Monday, 2 March 2015

A Chilly Reception

Last week we had to say goodbye to our old Samsung Fridge/Freezer, which should have come as no great surprise as for some time its so-called ‘frost-free’ status had become more than questionable and it would often refuse to come back on for ages after a power cut.

In recent times the appliance had started making odd noises, although the instruction manual had informed us that it “may bicker, but this is not a trouble”. Finally though the end came, literally with a puff of smoke!

Obviously we wanted a replacement without too long a wait and headed off to Currys where we’d bought many appliances in the past. After some deliberation we selected a model that was reasonably sized and reasonably priced, bearing in mind this is not the time to be buying expensive items, living as we are in an old workshop that we’re renovating (read for more on that) where conditions are a bit dusty and things have to be frequently moved around.

Anyway, having chosen our desired model we then endeavoured to find an assistant. This was not an easy task, although one was finally located via a request at a neighbouring department. When the availability of the freezer was checked, we were told that delivery would be in three weeks. Three weeks? Were they kidding? When we’d landed back down from the ceiling, we explained that our need was somewhat more urgent and we needed to investigate alternatives, to which the assistant just looked at us, shrugged and walked away.
It's the Co-op I'll consider for future electrical appliances

For one moment we started to turn round to go back and view more by ourselves, until it dawned on us that the unspoken sentiment actually amounted to, “We don’t want you custom.” So we initiated plan B.

Reluctant as I am to buy things online without viewing them, I went home and Googled electrical retailers, as I'd already had the opportunity to browse a range of models in Currys. Let’s face it though, electrical shops aren’t that plentiful these days, with the likes of Comet and electricity board stores long gone, many retailers are online.

I had a quick look at but then caught my eye as it is a ‘Which? Recommended Provider’. I quickly found a fridge/freezer of the same make, but a slightly better model for the same price as Currys, with the silver option only being 1p (yes, 1p) more than the white, as opposed to £20-£30 more for this colour difference in Currys. What’s more it was available for delivery within just three days as opposed to weeks, and delivery was free!

The afternoon before delivery day, I received a text informing me that my delivery slot would be between 15.01 and 16.01. All I had to do was to wait and see how it all worked out.

I’m pleased to say that delivery actually occurred halfway through the allotted time slot. The driver and his assistant were friendly and helpful, promptly removing all packaging from the appliance (and taking it away) and ensuring that the fridge/freezer was installed where requested.

So would I recommend Co-operative Electrical to others? Too right I would, it was a completely painless experience.

A final mention to Currys (or Currys PC World as they are known these days) as their ‘Know-How’ team picked up on a tweet I posted about my experience in the store, offering to help me select an alternative. Sadly this was too little, too late and I’m much more likely to repeat my Co-op experience than my Currys one!

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