As a child there was nothing but love for the world of goods contained within the tissue-thin pages of the doorstop catalogue. Every December my sister and I would huddle around a copy in my nan’s living room, circling all that took our fancy as inspiration for our Christmas lists. The Barbie pages would, for all intents and purposes be a mass of over-excited geometry.
But things seem to have changed and the Argos mindset now seems as greedy and grasping as my sister and I come mid-December.
Did someone let the aliens from the TV ads loose on the company, because shopping there is just fucked up.
In light of recent experiences may I therefore suggest some tweaking to Argos Slogans past and present.
Easier More Complicated
Boo, for her birthday, wants a Kindle Fire HD. So imagine my joy when I spotted an ad for Argos highlighting a £30 discount. Brilliant! I hop online and discover that I can get one at my nearest store for £109.00 Chuffed I immediately inform Husband of my good luck. He offers to pay on his card, so I decide to reserve one for him to pick up that afternoon.
Except it’s not especially that easy. Postcodes are needed. Store selections to be made (just in case I want to take a 50-mile round-trip when a short walk into town would suffice). Things never work as well on mobile devices as they do on a proper screen, so there’s a lot of inaccurate tapping and hyper-accurate cursing before I’m awarded my reservation code.
Still, I feel pleased that I’ve got the matter in hand. Even if it would have been easier just to have been able to walk into a shop, pick it off the shelf and pay for it at the till. No reservation numbers, no ‘quick pay’ kiosk with a dodgy touch screen sensor, no waiting on plastic chairs for your goods to be plucked from the warehouse by bored teenagers who can’t reach the top shelf.
(Surely I can’t be the only person who considers it a ‘win’ if my item makes it to the customer service desk ahead of the number before mine. Inevitably though, some latecomer always beats me instead, which causes me to question the fairness of all humanity. Which is definitely not easier than normal shopping.)
Find It, Don’t Get It, Argos It
But anyway, I was excited. Boo’s present was sorted. Husband was paying. And I escaped having to sit in a plastic chair. Result!
But then Husband arrived home empty-handed.
Apparently they didn’t have any in stock. But the computer had said that they had. And I’d reserved one. Click-and-collect. I’d clicked. Now surely he could collect.
And then I checked my phone:
Hang on, that wasn’t part of the deal. That never happens to the aliens on the TV. Good job I didn’t choose the 50-mile round trip, otherwise I’d have been really pissed off.
But at least it would be back in stock before her birthday (or so I assumed, because my reservation was only going to last until Wednesday). And we were saving 30 quid, which was surely worth a slight delay.
Buy it at Argos and they’ll pocket the difference.
So I was happy yesterday morning when I got an email saying that the Kindle Fires were back in stock. Yay!
Woah! Hang on there! What happened to £109.00?
Oh, I see. ‘Prices may change on a daily basis due to special offers. The price you pay will be the price in store on the day you pay and collect.’ Funny how there’s only stock when the special offer’s finished, no?
Oh, but get this. If I then bought the full-priced Kindle, gave it to Boo as a present but she then wanted to return it (if she got two, for example – she’s been banging on about wanting a Kindle forever) but I lost my receipt, Argos would only refund the lowest amount that it had ever been sold at.
Is it just me, or does it seem that Argos wants to have its cake and eat it?
Not cool, Argos.
Should’ve gone to
Well, Argos, you lost yourself a customer. Tesco had the Kindles on sale at £119.99 and have stuck to their price after Husband reserved through them instead. Guess where will be our first port of call in the future too?
Argos: Brighter Shopping Elsewhere.
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After my complaint yesterday about the Loomz bands, RMS International Ltd were lovely and are sending a goodwill gesture, instead of telling me to just get a life, which would have been fair enough.