Hoover or Bust
PENZANCE -- I bought a “Hoover ALYX” from Currrys, Penzance in June 2011. I live on my own and use it about once a week. A few months after I bought it, the plastic release catch snapped off but by using my thumb nail I could still make it work, so I put up with it. Then about two months ago, the hose connection to the rigid pipe severed and my best attempts to reconnect it failed but I soldiered on, holding it in place with my hand which made the operation very difficult and with a consequent loss of suction into the bargain. Then finally the electric roller would not remain extended which made operation impossible. You would think after one hundred years, such defects would be a thing of the past but there we go. So finally I revisited Currys, who after an initial brush off (the assistant said they wouldn't have a record of my purchase which was clearly false and when I persisted without difficulty he gave me a proof of purchase from his computer) he told me I would have to "speak to Hoover". So when I got home I found the warranty (in twenty languages) and rang the number. After the usual (these days) automated options I spoke to a Customer Service Person who was quite reasonable in manner but gave me a number of "hoops to jump", namely first my own details, then the make and model of machine, then the serial number, then proof of purchase - the latter I didn't have immediately to hand. She said she would transfer me to their engineers, who given the defects, would probably arrange for a replacement, which of course pleased me. However she couldn't transfer me to the engineers department without proof of purchase as her records indicated the machine was out of warranty!
At this I remembered that the proof of purchase given me by Currys was still in the car, so I rang off saying I would ring back. This I did going through the same automated system and being told I was now in a queue. After a relatively short wait a different person answered the phone, so I had to run through all my details again, after which I told her I now had the proof of purchase requested and could she put me through to the engineers as promised? Now I was told this was not possible and that "they didn't do that". I protested that I had only just been told that would happen to which she replied "there must have been some confusion". She said I would have to send in the proof of purchase for action to be taken. By now I was so worked up I demanded to speak to their complaints department only to be told that "all complaints must be in writing" so here it is for all to see.
Why can't firms with long experience make machines that do the job they claim they will do and if they don't, treat their customers promptly and with respect, to honour their word and put the matter right? It is a pretty basic principle that reputation is fundamental to commercial and economic success. I shall never buy another product with "Hoover" on the label. The founders of that company must be turning in their graves. Incidentally a Hoover washing machine I bought new broke down a couple of years after relatively light use and has never worked since. The products are lousy, the customer service appalling, the “warranty” useless. Sadly, this company appears to deserve to go to the wall. My advice: stay well clear of "HOOVER"!