There comes a time in one’s life when it’s necessary to raise your voice and expose atrocious business practices.
After buying from Alza.cz for the past ten years, we decided to purchase a Seagate Exos X16 SAS hard drive from CZC.cz, valued at 12,878 Czech Kč (about 510 Euros). This was a savings of about €50 compared to Alza.cz and was one of our first purchases from CZC.cz, so it seemed like a good deal. When the unit arrived we mounted the drive into our server and it didn’t boot. The motherboard would not pass the BIOS POST process. We figured that one of two things were happening – either the SAS controller was no longer functional, or the drive itself was not working. Within 4 hours of picking up the unit, we returned it to CZC.cz explaining to the clerk and that we wanted a refund or a credit. The clerk explained that since the drive was purchased on the company we can’t return the item. He explained that they can only create a repair request and write on the form that we want a refund. Red flag #1: You Can’t Return Items when Purchased on a Company Account. Alza.cz always accepted our returns when they were not working. After a bit of arguing, we had no recourse but to follow their procedure.
Turns out that CZC.cz allows one month for responding to return requests and they waited till the very last day to give us their verdict: The unit is functional and that we should pick up the unit from their offices. NO REFUND! NO STORE CREDIT! Red flag #2: No phone call from CZC.cz, No courtesy call to explain their position.
We returned in person to their offices and explained to the clerk that we can’t accept the unit because IT DOES NOT FUNCTION on our system. Certainly, the disk may be functional, but it is clear that our SAS controller is no longer functional. Therefore we can’t accept a disk that does not work. We asked again for a refund or credit but the CZC.cz representative explained that he can not help us – we need to call CZC.cz’s main office to resolve the issue. Red Flag #3: Attempting to resolve a customer service request results in the CZC.cz representative telling you that they can’t help you, and you need to call someone else!
RMA Dead End
Next was to call their Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) team and explained the whole story to them from scratch. The RMA representative explained that she can’t help us because the system says that we sent the item for repair, and not for a refund. We told her we weren’t allowed to register a return, and the form clearly states that we wanted a refund. She responded by saying, “well you signed for a repair!”
Red flag #4: Representative just reads what it says on their computer and completely ignores any logic or understanding of the customer’s issue. We asked to speak to her manager. She refused. We explained that we need a SATA drive, not a SAS drive. She didn’t care. We told her that CZC.cz still has the SAS drive and can sell it on their website. She didn’t care. We told her that we are willing to use store-credit to buy something else. She didn’t care. She said that the disk was unpackaged and therefore had been “used”. We told her that EVERY internal HDD is unpackaged – There is no retail box with any internal HDDs. All internal drives are just sent in anti-static bags and bubble wrap! She didn’t care.
This was by far the worst customer service experience we had in the past 30 years. CZC.cz is narrow-minded, with no regard for maintaining a high standard for customer services or business excellence.
CZC.cz’s Customer Satisfaction Failure
Our next recourse was to send a complaint letter through their website. One week later their response was, “If you make an order as a company (there is a VAT ID number, etc.), you can not return it in 14 days since picking up”, and “We only act legal.” Red Flag #5: Blame it on the law.
Here is the core issue, Ladies and Gentlemen: According to EU law, consumers are protected from returning their retail items within 14 days of purchase, without question. But business purchases do not enjoy that protection. If you buy an item on your company in error, or if the item does not work – legally you are SOL (aka. Shit-Out-of-Luck). Thankfully, not all companies blame the law when you try to return your purchases. CZC.cz’s behavior is in stark contrast to Alza.cz, who in ten years of buying IT equipment never presented such an excuse.
We tried to save €50 and lost €510.
You can often judge the quality of a company by how they treat their customers when trying to return an item. Our three-month experience with this retailer came to a bitter end. We advise any business to be wary of buying from CZC.cz.
If our story resonates, or you are a business who seeks to maintain high standards in customer satisfaction, please share our story, or leave a comment below.
In the meantime, we will swallow this loss, and learn from our mistake …
… And we’re sticking with Alza.cz.