Category: Ineptitude

The Drugs Don’t Work

OK, I’m not talking hard core drugs here.

So, in my previous post, I vented about my migraines. Well, as part of that treatment, I was prescribed beta blockers (which did work to some extent, until I suffered the migraine mentioned in the previous post). After that, I was prescribed a higher dosage, which is when I started to join the dots on a few things.

Those who have read back further will know that I was doing the Insanity workout program. Prior to that, I had been doing the 30 Day Shred on a daily basis, with some 3 mile jogs mixed in.

I should have been losing weight. As you can probably imagine from this post, that wasn’t happening.

I was working out harder than I ever have in my life, and I wasn’t only gaining weight – I was gaining inches as well. I know my own body – and this wasn’t normal.

So, I checked my heart rate monitor (I’m now using a Garmin Connect, after my Mircosoft Band died its final death).

My heart rate was not getting into the fat burning zone at all. In fact, my heart rate stats whilst exercising looked like those of an incredibly fit person. Except I’m not. The beta blockers capped out my heart rate. While working out really hard, the highest I could get my heart rate was 115bpm. It wasn’t through lack of effort on my part.

God knows how much I would have ballooned if I hadn’t been exercising really hard. In the 3 months I was working out, but on the beta blockers, I gained half a stone in weight and an inch around my belly.

In addition, I could feel the beginnings of what I know from prior experience to be depression.

So, I am now off the beta blockers (following doctors advice, before anyone worries about me just going cold turkey!), and I’ll be starting the Insanity workout from scratch next week. The reason I decided to restart it after a break was to get the beta blocker heart rate cappage out of my system, and to also be able to get more scientifically fair results. I like having pretty graphs of data to look at with these things. Being able to measure my progress when I’m not being hindered by another factor is also more rewarding.

So, there you have it. Although I did initially read the side effects of the beta blockers, I missed the heart rate zone issue. I suspect that a result of that is a lower metabolism, so following the meal plan for Insanity was a double whammy on my poor belly.

Always read the label, folks.

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Argos update the Third.

Yup, two blog posts in one day!

So, I just received this from the wonderful folks at Argos.

reimbursementletter

So, in a nutshell – they offered to reimburse me for my day of  annual leave, after they rescheduled my order. And they are now retracting that offer because their rescheduling my delivery means that I should have anticipated taking a day of annual leave.

I guess they realised that an hour of my time is in fact quite expensive.

So, I’ve emailed them. I’ll also be calling.

Dear Argos,

Please see the attached letter I have just received through the post.

This is unacceptable – I arranged for delivery on Saturday the 19th through your website. I originally arranged this for a Saturday because I didn’t want to have to use annual leave for this. It was then *you* who called and rescheduled for the 21st. Me, just wanting the bed to arrive in time for family to visit, reluctantly accepted that I would have to book annual leave for this.

I strongly suggest you review this. You are attempting to claim that that I would have had to anticipate taking a day off for this? That is completely incorrect. Thankfully, I have all previous automated emails, receipts, etc that will back this.

It’s bad enough that I have had such a terrible experience with your company – for you to then offer reimbursement earlier in this email chain, then attempt to tell me that I should have anticipated taking a day off after you rescheduled the delivery day is quite frankly unacceptable.

Sort it out.

Just for extra fun, I’m organised enough that I have kept all prior emails to this. Here’s a screen shot of the email I received on the 5th (when I actually made this order):
receipt
But no. I should have anticipated having to take a day of annual leave when I deliberately arranged delivery for a weekend when I don’t have to work.
Quite.
EDIT – UPDATE
One angry phone call and call back later, apparently it is not in their policy to reimburse for the first day off taken, and the person who told me this in the first place is apparently in trouble!
I find this pretty unacceptable. I’ve already sent details of this shenanigans to BBC Watchdog. Trading Standards next.
EDIT The Second
I’ve sent another email.

Hello again Argos.

Your below email is incorrect. After receiving it, I briefly panicked, thinking that I would be unavailable to hand over the items for collection. Thankfully, my manager is understanding and allowed me to work the rest of the day from home.

I did have cause to phone you today though, after you decided that my time is apparently worth too much for you to give the reimbursement for loss of earnings that you initially offered. I was told that the bed was indeed booked in for collection today, but you were unable to give me any times. So, I was transferred to your collections department, who let me know that the collection was not in fact booked in for today.

Thanks for wasting more of my time.

I have now been told it is booked in for collection on Monday 5th December between 12 and 6.

At this point, I am not holding my breath. Your service is absolutely shambolic. This is now a second day when I have been told to expect some kind of service, and I have had to chase things up with you when said service fails to transpire.

If I have to arrange delivery to your warehouse myself, I’ll be sending you the bill. I want this bed out of my house, and I want my refund.

I have already submitted this whole farce to BBC Watchdog and Trading Standards.

Oh, Argos. You are *killing* me.

I’m actually laughing at the ridiculousness of this. I’m still quite angry, but you really couldn’t make this up. How is it even possible to be this bad at customer service?

Do they have a gremlin invasion at Argos HQ? Really bad IT? Whatever is causing it, the left hand blatantly doesn’t know what the right is doing.

So, an update. Everything was resolved, rejoice!

Ok, I tell a lie. Nothing seems to have been resolved. I sent them the following email on Wednesday the 30th – if you remember my previous post about Argos, you’ll know that this is now after the time frame in which I was supposed to be contacted by their collections/refund department:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing once again as I have still not been contacted by your collections department to arrange a pick up of the most-of-bed you managed to eventually deliver – the order number is  ********.
I’d have thought that complaining once about the complete lack of communication would have been enough – but from looking at the complaints on your facebook page, this issue seems to be endemic.
I also took the liberty of checking out the bed I initially ordered on your website – for a bed that I was told on Sunday was out of stock, meaning I’d have to wait 2 weeks to have an *entire* bed delivered to get the correct part (which, added to the lack of call back on Sunday prompted my request for collection and refund) – I find that your website is still advertising the bed as in stock, and available for delivery within 5 days! I even managed to add it to my shopping cart! Your advertised delivery timescale is a blatant lie – in fact, the very same lie that had me ordering this bed in the first place.
Going by some of the complaints on your facebook page, I am beginning to get serious concerns that I will ever see a refund. If the process of collection and refund does not begin today, I’ll be escalating this as far as possible. I will email a formal complaint to your CEO, I will be in touch with the Citizens Advice Beareau, and I will be in touch with Trading Standards to report the mis-representation of your stock levels on your website and your reluctance to begin the refund process. Just to ensure that there is a full representation of facts here, I have also taken pictures of the entire issue (see the attached), and also a picture showing that the useless pieces of wood you sent me are in good order, propped up in my living room.
I am down £300 in time for christmas. That is money that I’d rather see spent on my own family and friends than sitting in your bank account. I have ordered a bed from Bensons, who tell me that they will deliver a bed on the 23rd December. If not for the misrepresentation of your stock levels and delivery estimates in the first place, I’d no doubt already be the happy owner of a king size bed as I would have ordered from elsewhere. It’s unfortunate that I now do not have a bed for any visiting family to sleep on when they visit in the run up to christmas. So, thanks!
I have already shared my experience with friends and family, along with a strong recommendation to avoid doing business with you in the future. I’ll be continuing to document this process as I take this further.
Please let me know when I can expect your collections team to actually pick up the pieces of wood taking up space in my house. At this rate, Bensons will no doubt have delivered their bed before your team actually get around to this, which will no doubt give the internet a good laugh!
Oh, the delivery charge finally got refunded. Thanks. I’ve yet to hear about being reimbursed for my loss of earnings on the 21st. I posted the required information first class delivery on the 23rd, so you should have received it by now. I’m now realising that I should have sent this recorded delivery, as you’ve no doubt managed to ‘not receive’ your mail.
I also left them a shorter note in a similar vein on their facebook page. One of the Argos minions did eventually respond asking for my order number, then I was back to listening to crickets.
I did debate just waiting to see if I would get any form of contact – but I was quite angry. I decided that sitting in stewing over it was not the fun or mature option here, so I phoned up their support. Again.
The lady I spoke to actually seemed to have a clue. After commiserating with the situation, she attempted to set up a collection of the bed for Friday between 12 and 6pm. In the process of this, she realised that the collections request was not going through, as something had gone wrong with my order. She had to phone me back – and she did! First person in this entire fiasco to phone back when she said she would!
She didn’t have great news for me though – due to the technical issues with the order, she would have to re-raise it, and she’d be able to sort out a collection date within 2 days. She promised to get in touch on Friday to let me know what was going on. Fabulous!
Well, we’re now on Friday. No phone call yet, but I did receive this email:

Thank you for your email regarding order number *********.

I was very concerned to learn of your situation and would like to apologise for the obvious disappointment caused.

Your order is stating that the collection is arranged for today 2nd December.

I can see by the notes on your order that one of my colleagues has sent a letter to you regarding your loss of earnings explaining what information we need. Once we receive this we will happily look into this for you.

On behalf of Argos Ltd, I am sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this matter has caused you.

Erm…
Well, I just had to try and phone up to see what was going on. I was at work, but figured a few minutes to figure things out wouldn’t be too bad. Apparently, there is a loooong hold queue today. Not a surprise, given the state of their facebook page. So, I opted to leave another message on their facebook wall, attempt a live chat, and I’ve also sent another email:

While that is almost good news, the last I heard about collection for this order was that the order would have to be re-raised so that collection would happen. The last person I spoke to attempted to arrange collection for today, but the system would not allow it. She also told me that she would be in touch with me today to let me know what is going on.

As such, I am at work today, and I have an after school event which will be going on until later this evening. I am not going to be in. I have no one else who can be in on my behalf.

I’ve tried to phone, but was told I would be on hold for too long – I can’t waste working hours on this. I attempted the live web chat.

What is going on?!?

Since then, I am back to listening to crickets. On the off chance that I may actually witness some collections people turn up at my door, I have arranged to work from home for the rest of the day. Thankfully, I can work remotely and I have an understanding manager, plus I only live about 5 minutes away from the office. That said, I estimate I’m only going to be in until 5pm. At this point, it is the best I can do to try and get the most of bed out of my living room.

At this point, I have decided that I will be emailing the CEO once this is getting to a point where it looks like it is almost sorted, and I’ll definitely be giving Trading Standards a call. Because this bloody bed is still showing up as available to be delivered within 5 days.

I would have liked this to be the final blog post about all of this, but I suspect that this series of posts is going to go on much longer. Apologies for that – normal programming will resume eventually, namely where I start to talk about my new-found Minecraft addiction.

* Note – all emails have names removed to protect the guilty.
EDIT – UPDATE
So, after phoning Argos to complain about the lack of compensation they promised, I was also transferred to the collections people (after being told by the first lady I spoke to that collection was booked in for today).
Turns out collection isn’t booked in for today, and no one knows why I received an email telling me it was. But don’t worry, we’ll definitely collect the bed on Monday between 12 and 6!
I’ll bloody well believe it when I see it.

Why I will never order from Argos again.

I normally don’t do things like this – I’m all for accepting that accidents happen, mistakes can be made, etc. After all, every one is only human. I’m reasonable in the face of ‘shit happens’. I’ve worked in customer service – as such, I generally opt for the ‘don’t be an arsehole’ route. I give people a chance to correct mistakes.

The TL:DR of this – I ordered a king size bed and mattress from Argos. After 3 reschedules of the delivery, one of those days in which I was told I would be receiving the order, took a day off work, then didn’t actually get told I wouldn’t be receiving my order afterall – I ultimately received most of the bed I paid for. And a part for the double version of the bed. I’m two complaint emails in, 4 phone calls in, and nothing is still being done to rectify this situation. Hence I am now at the stage of blasting this over the internet.

So, on to the long, tragic tale of staggering ineptitude. This is going to be a long one.

On the 5th November, I ordered a king size bed and mattress. I paid for delivery to happen on Saturday 19th November. A few days before that date, I received a phone call to inform me that the warehouse was out of stock, and as such delivery would be rescheduled to Monday 21st November. ok, not ideal, but I can live with that – I booked the day off as a holiday, and continued with my life.

Come the delivery date, I receive two text messages from Argos telling me the good news that my delivery would arrive some time between 1pm and 3pm, and that a delivery driver would call me to let me know when they were close by. Great!

3pm ticked by, and I’d heard nothing. Nada. No email, text or phone call. I figured that maybe the delivery was held up in traffic, and opted to be patient.

4pm arrived. Still nothing, so I decided to phone Argos. The gentleman I spoke to explained that the original van wasn’t big enough, so my order was being put onto a larger one. He’d call me back in half an hour after confirming a new time. Great!

5:45pm arrived. I had heard nothing. At this point, I’m annoyed. I phoned Argos again – to be told that half an hour previously, my order had been marked as ‘water damaged’, and it would now be rescheduled to the 27th November.

At this point, I’m quite angry. I get shit happens – but you know what? I’d blown a day of annual leave waiting for a delivery that I was told would arrive, then not actually informed at any point it wouldn’t be. The lady advised me to email Argo, so I did. Here’s what I sent:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to complain about the absolutely shoddy customer service I have received today.

The order number in question is ********.

I ordered a bed and mattress on the 5th November, paying for delivery to occur on the 12th November. Sadly, this didn’t happen – I received a phone call stating that the stock was not in, so it would be rescheduled for today, the 21st November. No problem there – I was informed in plenty of time. I booked the 21st off work in order to accept delivery.

The morning of the 21st, I received 2 text messages informing me that delivery should happen some time between 13:00 and 15:00, and that a driver would call me within an hour of delivery. 4pm came, and I had not received either a phone call, or delivery of my over £600 order. I phoned to chase up some details, and I was told that the goods had been moved on to another van, and that I would receive a call back within half an hour with more information.

5:45pm – I had still heard nothing, so I phoned once again to chase my order. I am now informed that the goods are water damaged, the order had been updated with this information half an hour earlier, and no one had bothered to let me know. Apparently, I can now expect to receive my order on the morning of the 27th.

My address, phone number and email are with you already. I find it unacceptable in this day and age that no one even bothered to inform me via any means at any point throughout today that the order I have stayed in all day for was not going to arrive. In fact, if I had been informed, I wouldn’t even be writing this email – I wouldn’t be too pleased, granted, but I’d be fairly understanding that things do go wrong, and I’d have no cause for complaint. I have completely wasted a day of annual leave, stuck at home waiting for an order that did not arrive, with no one seemingly able to let me know until I chase up the details myself.

The awesome lady I spoke to on my final call back should also have noted some of these details against my order. At this point, if I don’t receive my order on the 27th, I will be cancelling my order completely and expecting a full refund. For the record, my complaint here is focused on the lack of communication as opposed to a delayed order.

I do hope that you guys come through for me and deliver my order on the 27th – and in addition, brush up on your communication process so that this does not happen again.

This actually got a real person to contact me!

Thank you for your email regarding your order. I apologise that you have experienced this while shopping with Argos, this is certainly not what we wanted for you.

I have looked in to your order and I can confirm that your delivery failed due to the item having water damage. This is now booked in for 27/11/16 between 7am and 12pm. If this date becomes unsuitable for you then please let us know and we will amend this for you. If you would like to claim for loss of earnings, please arrange for your Payroll Department or Accountant to provide the following information on company headed paper:

• Hourly rate of pay net of tax and NI
• Total hours lost
• Type of absence, for example, holiday, time in lieu or un-paid etc.
• Name of payroll clerk or Accountant and a contact telephone number

Please send this information, with a covering letter that includes your order number, to:

Customer Relations Department
Argos Direct
Acton Gate
Stafford
ST18 9AR

Once you have received your order we can also discuss a gesture of good will for you. I have also refunded your delivery charge back to your Visa card. Please allow up to 7 working days for this to show back in to your account. Again I apologise for any inconvenience you may have been caused and thank you for your patience.

Ok, seems reasonable. I get in touch with my HR at work, and get the details sent over to them via snail mail on the 23rd November. They should have received the letter by now.

Sunday 27th arrives. Would you believe it? The order actually arrived! Hoorah! One of the two big burly delivery men comes in with the first box, asking where I want it. I ask for it to be put upstairs, in the room to the right.

‘Oh, I’ve pulled my shoulder, I’ll just leave it here!’.

Ok. I’m a strong independent woman. Guess I’ll get a king size mattress and bed upstairs on my own then! And I did. Because I kick ass. But, I deviate from the point here.

I unpack the bed, count up the parts to make sure they’re all there, and start following through the assembly instructions. Up until this point…

20161129_121340
Step 4 of the instructions!
20161129_120744
The pieces the instructions should apply to.

Erm. Yeah. That is a 136.5cm head panel that should fit flush with a 151.5cm head board. The components page in the book does not list anything with a measurement of 136.5cm:

20161129_120716
What I should have received!

You can probably see where this is going. I go through their website to try and order in the correct size piece, but apparently I can’t. So, I once again phone up Argos to see what can be done. The gentleman I spoke to stated that the piece of bed that was too small was for a double bed, let me know they’d have to deliver box 1 of 2 in it’s entirety, and it could take up to 5 days. I told him I wasn’t happy with this, given that I feel pretty messed around already. He told me that I’d get a call back to make the arrangements.

Ok.

Guess who didn’t call back? Or email? Or text?

So, this prompted another phone call – in which the lady informed me that they’d actually have to deliver an entire bed, but it’s out of stock now, so I’d have to wait 2 weeks.

I admit, I was pretty ragey at this point. I told her she could arrange for someone to come and pick up the pieces of semi-assembled bed, and I wanted a refund. And that I wouldn’t be taking any more time out of my life for this, so the pieces would be left outside for them to collect.

‘Oh, if the items get rained on and soggy, the drivers won’t collect it! You need to dis-assemble it for collection!’.

The instructions said to use glue. I used glue. I will have to damage the bed at this point to dis-assemble it. But according to the lady, that’s ok. So wait – you’ll pick up goods I’ve damaged, but nothing that has been rained on? Just all of my WHAT?!? She told me that the collections team would be in touch with me within 2 days.

After this, I sent Argos another email.

Hi ******,

Well, the good news is that I did accept a delivery today. Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale.

One of the delivery drivers had apparently hurt his shoulder, so was unable to get the items moved upstairs. As such, I have ended up lifting all of the bed and the king size mattress up the stairs on my own, which was a fabulous start.

To top it off, as I got part way through the assembly instructions, it turns out that the head panel that screws into the head board was actually the head panel for a double bed, not a king size one. The level of ineptitude this must have required – one double bed part in a box of king size parts – is pretty staggering.

So, once again I find myself calling your support line. The gentlemen I spoke to informed me that he would arrange for a new box (1 of 2) to be delivered within 5 days, and I should expect a call back today.

Guess what didn’t happen? I have once again had to phone back your support line to see what is happening, to be told that I’ll have to have a whole new bed delivered, and that won’t happen for another 2 weeks.

I am done. I have asked for a refund on the bed, and I have been told to expect a phone call within two days from your collections department. If I don’t receive any such phone call (which at this point I suspect is the most likely outcome here), I’ll still be expecting a refund, and taking the useless bed parts I currently have and taking them to a skip.

I have never encountered such poor service in my life. Your company took the money for this farce very quickly, but are apparently unable to deliver goods or services within an agreed upon time frame. I will not be ordering from Argos again, and as soon as my refund arrives, I’ll be ordering a new bed from an undoubtedly more adept company – which will not be any kind of challenge, as your company has managed to set the bar incredibly low.

Please let me know when I can expect my refund for the bed, and for the delivery charge that I was promised earlier in this email chain.

Which prompted this reply:

Thank you for telling us about the poor level of service you had from us recently.

We are very sorry about this – it certainly is not the experience we wanted for you.

We are always concerned to hear of any complaint and welcome feedback from our customers – we could not continue to improve our service without it. So we are grateful to you for letting us know about this and we will let our customer service team know what has gone wrong.

Unfortunately it is down to the drivers discretion whether they will carry the products upstairs or not, this is due to health and safety.

I can confirm that you will be contacted by our returns team to arrange your collection.

A refund for your delivery charge will be with you within 5 working days and the refund of your bed within 5 working days of the day we receive it back into the warehouse.

Once again, we are sorry your experience with us was not a happy one this time. We do hope you will give us another chance in the future to look after you better.

Thank you for your patience.

We would really appreciate your feedback on this reply, to complete our short survey, please click here and add this number 6824537 when prompted.

Please visit us at http://www.argos.co.uk/help where you will find answers to many frequently asked questions, product information and all of our full contact details.

I have not yet replied to this email. Or given them feedback at this point, since nothing has been resolved. However, what has prompted me to post this is that we are now past the 2 days in which the collections department should have called me, I have yet to receive a refund of the delivery charge, there has been no acknowledgement of my letter that was asking for reimbursement of my loss of earnings, and apparently my refund won’t actually happen until this sorry shower of sheer ineptitude actually get around to picking up the most of king size bed and part of double bed, and put it in their warehouse.

20161129_120947
Guess I’m stuck with this in my living room for a while.

For added fun, if I order through their website today (29th November at time of typing this), I can get the entire bed within 5 days!

instock
Schrödinger’s bed. Customer support told me on sunday it’s out of stock for two weeks, but the website says I can get it delivered to my post code within 5 days if I order now! Is it in stock? Isn’t it? Who knows!

Fun game at this point – go take a look for yourself. See if you can get a delivery date within 5 days for something that can’t be delivered to me for 2 weeks! Linky.

I’ve checked out their facebook  page and twitter page, both of which are choc-a-bloc with complaints from customers who appear to be receiving the same level of service I am.

I suspect my next step, given their inability to communicate directly and tendency make statements that they have no intention of following through on, will be trading standards and the ombudsman.

For now, I’ll settle for just shouting out to all of my friends, family and any one who reads this – don’t order from Argos. Save yourself from the sheer ineptitude. There are many other places you can order from that will be cheaper both on your wallet, your time and your blood pressure. The only functional part of this entire experience for me is the mattress.

As for Argos – they should focus less on attempting to import the American tradition of Black Friday (which frankly, does not have a place here in the UK), and get their house in order.

Any updates to this will probably be in separate posts, as this is flipping long. Wish me luck in getting a refund processed with this company!