Monday, 5 July 2010

Customer service, I don't think so...

Time for me to have a mini moan about poor customer service, an annoyance for many people!

I had to move my Hotpoint washing machine this weekend and when I plugged it back in again the display language had changed to French! Although my knowledge of French washing terms will go through the roof i'd still like my language set back to English.

So, being keen I started to look online for the manual which I found pretty quickly, a 16 page PDF with no useful information in it at all.

So I checked online in the forums, plenty of people with the same issue but not a single response on how to fix the problem. Nothing from other users and more importantly, nothing from Hotpoint themselves...

Next, I thought i'd phone them (this is at 6pm on Saturday night) so I find the number for the information line but it's only open Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5.00pm!

My last resort... i'll email them. So, I sent off an email asking for help and I get the following reply: 

"We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. However please allow a maximum of 5 working days before pursuing a reply if you have not heard from us." 

Please don't chase us up for an answer until we've ignored you for at least five days?!

Now, I would class this as a pretty poor customer experience for me and i'm reasonably patient. What about the damage done to the Hotpoint brand by the unanswered questions on the forums, the lack of available documentation & FAQ's and the slow response to email enquiries? Poor online customer service is not really excusable in the times of automated monitoring systems and virtual advisors, especially from a company as large as Hotpoint.

Time to do things better Hotpoint... and will I get a reply to this posting?