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Member Name: cat44
Date: 17/10/02, updated on 17/10/02 (4340 review reads)
Advantages: competative prices
Disadvantages: poor customer service
I have often used Wickes for my everyday DIY needs as the prices are fairly competative and as long as you have a good idea of what you need the store is simple enough to use.
I decided to buy my new bathroom from Wickes and ran into a few problems though, mainly their level of customer service.
When my husband and I went in to buy the bathroom we were seen fairly quickly by a bathroom consultant who took our order and went through everything, including financing with us. The whole process took about half an hour. We paid the deposit and we were given the relevant paperwork. The sales invoice said that we would be contacted in a few days by the delivery company to arrange a date for delivery. This didn't happen.
After nearly 5 weeks I contacted the store, (There were no other contact details given to me), who rather that chase it up themselves gave me a number to call. The number that they had given me was for the kitchen delivery company, who had to give me the correct number. I phoned the bathroom delivery company who told me that I should have been told that it could take up to 6 weeks, and not a few days as it said on my invoice.
At 6 weeks I contacted Wickes again, and when they got back to me they told me there had been a slight delay but that I was 'next in line' to get my suite. At 7 weeks I decided to call the delivery company directly as it took Wickes at least 3 days to return a phone call as these matters can only be dealt with by a 'design consultant' who appear to work independantly of the store. I no longer had the delivery phone number and had to phone Wickes again for it. I was told that nobody knew what the number was and I'd have to wait for someone to phone me back to give it to me. No one ever did.
I eventually got the number from the kitchen delivery company, (whos number I had found), and was suprised to find that not only was I not 'next in line' for a suite, but t
hat there were 4 orders ahead of me. I explained the situation to the company, that I had been mis-informed several times, and I managed to find a sympathetic ear. They agreed a delivery date that was 8 weeks after my order date.
When the suite arrived it was fine except for the taps. The taps that I received were not the same ones that were pictured in the brochure as going with the suite, and the bath taps were individual taps, not the mixer that I had been told I was getting. The design was completely different and I honestly hated them.
As my phone call to the store about it again went unreturned I went into the store with the taps and explained the problem. The design consultant said that he would fax the bathroom company about the taps and that the bathroom company would be in touch. I impressed on him the urgency of the situation as I now had an entire batroom suite taking up a room in my house as I could not install it without the taps.
The next day I contacted the bathroom company as I had heard nothing. The person I spoke to was suprised to hear that they were supposed to have received a fax as they were normally contacted by the stores by phone, and they hadn't received anything. I explained to him that I had been sent the wrong taps, and he told me that I had in fact been sent the correct taps, that the picture in the brochure was wrong.
I went back to the store and went to customer returns as the design consultant had been no help so far. I was seen by a helpful member of staff called Richard. We looked at the taps, and I showed him the brochure that I had kept from the time I ordered the suite and it was obvious that the taps were different. The bathroom brochure that was instore had in fact been reprinted with the error corrected, the rest of the brochure was exactly the same.
The taps that I had thought I would be getting were more expensive, and I had used a finance plan to buy the entire suite. If
I were to return the taps, I would still have to pay interest on them as I had signed a credit agreement. I was told that the only solution would be to return the entire suite and reorder it signing a new agreement.
I wrote to the store manager asking that he either replace the taps for the ones that I had ordered, or refund me the money for the taps I had been sent plus extra for the interest I would be paying. I said that it was urgent as I was now tripping over the suite which I couldn't install until I had the taps. I marked the letter urgent and delivered it by hand, making sure that he was actually in the store at the time.
When I hadn't heard from hin in a week I phoned the store and was told that he would call me back. I phoned him over the next couple of days and finally got to speak to him. I asked him why it was taking so long to make a decision about what to do, and he told me that he hadn't opened the letter yet, therefore he was not late in responding to it.
Eventually though they did send me the taps that I had ordered, and the suite was fine.
Wickes is a fine store as long as you never have a problem with what you buy. They are not equipped to deal with problems and have no customer service except for refunds.
This Wickes is in Hatfield/St Albans