[NOTE: John Browett is no longer the CEO of Dixons Group. As of January 2012 it has been reported that he has joined, of all places, Apple!]
Dear Mr Browett,
I know you haven’t responded personally to any of my previous emails but I’m starting to feel very familiar with this ongoing relationship, so do you mind if I call you John? Good, then let me start again…
Thank you, this time, for KnowHow’s swift response to my latest email complaint of 8th December 2011, regarding the laptop I purchased from PC World (Which, just for reminders, went away for 10 days for repair to KnowHow near the end of the 12 month manufacturers warranty, for a faulty keyboard and power pack, was returned with a scratched screen, went away to KnowHow for another ten days to replace the screen and came back again with a power issue) By that evening I’d had phone calls and messages had been left for me to get in touch and re-arrange the repair of my laptop. I had asked to speak with somebody as senior as possible and Marie was assigned to my case.
I spoke with Marie on the Friday and she offered to *try* and expedite my case. I made it clear that this whole debacle had been going on for nigh-on six months and part of the reason for the delay was because I couldn’t find the time to sit down and write a well-crafted and articulate complaint. The reason that I couldn’t find time was due to the fact that the laptop was still faulty and slowing me down.
But basically that was all that Marie was offering – to *try* and speed up the repair process.
I wasn’t happy, and I made this clear to Marie who wouldn’t budge an inch. I’d already suffered 20 days of downtime and was trying to catch up on everything ever since, so another 7 days of downtime was unacceptable. Ultimately, Marie’s “trump card” was that I was only going to get what I was “entitled” to. I responded that I was entitled to good customer service and, in particular, a product that was actually fit for purpose.
Whilst I made clear that I wanted zero downtime the conversation seemed to be going nowhere until Marie asked what I wanted to resolve this issue. I said I wanted a replacement machine so that I could continue life and work uninterrupted. She made a few enquiries and eventually said that KnowHow would collect my machine, attempt to expedite the process before I flew out of the country on the 20th December, and that I would have a loan machine in the meantime.
I was relieved, grateful and happy. Thank you.
On Monday 12th December 2011 the KnowHow driver turned up. He very pleasantly dropped off a purple loan laptop box and took my laptop away saying he hoped to be back in 7 days.
I opened the purple box and the loan laptop was an extremely low spec machine that I wouldn’t even give to my nine year old. I tried to use it but it was not up to the demands that I expect of a PC these days, so I used it for an hour and then stuck it back in its box.
Nearly a week went by. I was resigned to using a 5 year old entry-level laptop that I’d raised from the dead and this machine, whilst restricting my workflow by a good 50% was a darn site more capable than the KnowHow loan laptop.
Sunday 18th December I get a text message from KNOWHOW saying:
“Hi, we’ll be redelivering your product on 20-Dec. Thanks, the KNOWHOW Team.”
Now, John, this is where *I* make a stupid mistake. Having worked all year with just 3 days off (That’s how hard you have to work at a 2-employee small business these days) for some reason I thought the 20th December was the Monday. I was due to leave the country on the Tuesday. I didn’t get anything from KnowHow as to what time my laptop would return so I said to my wife that one of us should stay in during the day in case the laptop turned up.
By 5:50pm I was wondering if the laptop would actually turn up at all. So I called the 0844 KnowHow number to inquire. Marie wasn’t there, but Kelly answered and happily dealt with my inquiry. It was Kelly who pointed out that the 20th December was the Tuesday!
My flight is just after 9am on Tuesday 20th December so there was no way I was going to receive my laptop in time. I should have called as soon as I realised I wasn’t going to get my laptop in time for going away. I said to Kelly that I really *needed* my repaired laptop for taking away with me on the 20th Dec so we arranged, at great effort, for me to go to the depot in Southampton and collect my laptop.
People were bending over backwards here, it was Christmas, I was going away, I was absolutely desperate to get my machine back and to go away on holiday and be able to work to a good standard again. Although this wasn’t the usual thing, people were prepared to get this sorted for me, especially if I was prepared to drive from Farnborough to Southampton to get my laptop back at long last.
So, at 6:45pm I went to the petrol station, put enough fuel in the car and drove all the way to Southampton to retrieve my laptop PC. An hour later I was in Totton, a little lost, but I called the number I’d been given and I was guided to the gates of the depot. Up until this point, everybody was an absolute credit to the company. Despite all the hassle, the stress, the heartache, the grief, Kelly, Dan and the guy who walked to the gate, checked my driver’s licence and passport and returned my laptop were all heroes in my opinion.
I sent a text to my wife saying I’d be home in an hour.
I drove the 50 miles back home and eventually plugged my laptop in. I scribbled out a few last minute Christmas cards and, whilst waiting to complete this task, the laptop switched off. There was a light on at the power in port so I thought nothing of this. I booted the machine back up again and saw the power bar very low. Whilst there seemed to be power to the laptop it wasn’t actually charging the battery.
Unplugging and plugging the AC power back in I got a message saying something liker “The Smart Power says the AC power pack is not good enough” and that the laptop is more powerful than the AC adaptor.
When I first received this laptop the AC adaptor was OK – but someone had cut the velcro strap, it was unusable. This AC adaptor was the original intermittent one. KnowHow replaced this one.
The second AC adaptor also wasn’t man enough, as I reported, the laptop wasn’t getting enough power and the connection/power seemed intermittent.
The third time I seem to have yet another power issue. THis is despite having a letter with the third repair stating and I quote:
“We are pleased to let you know that your Laptop has been inspected and has been repaired.
Just so that you know we have also completed a full quality check and given your Laptop a full valet to make sure you’re up and running again.”
John, my laptop has NOT been repaired at the THIRD time of asking.
If there has been an inspection and a repair and a full quality check, how come it didn’t spot that the laptop is not charging?
I have to leave for my plane at 6am on Tuesday 20th December, John, it is now 03:00 in the morning, that’s how annoyed I am that I am writing yet another letter of complaint and within just a couple of hours that I have left before I would normally be expected to wake up again. I am so disgusted that I have missed a good night’s sleep to write this!
I am so absolutely and incredibly pissed off at the shoddy service I’ve received from KnowHow in terms of “fixing” this machine that I would like a FULL report on what has been checked, what has been done and WHY and I am not afraid to say that you have REALLY spoilt my Christmas John.
So, season of goodwill and all that, John, you REALLY need to sort this out!
Have a great Christmas and a happy new year, John.
Paul Mackenzie Ross