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Harvey Norman / poor customer service/bullying/breach of acl

1 Sydney Metro Area, New South Wales, Australia

Today I had a very unpleasant experience at the Harvey Norman store at Moore Park, Sydney. It really was customer service experience of the worse kind.

I wanted to return a TV cable I had been encouraged to purchase by Harvey Norman but have since learnt that it does not work with the TV I also bought at the time. I believe I was made to buy this product and communicated incorrect information about what this product would do. This is clearly against the free consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law.

At the same time as buying the TV cable I bought a DVD/VCR machine and was told that it would work on the TV I bought at the same time. However the VCR does not work. Again this is clearly against the free consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law.

I received very poor customer service from a staffmember. He laughed when I mentioned the ACL, frequently shouted at me and lacked listening skills.He seemed to have little interest in the problems I was having and just said return it to LG and pay a service fee and they will have a look at it.

When I asked to speak to a store manager, I was made to wait a very long time. Eventually a senior staffmember came out to speak to me. He was not interested in the previous customer service I had experienced and quickly adopted a defensive attitude. I tried to explain the problems I was experiencing but he was more interested in telling me he knows more about the ACL than I do. I felt very uncomfortable speaking to him and bullied, as he would not let me be heard to any great extent ( consumers need to be heard according to the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection). I did not get a sense he was representing Harvey Norman as I am use to much better customer service. Certainly mocking the ACL is a big no no for any business. As he was getting annoyed with me because I was stating my rights under the ACL he bullied me and shouted at me to get out of his store or he would call the police. Other customers and staffmembers looked on and seemed quite amazed at what was happening. I was offended when he said he would call the police as no criminal behaviour was occurring. I am very concerned that some Harvey Norman staffmembers may be using the police to get rid of customers who are exercising their rights under the ACL.

The above behaviour goes against the spirit of the ACL and I am sure Harvey Norman policies. It seems like there is a culture of trying to get rid of customers who have problems with Harvey Norman products by basically telling them to go away and saying that they cannot do anything about it, ignoring the ACL. Managers are not listening and do not care when customers report poor customer service ( I will not support a gang mentality to customer service at Harvey Norman stores).

I want this matter dealt with by upper management. These are important issues and I cannot see other consumers being happy with how I was treated at this store. The ACL must be complied with. Customers must not be bullied and told the ACL does not matter.

I hope we can make some improvements for other Harvey Norman customers, especially the weak and vulnerable.

Jul 9, 2015

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