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Paul

Aldi Solar Panels - Beware.

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Aldi have been selling solar battery savers recently, 6w panels with reverse polarity and overcharge protection for £24.99 which seemed a good deal so to make sure I got one, as our local store doesn't always have all of the special buys in stock, I ordered one online. It arrived a few days later via Hermes. It was larger than I had anticipated considerably larger than an A3 sheet of paper and quite heavy. When I opened the box it was obvious something was amiss as I got a glass splinter in my thumb as I opened it. Indeed, the panel was smashed. It was very poorly packed for a glass item. The panel itself just in a plain plastic bag inside a cardboard box with no kind of impact protectin. No foam wrapping or bubble wrap to protect it, and the box was in a blue Aldi bag, again with no protection around it, not even a "fragile" label or tape on it.

I cannot find a telephone contact for Aldi customer services. The contact us opens a message page which you have to complete and send. I did this on Tuesday, still no reply. The website says I can return special buys (but not web only items) to the store for refund so I took it to our local store this morning. Initially they advised that I couldn't return it to store, so I opened the page on my phone and showed them. Then they said that did not include damaged items, so I asked them to show me where it said that in their ts&cs. After about fifteen minutes arguing they finally accepted that it was not in there so they agreed to swap it. They had two on the shelf. On inspection both of the items they had in stock had similar damage. They then tried to tell me I would have to return it to their mail order service for refund. More arguing and reference to their website and they eventually made a refund to my card. 

I've been a big fan of Aldi for years but this has somewhat soured the water. If you are thinking of buying one of these be carfeul of ordering online and check stock in the shop carefully before you leave. There seems to be an inherent fault in the way they are packaged.

 

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7 minutes ago, Paul said:

Aldi have been selling solar battery savers recently, 6w panels with reverse polarity and overcharge protection for £24.99 which seemed a good deal so to make sure I got one, as our local store doesn't always have all of the special buys in stock, I ordered one online. It arrived a few days later via Hermes. It was larger than I had anticipated considerably larger than an A3 sheet of paper and quite heavy. When I opened the box it was obvious something was amiss as I got a glass splinter in my thumb as I opened it. Indeed, the panel was smashed. It was very poorly packed for a glass item. The panel itself just in a plain plastic bag inside a cardboard box with no kind of impact protectin. No foam wrapping or bubble wrap to protect it, and the box was in a blue Aldi bag, again with no protection around it, not even a "fragile" label or tape on it.

I cannot find a telephone contact for Aldi customer services. The contact us opens a message page which you have to complete and send. I did this on Tuesday, still no reply. The website says I can return special buys (but not web only items) to the store for refund so I took it to our local store this morning. Initially they advised that I couldn't return it to store, so I opened the page on my phone and showed them. Then they said that did not include damaged items, so I asked them to show me where it said that in their ts&cs. After about fifteen minutes arguing they finally accepted that it was not in there so they agreed to swap it. They had two on the shelf. On inspection both of the items they had in stock had similar damage. They then tried to tell me I would have to return it to their mail order service for refund. More arguing and reference to their website and they eventually made a refund to my card. 

I've been a big fan of Aldi for years but this has somewhat soured the water. If you are thinking of buying one of these be carfeul of ordering online and check stock in the shop carefully before you leave. There seems to be an inherent fault in the way they are packaged.

 

Hi Paul, I send and receive various parcel at work, we never opt for any sales using Hernes, we pick another carrier.

Regards

Alan

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1 hour ago, ranworthbreeze said:

Hi Paul, I send and receive various parcel at work, we never opt for any sales using Hernes, we pick another carrier.

Regards

Alan

To be fair to hermes they are not the ones doing the packing just the moving, I wouldn't expect anything glass not fully protected to get through carriage unscathed.

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Don`t buy on-line, that`s the only real protection. If you go to the store to buy, you have the opportunity to check it, not only for damage, but to see if it fits, if the quality is what you expected, etc etc etc.  Iv`e lost count of the number of times i`ve heard people complain about on-line purchases etc, and the hassle that goes with it when things go wrong. In fact, there are more problems with on-line purchases than over the counter purchases because of the fact you can`t check it first. 

I doubt if i`ve bought more than half a dozen things on-line, and those that i have have thankfully been satisfactory.  I do my damndest to buy over the counter now.

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1 hour ago, Smoggy said:

To be fair to hermes they are not the ones doing the packing just the moving, I wouldn't expect anything glass not fully protected to get through carriage unscathed.

I think that's exactly right. The issue here is with a) the manufacturer, this is a made for Aldi product, and b) the Aldi warehouse which shipped it out. I would expect such an item to have high density foam inside the box plus additional protection such as buuble wrap or air sacs around it before being bagged. 

By comparison I got home from shopping this morning to find a parcel on my doorstep with four glass paint jars for my spray gun (I only use glass as they clean better than poly ones). All the way from china in perfect condition. 

Buying over the counter is all well and good if you live on a large urban area where these items are available but when you live in the sticks as we do there is often no better option. Take my glass paint jars for example. They are not easy to come accross nowadays, most places only stock plastic ones. The nearest supplier to us is Northampton, fifty plus miles away and that is a commercial supplier so only open Mon - Fri. 

Love it or loathe it, mail order is the way of the future, in fact not the future but the now. You live with it or do without. 

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