Questions of Cash – March 2016

Posted on March 29, 2016 · Posted in The Independent

Q. I have received horrible service from Vodafone.  I placed an order for an iPhone 6S, since when I have been on the phone with Vodafone for a combined six hours, with no resolution in sight.  I ordered the phone on a Saturday and was promised I would receive it the following Tuesday.  I called Vodafone on the Tuesday to check the situation on my account and the call operative said in passing ‘oh, by the way, the phone will not be delivered today’. This was news to me.  The person I spoke to was rude and he transferred me to a colleague who hung up on me.  I called back and this time I was told the phone order was open and I would get the phone within 24 hours.  I didn’t.  I called Vodafone again and was told the phone had been despatched and was on its way to me.  Again it did not arrive and when I phoned I was told the order was still open.  I then phoned yet again and yet again I was assured the phone would be with me within 24 hours. Given my previous experience, I called back to check and it turned out the order was still open. This person then assured me the order had now been pushed through and I was then given a delivery date of more than a month later.  When I asked why the delay, I was told that lack of stock was a possible reason. This indicates an element of untruthfulness by the first advisor in order to close a sale.  I have already sold my previous phone and I am using a borrowed old phone that hardly works.  KF, London.

A. We took this up with Vodafone – and amazingly the situation then got even worse.  Promises to us by Vodafone that the matter had been resolved also turned out to be premature.  The first contact with you by Vodafone after you raised the problems with us led to Vodafone offering to create a manual order to override its system, but this involved cancelling your initial order.  You were then told there were difficulties in cancelling that order, which prevented a new order being created.  This created a new delay of several days.  Understandably, you then requested Vodafone cancel your account so that you could obtain a new phone from another provider.  Vodafone told you that it would charge you a month’s rental, £64, if you cancelled.  Despite your request to close the account, you were then sent a text by Vodafone to say that it had initiated another order for a new phone for you.  On this basis you decided you were unable to open a new account with another phone company.  When you checked Vodafone’s website, this said that the phone was out for delivery with DPD – but when you checked with DPD it told you it did not have the handset.  Eventually, the handset was delivered.  Moreover, you say you then received a call from Vodafone offering to waive the fee of £229.  But then you were contacted again by Vodafone to say that it would not waive the £229 fee.  So you told Vodafone to close the account. DPD collected and returned the handset to Vodafone – which then sent you another text thanking you for choosing to stay with Vodafone.  In an attempt to resolve the dispute Vodafone agreed to clear the balance on the account. Vodafone said you owed them £50, but you believed you were actually in credit on the account.   After you rejected this offer, Vodafone came back and agreed to pay you £72 as a goodwill gesture.  You are now a customer of EE.

Q. I ordered a cheap TV from Curry’s and then changed my mind and paid extra for a better model, a 46 inch Sony, which cost £500.  I have had nothing but problems with it. It freezes so I can’t change channels, turn it off, or alter the volume.  Curry’s have tried to persuade me that the problem is with the remote control, because it is possible to change channels by switching the TV off and then on again.  But that is not the problem.  The TV seems to work for a while and then goes wrong again.  I had only had the TV for five months.  I told Curry’s that I want my money back, but despite the hassle and expense of visiting the shop it told me I had to deal direct with Sony.  Curry’s continued to say the same, even after several phone calls.  When I contacted Sony, it told me I had to pay for a repair.  After more phone calls Sony agreed to do the repair for nothing, it fitted a new main board and then the TV went wrong all over again.  It is now six months since I bought the TV.  Surely I am entitled to my money back, or at least a replacement TV.  I have now been without a TV for four weeks.  SC, by email.

A. Curry’s has agreed to exchange your television for another model.  A spokeswoman said: “We are sorry [the reader] has experienced issues with her TV purchased from Curry’s PC World. We always look to solve customer problems as swiftly as possible. In this instance we have offered the customer a full exchange of the product.”

Q. I have attempted repeatedly to cancel PC World’s Knowhow care plan, having tried it and not being happy with it.  I have been unable to obtain a refund of my £20 payment for the plan.  HP, Sussex.

A. PC World says that problems you had with your laptop were the result of poor broadband capacity, rather than the product you purchased.  It initially agreed to refund the £20 if you attended the store from which you purchased the laptop.  At our request it agreed to instead send you a cheque, which you have received.