John Winning, CEO of Winning Appliances, Appliances Online and BigBrownBox, has hit out at the pro forma (also known as agency) system of selling, saying that some of the companies operating this system are not as interested in customer service as they should be.

In a post on his website, John Winning praised Miele for how it runs its Chartered Agents system, while also publishing a complaint letter from a disgruntled customer of a different brand.

“Miele is an example of a pro forma brand with exceptional standards of customer service; a standard which impressed me because this is a company that has been a wholesaler and has successfully adapted their brand to act as a retailer — not an easy change for such an old business,” Winning said.

Unfortunately for Winning, not all experiences are as positive, and even though the retailer is not actually processing pro forma sales, they are the ones that receive the complaints.

“Many pro forma brands made us look bad: those who don’t deliver goods with their own trucks usually rely on third party transport options, and many of these break items and some refuse to bring a product further than the front door, leaving the customer to install it.

“As part of our service offering we take away the old appliance and all the packaging to be recycled, but some pro forma brands don’t offer all of our services.

“Simply put, they just don’t care about our customers as much as we do. In their minds, we are the customer, not the people actually buying their products. Yet this thinking is inherently flawed.”