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CRASHED COMET'S TALE OF WORRY; Customers demand answers; THE JUDGE; I'LL GET IT SORTED.

Byline: Additional reporting by Jane Barrie

Troubled retail giant Comet tried to woo customers with the advertising slogan "We live electricals".

But the death knell finally sounded for the 80–year–old chain last week as they couldn't afford to buy new stock.

Thousands of consumers are in limbo after the appointment of administrators – the long–established brand yet another victim of the recession.

Today, I feature the cases of three readers caught up in the chaos and also helpful tips to help you if you are affected.

The problems include undelivered but paid–for goods, gift vouchers not being honoured and worries over expensive Extra Care warranties.

Pensioner Robert Muldoon has been fighting Comet for more than a year after his PS240 Candy washing machine flooded his kitchen.

Robert, 72, and wife Esther, 67, of Plains, near Airdrie, ended up with a PS280 repair bill within two days of the appliance being delivered.

The machine was replaced but the new model had a faulty door and now he's worried the three–year warranty he paid PS90 for will be useless.

Robert said: "We've had nothing but hassle since the machine was installed. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the news. I thought, 'Here we go again.'" Another reader, Andy Gray, has been driven round the bend since he purchased a PS700 computer from Comet. He too has a three–year service plan, which cost an extra PS220.

Andy, 43, doesn't trust the PC, which keeps crashing and has been repaired three times in 12 months.

The gaming supervisor, of Saltcoats, Ayrshire, said: "It's been one thing after another. Every time I go to start it up, I worry that it will crash, again.

"And what happens months down the line when it packs in again and Comet are no longer on the high street? It doesn't bear thinking about."

Teenager David Cross splashed out on a new PS624 laptop in September on a "buy now, pay in six months" deal. But while his local shop, in Hamilton, is still trading, he doesn't know how long for.

David, 18, said: "I paid PS100 deposit and the rest is on finance but it won't kick in for six months.

"I don't see why I should pay PS224 extra for a warranty when the business is folding. But the store can't help and I'm getting nowhere trying to contact Comet's customer support centre."

I got on Deloitte, the administrators for Comet, and they insisted my readers would not face further problems.

Their spokesman said: "It appears the queries relate to warranty cover.

"ExtraCare Service Plans and Extended Warranties are provided by a third party (The Warranty Group) and are unaffected by the Administration of Comet Group Limited."

VOUCHERS, REPAIRS AND FINANCE VOUCHERS Gift vouchers and cards which have been paid for are now valid. Corporate cards are not, but that could change.

REPAIRS Faulty items should be reported to the customer support centre on 0844 800 9595 (option 3). Dead on arrival goods should be sent to the manufacturer direct for exchange or repair. Appliances currently with Comet for repair will be returned as promised as the repair centre is open as normal.

FINANCE Credit agreements managed by Santander are unaffected and cannot be cancelled. Santander can be reached on 0844 800 9595 (option 4).

''It's quite worrying. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the news

CAPTION(S):

CONCERNED Main pic, Robert Muldoon. Far left, Andy Gray and, near left, David Cross
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 11, 2012
Words:593
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