My contract was coming to an end so I thought I’d explore the idea of leaving 3 but only if I could get a better deal. Why? I had 1100 mins mix and match with 3 for less that £25 a month but I needed a new phone as I’d dropped mine too often for it to function for much longer. Also the tariff didn’t suit my usage so it would have been better for me to change it.

So I rang some network providers and Carphone Warehouse too. I didn’t bother with Orange because the reception for Orange is naff in Pinner!

So I went for an O2 contract BUT then realised that although I was due for an upgrade that was ONLY within 3 because I still had some months left on my existing contract. I haven’t gone for an upgrade offer in a while so I didn’t know that some companies now allow you to upgrade 3 months before your contract ends!

So anyway, I didn’t need to panic because I had a 14 days ‘grace’ period to change my mind and return the phone without incurring any costs. I hadn’t opened the box let alone anything else so there shoud not be a problem.

I called Carphone who told me to contact 02 and let them know that Carphone had received the phone and terminated the contract. A member of staff at 02 confirmed that the contract was terminated within the grace period so there would be no charge. However, there was a direct debit attached to the account. I thought this was strange because I had not given any account details to 02 or Carphone! When I asked 02 about it I realised that Carphone had used OLD account details that they had for a previous TalkTalk account which has since been closed! Would the Direct Debit have bounced if I’d kept the phone?

I was now really near the end of the contract so I called Carphone again, wanting to go for the same deal. I spoke to Mr. Moore. who convinced me that the cashback offer was not as good as the free laptop offer. With this phone, I could get a free mini or ‘normal’ sized laptop and if it was too heavy for me to carry around I could ‘play with it’, see how it goes and send it back within 14 days.

I spoke with his colleague within one day of placing the order because I couldn’t get hold of Mr. Moore. I asked him if I could change the laptop to the mini one or if he could send both, I could see how they are and send one back. The reason this is so important is, to put it very simply, I have a whiplash injury and cannot lift heavy things. There’s more to it than that but that’s enough info for this post.

So I got it on Friday, turned it on, restarted it, walked around with it a little and turn it off. It was too heavy. I went away for the weekend and then called Carphone to ask if I could return it to them. The member of staff told me to return it to my local store as that would be easier. When I returned the phone that I ordered ‘too early’ I went to a local store and was told that I had to send it back via a special envelope that the sales department would send me OR via a courier which they would arrange. They handled the return reluctantly when I told them that the sales department told me that I could return it in store.

When I called to arrange returning the laptop I told him about this problem with returning items to stores and he said that they say no because they’re not getting any commission. If this branch did the same thing he advised me to tell them ‘we’ said they have to return it and if they really give me any trouble, I should call them from the store and they will sort them out. So I went to my local store on Monday and guess what they said? They can’t take returns as I’ve ordered it on the phone.

Does a memo need to be sent to all stores telling them they HAVE to process returns regardless of whether the item was purchased in store, on line or on the phone?

Anyway getting back to this return, they also said I’d broken the seal of the laptop therefore it would not be returned. I was horrified! To be stuck with a laptop that was too heavy for me to use! How pointless!

If you recall, Mr. Moore had told me to open it, play with and decide whether I wanted it or not. Do you think meant for me to keep it in the box? In order to check if that the weight was OK I’d need to unpack it, remove manuals etc and THEN see if it was too heavy for me. Right?

NO! The man in the store said that even if they could take returns from orders purchased on the line or on the phone, he could not return the laptop because I’d opened the box and broken the seal! He called the sales team and explained the problem. The call was escalated to a manager and I was told that I’d be called back in 48 hours. I asked them to keep the items in store and give me a receipt for it. They obliged.

They explained that they can trace any calls to or from the sales department as long as they have the number that the call was made from or to. Thus they will trace the calls made to or from me and find out what Mr. Moore said. If the recordings verify what I said they would accept the return.

I then got told I’d be called in 72 hours.

I called many times I finally got through to someone who told me his name was Glen. He was very supportive. He said ‘I know what ‘we say on the phone and we all say that customers have 14 days grace period with laptops‘. He said he’d arrange for the return straight away and he did! He called the store, it was collected, the return was confirmed and I was back to square one i.e. needing a phone.

I was so happy! I thought that the mistake was on the part of Mr. Moore. Glen helped me, he knows about all what happened and he’s promised to help me get an upgrade once the return is processed, so let me stick with him and get the deal I need.

I ordered a phone through him WITHOUT any laptop. I collected it in store and I met the same man who would not process the return for the laptop. He told me that the person who sold the laptop to me in the first place without explaining that I couldn’t take it out of the box was the same person who processed this new order! His name was on the receipt and the notes on my account! So Glen was actually Mr. Moore!

So he lied to me about his name but he did fix the mess with the laptop which was caused by him anyway. When I was placing the order he said he’d just read a memo that said the offer had changed from £150 to £200 cashback, which you get within 60 days without doing anything. He said he’d cut and paste the notes in this sale so that I’d get £200 instead of the £150.

I have since spoken to Darren, Gareth, someone else, Kit and others. They have all escalated the complaint! What complaint? It was never £200. There’s no such memo!

They advised a call back within 24 hours, then 48 hours and then 72.

I was told that they would listen to the calls and if they found a recording proving that he said I could get £200 cashback, they would honour it.

Although the laptop was returned, I’ve still not had a call from anyone to tell me what happened, why it happened and that it wont happen again because they’ll put x, y and z in place!

I am really disappointed with Carphone and the sales tactics used by their employees!

Amanda, Kelly and Tony were later involved re escalating the complaint but I’ve heard nothing.

I have received the extra £50 of cashback that was promised by Mr. Moore AKA Glen and am now waiting for the emailing £150.

So is it worth it?

Was this just my bad luck or this typical of Carphone Warehouse?

Let me know what experiences you’ve had with Carphone….

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Mark Wallace · June 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Dear Ms Modi,

Thanks for your email.

Your extra £150.00 for agreeing to stay with us is automatically raised after the first 60 days of the new agreement and sent out to you as a cheque. The total waiting period can be up to 90 days after agreeing the upgrade as it takes 60 days before the cheque is authorised and then a maximum of 30 days for that cheque to be delivered to you.

However, in this instance, the auto-cheque has not yet been authorised and it is past the initial 60 day period. I have therefore requested that this cheque be raised for you as part of your agreement entitling you to the sum of £150.00. The cheque will then be delivered to yourself a maximum of 30 days after this request has been authorised, which I will monitor for you personally.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for firstly, the need for you to escalate the initial deal as you were promised £200.00 and also for the delay in getting this second cheque out to you. I understand that upgrades should run a lot smoother than this and the initial error made seems to be having a knock on effect with the release of your £150.00 cheque.

Mark Wallace
Customer Support
Carphone Warehouse

    Heena Modi · June 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks Mark
    It’s a shame it took another email and perhaps this blog post for Carphone to resolve the outstanding issues.
    Anyway thanks all the same 🙂

Heena Modi · July 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm

I was prompted to write this post because someone I know went to Carphone to upgrade their phone. They were told that the deal included unlimited internet access.

When he rang T Mobile for something else he was told that he’d been charged and it was NOT free at all!

When Carphone called me about this blog post I told them about my friend so that they could contact him about this case of mis – selling.

Since then my phone’s been playing up. I don’t get replies to texts so I check the details and it says it’s been delivered but the recipients have NOT received it.

I rang T Mobile, received an update by sms, acted on it and the phone was slower.

T Mobile did something else and I was then getting message saying ‘NOT delivered’ when they obviously had been because I received replies.

We then re-set the phone to factory settings. It was even slower. Messages were received twice when they were only sent once. The sent items didn’t show the messages that had been sent and so on.

So I called Carphone as T Mobile said the phone was faulty.

I was advised that the store would have a loan phone. There are 2 types; free ones and those that one gives a £50 deposit for but it is given back. I asked him to put notes on my file about the call as I now expect trouble with Carphone.

I got to the branch. No loan phones of any sort.
Free ones do not exist either.
They cannot get a loan phone sent from another branch via internal delivery.
No options, but to go without a phone until it’s repaired!
The staff at the branch said it could take 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.

I called them back and was told that the gent hadn’t put notes on my account, he had mis-advised me re loan phones as all branches do not have them but he could have checked before sending me to the nearest one and it could actually take up to 28 days for the phone to be repaired.

They offered to put a voucher on my account so that I could buy a cheap phone to use whilst this one is being repaired. They said £10 would cover it but they’ve given me £20 just in case.

I got to the branch and the £4:95 phone had been sold out. The next one up was £10. That was gone too! So the next available was £20 PLUS £10 top up!

I had been given a £15 voucher as a good will gesture for the hassle I blogged about in this post so I used that to get myself a phone!

Again, I’m not impressed!
Would you be?

Ajay · August 25, 2009 at 12:35 am

It’s sad that so many people are getting ripped off my the fine print in contracts as well as reps that are less than truthful. I am seeing more and more people getting their problems resolved when they make their complaints public via the Internet.

    Heena Modi · August 25, 2009 at 10:54 am

    It worked for me
    It’s a shame that it needs to be made so blatant for them to take reposnsbility though 🙁

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