COMET and the Distance Selling Regulations

  TimC 16:00 20 Mar 2003

Recently, I ordered a couple of items from Comet Direct, and decided that whilst we wanted to keep one, the other was not quite what we wanted - purely from aesthetics and size. (We'd opened the box, but not opened any of the sealed bags containing cables etc).

No problem - as on Comet's web site is says under the provisions of the Distance Selling Act I have 7 days to return it, no questions asked - take it to a store or contact them. So armed with a print out of the appropriate statement from the web site I go to Comet.

Unfortunately, the poor lady on Customer Services was having a nightmare trying to help people whose brand new washing machine had failed, still full of water and clothes - no manager around to help. When my turn came, I presented the goods and my receipt, said it was not wanted, and asked for a refund.

Guess what - a manager appears, asks the assistant what my complaint is, and tells her that I'm not entitled to a refund. Blood boiling time - I reasonably calmly tell him he is obliged to under the terms of the Distance Selling Regulations, at which he shuffles off. I show the print out to the assistant who starts to process the refund, during which the phone rings - it's the manager who was no where when the washing machine saga was going on - he'd walked to the other end of the store, rang through with the instruction not to give a refund. The assistant wouldn't let me talk to him, and said to me it was too late as she had already credited my credit card. I offered to speak to this rather spineless manager, but she said she'd deal with him later and asked to keep the print out from the web site.

What really annoyed me was the manager's cowardly attitude of not being prepared to confront me himself ~ the assistant was annoyed as she had previously asked for guidance on internet returns and had no policy statement to refer to.

The moral - get a print-out of the returns policy before you leave home!

  TimC 16:01 20 Mar 2003

Sorry thought I'd put this in Consumer Watch!

  Bagsey 16:26 20 Mar 2003

Excellent advice. Thanks, you never know when snippets of this kind of info will come in handy

  TBH1 17:09 20 Mar 2003

you wanna report this guy to his head office or something

  davidg_richmond 01:00 21 Mar 2003

TimC - normally the DSR only covers returns back to the warehouse they came from and not necessarily your local store - Comet's website changed this however with their policy of returns to local stores. this needs to be bore in mind when dealing with other companies who may have stricter returns policies.

  TimC 09:04 21 Mar 2003

TBH1 - I offered to, to the assistant, but she said she would deal with it - to be honest I was successful in my transaction.

davidg - That's not pedantic - interesting and a very important point, I felt on strong ground as I had their policy with me. PC World do the same as Comet. You could argue that the Comet type policy is stricter as you have to present the goods for inspection, and argue over the condition - whereas returning it to the depot gives the opportunity to blame the courier.

  davidg_richmond 12:05 21 Mar 2003

yeah good point, arguing face-to-face is better than a faceless customer service email address though! ive ordered memory from PC World Online and had no problems returning it to the store for a replacement, much better than posting it off and waiting a week or so to get a replacement.

  TBH1 12:21 21 Mar 2003

TimC - glad you got a result though would still right to their head-office about this guy. Hey, you have nothing to lose now have you ? Go on - - do it. . .

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