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Annoyed at Comet

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Annoyed at Comet

Yesterday I went to my local Comet superstore to purchase a moderately expensive electrical item,  the nature of which is unimportant to this saga.
I knew exactly what I wanted, a "salesman" appeared eventually, I asked if the item was in stock? he said he would check on the nearby stock computer, "yes we have" he responded after spending far longer than necessary to just establish the items availability, "but we also have the all singing all dancing version in stock as well, have you seen it" he said moving off towards the display area. "Er!" I said, "if I had wanted that version, I would have said so" "Ah! so you want the cheaper one then" managing to make "cheaper" sound like a severe case of leprosy, "I don't have the key for this cabinet, I'll just get someone who has"
A rather personable young lady arrived with the key for the cabinet, which she opened, and handed me the more expensive option of the item I wanted, I gently pointed out her error "have you been told about the advantages of this model over that one?" she asked "you will no doubt wish later you'd bought this one" she continued, I sighed heavily "that is my mistake to make, but I very much doubt it, I cannot possibly envisage at any time needing any of the extra facilities included in the upgraded model, so if you don't mind I'll just take that one please" pointing to the one I wanted. the young lady suddenly lost interest in me, and all but threw the item I did want at me. I thanked her for her consideration, and made my way to the cash point.
At the till point, the original salesman was working the till, "would you like to purchase our 5 star extended guarantee for this product" "No!" I replied, "you realise if the product breaks down......" I stopped listening, I interrupted  "are you implying the item will only last just over a year, before breaking down?" "er! no of course not" he replied, I continued "if it breaks down inside a year, I will return with the receipt and you can gladly replace it, should it wait for a year and a day, and you refuse to replace it, I will see you in court!"
He swiped my credit card, and said "as the item is over £100, I just need to take some details, can I have your post code please" "No!" "Sir, I do need the details, to continue" "so what if I don't want to give them to you" I snapped (out of the corner of my eye I'd spotted the store manager moving into a position nearby, he wasn't much interested in me, but was watching the salesman quite closely)
"are you telling me that the only way I can purchase this item is to pass over my life history to you?" I was getting distinctly annoyed now. "well yes sir" he said "the till won't let me go any further without your address details"
"In which case, please return my card, and I'll go next door to Argos and buy it there" I finished, with that I left the item on the till and stalked off. As I left, I had to pass the till point outside, and could see through the window, the salesman was in earnest conversation with the manager. I guess its not his fault, but why can't you just go into a shop these days, pick up what you want, pay for it and leave, without it being a major production, and in this case a waste of over half an hour.
PS. Argos, didn't have the item I wanted in stock, so I returned home empty handed, better off, having made the decision, I probably didn't need the item anyway.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
30 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Nice tale. When I get 'offers' like that I usually thank them for showing me a product with more features for the same price. At which point they usually back peddle and point out the correct higher price which I decline. Sometimes however they have sold the higher spec item at the lower price!
Also I see Comet have not changed in their attitude. One time I had faulty goods that they were refusing to refund on. I advised Trading Standards who asked me to do one more visit to the store. At at the head of a long queue of people they promptly told me that could not do a refund. I asked to see a manager and was told that he as on his way back to the store and only the manager could authorise a refund in exceptional circumstances. Strangely enough when I announced in a rather louder than normal voice that this was the third time that I had tried to return the faulty goods and Trading Standards are waiting for the result of this last and final visit before instigating an investigation, I had my refund. I just wish more people would not fall for the sales banter and just walk out.
N/A

Re: Annoyed at Comet

This is precisely how you end up on so many databases, never having your personal details removed from same.
There is absolutely no personal privacy in the world today, and I don't blame you one bit for walking out of the store. Presumably if you had handed over cash they wouldn't be wanting your history?
Yesterday my friend, who has been a widow for almost 5 years received a letter from Dyson the electrical items company addressed to her husband!  He had never actually lived at her current address because she moved house 11 months after his death. The warranty on her current vacuum cleaner is in her name because it was purchased within the last few years.
You can't even get off these databases when you are dead.
N/A

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Just to add some balance to this based on my experiences;
Earlier this year we were in a position where we had to purchase a new TV, DVD player, new iron and a Hi-Fi system to replace equipment lost after a burst pipe damaged our existing stuff.
We shopped around the big name stores, and spent some time online assessing options.
In terms of product knowledge and impartial advice on TV's, Curry's beat everybody hands down. On the other items, and on overall pricing Comet won the day.
We told them the TV we had decided on based upon advice elsewhere, and then had a chat about hi-fi's, we were advised that the system that would suit us best would be a surround sound system with built in radio and DVD player - he went on to explain the different price points and quality of systems, advising us of a system that had the specification of the high-end systems, but which Sony had reduced to the lower-end price points because it wasn't competing well against the more expensive systems with floor standing speakers (the one we chose has small speakers we can hide away). We chose the iron we wanted, which was the more recent model/version of the one damaged.
With a bit of bartering the chap reduced the price of the TV from its sale price of £549 to £500, and then threw in the £60 iron for nothing.
We were asked if we were interested in extended warrantys, but a 'no thankyou' sufficed to see off any further attempts to sell us the option.
We left contented that in other stores they were happy to sell us the TV for full price, would have sold us a Hi-Fi and a DVD player, and would have charged us for the iron.
Oh yeah, since we had some other stuff to do during the day, they were happy for us to pay for the stuff, then put it to one side till later in the day. Upon my return they brought everything out to my car and helped me load it in.
The store in question was Comet on Crown Point Retail Pack in Leeds. (The good Currys was also the Crown Point branch.)
A fairly long-winded story - but one worth relating given the high standard of their service IMO.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,518
Thanks: 219
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

We were in both Curry's and Comet at the weekend looking for a 22" TV with built in DVD player for the bedroom.  Neither store was particularly busy, but we couldn't find a sales person anywhere.  There was someone on the till at Comet who looked bored and couldn't help, and we didn't even bother spending to much time hunting for one in Curry's.
Phil
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

I never take out extended warranties. They're a waste of money.  Some years ago the Dixons group (Currys PC World Dixons etc) made most of their profit from sale of warranties and not on the goods they sold.
I'm sure you know that once the guarantee runs out on an item under the Sale of Goods Act the retailer is still liable for a period of up to 6 years so who needs extended warranties.  Pay by credit card and you have the backing of the card company on your side as well, so long as the goods were £100+.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

I only took out an extended warranty for two items - a video camera from Jessops and it failed 1 month before the extended warranty ran out (good deal)
and a Sony TV from Comet only because the salesman knocked the cost of it from the total purchase price (TV + video recorder) and at that time if you didn't claim you could get the money back - and I did.
Now I buy electrical goods using my Nationwide Credit Card which gives me an extra 12 months warranty for nothing.
alanf
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

By law shops are supposed to take the address of purchasers of TV reception equipment to pass on to the TV Licensing Agency. Argos has required this information when buying Freeview STBs, DVD recorders and even aerials. I bought a Freeview STB in ASDA, paid with cash, and wasn't asked anything.
It seems a silly rule. What if a person without a TV licence was buying a present for someone who had one (I have never been asked who the equipment is for)? What if the purchaser gave false details? Given that the TVLA believes that every address has a TV regardless of any number of denials why do they need the details in the first place?
Update:
"Dealers who provide TV equipment for sale or hire are legally obliged to notify TV Licensing of customers’ names and the address where the equipment is to be installed. Failure to do so within 28 days of sale could result in prosecution and a financial penalty of up to £1,000. "
http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/mediaandcommunity/mediapressreleases.jsp?archive=2
Trebor
Grafter
Posts: 96
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Reminds me of the experience I had with the purchase of a camera which turned out to be faulty.
With out going in to details, the whole episode is still too painful, it involved a salesperson telling me the camera was fine and I didn't know how to take photo's. (the camera was to be a back up camera, I've sold quite a few pictures, not bad for some one who doesn't know how to take photo's, and since when did Comet salespeople become camera technicians).
And an arrogant person, high up in the Comet chain of command who thought that writing sarcastic letters was customer services.
And the highlight of it all, the manager telling me they would have taken it back, no questions asked if I hadn't opened the packing, durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr if I don't open the box how do I know if it's faulty or not?
Fortunately a call to Nikon resolved the matter, they replaced the camera for a much higher specification camera at no cost to me.
Shame on Comet, I wouldn't step in side one of their stores again to get out of the rain.

alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

So there may be some excuse for Comet. One of the reasons I stopped going to my local theatre was that I was being asked my address. At one time they had my address because I was a member of a discount card scheme. Then I started to get mailings for other theatres. When my membership of the discount scheme lapsed I asked them twice by post to remove me from their mailing database. No joy. I went into the theatre and asked them to sort it out. This time it had an effect - I started getting two of everything!  It only stopped when I threatened them with a complaint to the Information Commissioner. And they wonder why I won't give them information. "Why do you need it?"  I ask. "I do NOT want to go on any mailing list". "It's so we can contact you if the performance is cancelled." they say. I point out that the performance is starting in two hours and I won't be home before then!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

It depends on what the small print of the warranty, I bought a Video camera from my Local Curries just before it shut, pushing to get rid of stock didnt pay for the extra. 
Any way after a few years, up in Scotland on holiday, getting some hassle from SWMBO, sitting in the passenger seat, me with an armful of stuff, eventually got into the car, reversed out and bump, Crikey whats that, got out to look - Camera bag in front of front wheel.
Got home, found the resulting paper work, took it back to the full superstore, didnt say what I had done, showed that the viewfinder wasnt correct.  didnt tell him that I had trouble getting the tape out.
Couple of weeks later, got it back, new electronics and video drum. no questions asked.
brad
Grafter
Posts: 151
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

I'm glad to hear it is not just me who has had this experience with Comet then!
I absolutely agree with the initial post and you have my applause. I know how annoying it is, when a simple sale should take 5 minutes yet they drag it on for almost 20 and they talk down to you just because you are not falling for their tricks.
Good on you, and I hope you get the product in the end from whatever store you wish  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Two different experiences (both the same Comet store)
1.  Needed a new washing machine.  Went to the store, spoke to a gentleman, who pointed out the higher priced model (the one we wanted was already quite expensive).  He accepted quite readily that we wanted the one we'd asked for.  He started putting it through the computer, and asked if we wanted an extended warranty.  "Why on earth would I want that?"  He went into the, well if it was just over a year old and something went wrong with it ...line.  I explained politely that if it was just over a year old, and something went wrong with it, I'd be back to have a word.  He tried the "But it's only got a year's warranty" story, and again I explained that I would still have my rights under the Sale of Goods Act.  He promptly left and a couple of minutes later a young girl appeared to finish the sale.  She was very pleasant and we finished the purchase.
2. A year or so later, we needed a new telly.  Went to the same store, and a young lad (he looked about 6 to me) approached us and asked if we needed help.  "No thanks we're just looking at the moment".  That wasn't a problem.  he gave us some space, but was obviously hanging around.  When he saw us looking at a particular model, he approached again, and spoke knowledgeably about the make,  comparing it to others.  Again he left us alone.  When we looked at another model, again he approached and explained the benefits of that make, but explained that actually the screens on another make were equally good, but the price was lower, because they'd just brought out a new model.  We ended up buying what we wanted (along with a load of other stuff).  He spoke to a manager and organised a discount on some of it (free stand instead of the £80 price tag etc) And we left, happy.  I just hoped the lad was on commission and not a minimum as some of them are, because we ended up spending quite a bit of money.
So much depends on good staff!
John
(Hooray my 500th post! I know it's not up there with the big boys, but to me it's a milestone) Grin
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Quote from: artmo
I'm sure you know that once the guarantee runs out on an item under the Sale of Goods Act the retailer is still liable for a period of up to 6 years so who needs extended warranties. 

If your assumption is that the goods will be repaired or replaced then you may be dissappointed. The six years relate to inherent faults not random or end of life faults.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Annoyed at Comet

Well that 500 old codger should know, he works for trading standards.
PS my numbers are high as I am to old to work, just sit here playing the Numbers game ?