I have just spent a very frustrating 90 minutes in Currys, Southend On Sea.
I believe Currys have a policy of avoiding the fulfillment of the promise they have made and continue to make when they sell their Extended Warranty Insurance which they call WHATEVER HAPPENS.
They promise “Instant Replacement” but that is not what they provide.
I have now spoken to six Currys’ staff members in two different stores, and they all started with a big smile before they set about telling me what “Instant Replacement” means and how I am only entitled to a refund, and only then in the form of vouchers that I must spend in Currys. When I ask them to show me these terms on my contract, they say they can’t do that, but nevertheless this is how it works.
I purchased the now broken Gaggia Cubika SS Espresso Machine, in April 2010. This was an end of range discounted item at £69.97. We were also sold the Extended Warranty, which they call “WHATEVER HAPPENS” for a further £16.99. It was explained to me that this was a good deal because Currys undertake to Repair or Replace with an equivalent item. like-for-like, whatever happens.
Currys promise is set out clearly in writing: "If your product breaks down or suffers a mishap, we’ll fix it for you, or will offer a replacement if it’s beyond repair." They continue to make the same promise to all new customers, this very day in all stores and online.
Today in the Southend Store, the manager, Mathew explained to me that Currys, "do not do repairs", and that the machine was “not worth repairing” He made this assessment without actually looking at it.
According to my contract with Currys, I am therefore entitled to an offer of a replacement Espresso Machine, like-for-like. Mathew refused to make any offer, because the current like-for-like Gaggia Espresso machine is now sold in Currys for £200. Mathew offered to refund what I paid for the machine, £69.97, thereby saving Currys £130 and obliging me to depart with an additional £130 in order to get a cup of coffee tomorrow morning.
In order to resolve Matthew’s problem I told him that I would accept an inferior model and the cheapest they had for sale, which would have been another discounted discontinued item at £117. Mathew petulantly refused to accept this compromise.
I then spoke to someone at Currys head office using Mathew’s store telephone. This man was sympathetic and in fact told me that the store was obliged to provide me with a replacement Gaggia. I told him that I agreed with him.
This pleased me but not Mathew who refused to oblige.
I believe Currys are now in breach of contract and we have to resolve this in a long drawn out legal correspondence.
I have now withdrawn my offer of compromise and I have now demanded Currys replace my broken Gaggia with the same, or if not, a like-for-like Gaggia and to do that “instantly”.
All the while Mathew was claiming I was not entitled to a replacement Gaggia, a very large flat screen TV above his head was promoting the same WHATEVER HAPPENS extended warranty contradicting him repeatedly on a continuous loop.
Instant Replacement. Instant Bull Shit.
Where’s my coffee?