How to lose customers

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nottingham_exterior_img_060115In recent months at home we have been having quite a lot of work done to make the house more pleasant. This has involved dealing with various tradesmen and retailers. I like to think that I choose both carefully, but as experience has shown using the ‘market leader’ isn’t always the best approach…

I have established a relationship with an excellent plumber, a small builder and a kitchen installer. All 3 are great to deal with and do a first rate job – they are also sole traders.

I am not sure why but we decided to use John Lewis (JL) for flooring, curtains and blinds, the flooring has been done in 2 stages; Stage one was the kitchen, it wasn’t totally pain free but the job was completed well (more down to the self employed fitters). But I did have issues with J L and they paid me compensation – enough said.

This week my living room floor should have been laid – it’s timber and needs a fitter to install it. Initially we were told fitting would be 4 weeks from order, but then when we accepted the quote it became 8 weeks! That was also after they found the flooring they had sold us wasn’t actually made any more…A conversation with JL got fitting down to a more acceptable 5 weeks, which was up this week. All should therefore be fine – except it isn’t.

The flooring has been delivered but the fitter couldn’t actually lay the floor as it needs a levelling screed – something that JL should have checked (but didn’t) when they quoted. The fitter was great about it and we are now being fitted in a couple of weeks. But, JL initially wanted me to pay for the screed that they missed – suffice to say after a ‘conversation’, they are now paying for it!

This isn’t our only issue with JL in recent weeks though, we have also had problems with the curtain and blind orders. The process has dragged on for at least a month longer than it should have done due to initial sample requests not being processed and then the order papers not being sent through to the booking office from the shop. Again not what you expect from JL.

So all in all a fairly poor performance from JL, not according to them what they aim for in customer care, but as they say – three strikes and you are out. They won’t be getting any big orders from me in future, I will use local traders and retailers who are recommended to me.

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2 thoughts on “How to lose customers

    Richard Baker said:
    June 2, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Don’t you just hate it when ‘trusted’ brands let service dangle by a thread? Just had a similar experience with M&S, albeit on a mich smaller scale. Try ordering a pair of shoes they haven’t got in stock (stunningly, ‘stock’ was all they had on the shelves) and it’s money up front or computer says no. For something you haven’t seen or tried on!
    When will they learn that investing in tech isn’t the same as investing in service?

    Simon Dare responded:
    June 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Richard, I gather they have ‘staffing issues’ which is causing issues. Frankly I don’t care, they offer a service and you live and die by your delivery of that service. I will be interested to see what they come back to me with – but they have lost me for any future big ticket sales….

    Interestingly I have also used Richer Sounds recently who are in effect a discounter and their service has been amazing, so it’s not just down to cost….

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