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  • FIRST POST
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 23rd Feb 17, 9:47 PM
    • 1,121Posts
    • 1,061Thanks
    SevenOfNine
    No 'thanks' to The Sign Maker
    • #1
    • 23rd Feb 17, 9:47 PM
    No 'thanks' to The Sign Maker 23rd Feb 17 at 9:47 PM
    Ordered a wooden memorial plaque for the grave of my son, who died a year ago. It was to be made from an oily wood called Iroko, specifically recommended as suitable for outdoors by The Sign Maker.

    After only 4 months the surface was peeling away, cracking & discolouring. After numerous emails to & fro, they admitted they'd put satin varnish on it, something their own website does not advise for this type of wood.

    I returned the product at their request for a replacement which would be exactly what I ordered & paid for, an Iroko wood plaque treated with Danish Oil.

    The 'replacement' arrived. It's the original plaque with most of the varnish sanded off, not the promised replacement. An email has followed telling me this remedial work is good enough in their opinion & they aren't interested supplying what I actually ordered & paid for.

    They suck. Could small claims court for sure, everything has been done in writing, if I could muster up the energy in the circumstances. This wasn't just a wooden sign for my front door!

    Pity can't put a photo of it on here.....still, it's all over Facebook now.
    Last edited by SevenOfNine; 23-02-2017 at 9:49 PM.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
Page 1
    • piglet25
    • By piglet25 24th Feb 17, 12:39 AM
    • 890 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    piglet25
    • #2
    • 24th Feb 17, 12:39 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Feb 17, 12:39 AM
    Reviewed them on facebook, for how much these items cost to produce surely a replacement would have been better for them rather than time spent sanding and revarnishing?
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 24th Feb 17, 7:23 AM
    • 3,159 Posts
    • 5,451 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 17, 7:23 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Feb 17, 7:23 AM
    I was going to suggest that if the issue has been rectified then they have done all they have to however disappointing but I just looked at the review you left them then followed the link to your page to see a photo and there is no way they can consider that an acceptable repair. If it had all turned out like the background it would be fine but they obviously couldn't sand off the old varnish around the lettering so have just waxed over it leaving the varnish underneath firstly a different colour and secondly still peeling, awful job and very poor customer service on their part.

    Send them a letter before action giving them 14 days to replace it or issue a claim against them, you really shouldn't have to accept that sort of shoddy workmanship and £130 is not exactly cheap for what they have made.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 24th Feb 17, 8:57 AM
    • 15,272 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #4
    • 24th Feb 17, 8:57 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Feb 17, 8:57 AM
    Sorry for your loss.
    Very poor show they have handled this issue like this.

    Having looked at some of their reviews , they have a rather passive aggressive way of responding to complaints , including one from someone who didn't receive timely responses ( no reply to three messages left on their answerphone) about a casket for ashes .
    Last edited by hollydays; 24-02-2017 at 9:43 AM.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 24th Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    • 15,272 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #5
    • 24th Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    • #5
    • 24th Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    This is the review

    "James Clarke

    a year ago
    Despite the ashes casket I'd ordered for my father's funeral turning up and being exactly what I wanted, I can't deny being disappointed by the service I received. The emailed order acknowledgement stated a dispatch date of last week. When, towards the end of the week it hadn't arrived, I tried to contact The Sign Maker. Initially my telephone calls went un-returned (the answerphone says they'll ring back within half an hour, but they never returned any of the 3 messages I left on it) so instead I emailed, receiving a reply saying it'd be dispatched a week late and "sorry for the inconvenience". Not having a casket for a funeral isn't just inconvenient, it's a disaster, and all this during a time that I was stressed enough as it was.
    Thankfully they used Interlink who's service is brilliant (I never order anything now, that'll be delivered by Yodel) and I now have the casket ready for Friday. But the lack of any empathy, returning calls (it'd be nice to speak to a human being rather than simply receiving a curt email) or recognising the real impact of poor service at a time like this makes it really difficult to recommend them.
    Helpful?"

    Response from the owner
    a year ago

    "We can only apologise for any upset caused by the delay in receiving your order. All of our staff here at the Sign Maker are comitted to delivering quality products alongside a positive experience for all of our customers, and we are so sorry that you feel we failed to deliver on this occasion. We do try to answer all calls as soon as possible either by a return telephone call or by email (which seems to be the preferred method of contact for many people nowadays). Being a family run internet business, most of our communication is email based. However, perhaps to aid the response time to customer's enquiries we should look to increase the hours that our telephone lines are manned? Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I do hope that you will return to the Sign Maker again if you need to, and we can show you the quality service that we pride ourselves in."
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 24th Feb 17, 9:37 AM
    • 15,272 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #6
    • 24th Feb 17, 9:37 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Feb 17, 9:37 AM
    If you take them to court, make sure you know who they trade as.
    It looks like they have dissolved the company once before, if this is what this seems to show.

    https://companycheck.co.uk/director/911719851/MR-SHAUN-DOUGLAS-PRICE/companies
    • tykesi
    • By tykesi 24th Feb 17, 10:02 AM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 2,399 Thanks
    tykesi
    • #7
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:02 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:02 AM
    This is the review

    "James Clarke

    a year ago
    Despite the ashes casket I'd ordered for my father's funeral turning up and being exactly what I wanted, I can't deny being disappointed by the service I received. The emailed order acknowledgement stated a dispatch date of last week. When, towards the end of the week it hadn't arrived, I tried to contact The Sign Maker. Initially my telephone calls went un-returned (the answerphone says they'll ring back within half an hour, but they never returned any of the 3 messages I left on it) so instead I emailed, receiving a reply saying it'd be dispatched a week late and "sorry for the inconvenience". Not having a casket for a funeral isn't just inconvenient, it's a disaster, and all this during a time that I was stressed enough as it was.
    Thankfully they used Interlink who's service is brilliant (I never order anything now, that'll be delivered by Yodel) and I now have the casket ready for Friday. But the lack of any empathy, returning calls (it'd be nice to speak to a human being rather than simply receiving a curt email) or recognising the real impact of poor service at a time like this makes it really difficult to recommend them.
    Helpful?"

    Response from the owner
    a year ago

    "We can only apologise for any upset caused by the delay in receiving your order. All of our staff here at the Sign Maker are comitted to delivering quality products alongside a positive experience for all of our customers, and we are so sorry that you feel we failed to deliver on this occasion. We do try to answer all calls as soon as possible either by a return telephone call or by email (which seems to be the preferred method of contact for many people nowadays). Being a family run internet business, most of our communication is email based. However, perhaps to aid the response time to customer's enquiries we should look to increase the hours that our telephone lines are manned? Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I do hope that you will return to the Sign Maker again if you need to, and we can show you the quality service that we pride ourselves in."
    Originally posted by hollydays
    I doubt it, the OP clearly states it was a sign for their son's grave not a casket for their father.
    £2017 in 2017 - £3238.42
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 24th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    • 3,197 Posts
    • 3,238 Thanks
    DoaM
    • #8
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:27 AM
    Holly was meaning - this is the review I was referring to in my previous post. She was NOT inferring that this review had anything to do with the OP.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • tykesi
    • By tykesi 24th Feb 17, 10:55 AM
    • 1,736 Posts
    • 2,399 Thanks
    tykesi
    • #9
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:55 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Feb 17, 10:55 AM
    Ah I see! My bad - apologies.
    £2017 in 2017 - £3238.42
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 1st Mar 17, 8:50 AM
    • 1,121 Posts
    • 1,061 Thanks
    SevenOfNine
    If you take them to court, make sure you know who they trade as.
    It looks like they have dissolved the company once before, if this is what this seems to show.

    https://companycheck.co.uk/director/911719851/MR-SHAUN-DOUGLAS-PRICE/companies
    Originally posted by hollydays
    Thanks for that Holly, I have been curious as to why they seem to have 2 different websites - both still active though.

    Update: I put an unfavourable review on their Facebook, on MSE, on 2 'closed/private' bereavement parents groups F/B's & my own F/B. No photo facility on the former 2, but I was able to put one on the rest.

    By lunchtime the company had removed ALL reviews they'd ever had on their F/B & also the facility to even leave one. The Mothers on the bereavement sites went on the warpath, as did my friends, 'sharing' all over the place.

    By the afternoon the company had emailed to say "though the director & the woodworker had decided not to 'redo' the plaque as promised, because 'refurbishment' looked the same as a new one would, they had reconsidered".

    They "had not intended to cause distress & apologise for that, and an order for a new plaque would be placed".

    This is not about money or compensation. I only want EXACTLY what I ordered & paid for, an Iroko wood plaque, Danish oiled. NOT an Iroko wood plaque, satin varnished...........because there's no doubt in my mind some twit varnished it, not being a woodwork expert I didn't recognised it as such, until it started peeling off!

    Thank you all for your input, TBH I'm not exactly holding my breath that this company will actually deliver on their promise, but if not I won't pursue them further, it's not worth it. I'll post reviews all over the place instead.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 1st Mar 17, 9:06 AM
    • 18,426 Posts
    • 14,140 Thanks
    agrinnall
    How did you pay in the first place? If you used a credit card then you'll have Section 75 cover, a debit card will offer you the possibility of a Chargeback, so if the replacement is not satisfactory you could contact your card issuer to pursue getting your money back from them so you can buy elsewhere.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 1st Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • 15,272 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    hollydays
    Thanks for that Holly, I have been curious as to why they seem to have 2 different websites - both still active though.

    Update: I put an unfavourable review on their Facebook, on MSE, on 2 'closed/private' bereavement parents groups F/B's & my own F/B. No photo facility on the former 2, but I was able to put one on the rest.

    By lunchtime the company had removed ALL reviews they'd ever had on their F/B & also the facility to even leave one. The Mothers on the bereavement sites went on the warpath, as did my friends, 'sharing' all over the place.

    By the afternoon the company had emailed to say "though the director & the woodworker had decided not to 'redo' the plaque as promised, because 'refurbishment' looked the same as a new one would, they had reconsidered".

    They "had not intended to cause distress & apologise for that, and an order for a new plaque would be placed".

    This is not about money or compensation. I only want EXACTLY what I ordered & paid for, an Iroko wood plaque, Danish oiled. NOT an Iroko wood plaque, satin varnished...........because there's no doubt in my mind some twit varnished it, not being a woodwork expert I didn't recognised it as such, until it started peeling off!

    Thank you all for your input, TBH I'm not exactly holding my breath that this company will actually deliver on their promise, but if not I won't pursue them further, it's not worth it. I'll post reviews all over the place instead.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine

    Looks like they have numerous websites and businesses from their farm premeses perhaps they are juggling too many things at once.
    They have a holiday cottage business called "country ways cottages,"which they sell as a wedding venue, again it seems their responses to criticism the same there. It seems they cannot take criticism at all, which doesn't bode well, particularly as you have found they remove negative reviews.

    I saw one review about the holiday cottages in Umberleigh, Devon, which comments on the " farm smell" and that the cottage needed some " tlc" and the owners wade in on a rant responding that they didn't even pay for the cottage as they were a wedding guest, a very long diatribe, coached in passive aggressive terms, which seemed to be designed to embarrass the reviewer but actually makes the owner look very unpleasant.
    Last edited by hollydays; 01-03-2017 at 11:12 AM.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 1st Mar 17, 4:44 PM
    • 8,221 Posts
    • 4,891 Thanks
    teddysmum
    If they don't put things right, send a photo to the Watchdog show, as their showing it will lose the company a few more customers and save someone being upset.
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 14th Mar 17, 4:34 PM
    • 1,121 Posts
    • 1,061 Thanks
    SevenOfNine
    Quick update: Received the replacement plaque today (didn't really expect to get it at all TBH). Sadly, scruffy piece of wood used, looks & probably is like a piece of wood that would ordinarily be a 'reject' or 'second'.

    It does seem like they have begrudgingly put right their own shoddy service, but wanted to send a somewhat '2 fingered' message to me at the same time as doing so!

    Oh well, whatever. The worst thing in our lives happened on 31.01.16 when we lost our son. Though I wouldn't wish it on anyone, perhaps one day someone in this "family firm" will experience the same & realise there's no need to try to layer on more sadness, aim for sensitivity instead.

    I'm glad fosterdog in post #3 was able to see the photo of the original plaque, a neutral person who could see with their own eyes I was not just whinging for the sake of it. Thank you all for your comments & support.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 14th Mar 17, 5:03 PM
    • 7,594 Posts
    • 16,743 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    Much love, 7/9. Horrible that you have been treated this way.

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 14th Mar 17, 7:56 PM
    • 10,895 Posts
    • 7,301 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    I don't pretend to understand what you are going through, who possibly could. I have a son, only one and I cannot imagine.....

    I am appalled and disappointed that a company has made an horrendous situation even worse for you.

    Wishing you the best for the future and the strength to do what you need.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 14th Mar 17, 8:04 PM
    • 15,272 Posts
    • 11,089 Thanks
    hollydays
    I don't know where you found the strength to communicate with this company, but I applaud you.

    It's not to late for them to accept they have made a series of errors, errors of judgement in particular, and one can only guess at why they have behaved this way ...perhaps they've been under stress themselves...

    I think everyone would like to see them apologise to you and refund you in total.

    Then , and only then , can they extricate themselves from this .

    So come on " the signmaker" , do the right thing.
    Last edited by hollydays; 14-03-2017 at 8:09 PM.
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