Appliance repairer Saxon closing down after string of complaints

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Appliance repairer Saxon closing down after string of complaints


One of Christchurch’s oldest appliance repair businesses is closing its doors after attracting multiple negative reviews about its service.

Saxon Appliances has been in business for 35 years, servicing large and small household appliances and selling spare parts and accessories. It is an authorized repairer for many popular brands.

Barbara Allen has owned the business since 1987. She said this week she was retiring, and the closure had nothing to do with any business or financial problems. She did not want to elaborate “for privacy reasons”.

“It’s been a long time and a lot of things end and I don’t want to comment publicly on it. We have done a good service and done the best we can in a difficult situation,” she said.

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“I’ve done my absolute best and tried my hardest. You can’t please all the people all the time.”

Customer comments on three ratings websites included the company’s failure to fix things despite multiple visits and charging the full rate, complaints not being responded to, and staff being rude, accusing customers of lying, and hanging up on callers. A Facebook page was set up by disgruntled customers two years ago.

Authenticated individual customer ratings for the company over the last three years on the NoCowboys website range from 0% to 13%. In the 12 years prior, ratings had been as high as 100%.

One customer’s online comment said she took her microwave to Saxon with a broken latch, but it dropped and broke the appliance. She then spent several weeks trying to get a replacement or money back but there was “no communication whatsoever from them”.

Another customer said “no refund, no fixed fridge, no joy” after paying Saxon for repairs. A staff member was the rudest person they had ever encountered, they said.

Commerce Commission general manager of fair trading Vanessa Horne advises any customers seeking redress from closed businesses to try the Disputes Tribunal or Citizens Advice Bureau.

supplies

Commerce Commission general manager of fair trading Vanessa Horne advises any customers seeking redress from closed businesses to try the Disputes Tribunal or Citizens Advice Bureau.

The Commerce Commission’s general manager of fair trading, Vanessa Horne, said they had received three complaints about the business, the latest in 2021. They had not investigated the company, she said.

“The commission is not a dispute resolution service and generally cannot assist consumers to get a refund or personal remedy if a business has closed down.”

Horne advised any consumers seeking redress from a closed business to contact the Disputes Tribunal or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

A Christchurch woman who did not want her name used said Saxon came out four times over the past few months to fix her oven, and charged $440 for replacing a broken part. After working intermittently for a few days the oven stopped again.

Clearing out a warehouse at Saxon Appliances in Waltham, Christchurch.

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Clearing out a warehouse at Saxon Appliances in Waltham, Christchurch.

Saxon did not respond to her emails and hung up on her when she phoned, she said. When she went in the man behind the counter raised his voice at her and said it was not their problem and laughed at her, she said.

“I’m a mother of three, and I’m having to drive around to my mother-in-law’s to cook dinner.”

She has since arranged for another appliance repairer to come out, at a cost of $270.

“They found the problem in 10 minutes, and they have ordered the part. He said the broken one hadn’t even been replaced.”

She had unsuccessfully asked Saxon for a refund, and may take them to the Disputes Tribunal, she said.

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“We run a business, and this isn’t how you treat your clients.”

Allen said the customer in question had been unreasonable and had shrieked in the shop, and just wanted things for free.

Allen also said Covid had made things difficult, but declined to elaborate.

Government records show the business received Covid wage subsidies of $99,784 for 15 staff and later $25,436 for 12 staff.

Allen said she had not heard any complaints in the last 12 months, and the company’s website contained positive customer reviews.

Allen acknowledged one staff member mentioned in several online comments had been “a problem” but she had since left.

“I don’t read those (review) websites. I am not into that. They are a load of rubbish. All our guys are fully qualified.

“I am astounded. I think I am being persecuted.”

The owner of another appliance repair firm said businesses generally tried to satisfy unhappy customers, but some customers were unreasonable.

He said it was sad Saxon was closing down.





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2022-11-25 16:00:00

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