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ASK TONY: Argos said 'game over' after our twins' PlayStation broke


In August last year, my ten-year-old twin sons combined their birthday money to buy a Sony PlayStation 4 from Argos, costing £225.

In February, the console stopped working. We returned the PlayStation 4, which was under warranty, to Argos on March 16. Then lockdown happened and we heard nothing more.

After six weeks we chased it up, but were told via an internet live chat that nothing could be done.

Left out: Argos refused to replace ten-year-old twins' broken Playstation meaning they couldn't play online games with their friends during lockdown

Left out: Argos refused to replace ten-year-old twins’ broken Playstation meaning they couldn’t play online games with their friends during lockdown

My wife is a key worker so we appreciate the pressure businesses are under, and I know this is a very small issue compared with what some families have suffered, but I would like my sons to have their birthday present so they can play online with their friends again.

K. M., Huddersfield.

The early weeks of lockdown in particular, when we could rarely leave our homes, put a lot of strain on families. 

Many of us relied on technology to keep in contact with friends and loved ones. A games console would have been a great help to two ten-year-old boys missing their mates.

Argos has apologised for the service you received. Your sons now have a replacement console and are gaming again.

An Argos spokesman says: ‘This did not reflect the high standards our customers rightly expect from us.’

You have YOUR say 

Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. 

Here are some from our investigation into how deliveries are being delayed and parcels damaged and stolen during lockdown: 

The delivery driver took a photograph of a package with £50 worth of meat inside which he’d left on the doorstep. Unfortunately, it was not my doorstep.

J. F., Teignmouth, Devon.

I was told a parcel would be delivered to my door between 12pm and 2pm. The next day an email said it had been delivered at 11am. But nobody had rung the bell to alert me it was there.

M. C., via email.

My daughter’s purchase from an online retailer went missing, and the courier admitted it had lost it. She is still waiting for her refund three months later.

S. D., via email.

Two local shops have started doing deliveries and they’ve been amazing. Everything is packed perfectly and arrives within 24 hours. A lifesaver in a rural area.

L. R., Plymouth, Devon.

My wife and I are shielding and we have used home deliveries for everything. I have been very impressed with all the delivery personnel. They are polite, punctual and keep their distance.

R. H., Newbury, Berkshire.

Private delivery companies pay drivers peanuts. It’s not really their fault that they are adopting ditch-and-run tactics, as that is probably what brings them the most money. They should be paid proper wages.

D. L., London.

I work for a courier company and we are in a catch-22 situation. If we leave something in a secluded spot, the customer complains; but if we don’t, the customer will ask why we didn’t deliver it.

B. S., Durham.

My mother died in January and my father is desperate to go into a good care home for company, but our efforts are being thwarted by Santander.

Our council insists he requires a minimum of £50,000 if he is to go into a home of his choice. We have found a lovely one.

We need to transfer £28,000 from his Santander Isa into his HSBC current account.

My brother and I hold joint and several Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which was registered in January.

We attempted to register this with a Santander branch in Cardiff, providing the information requested. One week later, we received a letter saying a piece of ID was missing.

We returned to the branch and again submitted our LPA registration, this time using my bank statement as proof of address. A week later we got another letter from Santander saying a piece of information was missing.

I have tried to perform this transaction online, but it will only let me transfer to another Isa, not to a current account.

I spoke to Santander by telephone and was asked for two forms of ID and the LPA form. A week later, I received another letter exactly the same as the previous two.

T. R., Cardiff.

How frustrating for you, to find a care home which is perfect for your father — and then to have him left living alone and under stress because a bank is not doing its job properly.

Both you and your brother provided ID on February 24, but were asked for a second form of ID on March 5. Santander says you sent a terms and conditions letter rather than a statement.

It should not have been beyond the wit of those at Santander to explain precisely what was wrong and what was required, rather than sending back three identical letters asking for more ID. 

This smacks of someone pressing a button to produce a computer-generated letter, rather than addressing the issue at hand.

Incidentally, as you hold a joint and several Lasting Power of Attorney, as long as your brother’s ID was correct, he would have been able to carry out the transaction independently.

The LPA was finally registered on May 28, three months after your first attempt.

A Santander spokesman says: ‘We are sorry that Mrs R was incorrectly told that we had enough information to register the LPA when we actually required additional ID.’

Santander has sent you flowers and £100 to apologise.

Unfortunately, when you tried to transfer the Isa, it showed up as having become dormant. This led to a further slight delay as you had to unfreeze the account.

But finally the money has been transferred to your father’s HSBC current account. I hope he will be very happy in the care home you and he have chosen.

Straight to the point 

Recently I received a new Barclaycard for my late husband, despite providing the bank with his death certificate in September 2018. I find this totally insensitive and very upsetting.

J. S., Woolavington, Somerset.

While your husband’s accounts were closed in 2018, he was still named as an authorised user on your account, which is why a new card was sent out recently. 

Barclaycard has sent you a bouquet of flowers as an apology. It is also taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to others.

*** 

For the past three weeks, NatWest has been unable to sort out a glitch with an online application for a Bounce Back Loan. It won’t accept my signature.

P. B-H., via email.

NatWest denies there was a technical issue. You completed the form again and, despite it still not accepting your signature, your application has now been accepted.

*** 

I ordered five knitting patterns from LoveCrafts, totalling £17.57. But I did not realise four had to be printed at home. I do not have a printer and LoveCrafts said it could not send me paper copies.

P. H., West Lothian.

By the time I contacted LoveCrafts, it had already agreed to refund you for the patterns you did not want as a gesture of goodwill.

*** 

When my 94-year-old mother tried to use her John Lewis credit card to purchase some furniture from the store, the transaction was declined. 

It turns out that her card had been cancelled after she hadn’t used it for a while. She never received a letter notifying her of this.

P. L., Norfolk.

A John Lewis spokesman says your mother should have received a letter informing her that her account would be closed if she did not use the card by a specified date.

After learning the letter was not received, your mother’s account was reopened and she was offered a goodwill gesture.

I switched gas and electricity suppliers and provided final readings to Green Star, but I still cannot get a correct final bill from it after 20 months. 

Green Star insists it has made a goodwill gesture, which it has not.

R. E., Coventry.

Green Star tells me that it initially provided a final bill using estimated readings from your new energy provider.

When you supplied an accurate reading, it attempted to get your new provider to correct these estimates but was told this could not be done. 

It, therefore, initially wrote off the difference between the estimated final balance and your accurate one as a gesture of goodwill. It has since returned the account balance to zero.

It has spoken to you and you are happy with this outcome.

It drives me mad that energy providers ask us for final readings and then seem to take not one iota of notice of them.

The root of the problem appears to be that when we move supplier, mysterious background organisations, such as energy transporters and data service providers, can pluck out random meter readings, which are then imposed on us and the energy companies.

It can be enormously difficult to get these fabricated readings replaced by our accurate ones.

My advice is to take a photo of your meter with a mobile phone. At least you will then have evidence to counter their fairy tales.

  • We love hearing from our loyal readers, so ask that during this challenging time you write to us by email where possible, as we will not pick up letters sent to our postal address as regularly as usual. You can write to: asktony@ dailymail.co.uk or, if you prefer, Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 D erry Street, London W8 5TT — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.

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