Complaints against Currys PC World have surged during the pandemic as customers have struggled in their battle for refunds and replacements for faulty products, according to a new investigation from Which?.
The consumer group said it has received more than 1,700 complaints about the electronics retailer since January, representing around 10% of all complaints regarding faulty goods sent to Which?.
It said customers have complained that customer service at the electronics giant “has hit rock bottom in recent months”.
Complaints have included one NHS key worker who was left frustrated when her leaking washing machine was not satisfactorily repaired and she ended up waiting months for a goodwill replacement.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any products customers buy must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.
If they do not satisfy any of these three criteria, it can be seen as a breach of contract potentially entitling customers to a full or partial refund, replacement or repair, depending on how long they have had the product.
However, Which? said it has spoken with 20 Currys PC World customers who have struggled to get a refund or replacement for a faulty product, and been either passed on to the manufacturer or left facing lengthy waits.
Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which, said: “We regularly get complaints about Currys PC World, but the number of problems reported has soared in recent months – suggesting customer service levels have hit rock bottom during the pandemic.
“Customers may be entitled to a replacement or refund if their purchase is faulty or not fit for purpose and should not be fobbed off to manufacturers or face lengthy waits for their money or a new product.
“While the coronavirus pandemic may have impacted deliveries and service earlier this year, many retailers have adapted, improving customer relations and service so Currys PC World has no excuse – it must clean up its act.”
Which? has said it will be sharing its findings with Trading Standards for further investigation.
A spokeswoman for Currys PC World said: “We are truly sorry to customers who haven’t received the standard of customer service we expect of ourselves.
“While we are fulfilling the vast majority of our services successfully, we appreciate that one complaint is one too many.
“All through the pandemic we have been experiencing unprecedented demand for the vital technology that has been keeping families fed, clean and entertained and helping people work from home.
“Throughout, our greatest concern has been the safety of our colleagues and customers and have had to adapt to new ways of working in a very challenging environment.”