Angling Direct Customer Service. A review / Rant.

RedRidingHood

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I know this isn't a 'Tackle Review', Moreso of a 'Customer Service' review / rant after I've just witnessed probably the worst, rudest and most awkward customer service I've ever encountered over the phone with somebody working with Angling Direct.

Backstory;

Around October this year I went to a commercial fishery. I had also a month or two prior this trip purchased a new landing net handle as I've slowly been building my tackle up since starting up fishing again and I was tired of using my old, tired non-extendable 'bivvy boy' looking handle I'd been using for years. Now, let me express that it wasn't an expensive landing net handle I purchased, Certainly nothing special, However it was made by a reputable brand; Maver. So, I hadn't used this landing net handle much, Less than 10 times I'd say and to be fair, It'd been alright. Had some decent carp in it and no end of decent bream. Anyhow, I hooked into my first fish of the session at a commercial and it was around 3lb, At best 4lb mirror*. As usual, Netted the fish at a few metres out and shipped it back slowly as you would while the fish was in the water in the net. As the fish closes into the bank I tilt the handle at an upward angle to get ready to lift the fish out of the water, I point the landing net handle at more of a 'Directly up angle' specifically so I'm putting more of the weight on the actual metal net rim and less so on the handle causing as little stress and bend as possible so I can eventually grab the V in the net by the screw to pull the fish out of the water safely. Bare in mind this fishery only has a mucky bank and no platforms, It's about 6ft deep in the margins and it was p*ssing down with rain. You don't want to fall in. Obviously, Theres always going to be some strain on the actual handle but at this moment there was very little but alas, The net handle for some reason completely collapsed on itself.

So, Got home and within the next few days contacted Angling Direct to get it sorted, And within 2 days I got a response saying because I'd had it so long - AD Wouldn't take it back themselves and It'd have to be shipped back to Maver. Fair enough I thought, They booked pickup and as promised, a courior picked it up free of charge. I was told the handling time would be around 10 days. By the 5th, 2 days later lhe landing net handle had been received by Maver and Angling Direct confirmed this with an Email and said Maver would be in touch soon so I wait... 11 days. And nothing. I'll be honest, I was expecting Maver to reply and have me one shipped by the end of the week. But this wasn't the case apparently, So I emailed after 11 days asking if there's an update. During this time I'm without a landing net handle so at this point when I go fishing I'm scooping fish out of the water while on one knee with my hands and a net :ROFLMAO:. The lady gets back to me from Angling Direct the next day with this email;

'I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have contacted the manufacturer regarding the landing net and they will replace it free of charge.
Unfortunately, they are out of stock at the moment and they are expecting to receive stock on this item middle of January to be able to replace it for you.

I understand this is not ideal but I'm afraid it is the only option we have to sort this out as we are also out of stock on the item.'

So, Now I'm a little bit p*ssed off. More so that nobody had gotten back to me as promised (I'm assuming) because they didn't want to tell me I'd have to wait 2 months for a replacement. So, admittedly I reply in haste and I think I come across as a little rude in this email but I've been fishing at this point for ages scooping fish out of the water with my hands expecting a quicker resolution than what I'm getting. I think them expecting me to wait another 2 months without a handle is a little excessive. I even say I'd be happy to accept a lower cost handle in replacement if that can be arranged.

'Hello -----, Thank you for getting back to me.

You're right that it's not ideal - I've been left without a landing net pole for over 2 weeks now. And now I'm being told that I'm going to be out of a landing net pole for another 2+ Months. To make matters worse, Maver have obviously ignored me, Not even having the decency to get back to me themselves, It's pretty disappointing considering a good portion of my gear is made by this company. It's not an ideal solution, nor is it ideal customer support. Far from it, I'm sure Maver have plenty of landing net poles in they could replace it with, However they choose to be awkward making me wait 2 months instead of offering a replacement, Any replacement, I'd be happy with any providing it's not telescopic. Now most companies would have offered that as a solution - I know so because I work for a company who compromise instead of palming people off and making them wait months on end for replacement products to come in stock. I wouldn't mind so much if I'd have the landing net pole for a year, But I've barely even used it and the fish that snapped it probably didn't weigh 4lbs! Now I'm having to invest another £20-40 into a brand new landing net pole while waiting for another replacement to be sent to me next year? Abysmal, I'm actually astonished that that was even suggested.

I hope you can relay this message to Maver, because I'm pretty annoyed with that response and I'm not happy with that resolution at all.

Please don't take this message as me having a go or being rude towards you - I'm not. But obviously you can understand how stupid it is that I have to personally invest more money into a landing net handle because the one I purchased originally wasn't capable of landing a match sized fish and decided to give out in less than a few outings. To then receive another landing net handle next year that I'll have no need for. '

She then replies

'Thank you for the email, and I do apologise for the slight delay in responding.

I understand that the situation is far to be ideal for you and I have contacted Maver to sort this out an offer you a more suitable resolution.
They informed me that, regarding this item, a delivery is due within 10 working days and they can propose a replacement faster than expected.

However, they can also issue a refund if it's more suitable for you.'

So I'm like sure, I'll wait another week. I've waited this long, why not a bit longer?

But nothing arrives. So I email explaining that by this point, I'd rather just accept a refund then have to wait any longer because I'm honestly bored and would rather just replace the landing net with another so I can actually get back to fishing properly. Obviously, I didn't put that last bit in but that was my mindset when asking for a refund. Then I wait some more, For an email or a new landing net.. And nothing comes. Until today, 14 days later where I eventually email once again asking what the deal is because again, I got ignored. Few hours later, I just decide to phone Angling Direct and this is where I deal with the rudest, worst customer service I've ever come across.

So, Upon answering I could tell that this guy was just not interested. Super rude phone opening and I explained the situation.

Just said hey, currently have a ticket open regarding a landing net that snapped and I've been waiting a while now and I'm wondering whats going on. He asks for a 'reference' and I give him the email reference. He somewhat bluntly tells me that's not what he 'needs' but he'll accept it. so I just continue giving him the number.

So 20 seconds of silence ensues as he enters the number into his system. Then it comes;

Him; So how'd you break the handle?
Me; I was pulling in a carp, about 3 or 4 lb and as I got it to the bank it snapped... (Just a quick run down basically as I wasn't expecting what happened next)
Him; 'So it's not the nets fault then?' or 'It's your fault then' (Cant remember as it kind of caught me off guard / disorientated me for a second lol)
Me; 'I mean how do you work that out?' (Or something similar)
Him; Basically explaining how to net a fish for a solid minute or two and how the net snapping was all my fault
Me; Well I've been fishing for the best part of 15 years mate, I used to fish weekly at commercials as a kid especially and I've been landing fish the same way and this has never happened. Never snapped a landing net pole'
Him 'Yeah I mean me too *Sniggers*

So at this point, I kind of shut down for some reason as he's kinda put me on the spot and it was really random and awkward.

Me; 'Well I'm not being funny mate but I'm fishing on a platform (idk why I said that) that's about 3m high (I was actually about 2M away from the water as it was a muddy / wet sloped bank I was fishing from). How would you propose I get the fish in any better way then I did? I put as little stress on the pole as I could given the circumstances and I do it just the same as everybody else, you're acting like I shipped the fish in above water from 3m like I'm shipping in a pole!' I don't get where the miscommunication is coming from here

Him; He f*cking explains how to net a fish again. No sh*t.

So while I'm getting an unpaid coaching session from Jamie Hughes over the phone on how to land fish, I'm just quite confused and still somewhat shocked, But at this point I'm also getting pretty f*cking annoyed so I cut straight through the s**t and ask what the crack is.

Me; 'Customer support said I'd receive a new handle... Apparently it'd be shipped within 10 days...? It's been 2 weeks?'
Him; 'Thats just an estimate if they dont go out of stock(?) before they arrive at AD (Or some rubbish like that idk wtf he was on about)
Me; 'So you're telling me I'll have to wait till January for a potential replacement again?' I think I'd prefer a refund because at this point I'm tired of waiting to be honest. It's been ages and I'm without a landing net handle'
Him; Unfortunately we can't process you a refund (For some bs reason even though I was offered a refund over email 2 weeks prior)
Me; Well cant I get a different handle shipped to me? I'll accept something lower than the originals worth.
Him; No we can't.
Me; Well It's not really acceptable mate is it? Again, Been out of a landing net pole for ages now and I'd like to get it replaced'
Him; Well there's not much we can do I'm afraid
Me; Yeah alright. Cheers for the help.
*Ends call*

Honestly, It went on for a lot longer than this (Almost 7 minutes) and the dude was quite a bit ruder than I've stated, And his tone was abysmal. But because he caught me off guard so badly I was pretty disorientated during the call I didn't take in 50% of what he said and I don't want to exaggerate or make things seem worse than they were. Honestly, I wish I had a better mindset and made a bit more of an argument for myself but I was thrown so badly off guard from the beginning. But seriously, I have no idea what the hell this guys issue was. Honestly, I'm pretty lax when it comes to this stuff and I'm pretty understanding. I made a call to Angling Direct 2 days ago about £100+ worth of items that were left 'Processing' in my order history for over a week. Yeah, The support wasn't the best and I was only compensated with a 'Sorry' even though I had to help the fella go through about 8 orders to cancel items they sold to me which were 'Out of stock / Discontinued' But the lad was apologetic, understanding and just seemed like an all-round decent chap who initiated a conversation on fishing while we sorted out the issues / refunded me while having a laugh meanwhile. This guy on the other hand was just a complete d*ckhead. Honestly, I'm hoping he just had an off-day, Because his attitude was actually pretty disgusting I'll be honest. I honestly wish I could have recorded the call to upload it for you guys to listen to. If anybody in my workplace got caught speaking to or questioning customers in that way, They'd get their sh*t shut down pretty quickly.

Ironically, about 45 minutes later I get this email (In Re from the email I sent earlier from the lady)

'Thank you for the email.

I understand your frustration regarding this matter and my colleague informed me that a replacement handle was shipped the 18th November from our warehouse.
I am very sorry to hear that you did not receive it.

Of course, if it's more suitable, I'll then refund you for the item and raise an investigation with the courier.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.
looking forward to hear from you soon.'

Sooooooooooo.... at this point, I'm just lost for words.

:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

And that's the story of how I got completely destroyed by some rando @ Angling Direct Customer Services.

I'll go back to scooping fish out of my local with nothing but a landing net head now.
 

stephenk

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Get the cash back (through your card company if necessary) and get a handle from a local tackle shop.
 

Paul.P

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& this is why you shouldn't go to big shops like AD, a lot of there employees just clock on & clock off & don't give a monkeys, much better going to a local shop imo.
 

Rick123

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I think they tried to handle your problem like most shops these days. You're rights are that you get 30 days to return an item for any reason, after then its the manufactures problem, not Angling Direct. I've also learned being rude, angry or ironic does not work when you're asking someone for help. They respond to how you behave to them, be rude and get what you deserve. You also have to understand trying to lift a carp of any size directly form above with the handle and net taking all the strain has potential problems with the best of gear. I understand the steep banks and other you mention, but then you're the one fishing the place, you need a different approach for such venues maybe. Most fishing gear does not have any warranty, how long do you expect items to last? A week, a month, a year? Who do you think should be out of pocket, you the shop or makers, its always someone?

Myself, I would have written a polite letter to Maver and Angling Direct, explaining you had modest funds and choose a good manufacture and established shop to buy from, and expected a good after-sales service from both. That while you understand that fishing gear does not last forever, you would expect a landing net to last a season or two of reasonable use. And could they between them come up with another replacement for you, as one you have waited patiently without a net now for several weeks, and two you do not have sufficient funds to replace it? Remind them good will goes a long way, and you would ensure everyone would know what a good service Maver offer? Finally that you would like a reply within 14 days please? I'd also send pictures of the net, and receipt showing date brought. Maybe that would get you the response you expect, I'd hope so? Agree if possible go local so they know your face.
 

RedRidingHood

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I think they tried to handle your problem like most shops these days. You're rights are that you get 30 days to return an item for any reason, after then its the manufactures problem, not Angling Direct. I've also learned being rude, angry or ironic does not work when you're asking someone for help. They respond to how you behave to them, be rude and get what you deserve. You also have to understand trying to lift a carp of any size directly form above with the handle and net taking all the strain has potential problems with the best of gear. I understand the steep banks and other you mention, but then you're the one fishing the place, you need a different approach for such venues maybe. Most fishing gear does not have any warranty, how long do you expect items to last? A week, a month, a year? Who do you think should be out of pocket, you the shop or makers, its always someone?

Myself, I would have written a polite letter to Maver and Angling Direct, explaining you had modest funds and choose a good manufacture and established shop to buy from, and expected a good after-sales service from both. That while you understand that fishing gear does not last forever, you would expect a landing net to last a season or two of reasonable use. And could they between them come up with another replacement for you, as one you have waited patiently without a net now for several weeks, and two you do not have sufficient funds to replace it? Remind them good will goes a long way, and you would ensure everyone would know what a good service Maver offer? Finally that you would like a reply within 14 days please? I'd also send pictures of the net, and receipt showing date brought. Maybe that would get you the response you expect, I'd hope so? Agree if possible go local so they know your face.

Sorry mate, But at what point was I rude?

Every peg on that lake is exactly the same. I land fish no different than anybody else on the lake, or people in similar situations.

I did what was requested, And was told the handling time time would be 10 days. This to me was excessive but I took it with grace. I waited 11-12 days before getting back in touch and I asked what the deal was. They replied stating I'd basically been ignored by Maver Before telling me I'd have to wait another 2 months for a piece of kit that's critical to fishing. Admittedly, I was disappointed but at no point did I act out, start hurling abuse and such. I even told the lady specifically at the bottom that the reply was more so aimed at Maver for leaving me in the dark regarding the situation instead of popping me an email as requested and I didn't want to appear rude to her at all as it's not her problem.

She then offered a refund or a replacement within 10 days as 'Maver would have some in sooner than expected' and I opted to wait, patiently again and nothing arrived after like... Well up until now.

I then requested a refund - Politely And I get ignored. By Her? Maver? I don't know.

I then sent a follow up email again asking if theres any follow up, Then I decided to phone up a few hours later. Again, during this call I was not rude at all. I'm never rude to anybody.

Again, Over the past week Angling Direct let me down on over £115.00 worth of ordered stuff which totalled to over 10+ items which were sold to me under the premise of being in stock when they were out of stock. This is pure incompetence on their side which again, I took with a pinch of salt. The guy I spoke to on the phone was a good fella, who wasn't rude and condescending and I felt bad making him go through all this work to get things sorted ASAP so he didn't have to waste his quiet evening at work faffing around. So much so that instead of making him go through orders I pulled up the order pages myself and gave him the order numbers to make his life easier! I was even apologetic for making him go through all these orders to get me all sorted out. In return he was 'embarrassed' but I told him it's totally fine - Mistakes happen. We had a laugh, spoke about fishing and I went on my merry way.

At the end of the day mate, I treat people how they treat me. I never picked up the phone to start an argument, or be rude. Merely to try and solve an issue that's been stalled for weeks and weeks without resolution. If I'm promised something, And I'm consistently being let down then yes - It's going to be frustrating.

Don't tell me someone will be in touch within 10 days then leave me in the dark for 2 weeks.
Don't promise replacements within 10 days then leaving me waiting in the dark for upwards of a month.
Then when I request a refund which was also promised to me - Ignore me.
Then when I phone up for an update, ignore all the above, act like things are my fault and deny me any resolution even though I've been promised all the above over and over again!

As for locals, Neither of my tackle shops sell decent landing net handles. I went into one a few days ago and he had 3-4 landing net handles in stock. The other is just as bad. I support my local tackle shops as much as possible, but sometimes it's just not feasible.

Edit; Sorry this post isn't worded the way i'd like but at work.
cheers
 
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RedRidingHood

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& this is why you shouldn't go to big shops like AD, a lot of there employees just clock on & clock off & don't give a monkeys, much better going to a local shop imo.

As above mate, I'm fortunate enough to have 2 tackle shops local, However they're exactly that. Tackle shops.

Not much good for Poles / Landing net poles. One has a decent Rod selection but that's about it :(
 

brian carragher

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I'm struggling to see why you're having a pop at AD

It seems that maver are trying to help but without stock they're unable to at present, much like AD, who seem to have acted in good faith as intermediaries who like maver, also don't have the stock
 

Rick123

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The whole tone of your original post was an angry one, and you called it a rant, not me?
 

RedRidingHood

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The whole tone of your original post was an angry one, and you called it a rant, not me?

So my 'tone' during a text based forum post is an example of me being rude to people via Email and Phone? Alright mate(?) o_O (y)

Can show you all the emails if you like? I was civil, As was the woman who answered the emails. lol.

The only point I was even the smallest bit rude was when she told me I'd have to wait 2 months for a replacement and I replied in haste. Even then I mentioned that the email wasn't at her, and directly aimed at Maver whom I had no direct contact with even though they were supposed to mail me but didn't because they just couldn't be bothered, I guess? I even asked her to relay the email to them.

Even after being lied to on several occasions, And ignored by both Angling Direct and Maver themselves two or three times I still contact them with the intentions of remaining civil and polite.. And I was.

Regardless, I have a reason to be pissed about this situation. This is gross incompetence on their side and it's not on. I've never dealt with anything like. I wasn't even massively bothered until yesterday when I had to deal with whoever I was speaking to on the phone.

You'll be happy to know that if a resolution isn't made by Monday this week I'll let it go because I can't be bothered anymore as I've just ordered a new handle. Hey, They can even keep the handle they've basically stolen from me at this point in return for all the abuse, rudeness and harassment I've put them through... lol.
 

Rick123

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If you're in the right, you're entitled to a refund or pole. I'd not let something like this go, its just me. I don't get angry I get even. It will be all about evidence and putting your case in a professional manner to the companies involved. Myself and another member more recently, had similar problems. The resolution is in your hands, it will cost you nothing to make a decent case. Good luck. Rich.
 

G0zzer2

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You may have a good case, but I have some sympathy with AD. You had used the pole ten times. It's difficult to haul a fish up two metres without bending the pole a little, so I can see why they would be sceptical.

Looks to me as if they made their original promises in good faith, but were unable to stick to them. It happens, though it's not an excuse for rudeness. I always carry an extending bankstick and a spare landing net handle. I accept that these things breaking is part of fishing. It's one of the prices we pay for progress, and items now being so light.
 
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