'I was a paying customer, but he shooed me away!'
Shopping is supposed to be fun, but for these folks it turned out to be anything but!
We recently carried the tale of a reader's unpleasant shopping experience and invited you to write in with yours. Here is the next set of responses!
First up is Vithal Rai Thakore's story:
I purchased a Longines watch in January 2010, priced at Rs 27,250, along with a home theatre system for Rs 7,000 from the India Today Book Club during a promotional offer. They had provided an assurance of returning the customers' money if the products were sub-standard.
When I received the watch and system, both were of poor quality and not what had been promised in the offer. I called the book club on the phone and upon their instructions, returned both; they promised to return my money within 21 days. After much persuasion, I finally received Rs 6,500 for the home theatre system in October 2010 and have not got the remaining Rs 27,250 for the watch to date. It's been a year now.
Next we have this experience from Bhargav KR:
I generally have had great shopping experiences at the Reliance Timeout in Bangalore. But this particular outlet in Mantri Mall has woeful staff.
I had gone out to buy a gift for my nephew and picked up a toy model, which was inside a thick paper box . After I carried it over to the billing section, I noticed that a part of the box was open and there were thick mounds of dust and fibrous dirt accumulated inside.
On asking the salesman at billing to give me a new piece or to get this one clean, he nonchalantly waved me away, saying that I needed to go over to the customer service section to get it cleaned myself if I had a problem!
Whatever happened to good service and making customers feel welcome? I just walked away, but afterwards I felt like I really should have given him a piece of my mind.
And here is Guru Chaithanya's tale of woe:
Last year, I shifted along with my family to Bangalore. We visited the Home Centre by Lifestyle in Koramangala to purchase a dresser. There were many options available, but an end-of-season sale was going on, so there were many 'last piece' items on display with major discounts on them.
After inspecting and taking photographs of the minutely visible defects and damage to one, I put down an advance to buy it. The manager assured me that these were only minor defects and if anything else was found to be wrong with it, they would replace it with a fresh piece.
They delivered it after a fortnight. To my horror, it looked very distressed as compared to when we had made the purchase. Over an inch of it had chipped off smack in the centre. They had made the delivery without dis-assembling it as required and the screws which held the mirror were visible from the front. And there was other wear and tear too.
I quickly made a call to Home Centre, but they argued that the defects were present previously and we had agreed to buy it after the discount. Finally the manager assured me that a sales representative would visit us and inspect the damage to the dresser. It's been five months -- even after calling repeatedly, I get the same excuses. My loss was Rs 9,000, but I gave negative feedback to all my relatives and warned them about buying such 'last piece' products. After that, I made a lot of other furniture purchases, but kept away from Home Centre.
Have you ever been misled by any store? Or, had a bad customer service experience? Write in to us about your worst shopping experiences at email@example.com (subject line: 'My shopping nightmare') and we'll publish your entries right here.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh