Some companies can’t resist putting their needs above those of the customer

Moving house and getting divorced is difficult enough without having to buy a house full of goods from Currys!!

So, you can probably guess, I got divorced a while back and I did the decent thing and left most of my shared items with my former wife.

So striking out on my own again at the tender age of 40, I decided that a new vacuum, Smart TV, toaster, George Foreman grill, slow cooker and one of those warm air fryers and a bunch of other goodies like home cinema and all that jazz were definitely in order.

After a rudimentary bit of price comparison on the most urgent and practical thing I needed, I found that Currys had the cheapest Dyson vacuum cleaner and a great price promise, so then I trusted that they would be there or thereabouts on everything else – it was late at night, so I wasn’t gong to bother shopping around too much, as i thought the price promise would guarantee a good price – that it seems is also a misnomer.

Approximately £1400 in the basket later and after having battled through their counter intuitive ‘add to basket’ where the ‘add to basket’ button doesn’t appear until you are right into the product detail page, rather than just add them from the first level product screen – Currys if you’re listening, I did my research via ‘Which Magazine’ first, so I didn’t need the details to buy, so you could have saved me some time and frustration by having ‘add to basket’ options at the top level and it might have influenced me to not abandon the basket altogether later on.

Anyway, at 11pm I decided to call it a day and proceed to the checkout, which was where it all started to get worse…

Not content just to try to sell me the goods, Currys have made it mandatory that you deselect the ‘whatever happens care plan’, insurance for every single item, which should be called the ‘overpriced, hard to claim on and if you ever do need to make a claim, you’ll probably forget where you left the policy, or that you had one in the first place plan’ , but then Curry’s know this and probably call it the ‘get extra margin from unsuspecting customers plan’.

As I deselected the insurance, on each and every item, the site refreshed each time, which took only seconds, but as time is a relative concept, each refresh felt like minutes, leaving me to think ‘why cant I just deselect all the insurance plans globally’? do it once and save my waning patience?

I did this at an individual product level and as I had 13 items in my basket at that time, I missed a couple and so had to go back over it all multiple times to see where the offending insurance was lurking because the default setting stops you progressing even if you want to.

When I finally got through this VERY annoying hurdle, they made me register – no guest checkout in this site!! This raised the blood pressure further – it was the witching hour after all by now and I just wanted to pay and get to bed.

But no, this was the ‘Currys Factor’ and they wanted to work for the honour of being a customer and further bamboozle me with a wide array of delivery options for each item and even then, when I selected the options, they did not work for the TV – they offered a Sunday delivery and I could select it with the radio button, but would not process and then it wouldn’t take any other selection.

At this exact moment my lodger arrived back from the pub after a few pints and asked how I was doing. I could only offer expletives about how annoyed I was that Currys had did not want me to own a new Samsung Smart TV today or anytime in the future and certainly not to be delivered on a Sunday!

But then he uttered those magic words… ‘Why don’t you just buy it all from Amazon?’

Hooray, there is a God!! So item by item I compared the price and transferred the entire basket to Amazon, paid up and went to bed very happy.

So Amazon delivered the goods via a variety of delivery drivers in various shipments, but I didn’t mind, because my neighbours are nice and they took all the deliveries that I missed.

I don’t know if Currys; like their sister company ‘PC World’ really know ‘how to deliver a hard drive’ but they know how to give you a hard time especially when you’re trying to buy from their website.

Needless to say the idea of getting divorced again and the emotional roller coaster that it involves seems somehow much worse in a world with only Currys and no Amazon.

Currys must think that customers enjoy the challenge of purchasing from an unnecessarily difficult website or that they are somehow going to be more profitable by putting their agenda ahead of their customers’, but I think its safe to say that if you do what’s best for the customer, then that’s always best for your business.

Image credit: Tom Hart via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) 

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