back to article Argos offers 'buy now pay in 3 months' deal

If you're one of the estimated 96 per cent of Brits who lives within 10 miles of an Argos outlet,* then you've probably enjoyed the in-store tablet-based catalogue shopping experience, browsing and purchasing goods for immediate collection from the front counter. The trouble is with that, you have to pay on the spot. Shop …

  1. dotdavid
    Headmaster

    "I am unable to discus this"

    They may not be able to discus this but nevertheless I think they're throwing your query out of the window.

    1. PleebSmasher
      Dead Vulture

      only the beginning

      Makes you yearn for a future when your queries will be parsed by strong, capable artificial intelligence artilects/overlords, and promptly ignored.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: only the beginning

        Many years ago the Holiday Inn off the Hanger Lane gyratory system managed to submit a bill to my credit card company 9 months late. And didn't even apologise.

        I'll never stay there again. But that's largely because it looked like Challenge Anneka had decorated the place.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Because data protection

    You're not discussing the order, you're discussing if there was a generalised billing problem about three months ago. You couldn't even say there was one which affected a small number of customers and they've all been notified and offered a gift voucher like this one?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Because data protection

      That's the thing with Data Protection, no one really understands it and hope you don't either.

      I have had calls many times from people wanting to discuss something with me, they then drop the line "For Data Protection can you confirm your name...", and I'd tell them no. They say they need it to verify who I am, at which point I tell them that for Data Protection purposes I can't give out my personal information to someone who I don't know. They tell me who they are, and I give them a false name. Sometimes it's amazing how far the call can go when you say your name is John DeLorean, otherwise they get pissed off and hang up.

      1. BenR

        Re: Because data protection

        Done that to the interminable bank phone calls once or twice:

        Bank monkey: "Can you confirm your name and address please, to prove who you are?"

        Me: "You're my bank - you've called me on the number i've given you. I want to know *YOU'RE* who you say you are before I give out any personal information! Can *you* confirm *my* address?"

        Bank monkey: *silence*

        And yes, Data Protection is the new Health and Safety. No-one really understands it. I fell foul of it trying to cancel my granddad's phone contract after he passed!

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Because data protection

          Me: "You're my bank - you've called me on the number i've given you. I want to know *YOU'RE* who you say you are before I give out any personal information! Can *you* confirm *my* address?"

          Bank monkey: *silence*

          I think more of us are doing this, because last time I did this, HSBC refused to give me my information, but said I could call back to the telephone banking service, authenticate with that and then gave me a number to give to the CSR so that I would be transferred back to them, which seemed an acceptable compromise.

          1. Chris Evans

            Re: Because data protection

            Yes they need to provide a way that the customer can phone them back (on a publicly published number). Unfortunately last time I asked a caller from my companies bank what department I needed to ask for, they said the call centre couldn't put me through to his particular department. IIRC it sounded like it would have been to our advantage.

            I should have done I'll tell you one of my data points if you'll tell me one then another from each side and so on.

            1. NightFox

              Re: Because data protection

              If I get one of these calls and I'm confident that it's legitimate but they're asking me to authenticate, then rather than end up having to call back a call centre in India, I give them a false answer (such as wrong letters from my password). If they're genuine, they'll tell me it's wrong and give me another chance, if they accept the false info then the phone goes down.

              Yes, I do realise it's not fool proof, but I takes me chances.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Because data protection

            "I think more of us are doing this"

            Yes. To the point where a lot of outfits are setting up passphrases they have to give you when they call, to prove they are who they say they are.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Because data protection

              When they call you now and you question their validity you won't get silence, they know the routine and they have a process ready to ask you to call them back on the number on your statement / card / bill etc.

      2. IsJustabloke Silver badge

        Re: Because data protection

        This is one of my bugbears

        caller : can I take some details for data protection please?

        me: You rang me.... why don't you tell me who you want and I'll tell you if you're correct

        caller: I'm afraid I can't give out that information

        Me: Oh well...

        Caller: So if I could just take your name ?

        me: You rang me.....

        Caller : I can give you another number to call

        me: You rang me, why would I ring the other number you've given me?

        So on and so forth.

        There's also the birthday variation...

        caller : can I take your DOB please?

        me: you rang me, why don't you tell me what you've got and I'll confirm if its right or wrong

        caller: I'm not allowed.... blah blah blah

        I almost feel sorry for them TBH, they're just trying to do their jobs

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Because data protection

          Ive usually finished the conversation before it gets to the oh so pointless verification stage, even if thats step 2 after "can i speak to mr ******* "

          caller: "can i speak to mr ******* "

          me "is this a sales call?"

          if lcase(left(Answer,2)) <> "no" = hangup

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Because data protection

        > I have had calls many times from people wanting to discuss something with me, they then drop the line "For Data Protection can you confirm your name..."

        nine times out of ten, when that happens, it's a scam or a debt collector trying to track you down.

  3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    Express yourself

    In London I had to urgently buy a replacement washing machine but Argos' express delivery was "Anytime in the next 10 days". They were also out of stock of the model I'd chosen.

    Down the road I found a shop run by a couple of Lebanese guys. How much for delivery? "£5", when can you do it? "Now!" Their drivers carried it up to the first floor flat and I gave them a tenner tip.

    This was some years ago and the French built machine is still going.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Express yourself

      Argos, Curries - to name but two have never paid their staff to be competent, and I suspect don't still understand that there is value (as well as expense - which will be passed n to the retiring customer) in delivering stuff when people want it.

      Sorry - grumpy waiting for a British Gas visit - despite the letter guaranteeing me a 10-12 slot to do the maintenance (I know a letter, so old fashioned, but they did cc it by email), it turns out not only can't they be bothered to turn up today, but 'we will work between 10-12' translates to we hope we might turn up before 12. Would I like to pick another lottery ticket? I would dump them, but it's my parents house and my Mother has a strange belief that they can be trusted to provide good service at decent prices. Their money, and I can't stand the rows if we (children) suggest a change.

      Anyway, pathetic winge out of the way, Argos and others will die - not specifically because of cost, but because of piss poor service.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Express yourself

        don't still understand that there is value (as well as expense - which will be passed n to the retiring customer) in delivering stuff when people want it.

        I know there are loads of options on this front, but can I put a word in for the Co-Op? We've bought several "white goods" from them over the last few years and while they may not be the cheapest around, they are certainly competitive and they do deliver when they say, with 60-minute slots.

        Co-Op Electrical.

        M.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: Express yourself

        >Argos, Curries - to name but two have never paid their staff to be competent,

        On the other hand... I bought a microwave from Argos recently. The girl who hefted it to the counter from the Magic Cave of Argos Stock out back was about 4' 6", and looked about 12.

        I could barely lift it, and I'm the far side of 6'.

        Whatever they're paying her, it's not enough.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Express yourself

        "grumpy waiting for a British Gas visit"

        That would be the Brutish Hash who made a song and dance in their TV adverts about coming out on Saturdays - and then told customers that they couldn't have callouts or boiler inspections on Saturdays.

        Also the same British Hash who came out the next working day to diagnose my boiler as "broken", then left it unfixed for 3 weeks, during a particularly cold March. The excuse given was lack of parts, however the manufacturer claimed to be holding large numbers of everything for the model (including the pump which had expired)

        The best way you can deal with British Gas gas is to take your business elsewhere, in the same way that the best way to save 65% off your Tesco car insurance is to go somewhere else. They won't negotiate and they don't care. Both are the TalkTalk/EE of their fields.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Express yourself

          "grumpy waiting for a British Gas visit"

          So, basically it's still like in the "New Cooker Sketch" by Monty Python's Flying Circus from the late 1960ies? Amazing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Express yourself

      I quite appreciate the level of service - actually a good idea to go local. I just would be wary of linking Lebanese businessmen with a French built service that is still going strong years later - unless it is war or nuclear power plants.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're one of the estimated 96 per cent of Brits who lives within 10 miles of an Argos outlet,*

    Ahh, I am one of the blessed 4% - and it's a lot further than 10 miles :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are at least 3 I know of within walking distance!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You live in a dreadful part of the world obviously.

  6. Velv Silver badge

    Argos Data Protection Team

    I like how Argos helpfully tell you "57 people are currently looking at this item"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think eBay started that? But I may be wrong, someone will correct me I am sure.

    2. lozhurst

      "45 people" at the moment, apparently.

      The hope that something somewhere flags unusual spikes in viewings, and the most common referrer, is going to keep me smiling for the rest of the day.

  7. GlenP Silver badge

    Argos Systems

    Not surprised given the level of their systems.

    Ordered something for work online from them (free delivery so couldn't be bothered to go in to a shop).

    They no longer provide a receipt with ordered goods, I ended up emailing their customer services for a VAT invoice. What arrived was manually typed on an Excel spreadsheet, they didn't even send it as a PDF.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Argos Systems

      Normally you get an order confirmation with all invoice/VAT details back in your email inbox within about 5 seconds.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what i really like about ARGOS is...

    ... that after purchasing an item, i like to get it home only to discover that someone has had it before me. I really enjoy paying FULL PRICE for a SECOND HAND item! And i really enjoy taking it back the next day to get it changed. I think i'm in the minority though?......although currys is worse!.....Data mining bastards.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: what i really like about ARGOS is...

      So inspect it in store then. If you are one of the people who insists on actually going there, then make the most of it, and kick up a stink, and save yourself a journey.

      Not sure, but I strongly doubt it is legal to sell previously used goods as new. Not that it stops em trying of course.

      1. Why Not?

        Re: what i really like about ARGOS is...

        wasn't when I worked in TV sales & Service 30 years ago.

        We had a customer bring in a new defective A*** video recorder with what become a common fault with the remote (when the sun shone it wouldn't work), so we sent it back to A***. We received a factory sealed new replacement and as we had already refunded the customer we put it in stock & it was sold. New customer found our service tag on the back and called in trading standards. Despite showing them documentation that proved our version of events we ended up with a £2K fine.

        I'm not sure why modern shops believe they can get away with selling second hand goods as new, its blatant nowadays.

        And Argos that firm that last Sunday declined my wife & my perfectly valid cards online. Next call I get is from My Bank's fraud department. They were £25 cheaper than Currys who offered my a chance to order online & collect in store that day except just before paying the bill they changed it to delivered into store in the next 5-10 days.

        Amazon are hardly getting stiff competition.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: what i really like about ARGOS is...

          "And Argos that firm that last Sunday declined my wife & my perfectly valid cards online. Next call I get is from My Bank's fraud department. They were £25 cheaper than Currys..."

          I never bother with Currys anymore. My Bank's fraud department always beat them on price.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: what i really like about ARGOS is...

      "only to discover that someone has had it before me."

      On the other hand, Argos staff are usually happy to get the product and open the box for you so you can make sure it's what you want before you buy it. If you decide you don't want it they will repack and reseal it. The person who actually buys it might think it's second hand. I'm not saying that it NOT a return, but it might well be just something that's been opened.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: what i really like about ARGOS is...

        Still not good enough. Stuff without intact packaging/shrinkwrap etc should go into the "Manager's Specials" flog off cheap selection.

  9. Santa from Exeter

    Shopping!

    Has he been perusing the Laminated Book of Dreams?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggOa9aSG-Ow

  10. andy gibson

    delayed payment

    Many years ago UCI cinemas took a direct debit payment several months after I'd seen the film. However, as a goodwill gesture they gave me two free cinema tickets, which was the same price as the DD.

  11. Chris Harden

    Your going to really confuse the Argos SEO guys when this hits their top viewed product of the day:

    http://imgur.com/OOFAfhK

    1. pstiles

      c'mon the 'copter is much more exciting

      Linked from that item is the

      "Playmobil Tactical Unit Helicopter"

      now that looks worth dropping a couple of tenners for.

  12. Duffaboy
    Thumb Up

    Others take note

    It's called customer service.

  13. Roopee

    Argos SWAT Team

    Why is one of them brandishing a skipping rope? Fitness training? Garrotting elephants?

  14. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    I quite like Argos

    Provided you research the item, they sell some decent items, and they don't censor the reviews - so it's entirely your fault if you buy a piece of Elizabeth Duke jewelry with thirty one star reviews..

    Order and pay online. Walk in. Give reference number. Walk out with item. Total time spent : a minute.

    I recently had an issue with a solid wood self assembly bookcase - it looked ok, the price was right, and it needed to be a particular size to hold game consoles. The reviews said that it was ok, but that the components could be cut more accurately. I took a punt on it anyway, and found just as I was finishing making it that one spar was more a parallelogram instead of a rectangle!

    Rang up support, and they agreed that I could go to my local store with only the faulty part. Checked the new item with a tape measure, swapped for the faulty one, and completed the bookcase. I'm very happy with it; it's cheaper and better built than an Ikea offering. Their website also contains all the manuals, so it's possible to see precise dimensions before purchase.

    Probably going to buy some vac bags from there tomorrow, and they're handy for printer ink too.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh!

    Even if Argos offered a "buy now, pay never" option I still wouldn't buy anything from them. Call me old fashioned, but I much prefer to see what the hell it is I am actually buying in the flesh before I hand over my hard-earned.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Meh!

      If you take the delivery option (usually free) then distance selling legislation kicks in and you have plenty of time to return it.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Meh!

        Dunno. In my, perhaps limited, experience they've never quibbled on anything I wanted to return regardless of the reason. And that has been stuffed picked up from the store rather than delivered.

  16. All names Taken
    Childcatcher

    Obsoleteness as a way of life?

    But that means (IT angle here folks) that when paid for after three months of ownership said or implied bit of IT-KIT (that is IT kit to the great uninitiated) is even more obsolete than when the item reference were placed into an online order thingy or writ onto an instore paper wotsit using one of those stubby writing things.

    But may be that is the future of purchasing experiences no?

  17. The Onymous Coward

    I worked at Argos on weekends when I was a student. They provide absolutely no training on the contents of their catalogue, so whenever anyone had a question about a particular product, we'd go and fetch whoever it was in the stockroom who was into the product in question. Me - hifi, computers, musical instruments. A bloke who was doing a plumbing course was an expert on washing machines and dishwashers. Baby stuff? Better send them over to the jewellery counter to talk to the new mums.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019