Hot! A Nation of Poor Quality Goods and Customer Service

Great BritainGreat Britain used to be great. We were a nation of innovators, having invented things such as the Electric Motor, Internal Combustion Engine, Penicilin and Radar. We were also a nation of manufacturers, producing quality products which were exported around the globe. Unfortunately products are rarely made here now even if the company is British, and a lot are of poorer quality than they used to be. This has increased the amount of problems we have as consumers as we increasingly receive badly made goods which either arrive not looking as advertised or packing up within a year of purchase.

However it’s not here that the problem ends, it’s when you contact (or try to contact) the shop or manufacturer. The first challenge is trying to track down who to contact. If it’s a website companies often make it very difficult to find the information you need and deliberately don’t have an email address that you can use, forcing you to either write in or call an 0845 telephone number. So before you even get to speak to anyone your already frustrated by the hassle of navigating the automated telephone system and then being put in a queue, and nine times out of ten you will find that they need to transfer you to another department. So already you wished you never bought the product or from a particular shop, as well as the calls costing you time and money. You then get through to the correct person and often find the shop telling you that you need to contact the manufacturer and the manufacturer telling you to return it to the point of sale. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

I’ve had a month of hell caused by poor quality products and poor customer service. First off I’d ordered some new furniture from a company called oakfurnitureland. I went into one of their stores and ordered a dining table and chairs and a sideboard. The price was very good and the product looked good too so in Eight weeks time I was awaiting delivery of my goods. On arrival the packaged goods were signed for and the delivery men left. When I unpacked the table I found that the edge of the table was very rough and splintered. I then unpacked the Four chairs and found on one chair one leg was shorter than the others and on another there was a crack in the wood which had splintered. The chairs didn’t look very good quality either, they were obviously an oak veneer but it was poorly done. You could see straight lines where one strip of veneer stopped and another started in a different colour. There was no subtle blend from one into another which is what I would expect on a well made piece of furniture. It didn’t stop there. I opened the sideboard and found a large crack across the top of the sideboard, hows that for luck? Six items of which Four were faulty. Unfortunately their delivery servcie does not allow for you to unpack and inspect before signing so I now had the hassle of contacting their customer services. I had to visit their website www.oakfurnitureland.co.uk in order to submit my problem. They required that I photograph the damage and also photograph stickers which were on each item. That was a royal pain!. Someone from the company parent JB Global would contact me.
They were helpful and said that they would send someone out to repair the table and that they would replace the Two chairs and sideboard but it would be a couple of weeks. The table was sanded but shortly after that the table started sloping and became unusable. It turned out that bolts in the legs were pulling apart. So we’ve had the hassle of photographing the furniture, contacting the company, but we’d also got rid of our old table and sideboard so now had nowhere for the family to eat and had a large boxed sideboard stuck in the dining room for weeks.
Eventually the replacement chairs arrive which have legs that match but the sideboard arrives and there is a mark on one of the doors! Aaaaaaaargh! That was it we had to go to the hassle of photographing the table and sideboard again and decided that we wanted a refund on everything. This took a lot of chasing on our part and and them repeatedly saying someone would call us back and it never happening. It was then that we read a lot of reviews of oakfurnitureland which had people reporting problems and being unable to get a refund. Our problem was getting them first to agree to refund us and then to get them to pickup the furniture. We’d already had their boxes stuck in our house or weeks and were getting quite peeved. In the end we were forced to threaten them with a chargeback on the credit card and that we would then dump the furniture on our front lawn. It was only then that they gave us a refud and collection date. We were fortunate enough to of paid by credit card but it sounds like others were left fortunate.

To sum up I would never use oakfurnitureland again. There is a saying that you get what you pay for and I think that is the case with them. The quality in my opinion was poor and isn’t how I remembered it in their showroom and the customer service left a lot to be desired. After all the grief they caused us they never offered any compensation or even an apology which is a sign of a bad company in my opinion. They even wanted the free mirror back which we received.
We ended up paying a bit more elsewhere but the quality and sevice was considerably better. They even loaned us a table whilst we awaited delivery of ours.

Having taken so long to write this post I don’t think theres room for my report on my broken Epsom printer from comet which is only a month old. Or for a post about my Eight month old dishwasher from Laskys (owned by comet) whom came out to repair it and never put the drain hose back and flooded my kitchen warping my floor. This is ongoing so may warrant a post of it’s own. So far we have had to repeatedly chase them, have been told someone had tried to ring us 3 times, although no one has and whom we have chased and still haven’t been called back.

Sort it out britain!

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