29 August 2011

To boldly go...

I recently upgraded to a BlackBerry Torch 9800 and I have to say, in a small nutshell, it's the worst BlackBerry I've ever used. Really bad on so many levels. I won't go into that now but suffice to say I have tried to have it swapped out.

I phoned VODASHOP Westwood (the store in question) and requested the procedural information to swap out a handset for a new model if it's within seven days (which in my case it is). The manager said it's not possible to exchange a handset unless it's faulty, in which case you still get a replacement model of the same type in return. I then politely referred him to the Consumer Protection Act and said it was, by law, possible to exchange a handset for another one. He insisted that even though there is a CPA, I have already signed all relevant CPA documents when I upgraded so I am bound by the contract.

(boxing gloves were lying next to my desk but I resisted putting them on)

I politely pointed out he was incorrect and added that I was simply not prepared to fight about it. I could get lawyers involved and it would just become messy for everyone and rather I just wanted to know if there was a stress-free way for me to be assisted and he said he was very sorry but no. Fine. I'm not bothered about it - I am not keen on bringing in the law either; my energy is far too sapped for that. The Old Bryan would have fought tooth and nail but the New (Older) Bryan is more mellow.

As I was about to go the manager asked for my information and said he would put out some feelers to see if anyone would be able to help with a new 9780 Bold for me as a swap out and I said that was great but that I wouldn't hold my hopes out. We departed on very amicable terms with him promising to help me get a replacement if he could and me promising not to fight them for breach of CPA.

The moral of the story? You can get a lot of cover through the CPA and if anyone at a store tries to be obtuse then just thrust those three magical letters and stand steadfast behind it. If they insist you're wrong, insist back that they are wrong, even if you're not sure, and chances are 99% of the time they'll back down because they won't want to have hefty penalties or law suits on their hands. Just act confident (even if you're not sure) and you can get your way now and get the quality customer service you deserve*.

* I am not trying to advocate petty intimidation or arm-twisting but rather encouraging you to use the CPA that is there to protect you and to hopefully encourage most retailers to improve their customer service to the level we, as consumers, are entitled to.

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