Customer Service

Belkin don't wish to speak to you

So, I’m looking at buying a Belkin product but have a pre-sales question.

It’s not urgent so I send them an email using the form on their website. I don’t get a reply.

So I use their “live chat” service on the website… the person pretends not to receive my questions and then stops talking to me.

Finally, I use the old fashioned method of ringing… I got through all the menu options and – I’m met with silence. No further menu options, no ringing, no nothing. I try again and get the same thing.

I assume Belkin just isn’t interested in me as a customer.

Customer Service

Argos Returns

So, back in March I bought a new kettle after mine starting falling to bits (literally the plastic was deteriorating). It was one of these new see-through polycarbonate types. The handle, softly padded, glowed when the kettle was heating. And it was all see-through plastic and chrome.

Unfortunately, it’s continued to add a chemical taste to the water if it’s left in for any amount of time, the plastic has began to crack and the soft padding on the handle is coming away. All in 5 months.

As I’m at work and my wife, well, isn’t, she went off to Argos, on her bike, the other side of town, with the kettle and receipt. Except. They wanted to do any kind of refund on the original card used – which was mine. Otherwise my wife could have Argos vouchers, which we didn’t want as the replacement kettle we were looking at was a lot cheaper.

So I have to visit, as I was the one who bought it. But. I turn up and they still won’t accept my card – I changed banks earlier this year and my bank card is now different to the one used to buy the kettle. So they will only swap the kettle or give me vouchers.

Begrudgingly I accept the vouchers.

The kettle we wanted, by this time, was sold out. I found another. That was in the “Extra” range so had to be ordered in (bear in mind I am now without a kettle). In the end I find one – but this is the same price as the one I returned. It means I don’t have the hassle of Argos vouchers to use, but means I’ve spent more on a replacement than I intended. Ho hum. At least this doesn’t have whizzy lights to fail, soft padding to fall off, etc.

Only time will tell how this goes but Argos… get a grip.

Customer Service Website – Final Comment

Today I received 3 emails from Tesco, the first at 5am. And only 3 days since I replied to them. A new record.

Thank you for your email

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay in reply. Unfortunately, we have experienced technical difficulties which have resulted in a number of our responses not being sent.

All customer contact is incredibly valuable to us and we understand how frustrating this must be. We are currently working on these issues. You will shortly receive our original reply to your enquiry.

Thank you for your patience.

Then, 3.5 hours later…

Thank you for your email.

I just want to let you know that your email has successfully reached us, and we promise to be back in touch as soon as possible.

Thank you.

So, now we have 2 replies, neither of which say much other than to say they’re GOING to reply to me. Why do they do this close to when they do reply? Wouldn’t this kind of response be more appropriate not long after I’ve emailed them, to “set expectations”?

Now, if you remember, my reply was to go into detail about the IE 7 pop-up issue on their website. I didn’t have to, but I did. 3 hours ago I got my third mail of the day…

Thank you for your reply.

I would like to thank you for your comments regarding “The OK Button”

We find all customer feedback valuable as this helps us when we are looking at ways to make our service better. I would like to assure you that I have fully logged the points you have made. These will be directed to the correct area of the business.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your views with us.

So, have they told someone? God only knows. However, the fact that they define it as a “view” does trouble me. I’m pointing out a god-damn failure of your online ordering system, you fools.

I did some testing of the site with Opera and Safari and that seemed ok. So, it only breaks in IE7. And Firefox. Which, by my reckoning, means their site works quite successfully for 33% of people, a figure they can be proud of.

Customer Service Website – Update

Well, if proof were needed that Tesco were aware of my blog entry, just a day after my last comment, they sent me the following email…

Thank you for your email

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the delay in reply. Unfortunately, we have experienced technical difficulties which have resulted in a number of our responses not being sent.

All customer contact is incredibly valuable to us and we understand how frustrating this must be. We are currently working on these issues. You will shortly receive our original reply to your enquiry.

Thank you for your patience.

Interesting. However, the “official” reply came today…

Thank you for your email.

I’m sorry to hear that you were having some problems when trying to shop at

You are correct in what you say. At the moment we would advise that Firebox 3 is not compatible with our website. Fire fox 2 works reasonably well but not 3. I am afraid.

Re the OK button on the notes. Its because of the screen resolution you are using. A higher resolution would cure this. To get round it all that you need to do is press the tab key until the OK button comes into view.

Hmmm. I’m not impressed. My reply, which I think sums this up, is as follows…

Thank you for the reply.

However, I disagree with what you say with regard to the “OK button on the notes”. My screen resolution is 1280×1024 – perfectly fine. Besides, the issue was with a pop-up window, the size of which is defined by your own website. However, with the introduction of Internet Explorer 7, some of this room was taken up by the web address, which was previously missing. This was for security reasons.

I’m guessing your pop-up isn’t taking this into account. However, you have equally set the pop-up not to allow scrolling so “pressing tab” will not make the option magically appear.

What else can I say? They can’t blame MY setup for their pop-up not displaying fully. They should be testing better – they certainly don’t appear to test with FF3 or IE7.

As for the Firefox issue being down to Firefox 3, well, I’m yet unconvinced and will have to test the theory when I can. However, with 8 million people downloading FF3 on the day of release alone, I’d say a rather large proportion of Firefox users are moving over – for their site not to work on this version of the browser is a rather big issue. Even a message on site indicating that this is happening would have been far better than me wasting my time.

I’d also like to comment on this line…

Fire fox 2 works reasonably well but not 3. I am afraid.

Les (the name of the person who replied), it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work on Firefox 3. There’s certainly no need to be afraid. It’s really not that bad.

Could I humbly suggest that Tesco install spelling and grammer checks on their outgoing mail?

Customer Service Website

Last week I had the “joy” of trying the online shopping service at Rather than go into it again, it’s probably easier for me to copy the email that I sent to their Customer Services. After all, every little helps 😉

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just spent a frustrating amount of time attempting to order from your website. In the end I placed an order with Ocado, as I had no such issues with their ordering system. However, I thought I should inform you of the issues I found.

First of all, and by default, I attempted a food order using Firefox (version 3.0). I found the following problems (in sequence of coming across them)…

  • Screen refreshes randomly appear to freeze – the entire page appears but not the search bar or the advert with it. I could fix this by clicking on the “Grocery Home” tab.
  • All attempts to search for food items cause the page to freeze, endlessly loading the page. I’m sure an error would have appeared but I simply got bored waiting.
  • Earlier when pressing Enter after typing a word in, it kept wanting me to download a file (this has now stopped, so I can’t get the details).
  • When I click on “Help” at the top of the screen, a blank pop-up window appears.

This is obviously a problem with your site on Firefox, as none of the above occurred with Internet Explorer. Has your site been properly tested, because I find it frustrating.

I then switched to using Internet Explorer (version 7). This worked a lot better than Firefox EXCEPT when attempting to add notes the popup window was missing the “OK” button (or whatever it would take to exit the window and save my note). I’ve attached a screenshot of this. Without being able to add notes, I didn’t want to place an order.

I would appreciate feedback on anything that is being done to rectify these issues. I’ll be happy to re-try the site once these have been fixed.

The screenshot I make reference to is included in this blog. See if you can see the problem!

Anyway, I got an automated response from Tesco…

We’re receiving a large number of enquiries at the moment, so there will be a delay in getting back to you. But I want to let you know that you are very important to us and we will be back in touch quickly as we can.

Can I ask you to be patient with us too? I promise we will be back in touch, but if we receive duplicate emails it may prevent us from getting back to you as quickly as we’d hope.

Now, for a minute let’s forget that this was sent on the 14th July and I’ve not yet had a response. How rubbish is this response? “We’re really crappy at responding but, hey, let’s put in on you by asking YOU to be patient.” That way how you can you complain and feel guilty?

And what’s this “Can I ask you to be patient with us too?” Too? When exactly did I ask them to be patient with me? I didn’t. So there’s no “too” involved.

Bloody-too-big-for-their-boots companies.

To top it all off I wasted a frustrating amount of time at the weekend trying to get a home quote out of Tesco Compare.  Apart from them asking for my exact house measurements, it also asked for some fantastic information such as the percentage of my roof that is flat. Some of it is, but I wouldn’t have a clue as to what percentage. But what REALLY finished it off for me was when it asked me if I had any individual items that I wanted to ensure over £1500. I said no. It asked if wanted to ensure any bikes away from the house. I said yes. It then took me to a new screen asking me to entire individuals items worth over £1500 or bikes over £150. I had none. Except it wouldn’t allow me not to enter something. What? Make up something I don’t own?

In the end I closed their site down and went elsewhere.