Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Watchdog: Potty Way to Go On

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Watchdog: Potty Way to Go On

Article excerpt

Former Tees Port policeman Harry Aspland mail-ordered a Harley Davidson tankard for his bike-loving nephew's birthday.

And he was so delighted with it, 75-year-old Harry decided to buy another, this time for a neighbour who is also a Harley fan.

But when the parcel arrived from the Franklin Mint it contained two ceramic tankards.

Worse still, Harry an ex-Teesmouth Lifeboat man, had been charged pounds 29.99 for the unwanted gift, plus pounds 2.99 post and packing.

That was the start of a saga for Harry with phone calls and letters pinging between his home in Mersey Road, Redcar, and the Franklin Mint's customer call centre thousands of miles away in India.

Watchdog won't mince words here.

Franklin Mint's inability to sort the case of Harry's tankard is a disgrace.

We cannot get any sense out of the company's customer helpline, and despite herculean efforts to break through, doubt if Harry will ever rid himself of the posh mug.

This is the problem for Harry.

He has a tankard he does not want which he's paid for (the money was billed to the credit card he used to order the second tankard).

He has no means of returning the gift because he has no postage return labels.

Now Harry is a resourceful man. He wrote, phoned and wrote again to the Franklin Mint.

They told him money can only be returned when the tankard is returned.

Which Watchdog thinks is rich considering he hadn't ordered the unwanted tankard in the first place.

So Harry called in Watchdog because he was determined not to be even more out of pocket by returning the tankard, which is sitting in his hall waiting to wing its way back to the Franklin Mint.

"Is it too much to ask for parcel labels so I can get my money back?" asks Harry.

Well, in Watchdog's experience of the company, it is!

Here on Teesside we pride ourselves on having some of the very best call centres, so we know what the standards are.

Perhaps Franklin should give our centres a go in the interest of good customer care. …

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