I posted this review on Trustpilot on 16 May 2012:
"Rather than wasting my time on this company, again, I thought I'd use the complaint letter I wrote to them - adjusted so it reads as a review rather than a letter. This is a complete, honest and non-slanderous commentary on this company and why (especially if you live in the UK) you should avoid them at all costs.
I was left totally dissatisfied with the service. You will no doubt grasp of the deep feelings I have, evident by the time and effort spent on the below...
It is best to outline the many problems based on issue even though there is a chronology involved.
1) The time it took to receive goods did not warrant a delivery charge of £36.25 (ex. VAT)
My order was placed on 30th March at 06:11. At the time the dishwasher was out of stock, but scheduled to be back in stock on 7th April. Due to their Terms & Conditions I accepted this and was happy to wait. 7th April came and went with no contact from Pixmania, which I would have appreciated. Instead I had to find out by logging online that the date had been changed to “within 28 days”. On the 8th April I sent an e-mail to customer services asking for an update. Other than an automated reply I received no contact until 12th April, which was a framed ‘ready-made’ e-mail with no personal correspondence, stating the dishwasher to be in stock on Saturday 21st April. On their website the dishwasher was recorded as IN STOCK on Saturday 21st April but was not dispatched until the 25th, and this was only after I made a phone call to their customer services on the 24th. In my opinion, this particular issue was satisfactorily resolved with a partial refund of the delivery charge (£29.90). I very much wanted this to be the end of the matter, but as you can see from the below, Pixmania chose to continue to provide me with sub-standard service.
2) The lack of personal correspondence and feeling of ‘neglect’ from Pixmania's customer service
In addition to the above problems highlighted in issue #1 above, the treatment of me from their customer services left me feeling neglected and maltreated. On 16th April I received a ‘ready-made’ e-mail asking to sign a “SWORN STATEMENT” that I had not received delivery. Pixmania had not sent the dishwasher at this point and the wording of this request was cold and made me feel like I was at fault.
Secondly, I was referred to as “Mme” (9th April, 15th April) and “Ms” (16th April) only to finally be referred to as “Mr” for the first time on 2nd May. All other correspondence has been headed with “Dear Customer”. This clearly shows that Pixmania are not in-touch with their customers and continue to insist on using automated systems.
The two examples above are not the only problems I can attribute to this particular issue, as you will read below.
3) Failure by Pixmania to meet simple requests: personal and direct contact by Mr James Felix
On 16th April at 18:11 I sent an e-mail to Pixmania's customer services to the attention of Mr James Felix, their UK customer services director. On this e-mail I kindly asked for direct contact details for Mr Felix. I received the customary automated reply that my e-mail was received and that it “been forwarded to the relevant department”. I received no further contact from customer services or indeed Mr Felix himself.
On 24th April at 16:42 I called Pixmania's customer services on an 0844 number and spoke to an operator. I requested to be put through to Mr Felix but the operator said that she could not grant this request. In a test of Pixmania's “100% customer satisfaction” goal, I asked for Mr Felix to contact me directly on my mobile so I could discuss the issues directly with him. I told the operator that if I am not available, Mr Felix was to leave me an answer phone message with a geographical number to call him back on. I never received a phone call from Mr Felix.
In an e-mail of official compliant sent to Pixmania's customer services sent on 28th April at 12:50, I requested Mr Felix or a person in a position of authority to contact me on my mobile. I gave a deadline of Wednesday 2nd May for this to occur. No phone call was received.
The only correspondences I have received from Mr Felix have been ‘ready-made’ e-mails that have no personal tone to them what so ever. There is no indication in these e-mails that he has properly read (or even received) any of my requests. I actually wonder if this Mr Felix actually exists...
4) Failure by Pixmania to meet simple requests: Saturday delivery
At the time of the aforementioned phone call on 24th April at 16:42, the dishwasher had been labelled as ‘IN STOCK’ on Pixmania's website but it had not yet been dispatched according to the ‘My Account’ section. Since a previous (automated) e-mail stated that the dishwasher will be sent as soon as it was in stock, I requested delivery on the upcoming Saturday (28th) as I am unavailable during the week-day. The operator said she will put this request through for me. The following day I received an automated e-mail that my delivery was scheduled for THURSDAY (26th).
On Wednesday 2nd May I received another automated e-mail stating my replacement dishwasher (see issue #8) was scheduled for delivery on THURSDAY (3rd). Why on earth would Pixmania schedule another delivery for a Thursday when I have contacted them multiple times regarding deliveries?
5) Compensation for time and money spent contacting Pixmania and KNOWHOW (their delivery partner) costumer services
The aforementioned phone call on 24th April at 16:42 in total lasted 17 minutes. I asked the operator that I wished to be compensated for the cost of this phone call (£1.736 on my tariff). I did not receive this compensation at the first time of asking. I ended up making further calls to charged numbers which I added to my compensation claim.
6) Failure by Pixmania to meet simple requests: the supply of a UK postal address
In my e-mail of official compliant sent to Pixmania's customer services on 28th April at 12:50, I requested to be given the postal address to their UK head office so I can post an official complaint. This request was also set to the deadline of Wednesday 2nd May. No such address was ever received.
7) Compensation for money lost due to waiting for failed delivery
When Pixmania set up the first delivery on Thursday 26th April (despite my request for a Saturday delivery), the KNOWHOW website stated that delivery would take place between 15:25 and 19:25. I was forced to leave my place of work early in order to return home for 15:25. My wife and I have yoga classes on Thursday evenings at 19:30 which are paid upfront. As 19:25 approached with no delivery it became apparent that my wife and I would not be able to attend our class as I had to wait for delivery. At 19:51 I called KNOWHOW and the operator informed me that the driver had got in to work late that morning and that delivery may be as late as 21:00 leaving me very angry and frustrated. I am usually in bed by 9pm since I get up early to commute to work. Since Pixmania initially failed to schedule my delivery for Saturday as requested, they effectively cost me money as my yoga teacher is an independent and is unable to refund or waive any fees for missed classes. So this was also added to my compensation claim.
8) Delivery of damaged goods
When the dishwasher finally arrived on the morning of Saturday 28th April, I was immediately alerted by the KNOWHOW driver that the dishwasher was damaged. Knowing my rights I accepted the dishwasher but asked the driver to note this damage on his PDA with a view for a replacement to be sent to me at a later date at my convenience. This issue was the trigger for my official e-mail of complaint sent to Pixmania on 28th April at 12:50 (the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ – if you will). The e-mail contained pictures of the damage.
On 2nd May at 10:39 I received what could be described as the closest I came to a personalised e-mail, acknowledging the declaration of damaged goods. However even this e-mail was worded, in my opinion, in a cold manner (see issue #10). I was refunded the rest of the delivery charge (£13.60) via yet another ‘ready-made’ un-personalised e-mail signed by Mr Felix. The refund was acceptable, but the issue remains unresolved as other outstanding issues means I am currently withholding delivery of the replacement dishwasher.
9) No delivery of 3rd item on order paid for (Neocal Anti-Limescale Device)
On my order placed on 30th March was a purchase for a “Neocal Anti-Limescale Device”. I never received this item and was later told that it was discontinued! I was eventually offered a refund for the item.
10) Being made to feel like I am treated with contempt
All of the above issues have made me feel like I have been treated with contempt. However there are further incidences which have solidified this feeling:
a) Pixmania felt the need to remind me, twice, via ‘ready-made’ e-mails that they had already given me a partial refund of £29.90 (2nd May 10:20 and 10:39). Why did they feel the need to remind me of this refund?
b) The wording of the only ‘personalised’ e-mail received was cold: e.g. “you are required to notify the manufacturer strictly within 48 hours after delivery”. This sounds like Pixmania are placing onus and responsibility on the customer for issues that they have created.
In my complaint letter, I gave a final ultimatum, giving Pixmania the chance to avoid court action. The requests were simple:
1) To be compensated so I could cover costs (e.g. phone calls) and loss of money experienced. I game them a breakdown of my costs on a spreadsheet. I asked for this compensation to not to be in the form of vouchers of any kind.
2) I asked to receive a written letter of apology from someone in a position of authority – Mr James Felix himself would have been nice. I will not accept a generic or ‘ready-made’ letter. It must be posted to my address.
3) I asked for them to send me the “Neocal Anti-Limescale Device” that I have paid for on a date that I am available to receive delivery.
I sent a copy of the letter to the KNOWHOW team in Hemel Hempstead (they were brilliant in supporting me and I had no doubt that Pixmania caused them as much frustration as they had me). Copies were also sent to the UK European Consumer Centre (ECC) Trading Standards Institute and BBC Watchdog.
Funnily enough, Pixmania did not take long to respond... by e-mail, from their head office in France. Here was the result on the above requests:
1) Pixmania's mediation department 'accepted' my claim for compensation - this was to be transferred to my bank via BACS. But, in a shamed attempt to keep my custom, I was also credited with £20 in my "Pix Piggy" account - i.e. a voucher! I declined this, and instead asked for it to be given to a charity of my choice. Pixmania declined this and stated: "Concerning your decision to decline our further offer to credit your PIX PIGGY account for £20, our mediation department has asked me to confirm that unfortunately we cannot credit a third party as requested. This credit is still available.". Make of this statement what you will...
2) The letter was pitiful... In fact, it was the e-mail of apology sent to me from head office printed out. At least they took the time to put it in an envelope... And, you guessed it, it wasn't from the phantom James Felix.
3) As already mentioned - I was sold a discontinued item, but I did get the money back for it.
In conclusion: On their website and e-mails footers, it states: “Our goal: 100% customer satisfaction !”. Well Pixmania, you have totally and utterly failed with me. And... I will not be shopping with you again. Not giving that £20 'Pix Piggy' credit to a charity basically sums you right up... Cheap prices? You get what you pay for..."