Thursday, 16 September 2010

DIY Chain Fiasco

During my 5 week absence we had the family bathroom ripped apart and renewed.

During this exercise I realised how much I truly despise one of the major DIY Warehouses in the UK. 30% and I went along and ordered various ceramic items, some taps and a rather nice heated towel radiator that would look just splendid and pump out plenty of heat in room that could be described as chilly.

OK, the orders were placed and we waited patiently. Everything arrived and was put to one side for Steve and Andy to sort out. Week one of the project was to rip out the old bathroom and re-plaster in prep for week 2 when the tiling and fitting would take place.

During a tea break Andy and Steve got bored and decide to have a peep at the towel radiator and noticed that one of the legs was badly bent. I rang the aforementioned DIY chain and they advised that a replacement would be sent in the next 48 hours. Fortunately I was on sick leave so would be there to receive the goods but did feel that under normal circumstances a 48 hour delivery window fell in to the category of taking the piss.

48 hours later the replacement rad had failed to arrive so I called again. This time the DIY chain didn't really want to do anything and I ended up talking to their Supplier. They committed to having on on-site the following day.

Well another day waiting for the rad went well - I watched a couple of episodes of Star Trek on the telly had some lunch and all of this was only occasionally disturbed by Andy and Steve plastering. Mid afternoon I decided to give the rad Supplier a friendly call to see how they were and where my rad was.....

.... "Oh, we tried to deliver it but you weren't in"......

I bit my tongue and patiently explained that I was. "Ah but our driver knocked your door and got no answer. You have a blue front door". I replied "You're right I didn't answer because I have an oak front door. I think your driver called at the wrong address".

After a few calls the driver was diverted and he finally arrived at our house. I excitedly opened the package to inspect the goods before signing them only to find that the replacement rad was also bent in the same place. I declined to accept the delivery and hit the phone again.

Now we had a dilemma. We were about to leave for our holiday and Andy and Steve were due to start the re-fit on our return in just over a weeks time. We patiently explained this to both the DIY chain and their Supplier and they advised that they would have a new rad on site on the first working day after the bank holiday and would call us to confirm that it had arrived.

So moving forward 11 days, there I was waiting for the rad.

It probably comes as no surprise that it didn't arrive so I called the Supplier having decided that the DIY chain couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

They advised that the girl who normally deals with this is on holiday and it hasn't been checked in the warehouse as being OK for delivery. I fumed and asked for the Manager. I held for 15 minutes and then she advised that the replacement was also damaged, no new stocks were due in until the following week and she couldn't give a new date for delivery as they would need to be checked prior to delivery  in view of all the problems.

I thanked her for her assistance and advised that we no longer wanted the radiator. I also advised that I had wasted 4 days waiting for a serviceable item to be delivered and was not best impressed. I also pointed out that I still had the original damaged unit and if they wanted it back they would collect it at my convenience not theirs i.e. on a Saturday not a week day.

In the background Andy & Steve had asked to put off the refit for a week as they had a patio job that had been delayed by poor weather. This was fortunate as it gave me a chance to order a replacement rad. I took a gamble on an Internet supplier that offered a similar product with a 24 hour delivery and punched in my card details.

The Gods smiled on us for once - about bloody time after the palaver described above - and the rad arrived intact and also considerably less costly than the original one. We also got confirmation of our refund from the DIY chain.

Ah - all is well that ends well ..............  except for the fact that during the week of the bathroom refit I had a call from the original rad supplier to let me know that my (cancelled) rad would be delivered the next day.

In view of the fact that

  • I had spent 4 days waiting for them to NOT sort out a problem
  • Made many phone calls to people who couldn't give a toss

    ....  and received that "Customer Service Classic statement"
  • "That's not my problem"
I decided to play dumb and let the stupid sods deliver the damn thing.

The outcome of this is that I now have two £500 towel radiators in my garage; one of which is bent and the other is un-inspected. Neither have been paid for.

Am sorely tempted to list the damn things on eBay.

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