After a mere 8 months of usage one of the my desktop PC’s SSD drives has failed. As I use it as the OS drive this meant my PC was, well, unusable. Not being very old I wasn’t particularly concerned – I’d just get it swapped out by the retailer.
I bought it from dabs.com – a company which, in the past, has had a good reputation for customer service. I visited their site to arrange a return but was met with the following message…
Please make arrangements to return your item directly to the manufacturer. You’ll find information to help you do this in the warranty documentation that was supplied with your item, or on the relevant manufacturer’s website.
Really? How many retailers won’t allow an obviously faulty product to be returned? The thing is, the Kingston website (who manufacturer the SSD) states…
[A] product purchased outside the USA must be returned through the company from which it was purchased.
A bit of a catch-22 situation. Anyway, this happened on Sunday 11th January, during which I emailed dabs via their online form and also queried this with their Twitter account. I never heard back from the online form but the Twitter support told me they’d passed my details onto customer service. However, after not hearing from them for a couple of days, I decided to ring them on Tuesday. With little explanation they were more than happy to arrange replacement of the item (in stark contrast to the message on their own website). I was given an RMA number and was told they would refund any postage up to a value of £9.64.
Sadly, getting to a Post Office was difficult that week and I wasn’t able to do this until the Thursday 15th. Postage was £7.15 for next day delivery (i.e. Friday). Because I needed the RMA number to send the postage details to dabs.com for my refund (and I’d written this down on some paper at work) I didn’t get around to this until Monday 19th, and even then I had to contact their Twitter account to get the email address.
It wasn’t until Wednesday 21st that I received an email from dabs.com telling me that they’d refunded my money. Except I’d never asked for a refund – I’d asked for a replacement. I need an SSD for my PC to work and it was now a week and a half since it had failed. I rang dabs.com again to confirm it was a refund (it was) and also to enquire about my postage refund request. They admitted they were behind on their emails but it was picked up there and then and I was told a refund would go through in 3-5 working days.
At this stage I purchased a replacement drive from Amazon – I need to get my PC up-and-working as soon as possible and this was the quickest way (and I know Amazon provide good service if anything else was to go wrong).
Meantime, I awaited my refund.
One week later it hadn’t appeared in my account. The refund receipt included an email to use in case of issues but that just bounced, so I contacted the usual Dabs email address. 3 days later I got a response…
I can confirm the returns has been completed and you was refund on the 21/01/2015 for £55.97, and this was refunded back to your card ending in xxxx.
Unfortunately there has been a delay with the £7.16 being refunded and I have requested for this to be refunded today. Please allow up to 3-5 working days for this to hit your account.
I’ve removed the relevant card details above. But, as you’ll see, they’ve cocked up the postage refund somehow. Never-the-less, they seem to have ignored the fact that I’d told them, 5 working days after the main refund, that no money had hit my account. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought I’d wait a little longer.
Meantime I wrote this article and their Twitter account responded to apologise but told me that it takes 7-10 working days for refunds, going against the 3-5 that their customer service desk told me.
Now two weeks after the refund was issued still nothing has turned up in my account (including the postage refund). I spoke to my card company on Saturday 31st and they confirmed they’ve not received anything. I enquired about this via their Twitter account and was told they’d get their finance department to investigate it on Monday.
On Monday 2nd February I heard nothing. Neither did I hear anything on Tuesday. On Wednesday I contacted them via Twitter again – I was told they’d look into it and get back to me.
On Thursday I’d still not heard anything so I rang their customer service desk1, speaking to Kerry. She confirmed that refunds take 3-5 working days and said she’d investigate and would ring me back within 30 minutes to an hour. 1 hours and 45 minutes later (at 2:15pm) and I’ve not had a call back. I tried to ring their customer service number back but there’s no response. So I send a direct Twitter message to them to ask them to get Kerry to call me. Their response?
You will receive a call before 5pm today.
At 4:45pm I sent a message to their Twitter account reminding me of the promised call. Instead, at 4:50pm I received an email from Hannah, their customer service manager2.
I have checked the notes that are currently on the account and I can see that we have raised this with our accounts department and requested that the solve logs are checked. Unfortunately the lady who deals with solve log requests is currently out of the office therefore, we are expecting a response tomorrow for you.
If the woman who could answer this is off, why did they take all day to tell me this as they were never going to be able to get an answer? Confusing.
Next day, they sent me an email (my request – I wasn’t available for phone calls at the time)…
I have had a chat with our account department today and we have agreed that your original refund has failed and we have now reissued another refund to card ending xxxx.
I understand that you have been waiting quite a while to receive your refund however, we do ask that you allow another 3-5 working days for your bank to show this on your available balance.
I guess that confirms that it’s 3-5 working days and NOT 7-10. I did respond asking whether my postage refund will be included – as yet, I’ve not had an answer.
In case you’re wondering why they’re re-issued, the refund was sent to a card that I no longer have. The account is still active though and the card provider told me there would be no issue with a refund to the details. I’ve since, however, updated my Dabs account with my current card number, so they’re refunding to that.
And – finally – the refund turned up. Oddly, it shows the main refund was made on Wednesday 4th, with the postage going through on Friday 6th (the latter is consistent with what they were telling me, the former isn’t).
I think it’s also worth summarising some of the issues here.
- Their refund process is appalling. Retailers DO NOT set expectations that faulty goods, particularly if they’re only months old, are returned to manufacturers.
- It’s now 3 weeks since Dabs received my faulty drive and over 2 weeks since they offered the refund. Clearly something has gone with the refund process, which may not be their fault. However, the postage delay was.
- Speaking of refunds their Facebook page is interesting with one customer, praising their customer service, talking about the returns package their received, which meant they didn’t have to sort out postage, etc. I’m wondering who gets this kind of assistance and who doesn’t?
- Their Twitter account constantly tell me they’re raising my issues with customer services but I’m not getting any responses. Why can’t their Twitter account look into issues and get back to customers?
- Are refunds 3-5 working days or 7-10? It’s a big difference and I think they should be giving the right answer each time.
The service from dabs.com has been appalling. It would appear that their customer service has gone rapidly done hill in recent years, not coincidently, I’d suggest, since they were bought by BT.
My recommendation… steer clear.