After a tech bargain? Check the seller and returns’ safeguards first – The Crusader

UK 'a huge leader' in agricultural technology says Mundell

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++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on [email protected] ++ 

A Lenovo Chromebook is what customer Richard Douglas was looking for and found when he trawled eBay websites last summer. But that was not what turned up after he paid £220.

“It was a laptop and it would have needed me to buy extra software,” he explained. Chromebooks operate on Google’s system and often offer a more budget-friendly option.  

Richard returned the laptop as instructed to the site flogging various electronic items but, despite sending emails, heard no more. The safety nets in place to protect his purchase could not unfortunately come to his rescue either.

He had used his local Post Office to return the machine and thought he had a tracking number. But this was not recognised and after investigating Royal Mail (RM) found he had used a 2nd Class service which limited detailed inquiries. 

RM did check with the delivery office however and confirmed: “All mail has been cleared, if the package had arrived the item would have been delivered or held if the recipient was not at home.”

It recommends using its fully trackable guaranteed Special Delivery Service with higher compensation. Second class delivery does come with £20 compensation but that depends on the recipient confirming delivery.

Richard attempts to contact his seller were futile and that wasted valuable time putting him outside eBay’s 30-day Moneyback Guarantee.

This ensures if a buyer does not get what they ordered they get a refund. With no confirmation of receipt either, the protection is unenforceable. 

A closer look at the seller in Richard’s case might have raised some warnings too. With numerous websites with ‘tech’ and ‘deals’ in their names, pinning them down can be difficult.

The business whose name corresponds most closely to the site Richard bought from was dissolved two years ago. Another is overseas, so at odds with the site saying it is in the UK. 

A third has minimal details and just a mobile contact number. There are also spelling mistakes in the site Richard believes he purchased from – another warning sign. 

Consumers should check because getting to grips with delivery requirements and protections can save them a packet. But it’s also worth checking out established retailers’ sites as often prices are just as competitive and these high street, visible brands conform 100 per cent to the UK’s sales laws.  

·      Richard’s name has been changed

Currys adds value with new customer loyalty scheme 

Currys, the UK largest multi-channel tech retailer, has opened its first loyalty scheme, Currys Perks.

Developed for customers by customers, the club’s the three main benefits include: 

Exclusive member discounts and deals, monthly surprises from new tech giveaways to a ‘win your basket’ and partner benefits with additional perks from some of the biggest brands – starting with free three-month Apple TV subscription.

Over nine million customers already on the Currys database will be auto enrolled into the scheme, www.currys.co.uk/perks.

Currys Perks launches in line with the retail giant’s rebrand covering Currys PC World, Carphone Warehouse, Team Knowhow and Dixons Carphone.

Mark Allsop, chief operating officer at Currys plc, said: “Currys Perks is the first step in creating a game-changing loyalty programme and building more valuable relationships with our customers – this is what they look for in a world-class omnichannel retailer.

“Currently more than a third of our revenue comes from customers who have signed up to our existing direct marketing platforms, the creation of Currys Perks presents us with a huge opportunity to grow our database in a meaningful way and create customers for life.

“Currys has been the best-known and most trusted brand in tech since it was founded in 1884 by Henry Curry. Currys Perks is another step towards creating meaningful customer relationships for life.”  

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