my letter to Harvey Norman

Dear Gerry Harvey,
I hope I can call you Gerry. Now Gerry, you are always on TV and in the media going on about internet stores and how it’s hurting your business. Well how about a little customer service in your own stores. So that people will shop in them. My story goes a little like this. I went into your Balgowlah Store over a month ago, I’ve been trying to stay local for my whole renovation.
I go and buy an oven, a rangehood and some filters for the rangehood. Delivery is the following Saturday. My oven arrives and the top is scratched because the warehouse didn’t tape down the big heavy iron plate thingies and the delivery guys have tipped the oven over and the plates have slide back and forward and scratched the top of my lovely expensive oven. There is no manual or warranty card in the oven either. I ring to tell the sales person what happened. They’ll call me back about the manual. He never does. I have to call back a few days later and he says come in and get one. We go in, oh we don’t have a manual here anymore let me print one off the internet for you. Well thanks Gerry but I could have done that myself at home.

A couple of weeks later my rangehood hasn’t arrived so I call the store. The salesperson George says he’ll call me straight back. Surprise suprise he doesn’t. Why am I not surprised. I chase up a few days later to be told oh your rangehood has arrived 4 days ago. Well we don’t know why we didn’t call you to let you know and yes you can come in and pick it up now. I send in my husband to pick it up but guess what. You’ve given us the wrong one. You’ve put my details on a  600mm rangehood instead of 900mm like on my invoice and to match the oven I bought. Now it’s just getting ridiculous. I’m beyond cranky by this point, Gerry.

I call up and ask to speak to someone in the department, someone else says they’ll take my details and call me back. No I say no one has ever called me back when I’ve spoken to them so put me through to somebody because I’m very cranky and have the wrong product here.Yes, I know it’s just after 5.30 and they might have left for the day because you close at 5.30 but I’m not hanging up.  I speak to Claude who tells me it’s a warehouse problem and I need to come back and swap it over tomorrow. Oh good, I’m going to bring 3 kids under 4 in with me to collect a large rangehood. Now that is my idea of fun on a Wednesday morning. Have you met my kids, Gerry. They are noisy and they don’t like waiting in the car.


We spent 45 minutes at your delivery dock this morning, Gerry. It was tough going but the first people to apologise to me throughout this whole story were the poor guys in the dock who can’t find my 900mm rangehood. Finally they admit they can’t find it. I’m over it by this stage and ask that someone delivers it to me because I can’t wait any longer. But I don’t think anyone will be delivering it today because I don’t think it’s there. I think you’ve ordered me the wrong product.

So Gerry if you want us to spend our hard earned cash, and I spent over $3000 at your store on my oven then how about calling customers back, making sure we get the product we ask for, making sure the product arrives without a scratch and just making sure that we want to come back.  How about when you give me the wrong product someone says that they will deliver it to my house 5 minutes away just out of courtesy. Then I wouldn’t have spent my morning in your delivery dock. How about someone says sorry when things go wrong.


I find it really hard to want to go back to your store and buy the fridge, dishwasher and TV I still need  when it’s been such an ordeal just to get my oven and rangehood. And do I really want to tell all my mummy friends about the wonderful experience it’s been? The number of calls I’ve made and the exact number of times no one has bothered to call me back.

Thanks Gerry. Just thought you should know!

Corrie Sebire

I just received an automated email that someone will contact me within 48 hours. Well isn’t that just old fashioned customer service.  I’m so glad that I received an automated message when I’ve called the store this morning and no one called me back. I replied back to the automated message that it wasn’t good enough.
A little later I received 2 calls and the new rangehood will be couriered to me today and I can collect a $100 gift voucher from the store. Does it make up for the bad experience from go to woe. Not really. I don’t know how you can stuff a customer around that many times with a $3000 purchase and think a small gift voucher makes it all better.
Thank goodness for my blog and twitter and getting a call back because nothing was happening before. Thanks for the RT’s and comments my lovely readers. Never underestimate the power of a mummy blogger and her ‘army’ of readers.


  1. I seriously hope you send this in to them Corrie. What a disgrace!

  2. Beautiful Corrie. I love this post. Although I’m very sorry for your frustrating experience. But that’s one use for a well loved blog. You have the power to get your voice heard. I’m sure this post will pop up in their google alerts. Good for you for speaking out.

    I hope they replace the scratched oven.

  3. Please tell me you sent this to him!

  4. Please do send it to them. They are so useless. We bought a laptop from Harvey Norman in Toowoomba. It broke within a month. You would think they would just replace it, but no, it was sent away for 3 months to be fixed. It gave us trouble from the moment we got it back, we ended up having to buy a new one – not from Harvey Norman of course!! NEVER again!!

  5. sock it to ’em. We’ve had a similar experience with Harvey Norman over a washing machine and an oven. Not buying from them again this time around. I always cringe when I hear GH on the radio complaining. Australian customers never seem to benefit when the dollar is weak but they want us to pay more when the dollar is strong. Hopeless!

  6. Hi Corrie. Have sent you an email re this with stuff I didn’t want to say in your comments.

  7. Change Harvey Jorman to Joyce Mayne (although I know JM is owned by the HN chain), change rangehood/oven to Computer, and change salesman to computer nerd, and I have had the same experience – I literally wasted days of time waiting for them to call back over weeks and weeks, as well as racking up hundreds of kms driving to their store and back ( I live on a farm a 150km round trip from the shop) so all I can say is that their customer service is absolute SH*T, (excuse the expletive, but that is how I felt after 2 months of chasing up an extended warranty issue on my computer they seemed to have held hostage!).
    And the last time I was a the store trying to get something fixed, I overhead another lady saying that she had left messages and no-one had called back either.

    That said, it is absolutely worth your time to contact the store manager, and also send it to Harvey Norman HQ. I ended up speaking with the (new) owner of the store I had issues with who couldn’t do more for me, and even gave me his personal mobile number so I could contact him direct if there were further issues.

    I totally agree that no wonder people are shopping online, if they get service like that.

    And for what it is worth, we used Betta Electrical for our last fridge, and they could not have been more polite, helpful and friendly.
    Cheers, Lee :)

  8. I would be sending that in to them!!!
    I have had simular experiences with our local store. I refuse to go there anymore! They were nothing but unhelpful.

    I hope everything gets sorted for you and you find a lovely store to purchase the rest of your goods from

  9. Great post, please, please send it to him. Otherwise I might need to sneak an email to them giving them a tip off to your blog. Sorry for all the trouble Harvey Norman have caused you. I don’t usually shop with them – The Good Guys or Bing Lee have been fine for me so far but I haven’t had to buy such big ticket items.


  10. I agree definitely send this to them, also did they replace the scratched oven or at least compensate you for it

  11. Oh yes, send it in. I don’t buy from Harvey Norman anymore. I did a kitchen reno almost three years ago and I have two words – Winning Appliances – they go above and beyond to make sure you are happy. We bought a fridge, dishwasher, oven/stove combo and rangehood from them without a hitch.

    They also own appliances online and saved me when my washing machine broke and I needed another pronto. I also have four kids, so you know how important that can be…

    If the oven is scratched, don’t accept it – get your maoney back and spend it somewhere else, who WANTS your business.

    Of my soapbox…and No affiliation with Winnings, they just deserve my recommendation.

  12. This is why we flat our REFUSE to spend our hard-earned money at Harvey Norman. They are hopeless!!!!! Even if their prices were the lowest on the market, I think that their customer service would have to be some of the worst in the retail industry.

    I think it’s absolutely hypocritical the uproar that Gerry Harvey made about 12 months ago with respect to online retail……you wonder why we prefer to shop online.

    I could keep going, but I won’t.
    Please send this to them, along with every comment you will receive on this post. I will be very surprised if there is a positive one.

    Hope your Rangehood turns up soon.

  13. Oh Corrie, You absolutely have to send this to them. With the link to your blog post of course!
    I had trouble with the very same HN store two years ago, when a washing machine was faulty on purchase and they wanted me to contact the manufacturer – I don’t think so, you give me a replacement right now – which took, like yourself many waiting on the lines and calling and calling and calling. Keep at it until your scratched cooker is replaced – I’m wound up just thinking about it. Go well.

  14. OMG I am So POD with our local store who also never call back and have something we returned for repair 4 months ago!!! Try appliance online Corrie amazing prices. slightly limited range but absolutely unbelievable customer service the guys have set up my washing machine for me and take the old stuff away if you want them to!

  15. I think you should tweet HN a link to this.

  16. Oh, I see you have already. Good for you :)

  17. What a nightmare!!!

  18. Sounds almost as bad as Telstra.

    When I did my kitchen I had a fantastic experience with a website called Appliances On-line. I ordered a double oven and cooktop (I knew what I wanted) and they delivered it within a week for free (and I live 200km from Perth).

    I would be telling Gerry to stick it when it comes to the fridge and dishwasher….

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  21. what a nightmare! bing lee and good guys alexandria i can recommend!
    every time we have been to HN it’s like it’s an effort to give any service therefore we never buy anything off them.

  22. I also don’t shop with Gerry. Went to buy a fridge, they would not deliver because they were stocktaking! They would go to their warehouse and get it and bring it back to their store where we could pick it up. They would not go and get it and drive a further kilometre to deliver to us. Go elsewhere, the staff at our store are most unhelpful – thats if they speak to you at all!

  23. I’d be ringing appliances on line and winnings at this point – great service and local too

  24. Corrie you rock! I love this post!
    I hope this guy see this and sweat it…knowing that one or more of his customers are reading the same words! Send it…send it…send it!
    You deserved better! Loretta

  25. I hope you sent this great letter and I’d be very interested in Gerry’s reply!

  26. I do hope you have sent this Corrie…. I look forward to Gerry’s reply! And looking at your comments, I would pass them on to Gerry to…..! Word of mouth is such a powerful tool

  27. Corrie:
    Good for you. This service is absolutely awful and you are not obligated to accept it. I would not pay $3000 for a scratched stove. I think this blog is a great way to get out the message that this is not a great place to shop. Price is not everything – in many ways service is more important. Keep on fighting girl. You rock.
    (Since HN is 10,000 km away – I don’t have to worry!)

  28. Well written! Customer service is a dying art these days. Ive had to run around the shops trying to find someone to ring up a sale before; you’d think they’d would want your money! I’d be forwarding a link to your blog to their customer service department…

  29. Bravo! I’m sick to death of crappy service at stores like the Good Guys (or the Bad Boys as I called them in a post). Like the others i’ve switched to Winning Appliances and am planning on buying my fridge from Appliances Online – awesome customer service – real answers and action on twitter, not crappy automated replies.

    This is just unacceptable – good on you for standing up for yourself. Hope you get yourself a shiny, new unscratched oven and rangehood soon.

  30. We had the option of going with Harvey Norman when we did our kitchen but choose not to die to bad service.

  31. Totally ridiculous!!!

    Mind you I will never shop at Harvey Normans again after a sales woman thought it would be amusing to tell a 38 weeks pregnant woman with three kids that our family was simply too big and we should have stopped at two…. and then wonder why we didn’t buy a washing machine from you!

  32. When I was looking for our kitchen appliances, I went to Harvey Norman. They had a couple of ovens I was interested in, but the guy was doing the hard sell on a particular model. Wasn’t quite what I was wanting. I didn’t go back.

    I ended up getting our goods from E&S Trading and the Goodguys. I got discouts with both of them, as we were spending a lot of money. Actually, the guy from the Goodguys gave me a discount before I even asked (on my range hood by the way). We are very happy with the range hood and it wasn’t the most expensive one. I don’t know if you have E&S Trading up your way, but they are worth checking out. We also purchased some items from their warehouse sale. Our Bosch fridge was under half price as was our sink. Funnily enough, we went with all Bosch appliances (except the range hood), by chance, and I am very happy. Although, I wouldn’t touch a Franke tap again. That we had to replace in the first week. I hope you get your appliance issues sorted.

    I hope the rest of your week goes a little more smoothly. Jacinta x

  33. I actually have had good experiences with my local HN, and was planning on going to them to buy a new couch soon. But reading this has completely changed my mind. They need to fix this fast for you. The idea that they would deliver a scratched stove after you paid so much for it plus everything else! They’ve lost me as a customer unless I hear that they have completely fixed this up for you.

  34. that’s why they’re nickamed HARDLY NORMAL around these parts.


  35. Your post resonated with me Corrie, we have just complete our kitchen reno and I cannot tell you how discouraged I am with workmanship and customer service. Our caesar bench top had to be ripped out, our wooden floors re sanded and polished (they chipped my marble island in the process) all our cabinets re sprayed and that’s not all, our Franke sink was damaged and our Stegbar door jamb was split and lastly our glass splash back was installed scratched and has to be ripped out…….the list goes on. I do hope this is the last of the disappointment for you. It’s looking gorgeous so far.

  36. Thanks for the info, we’re also planning a new kitchen. I know now where I don’t wanna buy my stuff :)

  37. Hardly Normal – yes, yes they are. I don’t know how they’re still in business! The adverts annoy me with Gerry barking ‘Buy Australian. Why? Why not!’. Well Gerry, I think you’ve answered your own question – people won’t buy Australian made anything through Harvey Norman because you are just useless! I’m assuming your craptacular customer service is also why your prices are disgusting – you’d have to mark things up to account for falling sales, yes?
    Well done Corrie – I hope they actually respond to you, and I hope you get your money back for everything so you can shop somewhere else.

  38. Good for you Corrie! You have hit the nail on the head. Good customer service is what gets people coming back into a shop. It’s so simple.

  39. Great work…! Hope it gets them moving on some phone calls, apologies, delivery and replacements real soon! We had some fantastic customer service the other day from at least 3 of the staff working in a chicken fast food chain. The service itself should not be surprising – it is what we expect when spending our money – what is surprising is how many times my husband and I commented on it on our way home – the high level of customer service provided to us was so abnormal it really took us by surprise! It is great that the service was provided, but such an inidicator of what we have become used to!

  40. Oh how I love the power of social media!!!! I hope they compensate you.

  41. I am from EU and I moved into Australia 4 years ago.. All this time always one thing that bothered me a lot in this country ‘ Bad customer service’ Noones complains anything in here & noone try to improve their sucked services (so I am so glad that you wrote)just because there is not much competiton in Australia we all end up accepting this bad condition..
    I don’t think Harvey Norman cares about his business service or customer complains – He cares about how to screw public more and get more rich..

  42. This is ridiculous and apalling – get the message Gerry, people are sick of being treated this way!

    I truly hope that you not only get someone to contact you personally Corrie with an apology and more.

  43. I no longer purchase through Harvey Norman either. My husbo and I purchased an expensive fridge on 24 months interest free and paid it off within 2 months. We then went to purchase the laptop, washing machine & dryer a few months later on teh same plan but were told that we weren’t allowed to buy them on interest free as we paid our fridge off too quickly and clearly we won’t be making them any money in interest. Totally disgusting and have never ever stepped foot back in there. The Good Guys and other places will get my business!! Even the white goods department at Myer are FANTASTIC!!

  44. hmmm..interesting………and not good at all!

  45. That’s truly bad customer service and unfortunately I have found that to be common here in Australia. We are just a small dot amongst millions and so not taken seriously. This really does need to be addressed across many areas. Hope it all sorts out smoothly in the end for you.

  46. You go girl, awesome Corrie…….
    They need a kick up the butt…..

  47. No wonder you’re mad! Appalling! I sincerely hope you did send that note, and I hope Gerry knows how many people have read it too!

  48. Excellent Corrie. Bad service is so becoming the ‘Norm’. I agree the outcome is beyond pathetic & you start to wonder if they build such sweetners in to their prices now knowing 1 in 10 will complain about shoddy treatment. I hope once the kitchen is finished you can forget this bad treatment & still love your new appliances. Tracee xx

  49. Frankly they could give me a whole new kitchen and it wouldn’t make up for waiting 45minutes with 3 kids under 3 in the car!! (as I know that feeling personally!!)

  50. Classic! I hope you have emailed the link to Mr Harvey himself!!
    Make sure you tell him how many readers you have and that they are mostly middle aged women who do most of the family appliance and furniture buying!!!
    That’ll get him thinking!!

  51. Way to go Corrie! Let’s show Gerry the power of the Internet!!!

  52. You go girl!

  53. Corrie… I skip your blog for a few days and THEN find your week has been totally ghastly. Kisses to Elodie and *#** to HN.
    Glad mummy blog power is so awesome….

  54. Very happy to shop locally & potentially pay abit more for good service. I got poor service at shepparton HM store, bought oven at another chain store with better service & tv from kogan online. Kogan service was excellent, answered promptly all my ridiculous questions!

  55. I will never EVER shop at Harvey Norman after the customer service I received this year at the Belrose store when I bought a computer…a faulty one.

    I was the one to follow them up…every.single.time and I can honestly say I will never buy a single thing from them again.

    It took me over 3 months to get a replacement and that’s only because I stalked them daily which I shouldn’t have had to do.

    LOVED your letter Corrie. Brilliant!

  56. I went to that same HN store once, in about 1992, and never stepped foot in a HN store since.

    Oh hang on, I’m wrong, I went to the another one last year. Not only did they not honour the special that was advertised on the signs hanging up, but one of the signs actually fell on my head!

  57. But what about the scratched/damaged oven? Is that being replaced?

  58. I just love this post Corrie, and this is why my Husband and I don’t got to Harvey Norman anymore. We are in Brisbane, our nearest store is Browns Plains and we have been treated the same way.

  59. We now buy our stuff from Myer,fridge, washing machine, dryer ,Tv’s they beat harvey norman in price every time, their service is great and they have it in stock! H N suck big time!

  60. Great post Corrie and please send it to Gerry as well. I can relate as I also had 3 kids under 3 and customer service is vital when you are carrying a baby in a sling and have the other two babies in a twin stroller. Good Guys get our business for the same reasons many of you have written about. Please tell me that you don;t intend to accept a scratched oven from them as it will annoy you every time you see it. They need to replace it or give your money back as they carry insurance for just this situation.

  61. Oh no! can you buff the scratches out? or is it too bad to be fixed? I have nothing but praise for our Moree Harvey Norman, their service is wonderful, perhaps as it’s a small town and we all know each other. They are incredibly helpful to me. I always do my own research and then go in and order.Many times I have asked if they can match online prices and most times they can actually do a better price and include delivery and ext warranty. Small communities HAVE to shop locally as much as possible because if we don’t then the shops will close and we won’t even have any choice. Sad that big centres aren’t giving the same service.

  62. Love your letter Corrie. What a saga! I can’t believe them!!!!! You spend all that money, and get that kind of service. Oh and whoop-de-doo, a token Gift Voucher which is less than 5% of your total cost anyway!!! Wow, sounds like an awesome store. I guess my family doesn’t call them “Hardly Normal” for nothing!!

  63. I only just found your blog recently and have been excitedly following your kitchen renovation. I was horrified for you on this post but it also made me feel at home as we thought we were the only ones cursed with getting faulty products. We have received the wrong size dining table in the wrong colours and had to wait weeks sitting in our lovely chairs with plates on our laps, had not one but two damaged lounges delivered and returned, the wrong tap mixer, the wrong tiles, a damaged tv cabinet, had holes drilled in the wrong place on our stainless steel benches and power points installed inside our shower cavity. It got to the point that we would not leave a shop without first opening the box! Needless to say it has taken us about 10 years to contemplate another renovation and I’m so pleased a power blogger like you might actually get the message across that cranky mummies are a force to be reckoned with. You go girl and get yourself a pristine scratch free stove replacement. If it is going to be scratched it will be done by your own toddler thankyou very much. melx

  64. Now you have to find something in the store that costs only $100 so they don’t make any more money from you…

  65. Oh Corrie! What a disaster! I felt for you so much while reading about your ordeal. Shame on you Harvey Norman. I really don’t know what has happened to good old fashioned customer service these days. I had a shocking experience with MYER earlier this year, when we bought our new Tv. And it could have ended very badly for them, because among many things that went wrong, they sent us a Tv we hadn’t ordered… a very expensive Tv we hadn’t ordered… and then had no record of it when I called them to come and collect it. My ordeal only ran for 4 days, but they still didn’t reimburse me with any form of compensation or apology. Oh well!
    I think you should think seriously about buying those other items through them, I wouldn’t be so keen to go back if I’d been through the experience you have.

  66. I won’t shop there because of their use of timber from old growth forests. Very disappointing.

  67. Thanks for this blog. I was about to go and buy new laptop from them but now I won’t after reading your reader comments.

  68. What a royal pain, hate it when something so simple goes awry. I once wrote a letter to the woman’s weekly about problems with Dick Smith who were giving me a seriously bad time and that brought around instant results. Ridiculous you have to paint someone poorly to get a result!

  69. This is a great example of why I will not shop at Harvey Norman any more.

    I bought an expensive stereo component there 14 years ago, and it stopped working after 6 days! Most shops would have seen it as a faulty item and replaced it, not Harvey Norman! Oh no, they boxed it up and sent it away for repairs. 4 months later, after many phone calls and complaints from me, they finally gave me a new one (although, a different brand).Their customer/after sales service is non-existent.

  70. Sadly Corrie this is a familiar tale. However. if you want better service call Whitfords of Five Dock
    Tel 9713 9314 and ask for Eva she’s great. That’s where I bought all my kitchen and laundry appliances from. But don’t got to the Swedish store for your bench tops like I did. And don’t ask why as the story’s longer than your letter to Gerry.

  71. Businesses need to realise that word of mouth matters way more than all the TV & Radio ads they can buy. 1 Bad customer experience can cost them 100s of customers – So for goodness sake just provide some Customer Service.

  72. after reading this post I went and bought my new stove at E&S trading, not HN where I usually shop…

  73. Hey guys, I’m really sorry about your experiences at Harvey Norman. As a current sales person at Harry Norman I can honesty say not every store is like this. I have actually been into Other Harvey’s stores and received the same attitude as you. I know exactly what not to do, and I try and look after each and every one of my customers because 9/10 they will come back to me over any other sales person in store. I work in Brisbane. Please don’t lose all faith because there still is a few good sales People around.


  74. mumcanwash says:

    I wish I had read this before entering a Harvey Norman store, unfortunately I purchased a front loader washing machine on the advice from the sales person who failed to tell me that items such as buttons are dangerous to the machine and may cause over $200 to repair even under warranty. I can “reduce” the risk but there is no way of preventing it from happening other then not washing items with buttons, zippers beads etc…unfortunately we are not a Velcro family so I risk $264 repair bill every time I wash. Harvey Normans answer is not to call you back and when you finally get in contact with me, they mention risk assessment car accidents and death. I just want to wash my clothes with out it cost $264 repair bill – apparently that is not reasonable

  75. Gordon Deloray says:

    I had a similar experience in with Harvey Norman in Canberra with a a faulty DVD recorder. Took 2 weeks & cost me more in time than the recorder was worth to get fixed. Will never give them my business again. My brother & I have recently purchased a motel on the NSW south coast. We are refurbishing all the rooms & every appliance was purchased through Bing Lee Canberra. 34 bar fridges, 34 tv’s, 34 kettles & fans, 102 desk lamps, 34 clothes irons, 2 large chest freezers plus some miscellaneous kitchen appliances. So in short it took a while but it has cost Harvey Norman more than $16000 so far. Am thinking of sending Harvey Norman a copy of all the receipts when the refurbishment is finished.

  76. They’re the worst! Same issue with me! Haven’t received a call back from the cynical sardonic guy over the phone, Claude. He said he’d get back to me and kept blaming issue on me can you believe them …

  77. Never again will we use Harvey Norman after paying $3200 for a 3 seater lounge and having problems with the cushions and no responsibility taken by Harvey Norman it’s a design fault we were told and that’s it. We have bought a houseful of furniture from them spent thousands and thousands over the years and the minute we have a problem they don’t want to know.


  1. […] last kitchen was pretty straightforward. I went to Harvey Norman (that’s a whole other story here), looked at fridges, looked at 900mm stainless steel ovens and bought the last Glem 900mm gas oven […]

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