There’s crap service, and then there’s Argos Home Delivery

My wife has one of those fridge magnet thingamajigs that asks me, each time I reach for the milk, whether I’ve nurtured myself today. Usually I ignore it with the haughty disdain for Americanised sentimental claptrap that it so richly deserves, but this week I thought I’d try and do myself a good turn after all. So rather than continue to risk the back injury, neck strain, discomfort and inconvenience that stem from using my computer whilst balancing the monitor on one Pickfords removal crate, the keyboard on another, the mouse on yet a third, all the while adopting a precarious lotus-style bodily posture, I thought I’d take the radical step of ordering a desk and a rather swanky “Executive Chair”. Thus far, I think you’ll concede, my analysis of the situation showed a masterly grasp of ergonomics, and the solution I had alighted upon could not have been more exquisitely designed to resolve my nurturing deficit.

But as so often happens, it is the complacency that emerges from a good plan expertly executed that opens one to carelessness and poor judgement. In my case it was the fatal error of selecting Argos Home Delivery as my emporium of choice. I selected the goods after a careful perusal of the necessary dimensions, construction materials, price and those helpful reviews from punters who have boldly gone before you. I clicked the relevant buttons. With gay abandon I permitted my most personal financial details to wing their way across an Internet as yet unsullied by the Digital Economy Bill. I assiduously declined permission for said Argos Home Delivery to bombard my already groaning inbox with yet more superfluous entreaties to buy things I have no need of. Finally, my joy was unconfined when I received a delicately worded, albeit robotically generated, email assuring me that my carefully selected items would be delivered on Thursday 8th April between the hours of 7am and 1pm.

So last night I set my alarm for 6am. I was not going to permit myself to wander bleary-eyed and naked from my shower to greet the delivery driver, since no-one who isn’t contractually obliged to endure such visions should ever be required to do so. By 7am I was as sweet-smelling and as presentable as any reasonably sanguine observer could have wished. The first couple of hours ran fairly smoothly, as I busied myself breakfasting and introducing my stale clothing to an eagerly receptive washing machine. Even the third hour was reasonably tolerable. At the end of it I reluctantly informed my anxious employers that I would need to make a somewhat delayed entrance. They were charmingly accommodating, without even once indicating that they thought I had perhaps had a beer or six too many and was simply playing for time.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth hours were less congenial. I became a little fidgety. Although it cannot be necessary to check the clock more than a couple of times every quarter of an hour, I was finding it obligatory to do so a couple of times a minute. When a mere 15 minutes remained, I could no longer hold myself back from making a call to the customer service department. I dialled. I pressed 1. Then I pressed 3. And then 2. And finally 1 again. This secret code was sufficient to put me in touch with an automated voice informing me that they were unfortunately unable to tell me when within my allocated time slot my delivery would materialise. By now that slot had only a rapidly vanishing 5 minutes to run. So I phoned back, this time pressing 1, followed as before by 3, and then 2. But not 1. Oh no. With an air of desperate defiance I pressed 2! The reward for my temerity was no longer an automated voice, but one with which I could converse.

In hindsight, I think I preferred the automated one. This real voice told me solemnly that they were unable to offer an exact time, and that my delivery would most assuredly arrive, but not perhaps until 6pm. I remonstrated that I had been sent an email telling me that the delivery would occur between 7am and 1pm. That, Sir, was only an estimate! But I mustn’t worry because, despite the unreasonable desire that I had to go to work this afternoon, once they had discovered that the delivery had failed, I’d be able to ring them back to rearrange it. And how much leeway should I allow for that rearranged delivery? Well, it could happen any time between 7am and 6pm on the day of my choice, not including a Saturday. So I’d need to take another day off work? Yes, apparently Sir would. So why was I sent an email dishonestly telling me that I only needed to wait until 1pm, and on the strength of which I had already taken a half-day’s leave? No, it wasn’t dishonest, heaven forfend, but an estimate. And in any case, I was showing precious little consideration for the delivery driver by not accepting that “things sometimes happen”. Not, it would seem, that those things included much in the way of delivering anything.

So to summarise: Argos Home Delivery service is a load of incompetent cack. More than that, Argos treats its customers as if they were petulant, demanding toddlers. Its customer service stinks. Its desire to assist is non-existent. And it quite clearly couldn’t give a toss. If I’m to get any nurturing, I’ll evidently have to provide it for myself just as the fridge magnet had suggested.


39 thoughts on “There’s crap service, and then there’s Argos Home Delivery

  1. If the subject weren’t so bl**dy rant-making it would be funny – I’m sure most of us can identify with this scenario – wait! I have been told to expect the gas man to call between 8am – 12 noon next Tuesday. (foresees a three-day incarceration). Wonderfully ranted!!!! Bravo!

  2. My dad ordered me a new computer desk from PC World for my birthday once. PC World and Business Post then entered into a competition to see who would be the first to send me, wild of eye and frothing of mouth, to the local Secure Home for the Dangerously and Incurably Barking.

    Next time, order from John Lewis.

  3. I will forever fail to understand how companies get away with this. And yet they all do. Except, as rosamundi says, John Lewis, whose delivery people carried our sofa 100m up a narrow, iced-over pavement when our road was impassable just before Christmas.

  4. It’s not difficult to find an abundance of negative comments and reviews about Argos Home Delivery online. The only problem is that I’ve only stumbled across them after placing my order for a TV.

    My gripe with AHD is that after ordering my TV last night I was presented with a page informing me that I may have to wait UP TO 2 HOURS for order confirmation and a delivery date. No problems thinks I, and off I went to bed. The next morning there’s still no email. I wait until noon and send them a polite email. To their credit the advisor that replied was quick and polite, but the excuse was bad, that being “there’s a problem with our system, your order number was lost…but here it is, we’ve found it now. You’ll be contacted within 7 days to arrange delivery”.

    I’m not majorly impressed, but ho-hum as long as I get my TV safe and sound. 7 days to arrange delivery (probably another 7 days after that) is a bit of a farce though. I won’t be shopping with AHD again.

  5. It really is disgraceful that good customer service is so rarely practiced these days. Am glad you publicly called Argos out for their incompetence. And I hope that the desk and chair will be worth the wait!

  6. In the interests of fairness and balance, I ought to note that AHD did in fact deliver my stuff today, and they didn’t charge the additional fee for a Saturday delivery.

    That doesn’t really make up for the unnecessary half-day’s leave that I took, although I didn’t in the end have to take a further day off work. My real complaint is one that it would take the work of a few minutes for Argos to fix: don’t email your customers with incorrect information, and DON’T fob them off with nonsense when they point out that they’ve been deceived.

  7. I always use the check and reserve option, where possible, when ordering from the Argos catalogue, and collect my order at my own convenience. However, I know that many bulkier items from Argos don’t have this option, and so it seems that we will always have a degree of uncertainty when items are delivered, until retailers like Argos find better ways to handle this area of their operations.

  8. Argos Home Delivery is the best delivery service I have ever come across. I ordered a bedside cabinet on Tuesday July 5th was offered delivery for the 12th which I accepted. On Sunday 11th Jule I received a phone call to say it would be on its way in the morning as arranged, At 8.00a.m I received a call from the driver who said it would be with me within the hour, it actually arrived at 8.45 a.m. Brilliant service, cannot fault it especiaslly as I had ordered other items several weeks ago which were also delivered exactly when they were promised, no waiting in for them to arrive like some other companies expecially Royal Mail who do not knock doors but just put a card through the door and expect you to go 6 miles to collect them, flowers at that! Keep up the good work Argos! Thanks very much. V.M.Smith

  9. The Dictators at traffic planning department of Argos Home Delivery Service are as close to being service providers, as shush is to being champagne: – It is thicker and it stinks and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    I will not catalogue the detail, it is an epic tale of demanded subjugation of those that are paying clients, to those that are paid to provide products and service. These despots have announced a daily delivery service in London now. Bully for London, but live in a town adjoining a large city and you will get a delivery on the one day a week that they dictate, Take it or Leave it, if you pre-advise them that you cannot arrange to take it that day, you may well get a message that they will contact you at a date up to 28 days hence, to dictate on the single day in another week when they will deliver.

    I wrote to the temporary Chief Executive Terry Duddy, direct, (the previous incumbent of the MD office having departed very hurriedly), only to be lectured by one of his subordinates, in the dynamics, economics and finer points of distribution planning. (Thank you, I did not need it, after 20+years in distribution management).
    However, ‘the voice did point out that there was an available delivery slot, two days after the originally dictated date, (surprise, surprise as to why I had not been ‘offered’ that alternative), clearly they have no idea about the battles in which the Customer Service Department are destined to to be savaged by the Distribution Dictators, if they dare to suggest any flexibility in their battle plans. Nice little geographic zones, where it appears their trucks run on rails with no switching points.



  10. I too have experienced the most appalling service from Argos after confirming that a toy for my grandson’s birthday would be delivered Saturday before 3 and spending 4 hours yes 4 hours on the phone waiting and 3 days later I was told calmly and cooly that they did not have the item in store, and although they send me non stop publicity emails they could not be bother to email me before that Saturday to tell me that they couldn’t deliver. Today I had to accept my money back which will not be in my account for 5 days and I do not have the money being a pensioneer and so near Christmas to buy him another present and to top it all they have not refunded the delivery charge . I am so mad I could kill

  11. Ordered the tv on Thursday for delivery on Monday.
    Monday comes and we get a call from Argos to say sorry but it hasnt been put on the van for delivery it will now be Wednesday.

    Called Wednesday and guess what the incompetant useless f*****s had only booked it for delivery a week on Wednesday!!! Apologised, heres £50 off, bonus. So madam we’ll send it out tomorrow express delivery.
    Thursday comes, call to see what time its getting delivered, we’ re told between 4-6. And its now 7.30pm as write this and guess what, yep no frigging tv.
    So hold on a minute, its either not been put on or theyve told a complete load of crap and LIED blatently to us saying its being delivered.

    Now i can live with it not being put on the van, and i can even live with it being rearranged for the wrong day, but i will not stand to be lied to by a company as big as Argos.

    • At least you could talk to someone. I’ve ordered a TV to be delivered on Monday. Monday came and gone. No TV. Today is Tuesday and I thought I ring them up to ask what was going on. They phone system put me on hold for they were experiencing high volume of calls (early in the morning, right that’s believable). After only a couple of seconds on hold, they system disconnected me without any note. Tried three times so far, with the same result. When I check my order on Argos website, It still says that it will be delivered on Monday between 7AM and 6PM. But today is Tuesday! So either I am stuck in a time vortex or Argos is.
      I have wasted a holiday for waiting for my stuff and was not even able to speak to anyone from Argos. Seems like I will have to waste yet an other holiday.
      Final verdict: Argos is useless.

  12. I ordered a gift for my daughter’s best friend’s birthday party which is tomorrow. As we were ordering on Wednesday I told her to only pick items which offered a delivery time of 2 days so that it would arrive on time, with the result that my daughter didn’t get to pick her first choice of gift. When I entered my postcode the site confirmed it would be delivered in two days, and yet today I have just come off the phone after a frustrating conversation with a script reading drone from the call centre who told me it was dispatched today and would be there ‘by Monday’ and wouldn’t count as late unless it had not arrived by Tuesday.

    This is apparentely because it is a small package so is being sent by Royal Mail, yet I still had an email saying that Argos would contact me to arrange a convenient delivery time. Obviously the website designers at Argos are too stupid to understand the difference beween the terms ‘dispatched’ and ‘delivered’. Or the fact that there is no point having a team dealing with customer complaints if all they can do is utter insincere apologies in a resentful monotone and then contradict you about the amount of inconvenience they believe it has caused you.

  13. An Excellent article, I myself have just ordered a TV from Argos with today the delivery day!! from 7am till 8pm…..a staggering 13hr delivery slot time!. Sadly its now 22 minutes past….and no delivery. I phoned Argos at about 6 o’clock for an “update” hoping it might push them along and was duly advised not to phone back until after 8pm as their was nothing that could be done. I phoned back a minute past 8 and got the following message “our offices are now closed”!! It beggars belief how this company still trades in this climate! Is that the Administrators knocking at your door Argos? I wonder why. Get a grip, its 2012!

  14. MJ

    It reads like an Eric Sykes sitcom!

    Alas, I too have fallen foul of AHD and their ARC (Argos Return Collection). Ordered Tuesday 10th for a Thurs 12th delivery (email stated 7am – 7pm). Having chewed the carpet, I rang just before 6 pm, only to be reassured by agent that it was on the van and would still arrive before 8pm. Conflicting times of delivery with this agent, the email and the website. At five minutes to eight I rang again. Most sympathetic apology from another agent stressing that it was NOT on the van and would be delivered tomorrow (Fri), also saying the other person had no right to tell me it was loaded on today’s vehicle. She could tell how angry I was, so immediately said she would refund the £5.95 delivery charge.

    It arrived mid afternoon, and I eagerly tore open the box to get the contents out – an overbed table. Self assembly, but no fixings were to be found! Rang C/S and the agent tried unsuccessfully to get the necessary nuts and bolts. She then attempted to get another table, but as they were selling like hot cakes, no more were available. I was told it was no problem for them to collect the item, and I would be given a full refund. Yes – I did mention the refund of the delivery charge. Apologised again, and said would Monday be OK for them to collect it? adding that I would need to sign a document and the driver will stick a label on the box. Given between 8am – 8pm for the collection.

    At 7.20 pm I rang the Refund/Return number with the usual multi options to go through 3 or 4 times. Had to laugh, on the last choice where the recorded voice says, “Sorry, all our agents are busy blah blah blah”, the next voiceover said, “Please have the catalogue reference number to place your order………..” *I always thought that whatever choice of numbers you keyed in – you would get the same damn operative regardless of the enquiry!* The agent who took my call was adamant that it would be collected within the next half hour. I asked that this was definitely the case, and she said “Yes, they will collect it today before eight o’clock.”

    Famous last words, it’s still sitting in the hallway.

    Tomorrow I will ask to speak to a supervisor. I know they won’t put me through to one, but I will shout and scream just to feel better…

  15. After making sure that my wife set the alarm ro 6am & then booking a day off work on July 26th in order to sign for the Argos home delivery service, we were rather annoyed that by 8pm the parcel had not been delivered, upon calling Argos at 08:40am on the Friday morning to complain, they were full of apologies & assured us that whilst they did not know why it had not been delivered on the correct day, it would definately be with us today (Friday), so, the wife booked another day off work & waited, & waited, & waited, here we are now almost 7pm on Friday 27th, still no parcel, we have just called Argos to be informed that the reason for delivery failure on the 26th was that the parcel had arrived late at the warehouse, but the courier service had promised, without fail, that the parcel (a birthday present for Saturday 28th) would be delivered today, awhat an absolute crab service, the sooner Argos go broke the better, my family certainly will be avoiding them in the future.

  16. I wish I’d checked here before ordering from this disgraceful company. The so called ‘tracker’ still says my order WILL be delivered between 7 AM and 6 PM – YESTERDAY. You guessed NO SIGN despite staying in all day – a complete day wasted. This morning I’ve currently been on hold for 20 minutes and counting on their 0845 number. NEVER, NEVER AGAIN ARGOS!!!
    Bruce Baker-Johnson, Warsash, Hants.

  17. …… well I sit here joining you all awaiting a delivery for a TV Unit again 7am – 6pm time slot on a Saturday, on trying to use the tracking page its states ”we are unable to find your order” so I called the 0845 number … 26 mins later I few seconds this guy says we are very busy apologies for your wait.

    Its now 13:50 no supposedly phone call to state how far away they are or to give me heads up when to expect them. I have used Argos many times during the week deliveries usually arrive before 9 am even once at 7:15 am, however this time being a busy Saturday and reading above I’d be surprised that it will be here before I need take the family to see Kevin Bridges.

    I will update once arrived….

  18. yes here i am joining the rest of you,waited in today for my bed and matress to be delivered spoke to customer service last night to check i will be having my delivery today and yes there didn’t seem to be a problem my slot was booked between 7a.m to midday.9.05 i get the call confirmed my name and address and to be told that my bed would not be arriving today!now i’m cheesed off this is the third time ive had a delivery date and all three have ended not being able to deliver my bed.its nine weeks since ive ordered my bed and each time i have to arrange around work to be here,i could have gone on a joinery course and made a lovely bed by now!my god its no joke really,i just havent got the time to be messed about they just think its ok to do what their doing and offer another day another slot as if hey! hello! i do have a job to go too!well my next deliver is next friday and cancel again they can stick their bed where the sun don’t shine!argos home delivery, never,never will i order from them again!.

  19. You’re last paragraph couldn’t be more true!! I ordered a bed four months ago and today, two beds, 2 broken legs, 4 legs that are too short with no parts, and about 30 emails later, I am still without a fully functional bed! But it’s cool tho cos I got an email off them today saying all I need to do to resolve the situation is find a shop that sells bed legs (cos theirs broke when I size ten person sat on the adult double bed!) and buy some new ones myself!

  20. I cancelled my original order for an iPad mini from Apple as Argos had one and could deliver it quicker. So I ordered it for delivery to an alternative delivery address on Monday at a friends house.

    As my friends name was different to mine Yodel would not leave it, and took it back. I called them and arranged to collect it from Yodels depo but was told I had to wait until Tuesday. I got there at 8am and was told they had sent it back to Argos by mistake. I spoke to Argos who arranged for re-delivery on Thursday.

    I then took a day off work on Thursday and still no delivery. Phoned Argos to be told 3-5 days, I asked to speak to a manager who then said that it’s not come back, they cant find it in the warehouse and they have none in stock and I will have to wait until they get a delivery sometime next year.

    If it’s in stock be prepared to wait over a month for delivery.

  21. I wish I had read your rant first before I ordered a desk yesterday. Due to be here between 7am & 8pm. It hasnt arrived! No phone call, no email, and tried just now to track delivery and the website is down due to them putting their new catalogue on line. I have emailed – no reply! Thanks a bunch Argos. Last time I get home delivery and just thought, being charged for it, cant even cancel as the ******* website is down! Grrrrrr

  22. Hey, I work in Argos and I think their policies and the mindset in which they run things and their staff is a pile of shite. I feel for you.

  23. hi I ordered a lego milrnium falcon and because they had none in stock they said I had to order it on home delivery £110.49 paid out to argos for Thursday delivery (nextday) between 8am to 7 pm the lady in shop said but the computer system said 7am to 6pm and my receipt said 7am to 8pm anyway it didn’t come so I rang argos delivery at 7 45pm to be told all managers gone home even though their office don’t close until 8pm they said delivery Friday (Next day) but guess what bing bong no it still didn’t come so rang for 5th time in two days the manager promised it would be here tomorrow mmm im not sure cause I rang this morning Saturday and my item is still showing to be at the depo not on a van so argos I think this amounts to fraud that’s where you take my £110.49 tell me my item with be with me in 24hrs and you don’t deliver sort it out I cant wait in for days like you

  24. Now I’m worried.. I ordered a mattress last Thursday, 11th April and chose my preferred delivery for tomorrow, 18th April. I haven’t even received an order confirmation email, although they did assure me the order was placed but could not be confirmed for a few hours… It’s now 6 days later and I still haven’t received the email. I have contacted them and had no reply to that either, although they said they’d be in touch with 12 hours, it’s now over 48 hours later. This article fills me with so much hope… haha, not!!

  25. I ordered some stuff on Thursday for next day delivery. 7am-8pm on Friday, the email said. They asked for my contact number. I waited at home, by the window the last 2 hrs of a very long day (I also got up early in order to look respectable for the delivery man).

    But no, nothing. I then called the customer service the following morning. They had apparently attempted delivery at 7.30pm, but could not reach me. I said I waited by the window and my phone literally all day. The reply was that the drivers don’t have phones, so they won’t call you if there’s something wrong. I asked what I should do next. She said they will attempt to deliver again today before 6pm. I asked if I needed to wait at home for 8hrs, in addition to the 13hrs yesterday. She said yes.

    So now I’m waiting. I left a note to the driver on the building entrance, asking to call if there’s anything. We’ll see.

  26. ha omg start buying off local businesses or at least ones that make and supply goods from uk so much stuff is imported or flat pak crap it is unbelievable crap … and un reliable is it fsc? or even safe products >? surely a local carpenter could make a far better product ??

  27. Nothing changed, still as bad come the end of 2013

    I’ve bought from AHD,(thought I’d give them ago instead of Amazon all the time) item is faulty and after 11 days of emails and telephone calls still no acknowledgement to when I’ll receive a refund or even when they will be here to pick the item up!

    R.I.P Argos, you served us poorly

  28. Oohhh no! I’ve been waiting for a laptop to be delivered all day, and now I find this blog. Called them earlier and they said “your item hasn’t been put onto the van yet, but it ‘should’ be delivered before 6pm. I’m guessing it’s not going to then!

    Doesn’t help that I ordered it last Friday! They’ve had 8 days to get it ready for delivery! FUMING!!

  29. Ordered a washing machine with Express Delivery, today was the 3rd day had no call etc from Argos called them this morning to ask when it would be coming. Was told they tried calling once and was no answering machine, can not ring back an unknown number. Now have to wait until Friday which will be 8 days since ordering it. when it does come I will be writing to Argos to claim a refund on the £19.99 we paid for “Express Delivery”
    Not using Argos delivery service ever again will shop somewhere else.

  30. Bought a TV with next day delivery advertised between 7 am and 8 pm. Was working nights so didn’t get home until 8 am. No card though door saying delivery was attempted, so just waited in. Rang at 5 pm to check after no sleep all day only to be told they arrived at 07:40 am! Told woman on phone who didn’t seem to believe me that they had not left anything to say they’d been. Checked on line tracking during day and all it said was due for delivery-NOT that an attempted delivery was made-so what the **** is that any good for?? I told her I would cancel the order if it was not received by 9 am the next day. She said they always deliver the same time-which I find had to believe. A complete waste of a day-and the worst mail order/home delivery system going. Tracking your parcel Is a complete joke. DON’T shop at Argos and ask for home delivery-even if what you find is cheaper there-there will always be a rather huge catch! If this TV is not here when I want it in the morning then they can stuff it. Complaint sent to Argos-for all the good it will do!

  31. Oh dear, such a pity Argos are a laughing stock on line. Mess up your on-line service, explain to your CEO you are losing millions through appalling service. Serves you right. Needless failure.
    Your only hope to survive? Look at Amazon. Anger the customer then forget it. Your commercial, marketing, and middle management will cripple you.

  32. Went through the same thing a few weeks ago. Ordered a tablet from them on Monday received an email saying that they would deliver the next day Tuesday between 7am and 8pm throughout the day called 3 times to see where this parcel was and by three different advisors were told it will be with very soon but could even be with me after 8pm until 10pm. Never received the item called the next day explained the whole situation to her , her response was “I’m am very sorry , I don’t know why the advisors said it was on the way it has just been loaded on to the yodel van and should be with you tomorrow”. I questioned her why I received an email saying delivery for tuesay between 7am-8pm she said oh this is just to say we have dispatched our goods to the courier and nothing to do with our time frame of delivery. AN ABSOLUTE JOKE!!!!!!!!

  33. Ordered from Argos on Thursday at 4pm. They offered delivery between 7.00pm and 10.00pm that day. Sent me 4 emails with a timeslot your item is on the van blah blah blah but no delivery. Friday morning 6.25am!!!!!!!! an email ping woke me up. It was Argos telling me my item hadn’t been delivered. Thanks for the heads up Argos and for waking me up. Item just been delivered 8.00pm two days later.

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