PCWorld returns policy = humiliation

  josie mayhem 21:07 21 Nov 2004

MY husband and I felt totaly humiliated, today at PCWorld, all because I'd taken a faulty motherboard back for replacement.

There were no diagreements about replacement, but the lad at customers services had refunded the cost of the board while we fetched another off the shelf. He then told us that we had to go to the main till to reperchase replacement motherboard.

When we got to the till, my card was refused infront of other customers, I explained I had asked for an replacement board, the checkout lady did comment that he shouldn't have done it, that way. she went of to find out how we could go about, sorting it out so that I could have a replacement board. To no avail, come back when your funds are cleared about 3/4 days??

But I need my computer up and running, so requested that I saw the manager, whch I did.

But he couldn't see what the fuss was about, I had a refuned it wasn't his fault that I didn't have enough money to rebuy the product ect, ect

Tried telling me that company procedure on faulty goods, they weren't replaced but your money refunded and then you rebrought the goods. He couldn't understand that this for me would mean another 30 mile round trip to get my motherboard when the do called Refund from PCWorld had cleared my bank!!! Nor could he understand how humilating it was having your transaction turned down in front of the customers. And They couldn't cancel the transaction on there computers (i bet if the lad had given me back £750 indtead of the £75 pounds back the could have done)

I would have been a lot more happier if he had said, soryy we've bullsed it up, and we can't do anything about it, but if you like to come back when the refund as cleared, we can sort something out in your favour for the inconvience.

I had to really push for anything to petrol/time cost, and that if He remembers that what he said!!!

surley this isn't the way to treat your customers is it?

  gudgulf 00:11 22 Nov 2004

I would hope that if the item was in stock then a replacement would be an acceptable alternative to a refund....However if the returns policy is to refund the purchase price to the card used on the initial purchase that should normally be acceptable.It is not the stores responsibility to make sure you have not reached the credit limit on your card,is it?

Don't get me wrong here,I'm not critisising you.
The manager of the store surely has it in his power to allow a straight exchange of faulty goods for a replacement product.He could at least have had the decency to offer you a phone call to the credit card company to get an increase in your credit limit.It certainly wouldn't do any harm to extend a little curtesy to a customer.Seems to me these days that people are becoming excessively bound to protocols and good old fashioned customer service is being thrown out of the window.
josie mayhem you have my sympathy for what is a very unfortunate situation and I believe one which the manager of the store should have been far more amenable to rectify on the spot.

  pj123 17:16 22 Nov 2004

I think your faulty motherboard should have been accepted and a replacement given to you with an escort out of the shop to bypass the tills.

But if that is not the policy of the shop I think I agree with gudgulf here. If your card is refused it has nothing to do with the supplier, whether it is in front of other customers or not. This is altogether to do with your card issuer.

I would also like to reiterate what gudgulf says: "Don't get me wrong here,I'm not critisising you. The manager of the store surely has it in his power to allow a straight exchange of faulty goods for a replacement product."

Unfortunately, if the store policy is to credit your card first and then you buy the replacement, you will probably have to wait.

  georgemac 19:09 22 Nov 2004

but I do not agree

the product was purchased and paid for in full - the store had been paid

the product developed a fault during the warranty period - this was accepted by the store - an immediate replacement product should have been issued

Now if the original had been paid for with cash, would the customer have been taken to the till, given the cash back then told to go and buy another product off the shelf - I somehow think not - although I may be wrong.

Josie, I would have went home, waited for the credit to go on my card and ordered another motherboard from ebuyer and saved myself a few quid.

  josie mayhem 21:44 22 Nov 2004

Sorry lads I'm actualy a *she*

I hadn't used a credit card to pay for the orginal board, but a direct debit card, to which they had refunded the money to, and which I used said card to repurchase motherboard.

I phoned there customer severices when I got home from work this afternoon, and was told that

PCWorld policy to returning of faulty goods are as follows;

1, The purchase price for the goods are returned to the customer, they then have to repurchase the replacement goods.

2, in answer to sanap, if you had paid with cash you are issued with a credit note to hand to the cashier.

3. If you paid by credit card or direct debit card then the refund is made back into the issuing account.

4, If you had a finance agreement to purchase a product, then the credit company is contacted and the agreement canceled and then you reapply for finace before you are given a replacement.

It seems that if you want to buy anything from PCWorld, then not only to you have to ensure you can aford it on the day of purchase, but just incase it goes wrong, then you can aford to rebuy at any point in the following 12 month's.

Some how I cant see that as being customer freindly!!!!

P.S sorry for the rant, but it added insult to injury. Has I've just had to give up a very well paid job due to ill-health, hence funding low,

  spuds 21:45 22 Nov 2004

I have stated many times on this forum that the running of PC World stores, and the treatment that you receive depends on the store manager.My local PCW store as had many managers over a number of years, and you can usually observe the good manager from the bad.I have dealt with both types.

Referring back to my local PCW store, I have returned faulty goods to the customer service section, and it as always been a case of a instant replacement if a similar or same item is in stock.The customer service will complete the change over on their till, there as never been a need to go to the main checkout.On one occasion I asked the sales person about a product, he wasn't sure, so I consulted the customer service counter. They thought the product would have been suitable, but they were not 100% sure. I purchased the item with the assurance that it it didn't do what I wanted,I could I return it. Result-Didn't do what I wanted, so I returned the goods to the customer service section,I was asked if I would like a similar product, I stated that I didn't and a full refund on my credit card was given, without a quibble.But as I previously stated, a lot can depend on the store manager and how they want to run the store at the time.

josie mayhem-- I would contact PCW main customer services, and ask them what their returns and replacement policy is on faulty items. I would also highlight the way the store dealt with your problem.

  wee eddie 22:03 22 Nov 2004

Their policy sounds simple and sensible.

It was unfortunate that your card issuer let you down, or perhaps that you were so close to your limit.

However PCW had no way of knowing that and their routine seems to be eminently fair.

  Dorsai 19:12 23 Nov 2004

I Have used PCWorld many times, and taken stuff back several times.

On no Ocasion have I been refunded for the faulty item, and then been expected to pay for the new one.

I Have been given a new item, and a till reciept showing that the faulty item had been returned, and a replacement issued.

I needed no escourt out of the shop, as i had a reciept for the new item. Easy as.

So i don't think it is company policy, just they were covering up for the mistake.

But Your experiance Josie, was a compleat farce, I have to agree.

I think it all started when the lad on the costomer help desk accidently gave you your money back. From then on, they had no option but to ask for payment for the new item. And, yes, credits do take 3 days to clear, and no, once it has gone through the PDQ machine, it can't be cancelled. But that is not your problem, it's theirs. They should have been able to come up with some mutually acceptable solution, such as a 'credit note' from the manager, to cover fuel costs. That is what i would have done, were i the manager.

As for card errors, I have made this error with a customer of mine, But i made sure the customer was not embarrased, but i shore was, greatly. And my error was for over £700, so i had taken ALL their money, and refunded it. But they would have to wait to get it back, and that would be 3 days later. (why wont the earth open up and swollow me moment?).

I would write to the head of customer servies, say what you said here, and ask weather they think the way you were treated was acceptable. I Dont think it was.

  Dizzy Bob 19:54 23 Nov 2004


Would be willing to mention which branch it was?

Dizzy Bob

  Dizzy Bob 19:55 23 Nov 2004


Should have read,

Would you be willing to mention which branch it was?

Dizzy Bob

  Forum Editor 20:14 23 Nov 2004

it is PCW policy to credit transactions back to the card account in these circumstances and they're not alone in that - it's a very common practice. They aren't bound by law to give you any other form of refund if you pay by card, but in the interests of customer goodwill I would have thought that a straightforward one-for-one swap would have been a sensible course of action here.

Having your card transaction refused by your bank was obviously embarrassing, but to be brutally honest I'm surprised that you didn't know your funds were running low. Had you done so, perhaps you could have explained in advance, and avoided the unpleasant incident at the till.

On balance I'm inclined to agree with you, PCW haven't exactly distinguished themselves over this.

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