Know how team caused no less than days of trouble with washing machine

Chris Gates of Southsea Picture: Malcolm Wells (150616-3901)
Chris Gates of Southsea Picture: Malcolm Wells (150616-3901)
Ear witness Brian Whiting identified the robber's distinctive tones

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Robber caught by his voice alone

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When reader Chris Gates and his partner Carol started to get the washday blues they thought it was high time they bought a new washing machine.

And what better place to buy a replacement than the Burrfields road branch of Currys, the nation’s top electrical retailer.

The 49-year-old train driver from Portsmouth told Streetwise that after looking around the store they decided to push the boat out and go for a Samsung Eco bubble washer drier which had previously caught Carol’s eye.

But their troubles started last October when the £639 appliance was delivered to their home and a couple of guys from the Currys ‘know how’ team set about installing it.

Matters didn’t exactly get off to an auspicious start when Chris discovered shortly after they’d gone they’d ripped a nasty hole in the kitchen lino whilst manoeuvring the machine into place.

He went back to the store who told him to get quotes for repairing the damage. He wasted a whole day trying to find a contractor do the work within the £50 price limit imposed by Currys.

After a bit of haggling an independent contractor was organised but if the couple thought their washday blues were at an end they were sadly mistaken.

When the lino fitters pulled the machine out it was discovered the Currys ‘know how’ team had bungled the job and crushed the waste pipe hose.

Chris traipsed back to the store only to be told to buy a replacement waste pipe from the nearby Homebase store and they’d arrange for the ‘know how’ guys to return to fix it.

But when the crack ‘know how’ team turned up a technician confirmed they didn’t know how to do the job because the back of the appliance would have to be removed and they weren’t allowed to touch it.

A furious Chris again made his way back to Currys and told them in no uncertain terms he was fed up with them trying to pass the buck and the problem had to be sorted.

They arranged for a Samsung engineer to look at the machine, but because it was an installation problem and there was nothing wrong with it at all he could do was to refer the matter back to Currys.

After exchanging a few choice words with the store manager and demanding a refund, it was eventually agreed to write off the appliance and replace it with a new one.

All went well for a few weeks when their dream washing machine started to make strange gurgling noises, error codes appeared, and the water refused to drain away.

To their astonishment when a service engineer arrived to diagnose the fault he discovered the waste pipe had been crushed for a second time.

Fed up to the back teeth, Chris returned to the store and insisted enough was enough and demanded a refund, but was reluctantly persuaded to give the retailer one more chance to get a top ‘know how’ specialist team out to fix it once and for all.

But when they arrived the farcical situation turned into a nightmare. In what was to be a complete re-run of the first attempt to repair the machine, a red-faced apologetic technician declined to touch because he said replacing the hose wasn’t his job.

The store manager insisted to get the appliance up and running their installation team would have to cut holes in the kitchen cabinets.

Chris said this was the last straw and asked Streetwise to get on the case. As soon as we got in touch with Currys it was quickly sorted.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are sorry that Mr Gates’ deliveries were not to our usual high standards, and for causing him any inconvenience. We have now refunded his washer-dryer and offered him a £50 voucher.

‘As an additional gesture of goodwill, Mr Gates’ local store is happy to discount his next purchase there should he wish to return.

‘We understand Mr Gates to be satisfied with this resolution.’

Chris was grateful and relieved their washing machine saga had finally come to an amicable end.

Chris said: ‘I don’t know what you said to them but whatever it was it worked.

‘Thank you very much for everything, it’s much appreciated.’