Currys PC World customer service: News consumer column Streetwise helps thousands of people left high and dry with undelivered orders, repairs and returns
and live on Freeview channel 276
Richard Thomson, the former trading standards officer who writes our Streetwise column, first took up the case of Southsea couple Thomas and Liz Orchard who were left fuming when a freezer they ordered last March still hadn’t turned up in May and they’d spent hours waiting on the phone as emails were ignored.
Their story struck a chord and went viral – with more than 43,000 hits in two days in mid-May – and sparked a national tsunami of complaints about undelivered orders, repairs and returns.
The deluge of complaints that arrived in the Streetwise inbox crashed the email account, with some customers accusing Currys PC World of fraud, insisting they were left with faulty or damaged products hanging around for weeks with no idea when they’d be repaired or replaced.
Mr Thomson said: ‘We got onto the technology giant to say we were unable to resort to forwarding the bulk of complaints because there weren’t enough hours in the day, and many were unprintable.
‘But a spokesperson explained the lockdown closure of their stores in mid-March and people working from home, resulted in the firm being clobbered by a double whammy leading to an online sales boom. They’d become a victim of their own success.
‘Despite many of their service agents working extended hours from home, they were struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of customer queries and complaints.’
Streetwise agreed to team up with the firm’s corporate public relations colleagues to help resolve some of the problems behind the steady stream of invective still flooding into the email.
Mr Thomson added: ‘We arranged to intercept complaints where contact details and order numbers had been supplied. They were acknowledged then forward to a dedicated team of Currys PC World service agents to set about getting them sorted.
‘Within days the tide began to turn. The Orchards were at the head of the queue when effusive emails began to arrive from across the country expressing grateful thanks to Streetwise for collaborating with the firm to help them out.’
A Currys PC World spokesperson said: ‘We are truly sorry to customers who haven’t received the standard of customer service that we normally expect of ourselves.
‘Our customer services team have worked tirelessly to resolve the customer issues brought to us by The News.
‘Following government advice we have begun a phased opening of our stores and we look forward to welcoming customers and colleagues back with a multitude of safe shopping options and a focus on customer service to help them enjoy amazing technology.’