Published:
12/01/2002
Right of Reply email sent:
15/01/2002

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A Right of Reply Letter was issued

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Ideal Home Shopping Direct
Peterborough
Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
Complainant:
Peter Holmes
Town/City of Residence:
London

Ideal Home Shopping Direct, trading as Ideal World TV (and running some catalogues) gives the punter a very rough ride.

It swiped my Visa card on May 22, 2001 for goods that were delivered in July, 2001 after I had spent some time mentioning the words small, claims and court to customer service representatives.

It swipes the card at the time of order & not at the time of despatch (accepted in most mail order houses as good practice), so if it doesn't have enough of the goods it holds onto your money for two or three months and refunds your money - if you remember to complain and know the order number.

In June 2001, I was sent a refund letter, with enclosed with it a refund letter to a Mrs O*****, of Devon, giving the number of the card that had been credited. Ideal World Customer Services was riled when I told them that I had looked up the O*****s' phone number at bt.com and warned them about the breach of confidentiality.

On September 22 I ordered a ring. On October 22 'Lizzy' told me to wait another week. The ring showed up with a second that I had not ordered. Both were cheaply made and badly finished. I returned them and may/may not have been refunded for them. (It's hard to tell as the Ideal World refund letter says that your card, number [for example] 4646 6464 2323 3232, or whatever, had been credited with an amount of money and tells you the order number, which, it goes without saying, you've forgotten by this time).

One such refund letter credited my card with an amount of money for an order I did not recall placing. A grown-up in customer service told me it had been for a Paul Rankin cook pot. I don't recall ordering it and the refund was two months after the initial debiting of my card. The grown-up in customer service told me that something had gone wrong and the order had never come in.

I have been refused a refund for a suede jacket which arrived after some expression of my discontent at the wait filthy and stuffed jauntily into a box that come open at both ends. The courier said: "It doesn't matter, it's only a jacket." Ideal World insists on returns bein "pristine condition" so I refused to accept it. The jacket went missing. I was told by customer services that it was my fault- I should have accepted it and then tried to get a refund.

On December 8 an executive's PA phoned me after I had written her boss a terse letter. Four weeks later nothing has been done and the PA will not return my phone calls.

On January 2, 2002, Ideal World got through about £200 of my bank account. Many of the amounts debited do not tally with orders placed with the company. Two debits, for instance, of £17.10, mystified one of the staff when I called.

She put through me to a customer service manager, TF, who told me that she was "second only to the call centre manager" in the pecking order. When I tried to get back to her, I was told that no-one with TF's name worked for the company.

The company, losing money at 52% of gross turnover -according to the 2001 annual report- would appear to use its customers credit and debit cards as a source of extempore refinancing after the unexpected exit of the finance director.

08700 700 802 (the customer service number) frequently says that "all our representatives are busy" please try later. This means that customer service is unstaffed. Tip dial 08700 700 800 (the order line) and ask to speak to a supervisor or team leader -and use up valuable telephone lines

MORAL: If you must shop off the TV, do it with the big channels and remember, there's no such place as an Ideal World

Link to Other Ideal Complaints: Link1| Link2| Link3



  Editorial Comments

Thank you for that brilliant write up of your complaint. Truly enjoyable read. Wonder what Ideal World have to say.

A Right of Reply letter has been issued.

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