We ordered £1845 of Full Stave Prime (ah!) worktops from Worktop Express. These are very big, very heavy pieces of wood - too heavy for my wife and myself to move. So, in order to get the undersides treated before they were fitted we tried to identify the 'worst' side of each and duly gave them several coats of oil. So far so good.
Upon fitting we then oiled the other sides and that's when the problems started. All along the edge of one side of a 2m piece there appeared to be what looks like watermarks which became very prominent when oiled (its great at bringing out the natural grain.... and any other marks in the wood!). Apparently this is a "natural occurrence" - it looks to me like it is anything but natural.
Next up was a 12inch long gash along the edge of the piece we used for the sink - this had been filled. Never seen filler occurring naturally before and prior to being oiled it was a very good match for the wood - after it was oiled it went a dark brown and stands out like a sore thumb. Their web site makes lots of claims about using carefully selected and matched wood etc - in reality they sold me a 'prime' piece of wood that had been damaged and then filled.
So we now had fitted worktops that instead of being the highlight of our long awaited and long saved for kitchen were ruining it. This is where the T&Cs come in - seems we should have spotted all this before they were fitted. They were prepared to replace them but we would have had to pay the kitchen fitters and plumber again to uninstall the old ones and then come back again to install the new ones.
Our budget had been stretched buying the 'prime' worktops so we could not afford to do this so instead they offered us £40 compensation. After some bickering they raised that to a whopping £60!
Unfortunately that was not the end of it. We had fitted a 960mm wide piece to an island with an overhang to create a breakfast bar. After about a week this split. Seems we had fitted this incorrectly by not using expansion brackets (fair cop) but also the overhang was too large. I hadn't seen anything on their site to warn of this before we ordered but in the pdf they sent me after the problem it appears that a 620mm worktop can overhang by 220mm but a 960mm can only overhang by 110mm! So if you are thinking of creating a breakfast bar think again unless you have very short legs.
We went with this company because of all the good reviews so perhaps we were just unlucky but what really annoyed us was that when things went wrong all we got back was 'our T&Cs clearly state....' as a standard response to every question. In the end it felt like we were dealing with an automated response system.
We are now saving again so we can rip this mess out and put in granite worktops....
We ordered a new bathroom suite on the 20th June and received an email confirming the items were in stock and would be delivered on the 27th. Took the day off and waited but no show..... Phoned up on the 28th to be told some of the items were out of stock and would not be in until mid-August!
We could not wait that long so cancelled the order and got the goods elsewhere. Promised a refund in a few days.
As of the 24th July we have still not received our money back. We have phoned a couple of times - the first time I was told someone in the accounts department had been on holiday!
They were pretty efficient in taking the money - its just a shame they can't pay it back as quickly. No idea if their bathrooms are any good but on this basis I would not recommend anyone takes the chance.
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