Saturday 3 January 2009

Words and Bonds (you have to know Norwich shop history to understand that)

Well, the new dishwasher. You know I said that I felt it would be better to go to John Lewis than a random company on the internet, in case anything went wrong? I sort of didn't imagine it would be at the depot before the dishwasher even arrived here.

But let's go back a bit earlier. As you know, and most unusually for me, I'd done a bit of looking up on the internet. So I'd picked what I was likely to want before I arrived at the shop. In fact, there was little to choose between two machines, but both were on display so I peered inside them. I slightly preferred the interior arrangement of one and it was £10 more than the other and, with slight variations, they were much the same otherwise, so that was the one I picked. An assistant came and asked me if I wanted help - well, she asked Wink in fact as she was nearer - at just the time I was ready to order, so all was fine. I don't know if she had been seconded from another department - the white good department was quite busy - but she didn't seem awfully au fait with the goods, but that didn't matter. However, I had to ask about the included saucepans and then she scurried off to find out and then, after she'd given me all the paperwork, I asked about the 5 year guarantee. She assured me she'd given me the form. "This one says I have to pay £80, but it's included," I explained. She bobbed off to have another look, came back and agreed with me and found me another form. I thought she might have known that, as three of the four makes on display had that offer (JL's own brand didn't). I quietly checked everything else was correct, and it was. We agreed a delivery slot and off Wink and I went for a bowlful (each) of Nourishing Soup.

So, Friday came and the Sage agreed to stay home to await delivery of dishwasher, but in fact I was home by the time it arrived. The Sage received it and asked if our paperwork was needed. No, the driver had everything needed except the Sage's moniker.

Later, the Sage and Ro unpacked the dishwasher and left it in the hall while they went to disconnect the old one. I went to look at it. It was stainless steel when I'd expected white. I looked inside. It was the wrong model. I went and checked the packaging. It was still the wrong model.

"Hold you hard, bor" said I to the Sage and explained the situation.

This morning, I phoned the shop and the nice woman at the other end of the line was most apologetic. She said that they must have loaded on the wrong one at the depot. However, the Monday or Tuesday delivery slots I could have had are now full. A replacement will be delivered on Friday. I said how fortunate it was that we had opted to dispose of the present machine ourselves, so that I'll be able to use it for the next week. She apologised again. I was very nice about it under the circumstances. I did mention that it wasn't all that convenient and arranged that the driver would telephone the Sage with half an hour's notice, so that he doesn't have to hang around all morning.

Just as well that it happened to be a steel finish as otherwise I probably wouldn't have noticed until after it was plumbed in.

The saucepans are splendid, however. Stainless steel with really thick bottoms and a good heavy non-stick frying pan.


Z said...

Before it was bought by JL and became a chain store, the shop was a privately-owned, originally family-run business called Bonds. Most people still call it that.

Anonymous said...

So now you have to wait for (almost) another week? How irritating.

I have to say, there are few things I enjoy more than a new appliance, I also enjoy hearing about other people's new appliances...I'm a white good geek. Tragic.

luckyzmom said...

So, good that you caught it. Seems there should be some compensation for their mistake, like free dishwasher detergent or something.

Tim Atkinson said...

And these places are all fighting for our custom?

Dave said...

I knew it when it was still Bonds.

You can't go far wrong with a really thick bottom.

Z said...

Being well padded myself, Dave, I have to agree with you.

I'll tell you all about the new one when it finally arrives.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that's exactly the sort of service I've had cause to complain about in JL in the last few years. Seems it's spread to even Norwich.

What are they giving you by way of compensation for the inconvenience? I'd expect at least £20 or £30 off.

Personally I think you're very good to be prepared to wait another week when your old appliance is malfunctioning. I wouldn't have - and they always find a way to find a delivery slot if one is prepared to be assertive for long enough to get to the right person. If the worst came to the worst a taxi could deliver a dishwasher... (I had Argos do it once when they'd sold me a used kettle and I had 10 removal men unloading a van and couldn't get back to change it).

A letter to Head Office when you finally have it, expressing your surprise and dismay about how standards are falling at JL? Copy and paste from here?
Might make someone sit up and take notice...

Z said...

I'll be assertive if it matters, but I learned many years ago that my way to mental health and happiness is to choose not to fight every battle. I may well write to the manager though, as if I were in charge of the store I'd want to be told about problems before they escalate.

It is an awfully nice shop. One would feel frightfully out of place demanding compensation.

Anonymous said...

... which is why this sort of 'service' persists. The only way to get improvement is to hit the corporate world where it hurts - in the money department. It's the only thing that will make a difference in this world.

Z said...

With the range of companies on the ropes at present, I'd rather explain a problem to the manager than demand compensation on a deal that's pretty good already. In the long run, it doesn't really bother me. I am not interested in money and I am happier for it. No criticism of anyone else, least of you whom I hold in high regard, but I've got other things to think about.

luckyzmom said...

I want to be just like you when I grow up!