HiFi Corporation - the illusion of service PDF Print E-mail

Never before has the upgrading of a cellular contract been as terrible as doing it through HiFi Corporation.

Chain stores have become a popular place to get a contract or upgrade a contract as it is convenient.  I have done so with Game in the past and it was a great experience.  Dion Wired is also offering this service and although I haven't worked with them to do it, I am sure it would also be a great experience.

We aren't talking about them however.

My contract with Vodacom was up for renewal at the beginning of October.  I specifically wanted the BlackBerry Curve 8520 which was offered by most outlets.  HiFi Corporation was advertising it with an included voucher.  Common sense told me to first investigate this deal since nobody else is presenting a similar offer.

I wanted to find out:

  • Does their deal apply to contract upgrades or only to new contracts?
  • Till when was the offering valid since they did not stipulate any dates on the advertisement?

I first phoned the Atterbury branch in Pretoria as it is the closest to my home.  They confirmed that the offering was available to upgrade contracts and that it was running until the 2nd of November.  I then enquired which paperwork would be needed.  They referred me to their Montana branch which is also in Pretoria since they handle the paperwork.

Whilst on the phone I confirmed the details regarding the offering and they confirmed that the deal is a:

  • BlackBerry Curve 8520 on Vodacom Weekender Plus
  • R 1 200.00 HiFi Corporation gift voucher included

The third week of October I phoned the branch in Woodmead.  They are about 3 kilometres from my work.  If need be, I could  just run into their shop and upgrade.  Once  again I confirmed the offering and the dates it was valid for.  Woodmead gave me the same dates and details as both the Atterbury and Montana stores.

They also promised to phone me back regarding other questions I had - I am still waiting for that return call.  I am however not interested in the DV Camera anymore.  You lost a sale there.

So on the 31st of October I went to the Atterbury store to do the upgrade.

The absence of service

The store only had one person to service the mobile division.  Needless to say there was someone before us and we patiently waited.

Eventually they gave us the paperwork to fill out for the upgrade.  After about 30 minutes the employee finally finished and asked us to take a seat.  15 minutes after that he finally started on our application.  Those 15 minutes before that he was still working on the previous application whilst several other floor assistants interrupted him.

The interruption continued as he was processing our paperwork as well.

When it came to which contract I wanted I stipulated the above mentioned contract.  I mentioned that I phoned the store and that they confirmed the details of the deal.  The assistant raised no concerns and the  upgrade was processed.  We proceeded to the checkout tills to pay the R 150.00 involved when upgrading.

I then asked when are we getting the voucher and they said that they will give it at the checkout till.  We paid the money and then they informed us that there is no voucher.

Now explain to me the following please:

  • Why would I pay R 196.00 for a contract if I can get the same product for R 149.00 at other stores?
  • Why didn't they mention that there was no voucher available when I told them which deal I will be taking?

Was I hearing only what I wanted to hear when I phoned three different stores and confirmed the above mentioned details?  I am sure I would not be that stupid, as a matter of fact I am not that stupid.  I will be honest and say that yes, the voucher was a pulling card and the sole reason I decided to upgrade with them.  I would have taken the voucher and bought a Transcend external hard drive - a brand that I trust.

I would have taken the BlackBerry from them because I trust BlackBerry and if I had a problem with it I could go to any Vodacare shop to have it looked at.

The employee was trying to be helpful by phoning his buyer and explaining the situation to him.  This however also resulted in nothing.

I am left to believe that HiFi Corporation was advertising an offering and then pulled it back when it suited them.  I am left to believe that they have poor service on all levels now since I have had previous problems with them a few years ago.  My brother also had problems with an LG DVD Recorder earlier in the year which he had to return a week after purchase at their Witbank store.

I am left to believe that HiFi Corporation is a store you should stay clear of when you are considering buying digital products.

It doesn't matter how attractive the deal looks like on paper, it simply isn't worth the trouble.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by AbortRetryFail, November 02, 2009
A lot of their products fell off the back of some chinese truck into a can of grey paint...

I've heard too many stories of them selling grey market products for it not to be true. Where there's smoke someone's either smoking or there's a fire and these days both are objectionable.

Can't you get them for false advertising?

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