my item to be delivered. One o’clock came and went, so I called the number on my receipt. I was initially impressed by the voice recognition system which correctly identified my directions, and got the order number correct first time.
I was put through to a customer service operator. On telling her of my problem, she asked me to hold on a moment as her computer was running slow. Once she had the information she needed, she asked me to hold on while she checked with the store concerned. On her return, she informed me that the store confirmed that the item was on the vehicle, and it should be with me in a few minutes. Although I believed this to be a stock customer placating response, I gave her the benefit of doubt. This call took 8 minutes.
A few minutes passed, then an hour, then 2 hours, so I called them again. After going through the same preliminary routine, I asked where my delivery was. This operator said she would look into it, and promised to call me back. Another 3 minutes on the phone. I was starting to feel like I was being fobbed off.
Once again time passed. After another hour or so, I called them back again. Once again going through the usual preliminary routine. When I was put through to another operator, I once again explained my situation, and explained what had happened to my previous calls. As she was typing this in, she asked me to hold on for a moment, as she was having computer problems. On trying to enter the required details again, the computer again started playing up. Eventually, she asked me to hang on while she called the store to find out what had happened. I held on, and on, and on. Eventually she came back asking if she could rebook delivery for tonight between 7 and 10pm. I agreed, but as she tried to enter the details, the computer failed again. I eventually had to agree to leave it in her hands, and for her to let me know when they had any idea what was happening. This call took over 22 minutes. That’s a total of over 33 minutes on the phone.
As I am typing this up at 6.45pm, and I have still not heard from anyone at Argos, and have still not had my parcel delivered which is now 6 hours later than the latest agreed delivery time), I am just wondering. If this is happening now, when we are a full month before Christmas, how are they ever going to manage to provide even a partial delivery schedule when the real Christmas peak delivery period arrives. All I can recommend to anyone at the moment is: If you need an item by a specific date or time, do not buy it at Argos, unless you collect it yourself from the store. If they’ve got it in stock!
You now have to ask just where is the failure in the Argos distribution system? Who is letting down who? The store have let me down as their promised delivery arrangements never worked out. The call centres have been let down by poor computer services, and poor delivery service causing them an increased number of calls. The drivers will have to do extra deliveries to catch up on missed deliveries. I, as the paying customer (remember there was an extra charge for delivery), have been let down by all of the above. The last to be let down is Argos themselves, as if this is the service we can all expect, what fool is going to shop with them.
It is now 10.05pm, and there is still no sign of the delivery or another call-back as promised. I have given up on calling them for today, I’ll give them a call tomorrow morning, and post an update just to let you know how things turn out.
UPDATE – 8.40am SATURDAY
As I still had not heard from anyone, I called them again at 08.01 this morning.
The first thing their telephone system warned was that there was a high volume of calls. I decided to hold on and see what happened. After what is now a familiar preamble, I was actually kept on hold for a full 33 minutes, listening to a variation of clips of classical music and the constant reminder that I am in a queue, how much they value my custom, and that if I don’t want to keep holding on, I could call back.
When I eventually got through, I was informed that the only delivery slot they could now give me was between 7 and 10 tonight. After destroying my entire Friday, they are now ruining any plans I had for Saturday evening. I was given the option of collecting the item from the store, but when I pointed out that I was on crutches, and so carrying it was impossible, he didn’t seem too concerned. He therefore said that he would book my delivery in for between 7 and 10pm, but I could talk to a more senior customer services person, which I agreed to do. He put me back on hold, and ten seconds later they cut the line. Some customer services.
So – I now have to wait in tonight, regardless of what plans I may have had, to see if they meet the third delivery slot I have been given. As this call took 37 minutes, this also now means that I have spent a total of 70 minutes on the telephone to Argos to arrange one delivery.
On the Phone for 70 Minutes!
I wonder what’s going to happen next?
SUNDAY 28/11/15 @ 10.15am
Unsurprisingly there was no sign of my parcel between 7 and 10 last night. Thay is now the third delivery slot I have waited in for, meaning that not only have I lost all of Friday, I now lost my Saturday evening. As the latest delivery possible yesterday was 10pm, I tried to call the Argos enquiry line (again), at 10.02, only to find the lines all closed at 10 o’clock. Surely if vehicles are still delivering until 10 o’clock, the switchboards should be manned until at least 10.30 to deal with any problems arising!
I called Argos again at 09.05 on Sunday morning. I was left on the waiting list for a full 44 minutes before I finally got through. By now the appreciation of my custom they offer seems no more than a sarcastic joke, and if, as they suggest, I call back later, I would only be placed to the back of the queue, and as for the assurance that my call will be passed to the next available operator – some hopes!
The gentleman I spoke to seemed to have accepted the situation with the problems in deliveries. On taking my details, one of the first things to happen was that he had problems with the computer. Once he had my details, he asked me to hang on whilst he spoke to the store concerned. This all seems familiar by now.
When he eventually came back, he appologised as he was unable to contact the store, and as the computer system would not enable him to re-order the item on line, he had to make a manual re-order, but as this was a manual re-order, he was unable to tell me precisely which day the item would be delivered, so we agreed that the time slot should be between 7pm and 10pm, and I should receive the item by Wednesday, if not I would call them back on Thursday morning.
He also agreed that the delivery charge should be waived, and that I will receive a £15 gift voucher in compensation.
During this call I made them aware of this article and gave them the site details so they could have a good laugh!
This call lasted a total of 56minutes. This means that the total amount of time I have had to spend on the telephone to Argos over the delivery of just this one item is now 126 minutes.
So, what will happen between now and Wednesday? Wait for the next update!
WEDS 2ND DECEMBER 2015 @ 17.35
Well, well, well. I didn’t even have to wait for todays delivery time slot. I received the following text message at 5.00pm today (Wednesday 2-12-15):
Your item(s) have been cancelled from your order (order No. here). Your refund of (amount including delivery charge here) has been processed please allow up to 7 days for the refund.
So I got straight back on the phone. This time after the usual preamble there was a request for those calling about their new Fast Track Collection to have patience as they know that there is a problem with this service. As this message had encouraged most of the incoming calls to hang up, I got through unexpectedly fast.
As usual, the person answering does not give their name. Could it be in case they could be identified in the event of a problem?
Once through I asked what was happening. I pointed out what was said on my last call, of which, apparantly there is no note, and about the text message I just received. She confirmed that the order had been cancelled. On asking why, she could only say that she had no idea at all.
Just to see what would happen, I asked if I could reorder the same item. She told me I could. So I did. She then asked me for a second payment. I pointed out that if my recredit from the first order would take a week, as they have said, then the first payment is still in their system. She went off to check, and Surprise, Surprise, the money was still there and was available for use.
Therefore I have now reordered the item, using my money which was still in their account, and not processed as I was told. She gave me a new order number, and the delivery slot of between 2pm and 6pm tomorrow (Thursday). I did ask her to confirm that as they had already missed 3 delivery slots will this one be kept. ‘Of course’ she said confidently. As we all take a long step back to the begining!
- Join in everyone: ‘Here we go again, la de da de dee, all good friends and jolly good company!’
By the way, this call only took another 10 minutes, leaving the running total now at 136 minutes
136 MINUTES ON THE PHONE!
Wait for tomorrows’ update – will the parcel arrive? Will they miss the delivery slot yet again, Will they have another useless excuse? All will be divulged in the next episode.
UPDATE No 4
6.30PM THURSDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2015
Yes, you guessed it. Once again I waited in for another four hour delivery slot, and nothing showed up. Even with my nice new order number and the abject assurances that it would be here on time. Do you realise that this is now four delivery slots of four fours each that I have waited in for ?16 hours in total.
This time on calling Argos, after getting through the preamble, I was put onto someone who asked me to repeat my order number. After the second repeat of the number, me declared that as his computer was running slow he would put me onto someone who can sort out the delivery for me. Well what a surprise, he put me back onto the main switchboard queue.
This seemed unusual, so I examined the order number myself. For some reason the number I was given over the phone yesterday was a digit longer than my previous order number. Although I read the number back to her yesterday, was I given a duff order number? After holding on for 25 minutes, a voice came on asking how they could help me, and no sooner had I told them that I would like to know where my delivery was, I was placed straight back onto the waiting list.
Here it comes again. The biggest lie in the country.
“Your call is still held in a queue
We do value your custom,
and your call will be answered by our next available advisor.
You may continue to hold, or alternatively, call us back”
Every time I hear that phrase now it grates even deeper into my spine! After a while, this phrase becomes no more than sarcasm.
Unbelievable. They cut me off after I had been holding on for 43.5 minutes before I had a chance to speak to anyon about my delivery. This makes the telephone time running total 179.5 minutes. I will try again after 9pm.
Ironically the Watchdog programme duplicating the results above and the 9pm delivery deadline came together, so back I got on the phone.
After firstly sorting out the disparity over the order number, he man on the phone looked into the situation. It would now appear that in the time it has taken to sort out this delivery, the item concerned became sold out, and there are no more left. We now went to the next step. He scanned their website to find another one around the same price, After a while one was found which was around £5 dearer. I asked him to arrange for this item to be sent as a substitution. Whilst checking this out, he did confirm that the £15 Gift Voucher and delivery charge are on their way to me, although they would take five days.
The situation was finally left in a state where, as I have now left them my e-mail address, they will write to me letting me know the situation. I should hear from them by Wednesday at the latest which would also include the revised delivery date. I reminded him that I would be back on the phone if it weren’t sorted by then. Again.
This call took 22.5 minutes, taking the running total up to 202 minutes!
On the phone for 202 minutes!
MONDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2015 (Hopefully the last!)
SURPRISE OF ALL SURPRISES. MY PARCEL ARRIVES!
On Saturday morning I received my £15 gift card and a letter of apology for poor service from Argos, as promised.
Today, at around 2.35pm I received a text message saying that my delivery will be here in around 30 minutes., which took me by surprise as I had not received any letter or message saying that it was coming.
Around 30 minutes later the door bell rang, and there it was. My parcel – or to be more accurate the item Argos had substituted it with.
This order has now taken:
- 12 Days since the order was first placed.at an Argos branch.
- 202 minutes on the telephone to Argos.
- 16 Hours of waiting in, i.e. 4 delivery slots of 4 hours each.
BUT IT’S HERE AT LAST.