By Ian Neubauer

ADELAIDE: The owner of a small appliance store in rural South Australia contacted to report problems she experienced after ordering a vacuum cleaner from Nilfisk Advance, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of professional cleaning appliances.

Country Electrical and Newsagency proprietor, Cheryll Hanley, said she ordered a Nilfisk GWD335 commercial vacuum cleaner, sack filter and three dust bags from Nilfisk on October 16. She said she was assured the model was in stock and available for next delivery. The order was confirmed and paid for by credit card the following day.

On October 22 Hanley received only the sack filter and dust bag. When she called Nilfisk to complain, she was told the model was not in stock. Hanley said that after several weeks of contacting Nilfisk, she cancelled the order with Nilfisk and sourced the model from Adelaide-based distributor Statewide Appliances, which delivered the unit within a number of days.

“Nilfisk has always been a good brand … and it was through a recent write up in ‘Appliance Retailer’ magazine that the customer placed the order for a product not on the floor,” Hanley said. “But when the machine didn’t arrive, the customer was coming into the store everyday and getting very upset about it. I am totally disappointed with Nilfisk’s service and hope I don’t have to deal with them again.”

Hanley said that despite cancelling the order last week, she was yet to receive a refund from Nilfisk.

Nilfisk Advance state manager — South Australia, Peter Kerwin, said this morning his company had no intention of holding back the refund and he would personally intervene to expedite the matter.

Kerwin said the unfilled order was the result of unforeseen logistical complications.

“At the time when the original quote was done the model was in stock,” Kerwin said. “But by the time the transaction was put through, stock had been depleted.”

Kerwin said he offered to freight a unit to Hanley from Darwin but she rejected the offer because of the time it would take to reach her store. He said he then put her in contact with Statewide Appliances—even though it meant losing the sale.

“As far as I am concerned I did everything in my power to get her the machine. It is just one of those unfortunate situations,” he said.

Statewide Appliances sales director, Mark Harrison, confirmed Nilfisk had contacted his company to fulfill the order.

“In all seriousness we were a little lucky on this one. It just happened that Nilfisk were out of stock and they rang us up on the odd chance that we had one,” he said.

Harrison said he was 100 per cent satisfied with his dealings with Nilfisk.

“Their vacuum cleaners last a long time and Peter Kerwin is an honest man,” he said. “I don’t have any problems with Nilfisk.”

Hanley said Nilfisk’s explanation was no excuse.

“It was just plain carelessness,” she said. “When a customer orders something in my shop, whether they pay for it or not, we put that item away for them. I’ve got no bad feelings toward Peter, I just don’t like being stuffed around.”

Hanley contacted today to report she had received a phone call from Nilfisk’s head office in Sydney to notify her that a refund would be issued by the close of business today.