This review was published previously, but was reported as I'd included employees' names. These details have now been deleted.
We ordered a bed, mattress, chest of drawers and bedside table from the Beaumont range and as promised, this was delivered before Christmas.
I was initially concerned when I saw the packaging the furniture arrived in as it was largely random pieces of cardboard taped around the items with a little plastic wrapped around too. The mattress was vacuum-packed and rolled up like a sleeping bag in the manufacturer’s packaging and a second plastic bag.
Firstly, I separated the cardboard covering the bedstead and was greeted with an overwhelming smell of paint. Disappointingly however, the bed itself was not painted very well at all and there were patches where you could clearly see the grain of the wood through thin coat that had been applied. There was also a scrape on the headboard where the paint had not been applied correctly. All in all, not very good.
I then opened the bedside table and at first this looked OK (on the basis that I couldn’t see through the white paint). However, when I tried to open one of the drawers I was surprised at how stiff it was (not suitable for my three year old daughter). I assume this was because there were no runners and the drawers just slid into the frame of the unit. Again, not very good.
Out of interest I unpacked the chest of drawers to see if this was any better. The issue with the stiff drawer was there too and when I took the drawer out completely I noticed the dovetail joints were not aligned and that the drawer would soon come apart. As I put this drawer back I noticed a staple holding the top of the unit to the frame had not been knocked all the way in. This was to be used in a three year old’s bedroom.....
In total, our order came to around £940 and was nowhere near the quality I would have expected for this amount of money. Had I paid £300 for the lot, I would have been satisfied. I appreciate Oak Furniture Solutions is only the distributor of the furniture, but surely they would have checked the quality before delivering it. Perhaps they did.
The furniture was delivered around 10:00 and I called to say I was unhappy and wanted to cancel the order at about 11:00. At this point I was told I would be contacted by their cancellations person to arrange collection of the furniture, but for hygiene reasons the mattress could not be returned. When I questioned this I was told mattresses are not covered by their returns policy and that this is clearly stated in their Terms & Conditions. I asked for a manager to call me back.
Later the same day I received a call from the cancellations person who confirmed they were happy to cancel the order and arrange for the furniture to be collected. However, as the Beaumont range is made to order the return was subject to a 20% restocking fee. Again, I was told this is covered in the Terms & Conditions, which it is.
As I had received no call from the manager I called their office again and was eventually put through to a manager, who is usually too busy to take calls and can only call customers back at certain times. Maybe the manager fails to realise that other people are busy too and have better things to do with their time than try to get through to her.
Anyway, the manager came out with the same nonsense about not being able to return the mattress for hygiene reasons. I explained that the mattress had been in my house for no more than 6 hours and that it was still wrapped in the two pieces of plastic – where is the hygiene issue? At this point I was losing patience and pointed out under the Distance Selling Regulations I had a statutory right to cancel my order and receive a refund within 7 days of receiving the goods. However, the manager suggested this piece of legislation does not apply to mattresses and they would not take the mattress back. When I asked the manager to confirm where in the legislation it stated mattresses were exempt she could not answer me and said she would call back three days later (there was a weekend in between).
After making three further calls to the office the manager eventually called back to say she was still looking into the issue. What was there to look into? Surely this issue had come up before.
It was another two days before the manager called to say they would take the mattress back and give a full refund. The same day everything was collected and twelve days later the money was refunded to my credit card.
I decided to review this company for the following reasons:
• Given the cost, the quality of the goods we were sent was truly woeful. We have since bought our daughter’s furniture from John Lewis for £200 more and it is perfect. I’d recommend anyone else do the same.
• We were charged a restocking fee of £140. Fair enough, it’s in the Terms & Conditions, but this furniture will be sent to another customer who may be silly enough to accept it.
• On the website they offer a no quibble returns policy. Trying to suggest there are hygiene reasons for not accepting the return of a mattress delivered an hour earlier is ludicrous. Of course, the real reason is that we paid £250 for a mattress you can buy on amazon.co.uk for no more than £100.
• The customer service is awful. Had I not been so dogged in having the mattress returned I’ve no doubt I would still have it at home. I wonder how many other people just give in and accept what they’re told.
The managing director will of course defend his company, the quality of the goods it distributes and the stance on the returns policies. However, I would strongly encourage anybody to think again about ordering goods through Oak Furniture Solutions.
Finally, for any other customers who are having problems with Oak Furniture Solutions, I suggest you contact the managing director directly. His email address and mobile number are easy enough to find on the internet and I’m sure he would be delighted to hear from you!!
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