Sorry, but this is another tale of customer dissatisfaction. I don’t mean to bore you, but surely we shouldn’t have to put up with this sort of sh*t. How can it be so hard?
Today, a tale in 2 parts.
Part 1: Sales Prevention Officers
We recently spent over £350 on curtains and cushions from Dunelm (that’s in Part 2). When practically the next day our wall-mounted coat racks fell off the wall, Rachel remembered some nice looking furniture she’d seen there that would be great for storing all our shoes and boots. So she went back on a mission to spend another £150 or so.
However, the only unit available that she wanted was slightly shop-damaged with a small, virtually invisible crack near the base of the unit.
The following is a recreation of the conversation she had with the Dunelm sales assistants (no, honestly, that’s their real title).
Never mind about the crack, can I still buy it?
[long pause] Er, I don’t really expect to pay full price for a damaged item.
[deadpan] It’s not our policy to discount shop-damaged goods.
You’d knowingly sell a less-than-perfect item for full price?
It’s actually not our policy to sell shop-damaged goods at all, but if you do want to buy this one, we wouldn’t discount it.
[long pause while Rachel absorbs the fact they are deadly serious] So what are my options?
[optimistically] You can buy it online, and it could be delivered within a couple of weeks.
But I’m here now, and I’d like to take this one home in the car. I’ve driven 30 miles to get here and you have something I want to buy. Did I mention I’m still waiting for my £350 curtains? You’d rather write this stock off at its full value than sell it to me with a discount…?
In the end Rachel walked out. I’ve never been more proud of her (except maybe at the births of our daughters). But then (and I’m proud of this too) she went back… to speak to the manageress, who phoned Head Office and eventually came back with a 20% (£30) discount. Rachel would have accepted £10 (it’s that small a blemish) if it had been offered at the start…
Part 2: In time for Christmas … (next year?)
“Order curtains before 11th December for delivery in time for Christmas” said the signs instore, and so did the man on the phone. So we ordered on 8th December, for the sole purpose of having new curtains and our revamped open fire in time for Christmas.
By 23rd December the chimney was swept and the new grate had been made by the very nice people at Cherington Forge (in time for Christmas). But there had been no contact from Dunelm, so we called them. Noone could trace our order. Noone could tell us when the curtains would be ready, but we were promised a call back. But noone called back.
We called again between Christmas and New Year, and received the same chaotic response, as though Dunelm was shrugging its shoulders, staring at the ground and mumbling “er, I dunno” like a child standing over a broken toy. The workshops are closed for the festive season, and evidently their ‘system’ (a massive overclaim if ever there was one) is so prehistoric that noone except the workshops have any idea if our curtains are still just rolls of fabric, and if or when they might ever be completed.
We’ve left more messages, but we’re still waiting for a call. By now it’s also evident that had we waited until after Christmas to order the curtains, as in fact we didn’t really need them for Christmas, we could have saved 20% as there’s now a sale on. We have every intention of getting at least 20% discount on the full price we paid… I’ll keep you posted.
Update: 24th January 2010
If anyone even cares any more (Rachel and I are close to giving up, and I’m certain that Dunelm have), the saga has rumbled on. A couple of days after the last post, we called Dunelm, where I spoke to someone who seemed to be listening to our discontent and took our complaints seriously. He investigated and actually called us back. It transpires that when our order was placed, the fabric was out of stock. Either noone thought to tell us, or indeed the Dunelm systems weren’t up to it, and so the order just got swallowed.
Anyway, we were told the curtains would be ready by 20th January. At this stage we informed our New Hero in customer service that (a) we wanted the 20% discount, and (b) we wanted something else on top of that for all the hassle we’ve had to go through… He said he would get back to us.
But he didn’t. We called the store. They would honour the 20%, but anything else wasn’t their fault. In fact they’re right. The staff at the store have been pretty good throughout this saga. We called Our Man (no longer a hero) again. He had been away for a few days, but our case hadn’t been picked up in his absence. We told him again about our demand for a further discount. He indicated he was sympathetic to us and would arrange for vouchers in time for us to collect the curtains.
But he didn’t do that either. The vouchers never came. We have the curtains now, and we’re delighted. But as for Dunelm’s so-called customer service team, I’ve given up on them. We’re going over their heads.