Andy Barkley´s profile

Reviews (10)

DiamondGeezer.com

sparkly rocks - great service - great prices

I don't buy diamonds too often. 4 times in my life. First time was engagement ring long before the internet was invented!
Second time was an eternity ring - also before the internet.
In 2009 I bought a diamond pendant from Diamond Geezer, and today I took delivery of a pair of diamond earrings. All for my lovely lady.
The help and advice from D.G. is great. Maybe it's great from other places too - but D.G. put me at ease, and give good, no-pressure advice.
When I ordered the pendant, D.G. couldn't make their promised delivery date. They were very apologetic - and, in fact, sent me a 'substitute' pendant so that I had something to offer on the big day.
I learned from the experience and ordered the earrings in plenty of time so that even if there was a delay, I'd have them on time.
Although I know very little about diamonds, I can truly say that 'Triple X' diamonds truly are eye catching and sparkle like fire. I looked in a posh jeweller's in town today and their best offerings looked drab in comparison. They were BIGGER but lacked the scintillation of D.G.'s Triple X offerings.
I've no reservations recommending them - apart from advising that you allow plenty of delivery time.

Autoglass®

Pro Service & good customer communication - but can they cope with failure?

In my 40 year motoring experience I've had 6 or 7 screen replacements with Autoglass, and never had any complaints. They do things when they say they will and always keep me informed. I'd recommend them.
Two weeks ago they replaced my windscreen with the professionalism I've come to expect from them.
BUT...
Last week, I noticed the carpet in the passenger footwell was absolutely soaking. The service manager at my local Peugeot main dealer confirmed that a faulty screen seal was the most likely cause. He also said that if the water is running down the bulkhead between the cabin and engine compartment, it's possible that some electronics mounted behind the glovebox may have got wet - and that this type of damage may not show symptoms for months.
Also, whilst looking under the bonnet to see if the leak was 'obvious' I found a piece of rubber seal on the passenger side scuttle in the engine compartment. So.... the car is going back to Autoglass tomorrow to have the leak repaired. Again - I'm impressed with the prompt and courteous way they dealt with my phone call tto arrange this. I'm a teacher, and so on week days it's difficult to reach me by phone when I'm in the classroom. I called them at 8:15am and their call centre asked when would be a good time to call back . I said 11:20 and they were as good as their word!
I'll add to this review when the outcome of the repair job is known. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about the part I found, and also what their attitude will be if there is an subsequent faults due to the water ingress.
I firmly believe that the true quality of a company's customer service is apparent in the way they manage problems.

Well the car spent the day at Autoglass. They removed the screen and found no leak. They left a message on voicemail and I phoned them at lunch. I was put through to their technician and he said to remove the screen they cut the sealant all the way round. If the cut surface is gloss, it's a watertight seal. If it's matt finish, its leaky. He spoke with an air of informed confidence. He said the screen was leak free, but he had done some research on my behalf and thought the problem lay with the air-con water drain being blocked. The quality of their communication was faultless. I picked up the car at 5:40. No charge. Of course I still don't know for sure where the water is coming from - but I think it's safe to say its not from the screen. Updated review to 5 stars

Yodel

Reviews don't tell whole story

My original opinion of Yodel was not good. They called when we were out and left a card saying they would try again the following day.
I left the card taped to my mailbox advising of a safe location to leave the package.
When we returned, the driver left a note saying s/he couldn't leave the item because a signature on the electronic notepad was required.
I then spent a long while on Fri/Saturday trying unsuccessfully to call Yodel and also arrange delivery to my workplace via their website (myyodel.co.uk).
Eventually I googled things like 'email addresses for yodel' etc and rattled off a few emails.
I also read the many reviews on Trust Pilot and they gave me little hope of a good outcome.
But I got sympathetic and prompt replies, and the resultant email conversations ensured my parcel was duly delivered to my workplace today.
I think yodel's website could be better. It seems I was unable to redirect to my workplace because the sender would not allow this option. But when I tried to do so, the Yodel webpage gave a message saying the service was 'temporarily unavailable' and to 'try later'.
I think the on line trader should make it clear at the time of purchase the type of delivery and options available.
And I think employers should be more accommodating to allow deliveries for staff to be made to their workplace.
I also think you, dear reader, should make a point of posting good experiences as well as bad. Looking at the stats for delivery companies, they are all very poor - yet my overall experience of DHL, FedEx, UPS, Parcelforce and others has, in the main been good.

Radiators.co.uk

Still awaiting delivery

Needed an item. Ffound it & placed order on radiators.co.uk. That was 12 days ago. No replies to my voicemail. There is plenty of other online suppliers & I won't be using radiators.co.uk again.

Lamy

Precision pens with perfect after sales

I own a Lamy 2000 fountain pen and it is just such a perfect design. Practical for daily use and beautiful to look at.
I returned it to the factory in Germany recently for a refurbishment (it had developed a slight leak), and it was promptly returned, looking like new and once again writing perfectly. And no charge!!

Madgetts

Like all bike shops ought to be.

I've lived in several parts of the UK and without doubt Mick Madgett's shop in Diss is the best bike shop I've ever known. Mick is equally courteous with seasoned club cyclists or novices. He has patience for kids who want their Halford specials 'sorted out cheap', and in this online cut-price world can offer a lifetime's experience and still match the cheapest web prices. I buy an awful lot of stuff on line and feel no guilt when I see overpriced and unhelpful local retailers of TVs and vacuum cleaners go bust as a result. But shops like Madgetts deserve your support. No doubt there are Mick Madgett clones in provincial towns up and down the country. Support them!!

Hot Tub Barn

We have absolutely nothing but praise for Hot Tub Barn

From our first visit to the Chelmsford showroom, Hot Tub Barn have been a delight to do business with. We have lots of spa suppliers closer to hand - but I've become a big fan of taking advice from TrustPilot reviews ever since I had a bad experience with a bedroom supplier ('Hammonds' - read my review!) and wish I had taken the TrustPilot advice of many of their customers before dealing with them!
I'll not rant on about how much we enjoy the hot tub 'cos I think if you're reading this you already are fairly sure you want one, and already know just how relaxing a soak in one can be.
But I will urge you to buy from Hot Tub Barn because for such a financial commitment, you don't want anything to go wrong, and, with only a single exception, ALL the reviews on TrustPilot are positive. (If you're unfamiliar with TrustPilot, hardly any company gets 100% positive reviews)
In the showroom, when we were gathering information, Stephanie was a great help. She answered all our questions fully and we never felt any pressure to make a commitment to buy. Initially we had planned to shop around, and Stephanie was OK about that, and gave us lots of advice about key things to look out for wherever we shopped. We returned to the showroom the following week complete with our swimwear and tried a few tubs, had even more of their fresh coffee, and made a securing payment on a spa.
We were given all the technical details about the base requirements and electricity supply and over the next few weeks we prepared the site. Hot Tub Barn were very relaxed about delivery - i.e. they would fit in with our plans, and when we had the site ready and the supply cable installed we made arrangements for the tub to be installed.
Dave and William arrived on time on the scheduled day, and installed the tub in a very professional way - Dave had obviously done it many times before and William was his able assistant.
From start to finish there was only one very minor problem - and I think the mark of good customer service is how problems are dealt with - in particular keeping customers informed:
A week before delivery, Gail called to say there was a problem supplying the correct cover for our hot tub, but that they would fit a suitable one in lieu until the correct one arrived.
This was all OK with us, and a day or two after installation, Hot Tub Barn called to say the cover was now with them and they could deliver on Friday. They phoned to confirm on the Thursday, and on the Friday, their engineer called first thing in the morning to advise us when he would be arriving. Perfect!!!
If, like us, this is your first hot-tub experience, be prepared for getting used to daily and periodic maintenance. Although it's neither time consuming not difficult, you should be aware that to keep the water fresh and sparkly you must add daily treatment, and periodically clean the filter, test the water for alkalinity, pH and chlorine content etc. We bought a years supply of all necessary chemicals, and these arrived with the hot tub. Stephanie advised us how much of each we would need, and they arrived with the tub, all neatly packed in a convenient plastic crate.
As for advice on choosing your tub, visit the showroom and be prepared to get in to tubs to try them for size - particularly if you're quite tall like I am.
Although they all come with a variety of jets and water features - and certainly the massaging effect is very relaxing, we quite like sitting in the warm water with the jets etc off, just enjoying the peace and quiet after a busy day at work.
Finally... our tub came complete with a free rubber duck. Who could ask for anything more!

Merciancycles

Mercian make cycles like Bentley make motor cars. Only more so.

There's not much to say. Mercian Cycles are perfect. Their products are perfect. Their customer service is perfect. Their shop is perfect.
I have two single cycles and a tandem. They all are a pleasure to ride and a joy to behold.
(Their prices might make you wince!)

Countybroadband

Fast internet in the sticks

Until a few weeks back we suffered sub 2Mbps speeds along with everyone in our small Suffolk village because the only option is broadband via landline. The BT exchange is a couple of miles away.
But an enthusiastic villager took it upon himself to improve the situation and County Broadband now provides our community with realy fast (mine's 32Mbps up AND down) Broadband at realistic prices.
It's one in the eye for BT and the other providers who have no interest in wiring up areas of low population density

Hammonds Furniture

worst company we've ever done business with

"Disappointed and let down"

We booked a Hammonds salesman visit on 1st Jan 2012. Also looked at Sharps and, despite poor online reviews, went with Hammonds primarily due to the better quality of product. Subsequently their surveyor paid a visit to draw up the final plans - total bill £6000+.
We advised Hammonds that we planned to strip out the old furniture and paint and decorate during the 1st week of the school Easter holidays and would like them to fit the furniture during the second week - but that our carpet fitter was due on the Friday (13 April) - and during term time the house is empty. So we thought the Tue & Wed would be best - with the Thursday as an option if things went wrong.
Hammonds chose to fit on the Wednesday and Thursday. By the time they advised us of this we had parted with over £5000 and when we suggested that Tue/Wed would be better in case of unforeseen problems, they sent a very terse email drawing our attention to a clause in their ‘customer handbook’ which says we should not book carpet fitters etc immediately after Hammond’s fitting dates ‘in case of unforeseen difficulties’.
Well…. Today is Thursday 12th. It’s noon. The fitter (who has done his absolute best) is about to leave. The bedroom is barely started. A complete mess from the word go!
He arrived yesterday and soon discovered that two key panels had the wrong colour veneer – dark instead of light. He made phonecalls. Replacement panels were 153 miles away. I offered to drive there and back to collect them in my estate car. Hammonds declined, saying they would arrange delivery at 8a.m. this morning. He thought the fitting might drag on into Friday, so we contacted the carpet fitter and put back his appointment from ‘first call of the day’ to ‘last call’.
The Hammonds fitter arrived here at 8a.m. The panels arrived at 10:10a.m.! Exactly the same panels as before!!!
So the fitter has put all the component parts in the bedroom and is about to leave – there’s nothing more he can do. We have cancelled the carpet fitter until further notice and may have to pay a late cancellation penalty.
Next week the house will lie empty all day. Our son (it’s his bedroom) will have to make do in the spare bedroom. No one seems to be sure when the room will be completed – or even if it will be the same fitter.
Hammond’s attitude is uncaring. Once they have your order, and in particular, your money, they seem to think that so long as you eventually end up with your ‘dream bedroom’ the process can be protracted, chaotic and stressful - it will all be ‘made better’ by their superb product.
That is not the case. Even if the bedroom turns out to be the most amazing one ever, each time I go to it, I will remember the unnecessary stress and inconvenience we were put through.
I will not entertain them to install another room – even if they offered to do it free of charge!
They advise me that this sort of thing is very rare! The point is – their management of it is so poor.
1. They should have taken advantage of the extra day – as I advised them to do.
2. They should have taken advantage of my offer to drive to pick up the panels (I would instantly have recognised that they were the wrong colour)
3. They should have been much more communicative with us about how they plan to resolve this chaos. They haven’t been in touch AT ALL.
Our advice is to heed the many negative online reviews of this company – they all point to shoddy management – not shoddy goods. Get your bedroom furniture elsewhere!
I will return to write a further review on completion of the work.
P.S. In the interests of fairness, I emailed a copy of this review to their customer support team at 12:30. It’s now 3:30 and they haven’t contacted us to apologise… advise what we should expect as a resolution. Nothing

It's now 11Sept and bedroom still unfinished. We've had a couple of visits from 'craftsmen' to try (largely unsuccessfully) to make the edges of adjacent wardrobe doors parallel; fit and refit wardrobe handles that come off in your hand and with the points of their fixing screws protruding; make self closing doors and drawers work properly; make drawer edges parallel etc etc.

Today I was supposed to receive replacement wardrobe door handles for me to fix myself - I have no doubt I can do a better job than the Hammonds guys. I doubt if I'll ever get to see the handles. They were supposed to be with us last week But no. After tens of minutes in their 'queue' I was advised that it was today the handles would arrive. So today came and largely went. After another interminable wait on my mobile at my expense, I was told they would be with me on Thurs 20th. Ah! I thought someone told me last week that Hammonds only deliver in my area on Tuesdays. A promise of a phone back. I never actually expected a phone back. Hammonds don't do customer service and never phone back. So joy of joys, they DID phone back and I can expect the handles next Tuesday. I doubt if they will arrive.
We plan to usee the 'bedroom of our dreams' for a year or two then rip it out and get a grown up company to do the job properly.
AVOID HAMMONDS AT ALL COSTS. WE READ THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS AND FOOLISHLY WENT AHEAD. DON'T YOU FALL IN THE SAME TRAP.

Well the saga continues. Now it's November 5th. The bedroom is finished!!! The handles DID eventually arrive. In the meantime I have decided to communicate with hammonds only by letter because they seldom respond to email and I have spent a fortune on their call-waiting system. I fitted the handles correctly by making tapped holes in the aluminum body and securing them with machine screws rather than using woodscrews in an amateur attempt to use the thin decorative wood trim as a secure fixing - 'the hammond way'.
The final bill has arrived. It includes a £250 credit. I have written asking for an explanation for the £250 but so far only another exact copy of the final statement has been forthcoming. I am ready to post my final payment cheque but not until they send a correct statement and some explanation of the £250. Is it an error? I really hope it is not some cynical attempt to offer compensation for their total incompetence. Today I got an email from them acknowleging that they have read this review. Note that I advised them that I had initially posted this review in April. They want me to get in touch so they can 'assist with my issue'. They just don't get it. There is NOTHING they can can do to assist. NO amount of money can compensate and I will continue to offer honest accounts of the terrible, terrible service we have suffered to all the potential customers who contact me. I will be happy to withdraw any part of my online reviews that they can show to be inaccurate.
As a footnote.. I notice that many other reviewers who have had a bad experience with Hammonds have had their reviews responded to today - all within a few hours of each other. I further notice that the glowing reviews on trustpilot are all written in the same style - using the same vocabulary and making consistent grammatical errors. Part of my job is to spot writing that has originated from the same person.

Today (13Nov 2012) just read another review from a dissatisfied customer who also ordered from hamonds after seeing a display in a Glasswells store. We first became aware of hamonds after a visit to Glasswells. We have dealt with Glasswells for years and always been happy with their products and services. We have spent many thousands of pounds with them. So what I've decided to do is draw their attention to the many online reviews of hamonds and tell them that Glasswells will no longer be our furnishings supplier of choice until they evict hamonds from their stores.

Oh... I'm SO looking forward to hear if David Smiles (http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/users/2587431) gets his bedroom fixed. I'll give £10 to Oxfam if he has it fixed by Christmas. And £20 if he doesn't. So I guess Oxfam are set to make £20.

Carla Malhotra, Alex Knightand David Smiles found this review useful

05 November 2012

Reply from Hammonds Furniture

Hi Andy,

I am very sorry to hear about your recent disappointment with Hammonds.
We realise how frustrating this experience has been for you and we appreciate you taking the time to let us know that you've been unhappy with the service received.

We take all feedback seriously and would like to help resolve this issue. Please contact us at OnlineHelp@hammonds-uk.com and you will get a response within one working day. In order to assist with your issue as quickly as possible please can you provide your full name, postcode and Hammonds account number?

Thank you for your valued custom and for bringing these concerns to our attention.

The Hammonds online team

Andy Barkley´s profile

profile image of Andy Barkley
Andy Barkley
Reviewer
1956
Woodbridge, United Kingdom

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