This review is based on experience with the Stockport branch of Bathstore.com, in May/June of 2013.
Shopping around for a new bathroom can be a total pain. Finding the right looking suit for the right price can take an age. After looking in a number of shops I was pleased to find everything I needed at Bathstore.com. After checking measurements and finalising what we wanted we headed back to the shop to place an order.
Things went fairly smoothly at this point, the staff were friendly and checked everything we required was included in the order. The manager tried his luck at ‘upgrading’ an item to a more expensive item on the grounds that the one we had might break(!), when asked what the warranty was he said 10 years, which rather closed down that conversation.
Due to this being a large order the store provided 5% off the total order. They would even include free delivery, although this meant we had to wait for the store to place the order via their own website rather than complete it in store. This wasted a fair bit of time, and as I found this firm via the cashback site Quidco I do wonder if some smart member of staff has been popping orders through via their account to get cash back.
Got home, checked the order and the first problem appeared: the discount had been missed off a number of items, which meant I’d overpaid by around £45. The staff handled this issue quickly once I called; They checked the ordered, agreed they’d made a mistake and credited the money back right away.
Delivery of the goods went without a problem, it all arrived on time, I was sent an email with a delivery slot and then a further email and text giving me a half hour delivery slot.
Checking the items we found problem 2. One of the items was a different colour than we’d ordered. This wasn’t a huge problem, it looked fine and so we decided to keep it as it was rather than delay things waiting for a swap.
Plumber started fitting everything (an independent plumber, not one Bathstore had arranged) and this is where problem 3 occurred. The plumber spent approximately half a day fitting a bath/shower mixing control unit into the wall and getting it all connected up. On testing the unit he discovered it had a hairline fracture, meaning water rushed out of the unit when used.
The plumber contacted the store who said they’d replace the unit in 2 days time. Unhappy with this I contacted the store and they arranged for the replacement to be delivered the next day. I’d asked to speak to the manager however he was unavailable. This fault added 1 days extra work and the purchase of extra materials to the job, leaving me out of pocket by over £200.
When I got hold of the manager the next day he said there was nothing he would do, despite the cost I’ve incurred being due to the faulty equipment Bathstore provided. Apparently it’s in their terms not to cover such costs. I’m not sure what sure he was referring to, the only terms I agreed to was to do with the delivery and checking of goods.
The manager said he would speak to head office as a gesture of goodwill. He didn’t call me back, just sent an email saying:
“I am really sorry to know that faulty shower valve been deliver to you. We have arranged a collection of this faulty valve and also arrange a replacement. Unfortunately our warranty is against the product and therefore we are replacing the product but it does not any cover labour cost. Therefore I am sorry we cannot able to compensate toward your installation cost.”
This didn’t seem correct, I couldn’t have been the first to experience such a problem. I contacted Bathstore head office directly, asking to speak to Paula Davies who has been very active online in attempting to resolve disputes. We discussed all the issues I’d had, and credit where it’s due, Paula handled the call in a far better manner than the Stockport branch manager. There was no record of the branch manager contacting head office (surprise surprise!) and his position was incorrect, in fact where a manufacturing fault has been reported and verified the cost of correcting the problem is covered.
I’ve now received payment to cover the additional costs incurred as a result of the faulty part. So a mixed experience overall. Some general points:
- Don’t trust “Hassan” (no idea what his surname is, he didn’t signed off his email with it) the branch manager of Stockport, he’s all about closing the deal and cares little for after sales service, giving me false information in an attempt to brush off my complaint.
- Do take your time to contact the head office to discuss your problem, rather than just flaming them online, as if it is a valid issue they will try and resolve it to your satisfaction.
- I’d like to see a formal complaints procedure on the website which sets out a clear route of escalation to the head office, perhaps then local stores would make more of an attempt to resolve your issues.
A month on and I've had no further problems with the items purchased and am very pleased with my new bathroom.
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