Harvey Norman tops NSW complaints register

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Electronics retailer Harvey Norman has topped NSW Fair Trading’s list of the most complained about companies in the state for January, as the number of overall complaints increased sharply.

Data from the first Complaints Register of the year shows that 39 complaints were made about Harvey Norman throughout January, with ticket reseller and “serial offender” Viagogo in second spot with 35 complaints for the month.

Electrical goods and homewares proved an enduring theme during the January sales period, with The Good Guys, Kogan, Apple and Samsung making up the top six most complained about companies.

A total of 22 businesses featured in the latest register, with a substantial 431 complaints between them – up almost 30% year on year.

“This represents a significant rise in the number of complaints compared to last year’s January register, with 332 complaints for the same number of businesses,” NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rose Webb, explained.

“The publication of this complaint data gives businesses a strong incentive to provide better customer service and empowers consumers to make more informed decisions about where to shop.”

NSW Fair Trading handles around 50,000 complaints every year and remains committed to informing consumers about traders attracting high numbers of complaints each month, it says.

The complaints register was introduced to help NSW consumers make informed decisions and give businesses an incentive to improve customer service. It lists traders that are the subject of 10 or more complaints to NSW Fair Trading in a calendar month. The complaints register is published every month.

Why do electronics stores receive so many complaints?

Some electronics retailers have developed a reputation for their ‘pushy’ sales approach, while problems surrounding matters of repairs and warranties are a common gripe for consumers further down the track.

Almost four out of ten shoppers (39%) said they often end up spending more than they planned to when they visit electronics stores, a recent Canstar Blue survey found. Meanwhile one in five survey respondents (21%) reported pushy sales staff as their greatest frustration when shopping in store.

Asked whether or not they like to be approached by sales staff, 71% said they do but only after they have had a chance to look around, while a further 10% said they are happy to be approached as soon as they walk through the door. However, about one in five adults (19%) said they do not like to be approached at all.

The survey formed part of Canstar Blue’s 2017 customer satisfaction ratings for electronics retailers. The Good Guys was rated highest for the seventh year in a row, scoring five stars out of five in most research areas. Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi both received just three stars for overall satisfaction.

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