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Homebase Haringey - computer says no

Bought an indoor clothes dryer from Homebase in Haringey for £25. It was wrapped up in plastic and there wasn't one on display, but it looked like the kind of thing I was looking for so I got it. Took it home, removed the plastic wrapping, set the thing up and realised it was flimsy, too small for my purposes, looked cheap, and was not really what I wanted and certainly not worth £25. Oh well, I'll take it back - I thought.

Returned to store next day (with receipt and all retrievable packaging) to be told in an extremely off-hand, disinterested manner, I could not return the item unless the plastic wrapping was intact. 'But the only way I could tell what the dryer was like was to take it out of the packaging, and to take it out the packaging you have to tear the plastic wrapping open' - I explained. Company policy, I was flatly told. Could I exchange it for another item? No. Soon I was talking to the unfriendly, adversarial manager who more or less just repeated the word 'no' to me until I went away. On phoning the customer services line, a lady suggested I should have 'looked at the picture' to ascertain if the item was what I wanted, or 'looked online before I visited the shop'. She was, apparently, not joking.

Basically, Homebase will NOT accept a return on an item unless they can put it straight back on the shelf to resell - and that goes for items where you have to open, and therefore destroy, plastic wrapping before you can see what the item is really like! It's mean, profit-first, user-unfriendly service all round, and the shambolic service at the Haringey store is unfriendly at best, at times bordering on aggressive. I will not be shopping at Homebase again. Staggeringly bad service.

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John Burt
United Kingdom