Ground Down

Last February I wrote about the state of customer service and specifically the failure of KRUPS to honour their manufacturer warranty.  A further two months have now passed and last week I finally got a replacement coffee grinder, but not made by KRUPS and not without further struggles. 

We left the saga in February with KRUPS saying I had to wait for some more months for repair.  They then said I could instead use the Sale of Goods Act/Consumer Rights Act to make this the retailer’s problem (I paraphrase a little).  I decided to wait for them to repair it.  Mistake; as it seems they were not bothering to try, or at least with no urgency.  They made no attempt to contact me. When I asked in mid-April, they indicated no progress had been made and no likelihood now of making progress.  Four months and no action. Again, they told me to make it the retailer’s problem as they could not resolve it.

This time I did go and have a discussion with Currys in Stirling (I had bought it online with them during Covid lockdown).  They said they could replace it, IF I had the product and a RAN (Returns Authority Number).

Back I went to KRUPS.  Yes, they could supply the broken product but no, they did not issue RANs – the case number (I had two by now) would do. 

When I took the broken product (arrived quite quickly from KRUPS) to Currys, they asked for the RAN, as they could not action replacement without it.  I of course did not have one. Currys staff said no worries, as if they had not sent a RAN, KRUPS have a retailer hot line for such circumstances (let’s pause and think about that in the first place).  They rang it to no avail – it is shut on Sundays! Talk about making life difficult.

Currys promised to follow up, did so and issued me a credit gift card to the full amount a few days later.  Upon which I bought another coffee grinder from them – and no, it was not a KRUPS (incidentally that model has risen in price by 69% in just under 20 months – must be all the spare parts they don’t have, and the customer service lines they have to staff).

So, what do I take from this:

  1. I need to drink more tea.
  2. KRUPS are to be avoided now and into the future.
  3. The manufacturer’s warranty may not be a guarantee of anything and seems to have no real status.
  4. The retailer is having to pay for the problems caused by the manufacturer (though I don’t know the detailed interactions here).
  5. KRUPS are paying for service staff to effectively not satisfy the customer (not blaming the person but the process/system seems mis-specified at various points) – at what cost? And I think I have now clocked up more than 20 “please accept our apologies for any inconvenience” messages from them. How about sorting the problem not passing the buck?
  6. Currys’ Stirling staff (and I dealt with four different people on this) were uniformly excellent and the handovers amongst then were seamless.  Customer service can be good if people trained and motivated/allowed to solve problems.

About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Education and Students and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
This entry was posted in Consumers, Currys, Customer engagement, Customer Service, Legislation, Retailers, Sale of Goods Act, Warranties and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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