Please note the correspondence below. This is simply not good enough.
The sequence of events is as follows:
1. I tried to order a table tennis table online two weeks ago today and was told there was no stock available;
2. I opted to track the stock so that Argos would contact me when stock was available;
3. On Monday December 15th I received this email:
Thank you for your recent enquiry on argos.co.uk You recently enquired about a Double Fish Table Tennis Table., Cat No. 335/6304, on the Argos web site, which was out of stock.We have just received further stock of this item.If you would still like to order, please click on the link below as soon as possible as stock may be extremely limited on some products and we cannot guarantee availability.http://www.argos.co.uk/BIS?partNumber=3356304&traceablereference=TRK009We hope you enjoy shopping with us. Argos Internet Team
Did you actually have any of this stock at that time?
5. Pleasantly and unexpectedly, the following night I was contacted by one of your agents to say the item could be delivered on Monday December 22nd. At this point, my expectation was raised that I would have this gift for Christmas. My son had taken the call and my elder daughter was in the room, and both were very excited at the prospect of having the table tennis table for Christmas Day.
Again, at this point, there was no reason for us or seemingly your agents to believe that the item was out of stock: it had been in stock on Monday; in stock when the order was placed; and in stock when delivery was arranged.
6. It was then utterly galling to be phoned last night by an agent who interrogated me for my details and then announced that the item could not be delivered. As noted in the original email, it was doubly frustrating that this agent could or would do nothing to investigate the situation further and make any attempt to rectify a failing on your side of your agreement with me.
I could have put up with not being called in the first place until after Christmas and not having my expectation raised that we would receive the goods. It's not great service, but I would have accepted it. However, to promise and then take away that promise; and then to hide behind 'system errors' is unacceptable - especially at this time of year.
At the point you arranged the delivery for December 22nd, your agent had varied the agreement Argos had with me and the 42 day delivery window was no longer relevant. Therefore, you cannot fall back on that - it's merely a poor excuse.
It is now your responsibility to rectify this problem - caused entirely within Argos - to ensure we have the selected (and paid for) goods, or another equivalent table tennis table.
As a consumer journalist, I see such breakdowns in customer service often. Invariably, the companies surviving and thriving in this economic downturn are those with the empowerment and ability to resolve such issues satisfactorily....as for the rest? Think Woolworths and MFI. That's where your reputation with me stands at the moment.
Can you step up to the challenge?