Beware of the Online Co-Op Electrical Store…

Especially if you return a defective product as I did, as you can see from my latest letter to them, below, and would like your money back promptly. My experience suggests that you are unlikely to get it.

The Distance Selling Regulations, referred to in my letter, allow for a 7-day cooling-off period, giving you the right to return anything bought online if it’s faulty or if you simply change your mind. In my case the appliance was seriously defective, as you can see. However, in view of the hostile email I received from the Co-Op, strongly suggesting they’d do all they could to avoid their obligations it respect of returned goods,  I decided to invoke the DSRs. You can read the email below my letter.

Because I had to have a new fridge freezer, I was obliged to make use of my overdraft facility to buy the one I should have got in the first place but, as that was £606, I looked for something cheaper. Big mistake, and the Co-Op’s delay in refunding my money is adding to my problems, jacking up my overdraft charges. They can, as you can see, legally keep me waiting for 30 days (I checked with my bank), but as a card transaction takes minutes there can be no possible justification for this. It’s pure vindictiveness.



Dear Sirs,

Re: Beko CFD7914APW 70cm Fridge Freezer in White

I wrote to you on February 4 on this subject, since when I have heard exactly what I had heard previously from you – absolutely nothing. You have my email address – you have no excuse.

The above appliance was supplied with a part missing (front grill) and, in use, proved to have major faults, as detailed in my emails to Ms. Amy Young (and, briefly, below). It was returned to you, as arranged by Ms. Young, under the terms of the Distance Selling Regulations, on January 22.

The DSRs, of course, give me the right to return it, provided you are notified of my intention within 7 days (you were), for any reason or, indeed, for none, though the missing part, the water dispenser that either didn’t work or dumped its entire contents on the floor – there was little between the two extremes and the valve assembly was held together, unsuccessfully, only by friction, a recipe for disaster when wet – and the fact that though left running for days it never reached its operating temperature, all provided ample justification for its return.

However, all I’ve had from you since then is total silence when what I need from you is a refund (£399). You have my card details, a refund takes minutes. Not a fortnight, and counting. Please expedite my refund. I am fully aware that you can make me wait 30 days for a refund but, frankly, there can be no possible justification for doing so, especially as you are ramping up my overdraft charges. Nor is there any excuse for your failure to acknowledge the return of the appliance.

Yours faithfully,

This is the Co-Op email that I consider hostile. Note that their intention to test the appliance ion their warehouse will not yield any meaningful results. It didn’t work in my home, and that is all that matters. Whether it works in a warehouse, or in the middle of a field, is irrelevant and, anyway, the Distance Selling Regulations take precedence. Obviously, the appliance could not be returned in its original packaging as this was taken away by the delivery guys. Other than that it was returned exactly as supplied. Which is to say malfunctioning badly and with a large part missing.

The email, repetition and all, is reproduced exactly as received except for the closing up of extravagant line spacing:-

Dear Customer,

Collection of your Beko CFD7914APW 70cm Fridge Freezer in White –

Please note that all products are checked on return to our warehouse to confirm the reason for return before a refund is processed.

For new products, please ensure the product(s) are returned in their original packaging with all supplied accessories, e.g. remote control, leads and instruction manuals. In the event of a missing accessory, a full refund will not be processed.

Unfortunately we may charge you the cost of replacing any missing item(s); obviously we would liaise with you on this issue beforehand.

For faulty/damaged products, please ensure the product(s) are returned in their original packaging where possible or securely packaged with all supplied accessories, e.g. remote control, leads and instruction manuals. In the event of a missing accessory, a full refund will not be processed.

Unfortunately we may charge you the cost of replacing any missing item(s); obviously we would liaise with you on this issue beforehand.

Each manufacturer charges a different cost per item, however as an indication of potential charges please see prices below:

– Remote control approximately 40 (pounds sterling) including VAT

– Instruction book/manual approximately 10 (pounds sterling) including VAT

– Washing machine pipes approximately 20 (pounds sterling) including VAT

This is an automated message sent from a no-reply email address. If you have any queries please refer to our Terms and Conditions or contact us using the email address shown on our website.

Kind Regards,

Customer Services


10 thoughts on “Beware of the Online Co-Op Electrical Store…

  1. Disgusting! Right Ron, it’s time to get dirty – mail them again and tell them you are going to put your complaint out on Twitter, Facebook (doesn’t matter if you don’t have FB) and any other social networking sites 🙂
    Btw, Does the Co-Op have a twitter or FB account?
    What the fook gives these people the right to do this to you? I’m so angry! I will never buy from the Co-Op Online for anything!

    • In 1986 bought a washing machine from the local Co-Op store. Turned pout to have been used (had water in it!). Sent it back.

      Unfortunately, they can legally take 30 days to make the refund – that needs to change.

  2. Oooh what thoroughly offensive (and illegal) old guff from the Co-op!

    Time to threaten them with the Sale of Goods Act, reiterate the DSRs and tell them that you will be taking them to the Small Claims Court unless they refund you (and your bank charges) within 14 days. In thee SCC, you’d win, without doubt, as you rightly say DSRs are the boss.

    • I don’t have a choice. Retailers have 30 days grace to process card refunds. The law needs to be changed, but for now I’m stuck with it.

      I’ve nothing to threaten them with. They’ve complied with the Sale of Goods Act and the DSR’s in that they’ve taken back the faulty appliance – and they appear to be sticking to the letter of the law as regards my refund. Until the 30 days are up I have absolutely no leverage.

      It might be unreasonable – my view is that it’s just vindictive, I made their life difficult so they’re doing the same to me – but it IS legal, even though it can’t possibly be justified, and there’s nothing to be done. Except what I have done – warn people about them.

  3. I returned a PVR that was faulty as described by Samsung engineers, but they did not have a replacement so I asked for the money back. The box was picked up 18th of Feb but I got no confirmation that they had it. On the 21st of Feb I emailed to ask for confirmation of receipt and the processing of the refund. It wasnt until the 25th that they emailed to say “The appliance has been receipted back today, the refund has now been passed over. Please allow 2-10 days for the monies to appear in your account.”

    So I emailed them yesterday to remind them that the refund was due Friday, and that I expected to see it because Im approching my credit limit and may go into overdraft, and just got this rubbish

    “I’m very sorry the refund still hasn’t been made. I’ve asked the payments team to process this as soon as possible. I must be honest in advising the funds normally take a few days to clear into your account and it would be unrealistic of me to advise the funds will reach you by tomorrow as once the monies have left us, it is your card issuer that processes the payment back to the card. I appreciate this isn’t your fault, but we cannot speed the process up any further unfortunately.”

    So they are going to the limit and blaming Santandar and or Visa for the lack of refund! Yes I think its worth mentioning it again because of the way google works , they are blaming Santandar and Visa.

    Coop electrical’s customer service was fantastic a year ago . its gone right down hill since they have almost gone bust.

    • I’ve dealt with them twice. Once in 1985, in person (washing machine, which the delivery guys dropped, and turned out to have been used – sent back), and this time. Never again.

      They do legally have 30 days to make a card refund – god knows why – so until then all you can do is scream at them – you’ve no leverage.

      From the time they say they processed my refund, it took a day to get back to my account – not unreasonable. That was a debit card, and it sounds as if yours was too, so it shouldn’t be a problem if they have done as they say. Though from what I’ve heard from friends, Santander do suck.

      • I have received a credit note by email and Ive refused to accept it. Looks like co-ops financial troubles are starting to effects their returns policy.

        Don’t buy guys…they have run out of money.

        • Based on what you’ve told me, you are legally entitled to a full refund. Unless they’ve already called in the receivers, and I’ve seen nothing to suggest that, then that still stands and there’s no justification for a credit note. Talk to your bank, see if they can, or are willing to, claw back the money from their end. I doubt it, but ask anyway.

          I’m assuming you used a debit card. If it was a credit card then that should offer a way to get your money back.

Comments are closed.