Monday, February 18, 2013

The story of Harvey Norman, an Air-conditioner and Fawlty Towers Installers

I am absolutely furious with Harvey Norman, Midland and IC Cool installers.  We went into their store a week and a bit ago (10th Feb).  Bought an air conditioner for our rental house, as the old one had died.  Paid for it in full, plus the same price again to have it installed!  Was told it was on back-order.   Was told that the installers would take care of everything and we would get a call from them after they did the installation so we could pay for the decommissioning of the old unit, about $185.00.  Filled out a form that had all the details, where it was to be installed, our name and address, our phone numbers, the tenants phone numbers  etc etc.   Great.  That's another job taken care of.  

Get a call today from IC Cool (the installers) to book the job for 7.30am tomorrow morning.  Fabulous, sooner than we thought.  I did point out that we had asked that the tenants to be called direct (gave them both their numbers) so that a mutual time be arranged   Nope, they don't call tenants.  Ok.  I will play the telephone tennis. Call the tenant to see if 7.30am tomorrow morning suits her?  She has to juggle a few things with work, but yes, they want the air con done.  Call back CC Cool to confirm this.  They then say they have to ask me a few questions.  Fine, ask away.  We then discover they have the wrong address, they have our home suburb, not the rental one (despite us telling the sales guy this, and having to SPELL W.a.t.t.l.e to him, and a discussion about how lucky the tenants are getting an air con in their bedroom when my own home doesn't.)  So we gave him enough clues that it was to be done at a location other than our own house.

CC Cool.  "Oh, the place its being installed is not Basso?  Ahhh no, it's as we wrote on the form. Then they can't install tomorrow, we are only doing the Basso area! (At this stage I have said a few words that I was not proud of).  I asked if they have the form we filled out?  No, Harvey Norman keep that, they just send us an email with the details.  Seems they send the email with the wrong details.  I ask why they called the number we were now speaking on when it was clearly marked that Mr K's mobile was the primary contact number?  Of course, they were only send this number.  Not sure why I filled out the form at all.  

Soooo have to call back tenant, tell her so sorry, they can't do this tomorrow, it will have to be Friday instead.  Is that OK?  Yes she says (of course she did, the poor girl, she just wants her air con).  Call back CC Cool to say this Friday is ok with tenant. Then CC Cool asks where is the new unit?  Ummm Harvey Norman should know that?  Don't they arrange that between them?  Apparently not.  Somehow I have to have ESP to know the unit has come into stock, collect it and drop it off to rental house, all before the installer guys get there.  So call HN, ask to speak to manager as sales guy was USELESS. I ask why wasn't I called and told the unit had arrived as apparently I now had to arrange to get it from HN to rental house?  Manager says unit is still on back order.  Huh?  How come the installers rang me?  Don't you guys talk to each other?  

"I dunno" says the Manager.  

"Well if you don't know, who does?" I logically ask

This wakes him up, as apparently he had been sleeping, and he says he will find out and call me back.  I tell him that no, I will hold thanks, you find out and come back to me.  I hear clicking and sighing. 

He says "You there?"  


"Oh, well it looks like its still on back order."

"OK.  Well, when do you expect it in?" (I am deep breathing this)

"I dunno"

So I ask, with gritted teeth, "So if the unit is not in stock and you have no idea when it will be WHY THE HELL ARE THE INSTALLERS CALLING ME TO ARRANGE INSTALLATION OF A FANTASY AIR CONDITIONER?" 

"Uh, I dunno."

My blood pressure is terminal by this stage, but stupid, stupid me keeps up the performance ( by this stage, I really did think Basil Fawlty would come striding into the room, calling for Manuel).  

"So, what should I do now?" I asked  "Call you everyday to see when the unit arrives?  Ask for a full refund and go someplace else where they have actually heard about the phenomenon of customer service? "

"I dunno."

I say goodbye (despite wanting to hangup rudely.  I felt one of us had to show we were grown up) and call Mr K.  I have lost all patience, I am ranting and no good to anyone now.  I do have to call back our dear tenant and break the bad news to her.  I chicken out and sms her instead.

As you were.  Nothing has changed.  I still don't know when your air con will be done.  So very sorry.  Love Basil.



  1. I felt like I was reading a scene from faulty towers.

  2. I had problems with Harvey Norman too, paid for my bedroom set to be installed and all the handles were loose so I told him that I paid for him to put them all on and he wasnt leaving until I could actually open the drawers! Plus they are the most expensive place to shop!
    Hope it gets sorted soon must be very frustrating for you.

  3. Well we had a win of sorts. Funny what happens when you get the head office customer service involved (and make this known on their Facebook page). Mr K got a call from HN in Midland today. Apologies all round. They are giving us the next model up at no extra charge, will arrange delivery and it will be installed this Friday.

    Thank you Harvey Norman, my faith is restored!

  4. Get a refund. My only ever experience with Harvey Norman ended badly. They seem to take the $$$$$ and forget about you. I was left to deal with a terrible supplier. I finally got the badly made ottoman, but was so over it I put up with it. I'd never shop there again.

  5. Ps face book wasn't around when I was dealing with them. How unfortunate for me and lucky for them.

  6. Yes, FB is a god-send for keeping these companies honest.

  7. I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience with this company. The good news is that this post will help people in the future who are looking for a reputable company to do business with. Your bad experience can in turn help others avoid a potentially stressful situation. Most companies have a Facebook page, perhaps you could keep them honest there? Thank you for sharing your story!

    Melinda Rose @ Phoenix South HVAC