Written on: 23/12/2010
I recently bought a 'Grade A' Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 Mini for £190 from the CEX store in Newcastle after being assured it was new stock and came with a full warranty. 6 weeks on the screen went faulty so I returned and tried to get replacement. I was 1st informed because 28 days had passed they would only repair or offer current value (£130) in store credit towards a replacement (I declined and went to check my rights). Then on returning they changed their mind and said it wasn't faulty, but had been damaged by me and they weren't obliged to replace at all, the credit offer was then withdrawn. They also said I had to deal with Sony E. and CEX customer services direct, not the store.
While being turned away during the 2nd visit a member of staff let slip the store managers name so I went away and served him personally with a letter before action giving 14 days to sort it out or see you in court. After that I went back for a 3rd time and offered them a last chance to sort it out, saying I would compromise and accept the store credit otherwise see you personally in court. After much argument the manager gave in, so I took the hit and got a store credit towards a new phone. I do not think he would have backed down if I hadn't found out his name, which he was very unhappy about. As I left to the sound of the manager telling off the staff member who let slip his name I was tapped on the shoulder by another customer who said another branch had done exactly the same to him and he won't now touch their phones. Could well be how they make their money.
Basically my experience of CEX is:
Minging dirty place that could do with a good clean, much like the staff, who seem to have rounded up from the nearest street corner.
I not sure I believe the new stock claim for the phones, I reckon the not obviously 2nd hand ones are actually repaired faulty returns or quality control failures.
In store staff will deny responsibility for problems and refer you to customer services
Appalling customer service with anonymous email address the only contact
Restrictive terms and conditions you should be well aware of before you purchase.
I feel the staff are rude, smug, smart mouthed types who will stop just short of insulting you then smirk as if to say what are going to do about it. I managed to keep my temper, but it was touch and go. Be wary of giving in to provocation.
In summary I'd hesitate to buy a single 2nd hand DVD there and I certainly wouldn't trust them with anything electronic or high value. Expect chew if you have to return anything, generally best to avoid!
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