Empire Direct

  hazelnut 11:07 29 Jul 2003

I am considering making a purchase from empire direct. Any praise or grumble's from anyone regarding this company ?

  [DELETED] 12:54 29 Jul 2003

I bought a Panasonic widescreen TV from them 2 yrs ago by telephone mail order. The price was cheaper than elsewhere, but I had to wait a long time for delivery - about 4 months - they blamed Panasonic, which is fair enough, but I was advised it would be 2 weeks when I placed the initial order.When finally delivered, within 30 mins the TV packed up. Empire sent an engineer, but I refused to allow repair, so this was then collected and replaced with new one which took about 3 weeks to arrive (again Panasonic was blamed), this didn't work at all! So I told them to collect and they credited my credit card in full.

I think perhaps I was unlucky, and I guess Panasonic's quality control was at fault. To their credit, Empire Direct refunded me without fuss, but I wasnt happy with the very long delays in delivery and I kept on having to chase every week.I am sure however that you will hear from many people who are happy customers and certainly, their prices are very competitive.

  [DELETED] 14:10 29 Jul 2003

I've bought a few items from them as they were lower priced than I'd seen elsewhere. Mostly OK but one item failed to turn up in the allotted time and on phoning I was told the item was out of stock at the time of my order and had been cancelled. Well, it hadn't been cancelled by me so I told them to get it out to me. It arrived the next day.

Another item was ordered in advance of launch. Again, after waiting some weeks, I saw it was on their website as being in stock. A phone call re-instated my order and it was with me in a couple of days.

It seems as though they have their system set up so that anything on order for more than a certain length of time gets automatically cancelled when that time is exceeded, whatever the circumstances.

My advice is buy by all means as they're so cheap but keep a careful check on the progress of your order.


  Stuartli 15:22 29 Jul 2003

As far as I can make out Empire Direct acts as an agent - a bit like an insurance broker - and tales of its competence vary quite a bit.

It's alright ignoring your local independent dealer to save a few pounds on a TV (and if a dealer is a member of an organisation such as Euronics the price difference is very small, if at all, in any case), but you will quickly realise the limitations if things go wrong and you are working long distance.

Much better to rely on local services where you know you will receive proper after sales service, rather than save what is usually a modest sum.

Peace of mind is more important in the long run.

  hazelnut 15:40 29 Jul 2003

For the item I am considering the difference between the empire direct price and currys is a whopping £400. Do you think it is worth the risk ?

  [DELETED] 16:05 29 Jul 2003

"Do you think it is worth the risk ?"

Order via your credit card and let them take all the risk!

Despite the impression I may have given above, I would use them again.

  [DELETED] 16:09 29 Jul 2003

Yes, stuartli.has made a good point. The saving on the TV I originally ordered was about £200. However, after obtaining a refund, I purchased a different set from my local branch of Alders at a good price, with 5 yr warranty thrown in at no additional charge, for good measure.......Hazelnut, for £400 saving, it is IMHO worth the risk as long as you pay by credit card.

  [DELETED] 16:10 29 Jul 2003

Pops is obviously faster with the "post reponse" key than me !

  Stuartli 19:52 29 Jul 2003

Four minutes faster....:-)

There's an old adage that you usually get what you pay for.

My mate runs an independent audio/visual/domestic outlet and his prices are very similar to the big high street discounters, backed by superior after sales service.

Quite often people come in asking him to repair items they have purchased on the high street - if they are still in warranty he tells them to take the goods back to where they bought them from.

He usually gets a sob story (or angry and abusive reactions) about high street stores proving very negative with after sales responses; he then has to point out that his workshop, which is an expensive operation to maintain, is for his own customers' requirements or goods that are out of warranty, not the high street outlets.

  [DELETED] 23:13 29 Jul 2003

I bought a JVC hifi from them about 2 years ago. When I set it up it didn't work. The picked it up but couldn't get the part which was faulty. It took them about 6 weeks to get me a replacement, not to mention the dozen or so phone calls I had to make. I wouldn't deal with them again. I prefer to buy from my local electrical store now, although if the hifi had been in perfect working order I might be saying the opposite.

  [DELETED] 16:50 01 Aug 2003

About a year ago I bought a telly with a couple of hundred quid saving: Arrived within 3 days no problems.

Only bad thing is that I have been subsequently bombarded by E-mail

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