Published:
03/07/2002
Right of Reply email sent:
03/07/2002

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Dixons Store Group London
Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
Complainant:
Mr N Poll
Town/City of Residence:
London

We decided to purchase a Canon Powershot G2, a digital camera and called around for prices. As we were travelling to spain on 20 June, we called Heathrow T1 to see if they offered the product duty free on 17 June. We were told no, because it was a low margin product and the company would never sell it duty free. As a result, we decided to purchase the camera at Dixons 88 Oxford St store on 19 June, in order to take the camera with us on our travels the following day. We purchased the camera from J (Assistant No 009), who confirmed to us that the camera was not available duty free.

We took the camera home and opened it, only to find that a battery was missing. We sent an email to customer services that evening and on Wednesday morning visited the Heathrow T1 store to see if they could help. H, the store manager, provided us with a new battery. During the course of our discussions we discovered that the camera was indeed available for a "duty free" price of £553 (travel within EU), that they should be ordered and are home delivered and that they had 160 cameras in stock for this purpose. We were informed that we might have been able to return the camera and repurchase under the duty free scheme, but would not be able to as we had already taken the camera out of its packaging. Clearly, had we not we would not have discovered the missing battery.

I then visited the store manager at 88 Oxford St, N B, who quite simply told me it was not his issue. Rather surprising, since it was one of his sales assistants who confirmed that the camera was not available duty free.

I called the Dixons customer service helpline and spoke with S L on 24 June. She informed me that my complaint had been entered into the system and that she would call back within an hour. 36 hours later I called back to find that Sally was doing her training and unavailable and that my complaint had not been entered into the system.

I spoke with A W on 26 June, who assured me that he would look into the problem and request Sally to call me back and failing that he would call to let me know what was happening. I received no calls.

I spoke with M (no. 28319) and requested to speak to a manager. She decided that it was inappropriate to speak to the manager without the original name of the person at Heathrow T1 who failed to inform me of the duty free availability of the camera. Again, rather strange considering that the 88 Oxford St store also confirmed that the camera was unavailable duty free.

During the week, I have been able to assess that no Dixon store is able to respond correctly to the question "can I buy this camera duty free at the airport". Furthermore, I have since called the Heathrow T1 store and spoke with Indy, who failed to inform me that the camera was available duty free claiming that they did not stock them. I then explained my situation to him and he acknowledged that I was indeed correct, that the camera was available on a home delivery basis.

I believe that Dixons have misrepresented their prices despite my clear and well intentioned requests for the information and would like to be reimbursed for the additional £96 that we spent purchasing the camera.

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