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Bad Shopping Experience at Harvey Norman Store - Northpoint City

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I bought a Asus laptop from the Harvey Norman Northpoint store just less than 3 days ago.


The laptop was giving issues the first day I had it back with me. The motherboard is unable to read the ssd drive properly. I tried doing a system recovery with a created system recovery drive. Whenever I choose to format and recover the system, it would hang at a certain percentage, and then crash or give an error message everytime that the system cannot be recovered.


So I went back to the store today, hoping to get a One to One replacement, or a refund for the item. This was what I was promised I could do when I made my purchase.


But lo and behold, upon reaching the store, the store personnel outrightly refused to do anything for me. They claimed because my laptop had some slight scratches on it, they were unable to return it to Asus and thus was unable to do an exchange for me.


I was directed by the store personnel to visit the Asus service centre to address the issue with my laptop. This contradicts what I was initially advised to do when I made my purchase, because I was told by the Harvey Norman store personnel, that the store will cover the first week warranty, and then the manufacturer will cover the following period after that. I was advised to only register for my product warranty 1 week after purchase when Harvey Norman's 1 week store coverage is over.


So now, I have several questions I will like Harvey Norman headquarters to help clarify:


1) Whatever happened to Singapore's consumer law/lemon law to replace or refund any defective product within 6 months? I only bought this for 2, 3 days and I am denied to exercise my consumer rights?


2) When the store staff said, that they are unable to return to the manufacturer because of cosmetic reasons, what does that mean?

Is he implying that if they take back the laptop, they will not look into the functionality problem, but rather repackage it to be sold again?


Because, if not, why will you be concerned about a cosmetic issue, if after taking it back, you do not intend to sell it again?


So right now, what it suggests to me, is that I did not purchase this item brand new, rather this is a repackaged item returned by another customer.

Is that Harvey Norman's practice? If thats the case, I have the right to know ! Customers need to know !


3) Regardless whether there are any cosmetic issues of the product, that is not the reason I am bringing it back. I have a legitimate functionality issue here.


I certainly do not appreciate to have that brushed aside and have the whole thing centered on how picture perfect the item looks.

I am obviously not excited as well, being a Harvey Norman customer, to not have my issue looked into, after paying over $2,000 for my overall purchase, to have to visit the service centre just mere days upon buying. Come on, Harvey Norman, is this the best you can do?


Is that what all Harvey Norman customers will have to expect when they buy electronic goods from the retailer?


If the manufacturer will need to charge for repair costs, does that mean I have to be paying more than on top of what I initially paid for my purchase, just to have a working product?


4) The sales staff also very much try to strong arm me to purchase a store covered, extended warranty for the laptop. The staff claimed that, If i have issues with the laptop, they are willing to do an one to one exchange, to the extent of replacing the laptop with a brand new unit of a later model, as long as I brought it back during the extended warranty period.


I'm glad that I did not take the bait because the current episode already shows that what the staff promised is nothing more than a ruse.


If they are choosing not to address my laptop's functional issue because of a perceived cosmetic problem, merely a couple of days into my purchase, what else are they going to do for me if I bring back my laptop when I have other issues / concerns?



My thoughts (to other would-be consumers):

All in all, I feel in this episode, the very least Harvey Norman ought to do is to ensure that its customers have a working, functioning product, is it not?

Even if Harvey Norman does a replacement or refund for this, at their expense, whats the problem? Is the customer's satisfaction not their priority here?


You know I made purchases from other retailers, especially online retailers. Places like Lazada, Amazon, they can replace/ refund any defective products I ordered, with no questions asked. Amazon even allows for a 30 day trial period and you can return your item, get your money back, even if you have used and tested the product for weeks.


There is a good reason why brick and mortar retailers are falling behind the competition with online stores. I find myself struggling to figure out, why is it that retailers that I do not even see, can provide a better service quality than the actual ones I deal and interact with?


For Harvey Norman to refuse me any form of service, not even offering to repair the product for me, when I reported a functional issue to them, just 2,3 days after my purchase, is downright disappointing. If this is not the same form of experience other retailers are promising, guess where am I going next?


I am also seriously trying to make sense of Harvey Norman's training to its retail staff. I am certain the store staff will not make promises to their customers or reject requests by the customers out of the blue, by their own accord, without any direction from the management. I find what they suggest customers to be very questionable. I urge customers to take what they promise you with a grain of salt.


I think you can guess by now how "thrilled" I am to be a Harvey Norman customer. I visited them because I thought they were a reliable and trustworthy retailer, and that they pay homage to the fancy customer service slogans they plaster all over their websites.


But clearly they don't practice what they preach. I guess anybody can figure out the answer I'll give if I am asked whether I will patronize Harvey Norman again.


The main reason why I am writing this post, is to raise awareness to other customer patrons. I am also posting this story on other social platforms for greater outreach. I certainly reserve the right to further pursue this matter through other means.


Disclaimer: This is by no means an attempt to defame Harvey Norman, nor to damage their reputation in any way. It is merely a true account of my shopping experience with the retailer. Every customer is entitled to their own point of view. I definitely respect your opinion if you had an entire different experience from mine.

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