Consumer rights - order accepted - not completed?

  georgemac 15:21 10 Dec 2004

I ordered an item online, on 18th November from a website, which was a joint promotional website run by a major retailer in conjunction with my credit card provider, where I redeemed some loyalty points in order for a very good discount.
The item was charged to my credit card the next day.

I did not recieve an email confirmation of the order, which was strange but saw the money had been charged to my credit card so knew the order had been accepted.

After a week as the item had not been delivered, I emailed the company (Argos) through the contact us link on the promotional website. I got no response.

I have now contacted my credit card provider (by phone as I never got a response to an email), who said they will investigate & write to me, and I have emailed Argos but so far they have only sent me automated responses. On my first email, I told them I never recieved an order number, they emailed back saying they cannot help unless I provide the order nuumber! I have emailed them again with the details, but now have 2 reference numbers.

I am away from home and working shifts, so phoning them is difficult, but before I do phone can anyone advise me of my rights here.

Having charged the item to my credit card, have they entered into a contract with me to provide this item?

If they no longer have any stock of the the item (which I suspect will be the case), can I insist they supply me with an item of equivalent value - I paid £85 - the discount was £65 for point redemption - so the value was £150.

There are similar items on the promotional website now but the discounts are not so attractive. It is a Christmas gift so I may be forced to go and buy an alternative anyway.

I have no concern about getting a refund but really would like the item I ordered. Can anyone tell me where I stand?

Thanks for any help.

  Diodorus Siculus 18:30 10 Dec 2004

the companies terms and conditions!

Most are pretty watertight when it comes to such behaviour.

2.3 Acceptance of your order and the completion of the contract between you and us will take place on despatch to you of the products ordered unless we have notified you that we do not accept your order or you have cancelled it Terms and Conditions

click here

  spuds 21:02 10 Dec 2004

I think you will find that Argos have made their terms and conditions watertight for themselves, after the internet special TV fiasco that they experienced a couple or more years ago.

Your salvation is now in the hands of the credit card company I would think.

  Forum Editor 23:56 10 Dec 2004

that Argos were out of stock, and are waiting for more goods, or that response to the promotion was greater than anticipated, and despatch has been delayed (which is often the case).
Some items - usually larger ones - can take up to 21 days to arrive, but if you're concerned why don't you give Argos a ring? You can get customer services on:-

0870 600 8784

Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm

Saturday 8am to 5pm

Sunday 9am to 5pm

  georgemac 00:34 11 Dec 2004

once I place the order (checkout)

2.3 Following this, we will either inform you that we cannot supply your order, or we will send you an order acknowledgement email, confirming our acceptance of your order, and detailing the goods you have ordered. The order acknowledgement email will also give you an order number, which you should quote if you need to contact us with any query about your order. If we accept your order, but later discover that we cannot supply it within 28 days, we will contact you to offer an alternative item, or the option to cancel for a full refund.

4.1 Where we need to take payment from you, we will take payment from your card at the time we receive your order, once we have checked and processed your card details. Goods are subject to availability. In the event that we are unable to supply the goods, we will inform you of this as soon as possible. A full refund will be given where you have already paid for the goods.

Will try to call them on Sunday if I have not heard anything - looks like a muck up their end as I never got a confirmation number by email - best I can hope for if not delivered by the time I go home on Tuesday is a refund and a last minute dash to the shops to get an alternative item.

Thanks for the advice.

  BG101 03:36 11 Dec 2004

I've had similar problems ... clicked the "confirm" button only to be presented with the completely pointless "the page cannot be displayed" ... in that case why does the browser claim to have found the website and be loading the page (**% complete)??? It does this even when the internet connection has been removed :( :( :(

No way of knowing whether the site received the request!

and in this case no confirmation email either - I assumed the transaction had not been processed

... only to find a few days later that the ordered item turned up at my door! Good job I didn't try to repeat the order process.

  georgemac 13:36 11 Dec 2004

at least ypu got the item! Still no response by email.

  georgemac 17:40 14 Dec 2004

got home today - got the order number on the web page I had saved on my pc (wish I had taken it away with me). Argos would not deal with me as I had to contact the promotional website, which is run by Argos and is exclusive for Goldfish customers.

The item I ordered was a Sony Mini Hi Fi system which was listed at £149.99 with a discount of £65 for points redemption.

Called the number and was told

We are having stock problems and you should have been informed - we apologise for not informing you - we have substituted an alternative item for you of equal quality and value - it's made by Sharp. Do you wish to accept this item?

I said I could not possibly decide until I could get a model number for the Sharp item and compare it with the Sony system. He gave me a current Argos catalogue number. He also told me the item had been dispatched to me and I should have it shortly.

I checked it, it does not look as nice, the power output is 40% of the Sony, and it is listed on the Argos website for £99.99 - not discounted.

Needless to say, I will not be accepting it, and have emailed them to tell them so, requesting they cancel the order and refund my credit card. I have also told them I will refuse delivery. There is a signed for item in the Post Office waiting to be delivered to me, which may be from them - if it is I expect them to arrange for it to be collected from my house. Am I within my rights to do this?

I just think we as consumers should not accept this sort of shabby service - I doubt if they ever had stock in the first place! I have also emailed Goldfish complaining about this, and in fact I will probably change my card provider and stop using Argos because of this. It won't make any difference to these companies but at least it may make me feel better.

Now off to hunt for an alternative item!

  spuds 23:04 14 Dec 2004

I would contact the Post Office and ask if they have arrangements for returning items. Possibly Argos have 'if undelivered' instructions on the package. Whatever way you decide in returning the item, make sure that you notify Argos and your credit card company, and keep any documentation details for later reference.

  xphile 15:59 15 Dec 2004

I was of the understanding that if item not received within the calender month,you can just cancel. I know this doesn't help you get the item, but should you still be hanging on. I ordered digital camera on-line.E-mail confirmation received 30.9.04.Still not received by 10/11/04.At least they responded to let me know none in 'til December,so I just cancelled the order. They shouldn't have billed you without confirming order was in stock. I would take my custom elsewhere. Good luck.

  georgemac 16:10 15 Dec 2004

The item was delivered this morning. They have not opened the email I sent (I have msgtag), in fact it has not been delivered yet!

I called this afternoon, spoke to a nice lady called Gemma who, although surprised that I did not want to accept the substituted item, called head office and assured me that the returns paperwork will be sent out to me in the next 7 days, and I then have to follow the instrcutions.

I am concerned because I have nothing in writing. I think I may write to Argos head office, where would I stand if they say I never called saying that I had rejected the goods?

I have also emailed my credit card company, they have opened my email but so far I have had no reply.

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