Over the last few years we’ve added to our collection of DVD’s from trips to the entertainment exchange shops of CEX, and we’ve always been happy with our second-hand purchases.

Earlier this year however we decided to try out their postal service, whereby you order online and pay for the items ordered, plus a one-off delivery charge of £2.50 for the order, which CEX then arrange to have sent from the stores with the items in stock. Accordingly we were happy to order and pay for three items costing 50 pence, £4 and £8 and a box set costing £10, a total of £22.50 plus the £2.50 delivery charge, making £25.

Over the next few weeks three of the items arrived but the £10 box set didn’t, and CEX failed to respond when we sent an emailed query. Finally, after some months of waiting we sent a letter to their head office in Watford and, having had no response to that, called into their Bedford store and explained the problem to the staff there, adding that it had been impossible to get their firm to talk to us. Staff there helpfully emailed their head office and got the response that we had not been charged for the missing box set, nor had it been sent, on account of the item being damaged when checked.

Fair enough, except that if we still wanted the £10 item, and we did, it had now gone up by £2 in the interim to £12, and we would have to pay the £2.50 delivery charge again, raising the price to £14.50 and all part of the inspiring CEX head office policy towards its valued customers.

Upset at what we saw as rubbish service from CEX head office we decided to find a better alternative to CEX’s £14.50 second hand box set, and found a new one at BBC Shop for £17.49 inclusive delivery. This was only £3 more and resolved us to check CEX prices against those for new items in future, as well as not using the CEX postal service again due to our loss of trust in it.

We’ve also found that the CEX stores seem to be run on more customer-ethical lines than its head office. When we recounted our negative experience to a manager at another CEX store we’ve used he offered us a £1 discount on any item there we wanted, to make up for our partial loss on the delivery charge we’d paid, an offer we felt was fair, so we accepted, and we’ll definitely be back.

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