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Budget supermarket terrible customer service

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My life has been very stressful recently. Thankfully a few of the big issues have started easing off so I'm regaining my sanity.  And then, THEN I tried to get a refund at a budget German supermarket.

I bought a non food item (the kind they sell in their weekly offers), advertised with 3yr warranty.

After 5 months it stopped working. I drove to the store yesterday (an hr's round trip) to discover they have no customer service desk. You just queue at any till (all of which were rammed). I nabbed a shelf stacker who liaised with the manager via phone.

They told me the store only gives refunds within 60days and I need to speak to the manufacturer. I firmly and repeatedly pointed out my contract is with the retailer, and goods need to last a reasonable amount of time. The manager eventually came down but wouldn't budge an inch. He was also the rudest person I have ever met.

This lasted for 5 mins but left me feeling so angry I could hardly speak!

I have emailed head office... Fingers crossed.

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39 minutes ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

My life has been very stressful recently. Thankfully a few of the big issues have started easing off so I'm regaining my sanity.  And then, THEN I tried to get a refund at a budget German supermarket.

I bought a non food item (the kind they sell in their weekly offers), advertised with 3yr warranty.

After 5 months it stopped working. I drove to the store yesterday (an hr's round trip) to discover they have no customer service desk. You just queue at any till (all of which were rammed). I nabbed a shelf stacker who liaised with the manager via phone.

They told me the store only gives refunds within 60days and I need to speak to the manufacturer. I firmly and repeatedly pointed out my contract is with the retailer, and goods need to last a reasonable amount of time. The manager eventually came down but wouldn't budge an inch. He was also the rudest person I have ever met.

This lasted for 5 mins but left me feeling so angry I could hardly speak!

I have emailed head office... Fingers crossed.

Sorry to hear that, you can tell they have compromised on customer care by the way there is basically no bagging area, you are meant to shovel it up at break neck speed (obviously deliberate to keep the queue moving).

 

But do you know what your rights are?  I seriously doubt Lidl or Aldi would be outside the law on this.  The problem is that we have got used to a returns policy from the likes of Marks and Spencer that is more generous than letter of the law.

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1 hour ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

My life has been very stressful recently. Thankfully a few of the big issues have started easing off so I'm regaining my sanity.  And then, THEN I tried to get a refund at a budget German supermarket.

I bought a non food item (the kind they sell in their weekly offers), advertised with 3yr warranty.

After 5 months it stopped working. I drove to the store yesterday (an hr's round trip) to discover they have no customer service desk. You just queue at any till (all of which were rammed). I nabbed a shelf stacker who liaised with the manager via phone.

They told me the store only gives refunds within 60days and I need to speak to the manufacturer. I firmly and repeatedly pointed out my contract is with the retailer, and goods need to last a reasonable amount of time. The manager eventually came down but wouldn't budge an inch. He was also the rudest person I have ever met.

This lasted for 5 mins but left me feeling so angry I could hardly speak!

I have emailed head office... Fingers crossed.

 

I had a similar problem with a SatNav from Tesco that failed.   I ended printing a copy of the law to show them.

After that, next step is money claim online.

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, reddog said:

Sorry to hear that, you can tell they have compromised on customer care by the way there is basically no bagging area, you are meant to shovel it up at break neck speed (obviously deliberate to keep the queue moving).

 

But do you know what your rights are?  I seriously doubt Lidl or Aldi would be outside the law on this.  The problem is that we have got used to a returns policy from the likes of Marks and Spencer that is more generous than letter of the law.

I mentioned the 2015 consumer rights act but he said that doesn't apply in his store. :) I'm going to take this all the way to the small claims court out of principle. If I'm being treated unfairly (and contrary to the law) then there must be others. My item was low value, but what if some pensioner buys a £300 generator which fails on day 61?

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1 hour ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

I mentioned the 2015 consumer rights act but he said that doesn't apply in his store. :) I'm going to take this all the way to the small claims court out of principle. If I'm being treated unfairly (and contrary to the law) then there must be others. My item was low value, but what if some pensioner buys a £300 generator which fails on day 61?

Sounds like the retail version of Ryanair. 

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15 minutes ago, Bossybabe said:

Sounds like the retail version of Ryanair. 

Maybe they think once inside the store you're actually in Germany (like being in the embassy) :)

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I generally buy everything on credit card, and if they refus the refund in store, perhaps after a short email to head office, I would just dispute the original charge on my credit card. This would put the onus on them to dispute it, or the cc company would just eat the cost as its easier than investigating.

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I have had to return items to both Lidl and Aldi.  There is a difference and Aldi was far better.  I also rate Aldi products higher than those supplied by their main competitor.

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1 hour ago, worzel said:

I generally buy everything on credit card, and if they refus the refund in store, perhaps after a short email to head office, I would just dispute the original charge on my credit card. This would put the onus on them to dispute it, or the cc company would just eat the cost as its easier than investigating.

 

1 hour ago, worzel said:

I generally buy everything on credit card, and if they refus the refund in store, perhaps after a short email to head office, I would just dispute the original charge on my credit card. This would put the onus on them to dispute it, or the cc company would just eat the cost as its easier than investigating.

Lidl and Aldi don't take credit cards, although surprisingly my Revolut pre-paid mastercard works fine.

I have had exact same problem with Lidl after I got a 3-year warranty satellite TV receiver which failed. Not only do they not care they don't even understand. As OP says there is no customer service area and the guy stacking shelves has no idea about statutory rights.

I spent so long writing letters and getting nowhere that I realised the SD satellite box was obsolete and there was now an offer on a cheap HD one.

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35 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

 

Lidl and Aldi don't take credit cards, although surprisingly my Revolut pre-paid mastercard works fine.

I have had exact same problem with Lidl after I got a 3-year warranty satellite TV receiver which failed. Not only do they not care they don't even understand. As OP says there is no customer service area and the guy stacking shelves has no idea about statutory rights.

I spent so long writing letters and getting nowhere that I realised the SD satellite box was obsolete and there was now an offer on a cheap HD one.

Er...

Aldi has taken credit cards for years now. Must be 3+ at least.

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2 hours ago, EmmaRoid said:

Er...

Aldi has taken credit cards for years now. Must be 3+ at least.

Oh, sorry, I was quite embarrassed once when I couldn't pay, then never bothered to try credit card again 

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And there was me thinking that buying stuff cheap from Aldi/Lidl was preferable to Amazon cos returns would be easier . :(

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2 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

And there was me thinking that buying stuff cheap from Aldi/Lidl was preferable to Amazon cos returns would be easier . :(

I contacted head office, and they replied saying i should have been given a refund. They have given me a case reference to quote in store - if they refuse, they can call head office, provide the case ref, and head office will back me up.

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13 hours ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

My life has been very stressful recently. Thankfully a few of the big issues have started easing off so I'm regaining my sanity.  And then, THEN I tried to get a refund at a budget German supermarket.

I bought a non food item (the kind they sell in their weekly offers), advertised with 3yr warranty.

After 5 months it stopped working. I drove to the store yesterday (an hr's round trip) to discover they have no customer service desk. You just queue at any till (all of which were rammed). I nabbed a shelf stacker who liaised with the manager via phone.

They told me the store only gives refunds within 60days and I need to speak to the manufacturer. I firmly and repeatedly pointed out my contract is with the retailer, and goods need to last a reasonable amount of time. The manager eventually came down but wouldn't budge an inch. He was also the rudest person I have ever met.

This lasted for 5 mins but left me feeling so angry I could hardly speak!

I have emailed head office... Fingers crossed.

Trading Standards - even if they do nothing they will waste a load of the Supermarkets time.

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the warrent

13 hours ago, Grab_Some_Popcorn said:

I mentioned the 2015 consumer rights act but he said that doesn't apply in his store. :) I'm going to take this all the way to the small claims court out of principle. If I'm being treated unfairly (and contrary to the law) then there must be others. My item was low value, but what if some pensioner buys a £300 generator which fails on day 61?

Warranty repairs/replacement is the manufacturers problem to deal with.

In store I agree the consumer rights act applies, however outside the retailers own specific terms you can't just return anything at any time.

To use the CRA, the product item has to have an inherent fault/design or not be fit for purpose.

The sensible approach is the retailer to just refund or replace, however if they challenge you then I believe the onus is on the purchaser to give the reason why it is not fit for purpose or has an inherent fault. When it come to low value item the cost of proving a case would be vastly disproportionate to the cost of an item. 

There is a reason the items cheap, some are good value, most are disposable once broken/end of life.

 

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Well it's not Waitrose or even a Tesco, the deal is that you get the stuff cheap; but it must be processed through the checkout at double speed with no pleasantries and anything that comes back will be quibbled.

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21 hours ago, HowMuch! said:

the warrent

Warranty repairs/replacement is the manufacturers problem to deal with.

In store I agree the consumer rights act applies, however outside the retailers own specific terms you can't just return anything at any time.

To use the CRA, the product item has to have an inherent fault/design or not be fit for purpose.

The sensible approach is the retailer to just refund or replace, however if they challenge you then I believe the onus is on the purchaser to give the reason why it is not fit for purpose or has an inherent fault. When it come to low value item the cost of proving a case would be vastly disproportionate to the cost of an item. 

There is a reason the items cheap, some are good value, most are disposable once broken/end of life.

 

"It doesn't matter if it's an iPod from a high street shop or a designer frock from a department store. If something's broken, torn, ripped or faulty, the seller has a legal duty to put it right as your contract is with it.

When goods are faulty, if you return them within six months, then it's up to the shop to prove they weren't faulty when you bought them. After this, the burden of proof shifts and it's up to you to prove they were faulty when you bought them."

 

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why ever bother buy anything again, just return items every 5-6 months and get a new one.

1 hour ago, sexton said:

"It doesn't matter if it's an iPod from a high street shop or a designer frock from a department store. If something's broken, torn, ripped or faulty, the seller has a legal duty to put it right as your contract is with it.

When goods are faulty, if you return them within six months, then it's up to the shop to prove they weren't faulty when you bought them. After this, the burden of proof shifts and it's up to you to prove they were faulty when you bought them."

 

 

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 10:08 AM, crashmonitor said:

Well it's not Waitrose or even a Tesco, the deal is that you get the stuff cheap; but it must be processed through the checkout at double speed with no pleasantries and anything that comes back will be quibbled.

Totally agree. I foolishly ventured into one of the German budget 'supermarkets' as I had a £5 discount voucher for if I spent £30.

Jeeez, what a complete s**t hole the place was. Hardly any choice, products that would clearly breach trademark/copyright laws if the big boys decided to take action. The back half of the store looked like a cross between Wilko and Primark late on Saturday afternoon. WTF!!! I thought it was a supermarket - not a jumble sale.

The checkouts were a joke, long queues, checkout staff who seemed to completely ignore me and whizz stuff through so roughly I feared for my apples.

Awful place - won't be going back. They actually make Tesco look good.

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9 minutes ago, Broken biscuit said:

Totally agree. I foolishly ventured into one of the German budget 'supermarkets' as I had a £5 discount voucher for if I spent £30.

Jeeez, what a complete s**t hole the place was. Hardly any choice, products that would clearly breach trademark/copyright laws if the big boys decided to take action. The back half of the store looked like a cross between Wilko and Primark late on Saturday afternoon. WTF!!! I thought it was a supermarket - not a jumble sale.

The checkouts were a joke, long queues, checkout staff who seemed to completely ignore me and whizz stuff through so roughly I feared for my apples.

Awful place - won't be going back. They actually make Tesco look good.

Horse for courses as they say.

 

Or in Tesco’s case, dinner.

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I remember the days when HPC'ers would proudly shop in discount supermarkets and boast about their 9p baked beans!

I still do all my shopping with the exception of 2/3 items they don't sell like hair gel. If you keep your receipt for non-food, then you're usually fine. 

Having said that I hardly ever buy from the "suckers isle" and keep to the food primarily in Lidl. Food in there is very good, most on par with tesco extra special or M&S branded items.

Most of the middle isle items can be bought for a better price on ebay, amazon you will pay 10% more than ebay due to amazon's high fees ;-)
Again Amazon returns are easier, so always good to seek out retailer selling for a loss / zero profit on amazon - especially on more expensive items. I used to sell on online market places, most of it is a mugs game with people selling for < £1 profit or sometimes at a loss to gain feedback / make their products rank higher etc.

 

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