Argos - they choose a spec for you

  Grambo 13:42 05 Dec 2008

Last night i reserved a PVR (a Digihome DTR160) at an Argos store. Last one in stock at a branch a good half hour away. Paid for it this morning after showing the reservation number. So far so good. I went to collect it and saw that it was a Wharfedale unit. I explained that it was not what i had ordered, and that i do a lot of research before purchasing. I was then told that the Wharfedale was an equivalent spec (I read last night that they are similar, but could be different software release). My point is, I decide what machine I want...not Argos. The fact that their system indicated availability online, when in fact they had none and tried to fob me off is a disgrace. After driving all the way back empty handed, i got onto customer service who were a bit suprised this had happened. give me Amazon any day.
Now its a choice between TVonics DTR-FP1600 or Hitachi HDR 162

  interzone55 17:13 05 Dec 2008

It's a common problem with Argos, they buy from many places, so the brand names and spec may differ slightly.

They also re-number stock when catalogues change, so something in last years catalogue that's similar to a new product will be shifted across to the new code, despite the fact that it's a different product.

For many lines this isn't a problem, after a £3 toaster is going to be the same inside no matter what name is on the outside, but for technology products this can be an issue, as you mention with the software release.

But at the end of the day, Argos is a box shifter, whether it's a box of toasters or a box of MP3 players, it's all the same to them. If you want a particular product, it's always better to go to a proper shop...

  Scorpion Bay 18:19 05 Dec 2008

...on many occasions, the manufacturer of an item changes the spec midway through the life of the catalogue. As no sane person would expect Argos to reprint the catalogue every time this happens, the only thing left to to is tell you about it before you pay for the item. You always have the option of looking at the item first, and are always told about any spec changes before you hand over the money.

And Alan14, care to define 'proper shop'? Can you honestly say that you've never received an item that differed slightly from the spec you were expecting from another shop, or know of someone that has?

  Stuartli 19:14 05 Dec 2008

Apart from the fact that many products are re-badged, you can rest assured that Argos will in no way attempt to deceive you.

For instance, I purchased a stainless steel DeLonghi microwave from Argos at the beginning of January which, at £35, was half-price in the sale at the time.

About six weeks ago it went faulty, so I contacted the Argos customer service department and was assured it would be replaced with a new unit.

Because it would have been about three weeks before it could be delivered and the faulty one collected, customer service fully supported my suggestion I went to my local Argos.

I took the faulty microwave with me (customer service said the model was still available), but the staff found that the one listed in the latest catalogue was different in appearance, despite the same reference number.

A check was made with customer services and it was made clear that a revamped version of the microwave was the replacement.

So I got my replacement microwave (just one in stock!) for which the catalogue price is £70.

Incidentally the original model could still be found on sale at Tesco and one or two other outlets under their brand names for several months afterwards, at considerably more than the £35 I paid.

  Grambo 20:05 05 Dec 2008

I think what concerned me most was the fact that i specifically searched for a model that i wanted and reserved it. If I was informed that an equivalent would be offered (but why say the model i wanted was available?), i wouild not of driven all that way. To be offered something that i know nothing about and not researched is bang out of order. I still think its a form of deception even tho some might think Argos are doing their best. The staff obviously dont know anything about the specs and software so i would love to know who makes these assumptions about whats right for me.

  spuds 20:58 05 Dec 2008

It might not be a case of assumption, more a case of offering a latest stock product 'equivalent or better than' the previous advertised item. Wharfdale is a long established and well supported name in electronics.

A number of years ago I wanted to purchase some hiFi speakers from a well known high street store. Arrived at the store and was given a set of Wharfdale's instead of the product I had ordered and wanted.Lucky for me, it turned out that the original model that I wanted was actually a lower grade re-badged product.


  Stuartli 23:27 05 Dec 2008

Wharfedale speakers and electronic products are, to the best of my knowledge, completely different animals.

The Yorkshire based speaker manufacturer was indeed a manufacturer of high class hi-fi speakers.

  dagnammit 05:18 06 Dec 2008

"Wharfdale is a long established and well supported name in electronics."

Speakers! Not the electronics they lend their name to.

The Argos Wharfedale TV is the same product as Tesco's Technika TV! 1st hand experience of that one! Tv went back inside a couple of hours.

  Grambo 09:18 06 Dec 2008

I love a happy ending. After spending all of last night trying to find suitable alternative pvr (that isnt from bloody argos), I was just about to sign off this website when i noticed a device for ps3 which does everything a pvr does at half the price click here

Only issue might the memory on my 60 gig, but I wont be recording heavily.

  Stuartli 10:42 06 Dec 2008

My Twinhan Freeview PCI TV card has enabled me to enjoy the full PVR experience on my computer system for several years - the only limit is the spare capacity on my hard drive, upped to 320GB last year.

Recording the hour-long Top Gear programme, for example, takes up 630MB.

  interzone55 15:38 06 Dec 2008

Having worked for Argos, and it's old rival Index I'm qualified to comment.

The spec may change mid catalogue, and in those instances the in-store catalogues are amended with over-stickers.

In Grambo's case the spec didn't change, the whole product was different.

As for proper shop, I refer to one where you can walk up to the stock and examine it, one where the staff have a clue about the products offered, and one where you can get decent after sales service.

Unfortunately these stores are increasingly rare, but to find one rearrange the words Partnership Lewis & John...

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