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Caught on the familar white-knuckle ride that is Currys

Anna Tims
<span>Photograph: Chris Bull/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Chris Bull/Alamy

When we had our kitchen redone in October we spent £1,300 on a Neff induction hob, extraction hood and oven from Currys. We took advantage of a £75-off offer if you bought two large appliances together. We also used a gift voucher towards it.

When the order was delivered the driver said the oven was smashed, but this model was no longer in stock. I was offered a refund of the £700 it cost but in gift vouchers which tied us to Currys.

We were then offered the same oven in a different colour, but not only would we have to cover £100 price difference, but pay the £800 for it upfront, then wait for the refund of the first one in gift vouchers. Moreover, I was ordered to repay £32 of the £75 discount, even though we still qualified.

Delivery took a week, by which time the workmen installing our kitchen had finished and I had to pay extra for them to come back. When the new oven arrived, the original extractor hood was too big – our fault for not checking the depth. Currys said it would collect and replace it but days passed without a date. Eventually, we agreed to accept a refund but another £16 was docked off the £75 discount that had been applied to the oven and hob (the hood didn’t qualify as a “large appliance”). I was eventually offered back £48 of the discount and £30 goodwill but neither materialised.

TR, St Ives, Cornwall

Your experience will come as no surprise to those familiar with the white-knuckle ride that is Currys customer service. Ordeals tend to end in the same way: contradictory promises and inertia until a call from the Observer, at which point functioning appliances are conjured up along with modest goodwill.

Within a day of my overture you were given £100 “goodwill gesture” but it includes the £48 you were unfairly forced to pay back.

To anyone else considering a kitchen revamp, check out independent stores who may offer a less robotic service.

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions