Debenhams, allow me to explain my fury.
I am writing to you to express my utter contempt for your pitiful organisation. Let me explain my fury. I made the unwise decision to sign up for a Debenhams store card several months ago to take advantage of some offers you were running at the time especially for the chosen ones i.e. The Debenhams card holders.
Your seventeen-year-old sales girl signed me up with the usual disinterested glaze of a teenager desperate to finish work and start downing tequilas in Vodka Revolution. I walked away smug, swinging my carrier bags safe in the knowledge that I would pay off a certain amount every month as long as the zero per cent interest offer lasted and thus not incur your hideous APR charges that if left unpaid would probably equal the amount of the UK’s national debt.
What I was not expecting Debenhams, was having the simple task of paying one’s card turned into a ridiculous farce whereby any attempt on my part to pay off the balance was denied by your good selves and the resulting conversations with your call centre staff regarding this matter, representative of a piss poor sitcom, somewhere in the region of “How I met your mother”, only more shit.
Upon discovering I could not pay my balance I was told by some nuclear orange coloured sales girl in your Cardiff store that it was “nothing to do with Debenhams you’ll have to call the helpline yeah?” I of course was surprised to learn that a Debenhams store card has nothing to do with Debenhams. I of course being a responsible consumer I thought it appropriate to immediately inform the ‘duty manager’ at Debenhams that day that his staff were peddling a store card that apparently had nothing to do with said store. The duty manager far from being overwhelmed with gratitude gave the sort of world-weary response of a retail worker that has scrapped an NVQ in ‘customer care’ and whose only hope of progression involved tossing off the fat regional manager in the back of the delivery bay. He informed me with a look of mild hopelessness, “Yeah I know, it’s shit isn’t it?”
I was advised to call your call centre at a ludicrous personal cost to me in order to resolve the matter as apparently there is no other conceivable way of contacting Debenhams, oh wait not Debenhams, as the card has nothing to do with them, so in actual fact I had to contact some unknown entity regarding my Debenhams card. After almost 25 minutes of unbearable trumpet music I was put through to none other than an Indian call centre, so it would seem that my Debenhams card has nothing to do with Debenhams but a lot to do with Bangalore.
Please don’t confuse my all consuming hatred for your inadequate call centre staff with casual racism, I am a Guardian reading, latte drinking liberal and have nothing personally against an Indian workforce, but I am sure if the roles were reversed and an Indian national were to phone an Indian retailer and get put through to let’s say Kerry Katona, they too would surely despair and quite possibly strangle themselves with the phone line.
After being reassured by someone 4000 miles away that my call was of great importance to them and that I should now be able to make online payments to my store card, I found that oh shock horror, nothing had been sorted at all, it’s almost as if someone thousands of miles away, sitting in a 38 degree un-air conditioned shack on the equivalent of 3 pence a day doesn’t give a tiny rat’s ass about my ability to manage my store card online.
And so Debenhams the next few months basically involves me repeatedly attempting to pay off my card online, being denied access with no explanation, then having to phone Mumbai, being fobbed off by disinterested foreigners and then having to get a bus to a wretched Debenhams to pay a payment in store even though the card has nothing to do with Debenhams.
Only this month I could not get to Debenhams as I have an impracticality known to most of us as a ‘job’ that prevents me from making unnecessary trips to department stores. Imagine my disgust when I was then charged a £12 ‘late payment fee’ due to your damned website, as if I was some common catalogue crazed fishwife whore who just had to get the latest Nikey trainers for Braydon in order to keep up with that Charmaine next door who has a pair of Uggs and a flatscreen.
Your call centre staff were of course most unhelpful when I called to demand a refund of the £12 and any request to speak to a supervisor resulted in an almost immediate loss of fluency in English and then a prompt disconnection. Clearly relocating customer services overseas has been an unprecedented success.
So what now Debenhams? I think you’ll find that I have paid off the card in its entirety, the card has been melted in the microwave and I shall be taking my custom elsewhere, in fact across the street from my local Debenhams and straight through the doors of BHS. You know where you are with BHS, sure it’s a bit mumsy with it’s emerald greet cardigans but you know what, they just seem to employ a slightly better class of cretins that yourselves.