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Argos

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Made the mistake of buying a PC from Argos. I knew at the time this was a mistake, but they had the PC I wanted and it's about 100m from my front door.

Anyway. PC faulty.

They have customer services in the store, customer services on the phone for 'in store', customer services on the phone for 'e-commerce', some kind of email customer services (it's not clear who they are) and a 'technical' department on the phone. None of these 'services' have any way of communicating with each other. No shared systems or references. The 'technical' people (clearly in India) are a separate company, they can't even phone them. As I'd ordered on-line, but picked up in the store, I didn't qualify for any of the 'services'.

To cut a long story shorter. I ended up speaking to about 15 different people and was eventually given a reference to use when returning the PC for a refund. Went to do this and the reference wasn't even valid for any of the systems they knew of. The poor girl in-store called about 10 different places with my reference, post code etc and no-one had any record of me. Was then told, because I didn't exist, I couldn't return anything (At this stage I have a week old faulty PC and a receipt). I stand and argue... for some time. And eventually I get my refund.

My point: Whilst I was in the store, over half the transactions were returns, which makes me wonder how they can survive?

My second point: How can a company get in such a mess of their 'services'? Who's running this and how can they justify a wage?

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Yes, I think they're toast too.

They were always able to be cheaper than department stores because they didn't need to occupy the same floor area.

Their shop floor is their catalogue. All they needed was a shop front, and a storage area.

But now there are firms doing the same thing on the web, without any floor space whatsoever. And they're cheaper because of that.

Also, the shopping experience at Argos is very unpleasant, and weird.

Unless you can be sure it's the cheapest option possible, it ain't worth doing.

And now, it often isn't the cheapest option.

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This is why people end up using amazon, etc.

I've bought all sorts of stuff from amazon, and any time I've had a return, the process has been very smooth and easy, and at no point did I feel I was having to justify myself.

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They are open because a % of chavs don't have internet or they have inet but they have notes they need to spend in a real shop...

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Argos prices are often cheaper than internet prices for bulky items under £10 due to delivery costs.

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Argos prices are often cheaper than internet prices for bulky items under £10 due to delivery costs.

Agreed I use Argos for low value bulkier items I can't be *rsed to order online. For example used this week to get a clothes airer. Buy a computer from them? No way.

Not sure why you had to go through all that trouble. Just return the damn thing and demand a refund at the counter.

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I used Argos for lots of stuff when I moved into the present place. Excellent experience: delivery early the next morning after each order. They got an additional big order when Comet ***ed up the one I'd placed with them (which included the fridge-freezer, so rather urgent).

That was online, of course. Do they still have those funny walk-in catalogue-based shops?

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This is why people end up using amazon, etc.

I've bought all sorts of stuff from amazon, and any time I've had a return, the process has been very smooth and easy, and at no point did I feel I was having to justify myself.

Bear in mind that if you become an 'unprofitable' customer through some arbitrary figure/metric of what's deemed excessive returns. You'll just be blocked from ordering and never know why.

You can't just go to another branch. It might seem like a trivial 'I'II just take my business elsewhere' at the moment but' this will be a big issue in the future.

The funny thing with customer service is everyone moans after they received poor service but no-one's prepared to pay more to avoid it in the first place.

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The funny thing with customer service is everyone moans after they received poor service but no-one's prepared to pay more to avoid it in the first place.

Thats because nobody really knows you'll receive bad customer service until, of course, you do. I'd go as far to say that to pay more, for something which should be at the very top of every business model tells you an awful lot about the kind of society we live in at the minute.

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The funny thing with customer service is everyone moans after they received poor service but no-one's prepared to pay more to avoid it in the first place.

I get what you're saying, but I think in this case Argos seemed to have a very expensive, but poorly run customer service.

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I used Argos for lots of stuff when I moved into the present place. Excellent experience: delivery early the next morning after each order. They got an additional big order when Comet ***ed up the one I'd placed with them (which included the fridge-freezer, so rather urgent).

That was online, of course. Do they still have those funny walk-in catalogue-based shops?

Walk in shops? :blink:

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I like Argos. Quick cheap and easy with a good returns policy, they've even replaced an item for me after I'd lost the proof of purchase.

I always place the order online and collect and pay at the local store with good free parking right outside.

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Argos prices are often cheaper than internet prices for bulky items under £10 due to delivery costs.

This applies to many high street stores.

But not when you are buying PCs.

Although... I spilled red wine on my laptop last Xmas, and needed it for work. My local PC World were rather shockingly only a fiver more than I could find it anywhere else so that's where I bought it - meant I could get my hands on it immediately. Like the fool I am, when I was looking around I confessed to the sales guy that I'd damaged my old laptop and had to really try to get out of the extended warranty pitch... :D:rolleyes:

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Bear in mind that if you become an 'unprofitable' customer through some arbitrary figure/metric of what's deemed excessive returns. You'll just be blocked from ordering and never know why.

You can't just go to another branch. It might seem like a trivial 'I'II just take my business elsewhere' at the moment but' this will be a big issue in the future.

That sounds perfectly reasonable to me... it's their business, and I dare say just about any bricks and mortar business (that was well run) would notice customer behaviour and take note of excessive returns.

In my experience, the process of returning things to amazon compares favourably with most physical stores where there is always an air of suspicion (especially in case of defective goods).

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I once bought a telephone/answerphone from Argos - When I switched it on I discovered another customer's recorded answering message on the answerphone.

It was obviously a return that had been put back into stock without checking.

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Argos prices are often cheaper than internet prices for bulky items under £10 due to delivery costs.

I've been to Argos twice in the last month when visiting Britain. First to get some curtains for my mum's house, then to get a hairdryer for my g/f because she had forgotten to bring hers with her. Both times the service was excellent and the products good value for money. I agree though that the place seems to appeal to chavs; as someone says this is presumably because they don't have internet access or don't have credit cards.

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I once bought a telephone/answerphone from Argos - When I switched it on I discovered another customer's recorded answering message on the answerphone.

It was obviously a return that had been put back into stock without checking.

Someone got a digital camera with photos on :-)

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Just go to any club/bar/chav club in a small town and you'll see pretty much their entire 'jewellry' line on the clientele. Necklaces invariably stating 'playboy' or 'Shaznay' or somesuch. The mark up they make from those alone must be pretty good.

Do have some good offers occasionally though. HP touchpads for £90 a month or two back.

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Can't remember where I saw it but someone had scanned in an entire Argos catalogue from the 1980s or 90s and it was quite interesting to see what had happened to prices. Name brand stuff had gone up faster than inflation, unbranded generic stuff was either significantly cheaper or the same price but higher specification.

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I actually bought a futon from there this week. First time I have used them in probably decades. Online with delivery adn that was free so pretty impressed. Although the delivery bloke did arrive late but there is prob not much they can do about that.

The one place I use regularly online that has excellent delivery and customer service (So far) is wiggle. They even give you a weee pack of sweets in big deliveries if you are a certain class of regular customer. Just a cheap thing I know - but it certainly does add a little bit to the experience. Always very sharp to deliver as well and well packaged.

Not used their returns process yet but for larger items they actually give you a barcome in your delivery to use if required. There are a number of associated stores they have linved up nationwide where you can drop the return into with the sticker attached. They then deal with the delivery back to wiggle.

Almost German like efficiency.

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Can't remember where I saw it but someone had scanned in an entire Argos catalogue from the 1980s or 90s and it was quite interesting to see what had happened to prices. Name brand stuff had gone up faster than inflation, unbranded generic stuff was either significantly cheaper or the same price but higher specification.

Vintage British Argos 1985 Catalogue

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I've been to Argos twice in the last month when visiting Britain. First to get some curtains for my mum's house, then to get a hairdryer for my g/f because she had forgotten to bring hers with her. Both times the service was excellent and the products good value for money. I agree though that the place seems to appeal to chavs; as someone says this is presumably because they don't have internet access or don't have credit cards.

Elizabeth Duke seem to cater for "chavs" - low quality Jewellery for those who like bling...

I remember the defining line between manufacturers such as Alba, Goodmans, Matsui, Bush etc than Sony, Panasonic, Philips, etc. Nowadays, the cheaper stuff is almost as good as the "named" brands - a lot are made in the same factory with the same components. Six months ago, I got a Techika LCD TV from Tesco. The same spec TV from more famous makers were 70 - 80 quid more. Quality seems good. The quality seems to have shot up over the last decade or so.

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Elizabeth Duke seem to cater for "chavs" - low quality Jewellery for those who like bling...

I remember the defining line between manufacturers such as Alba, Goodmans, Matsui, Bush etc than Sony, Panasonic, Philips, etc. Nowadays, the cheaper stuff is almost as good as the "named" brands - a lot are made in the same factory with the same components. Six months ago, I got a Techika LCD TV from Tesco. The same spec TV from more famous makers were 70 - 80 quid more. Quality seems good. The quality seems to have shot up over the last decade or so.

It's twin-pronged really.

Cr@p brands have got better but at the same time the brands have, in real terms, got much cr@ppier. Outsourcing manufacturing so you don't have to directly employ people and run a factory, is a big factor.

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It's twin-pronged really.

Cr@p brands have got better but at the same time the brands have, in real terms, got much cr@ppier. Outsourcing manufacturing so you don't have to directly employ people and run a factory, is a big factor.

I'm amazed more haven't wised up to this, especially with the fashion brands. Its one thing to have a premium brand but many are just mass produced in China slave factories. As such as I refuse to pay the premium. I think I saw "Ben Sherman" coats "reduced" recently in House of Fraser, and I just laughed at the "sale price" as its no longer a premium British brand. If they were still actually made in British factories I'd pay the price (and for what they charge they still could be). The same applies to Doc Martens.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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