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Ideal Shopping Direct

Dedicated Page in the Public Domain
Mr G Price
Town/City of Residence:

Having shopped regularly on QVC - the digital tv shopping channel and having seen an item which I really liked at a good price on Ideal World - another digital shopping channel - I decided to place an order.

I placed the order on 3 August and my account was debited with the full amount £22.80 on 7 August. To date 24/08/02) the item has not arrived. I am pretty sure that the presenter stated that items would be delivered in 7 to 10 working days. When I telephoned a week or so ago, the operator was unable to tell me whether the item had been despatched and said that delivery could take up to 14 working days! The operator offered no further advice and was unhelpful.

I left it another week - more than the 14 working days stated - and tried and tried to phone tv customer services - 08700 700 802 but kept getting a message that all the lines were busy. The call was then terminated. I must have called dozens of times througout Friday 23 August then a thought struck me - maybe these calls, unlike those to QVC, were not free. When I checked with BT they confirmed that this was the case. Who knows how much these wasted calls to "Customer Services" (joke) cost me!

I telephoned the order line again on Friday 24/08 and surprise, surprise! the call was answered amost immediately (this line is charged at National rate too, a fact not publicised by Ideal World!) and managed to get a promise that a customer complaints representative would ring me back that evening.

I eventually received a call yesterday 25/08, late afternoon. Explaining that my order had been delayed due to delays from the supplier but had been despatched "last week". After persisting I managed to esatblish that "last week" in fact meant "this week" "sometime between 19/08 and 23/08" - the caller could not (or would not!) say when.

I asked why my account had been debited so quickly if this was the case and was told that the money was placed in a "holding account" the caller was unable to tell me who benefitted from the interest on customers' money in this account!

The amount concerned is trivial but I believe that the principles here are important. In summary my complaints are:

1. That Ideal World does not make it clear that calls are charged at National Rate;
2. That money was taken from my account so far in advance of my order being despatched.
3. That there is not one contact point for orders and checking the state of orders; and
4. That the so called "Customer Services" telephone number is a joke, whilst calls to the order line are answered almost immediately.

None of this comes or should come as any surprise to me. Ideal World is yet another example of "rip-off Britain".

I do not want to trouble the TCCL website with following this up on my behalf but I would appreciate the salient points being publicised for the benefit of other potential "suckers" like me. ~

regards Graham Price

Link to Other Ideal Complaints: Link1| Link2|Link3

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update on 31 October 2002
"Thought you might like an update on my complaint. The item turned up - eventually and only after I had complained to the Independent Television Commission who are responsible for the tv selling guidelines. The companies ARE NOT allowed to advertise items for sale which are not in stock, unless under a special order in advance scheme such as that introduced recently by QVC. ...Graham Price"


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