The expression "too many cooks" comes to mind. Anywhere I've worked, people take ownership of a customer's case - irrespective of how it arrives. There's usually some sort of ticket which can be transferred between people, but it's not a rabble of individuals all chiming in their own $0.02

My recent experience with Argos just got worse when they tried to be helpful, largely because - it seems - no-one has a clue what anyone else is doing.

I want to eMail someone at Argos about this, and try and get a sensible response, but they don't have an eMail address apparently, they only take complaints by post... in 2017.

The following is a transcript of the IM conversation that took place via Twitter DM (with some small redactions and removal of personal or order information)

November 1st

Me: This is getting beyond a joke... we've been advised "the store has been advised to cancel the order from the warehouse"

I'm sure it's ENTIRELY coincidental that this happened on the same date as the offer that I bought them under ending?

This is entirely unacceptable, had I known you were going to renege on your offer to supply goods at the agreed price I could have cancelled the order and obtained them elsewhere (Maplin, John Lewis) with the SAME offer terms. I did not because I expected you to actually honour the order!

Argos: Hi, I am sorry for upset caused, I have spoken to my manager and the store regarding the issue. It looks like the items outstanding are not going to come in to the store from the warehouse.

I happy to offer you an home delivery all the items on order at the same and with free delivery.

I apologise I will need to cancel the order and refund as I am unable to transfer the fund across from one order to another. Please let me know if you would like to take this option. - Kelly

Me: That’s fine. But I can’t reorder now as the pricing has changed?

November 2nd

Argos: Hi Ross, I can arrange for these to be delivered to you without having to refund your original payment. Is there a particular day that would be more suitable for you? - Jack

Me: Ah sorry for confusion. That’d be great, thanks. Saturday or Monday would probably be best

Argos: Hi Ross, I've requested this for you. We will be in contact within the next 48 hours with a delivery slot. - Jack

Me: Thank you :)

November 4th

Me: 48 hours has been and gone... delivery slot ?

November 5th

Me: Any update on this?

Argos: Hi Ross, Having checked this for you your 10 items will be available tomorrow for you to collect, a text message and email will be sent as confirmation, as soon as you receive this you can collect your goods - Imanni

Me: To collect?? Kelly clearly said home delivery, as did Jack and promised me a delivery slot

Argos: Hi, I am sorry for the communication error, this order has been cancelled and a refund has been issued. Once the refund has gone back in to your account, please contact us and I will arrange for some to call you to place the order over the phone with free delivery and at the price you paid on the original order

Me: Huh?? I was promised a delivery date.

This is getting ridiculous.

Was that yet another lie by argos?

By three people nonetheless

Also what about the one telling me it’ll be ready for collection tomorrow??

You’ve not refunded anything yet. But it’s irrelevant if I knew I had to place another order (why?!???) I would have already done so - time is more important than being without the cash for a few days.

Argos: Hello i am so sorry for the inconvenience of this..the order has been cancelled and a refund has been progressed and can take 5 working days to reach you..again i am sorry for this and hope it does not leave a lasting impression about us --Sam

After much to'ing and fro'ing I eventually call them to place an order, which I can't do because they don't have anything in stock (despite saying they'd be in the store tomorrow)

Again I ask for a complaint or customer service eMail address and was told they don't have one any more because "eMails were getting stuck in a queue" and people's responses were delayed so they've moved to the postal service where obviously responses are instant :/

When asked for a name of someone who manages customer service they refused to provide one (probably because they figured out I could work out an eMail address) and instead said there's a "correspondence team" of 50 people. Well there's your problem right there, also if you have 50 people answering complaint eMails and you're still dealing with an unmanageably large queue – maybe that says something about your customer service?

Late November

Argos have agreed to honor the original pricing but (a) the items aren't in stock, (b) they won't be back in stock until 22nd November, (c) they have no way of back ordering products.

So I need to call back on the 22nd...