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Howdens Traders passing on discount - Scam??

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  • edited 25 October 2009 at 4:18PM
    leveller2911leveller2911
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    edited 25 October 2009 at 4:18PM
    Somerset wrote: »
    Seems to vary branch to branch then. I went to look at the units in Howdens Taunton and the bloke full stop would not deal with me or sell to me , only the tradesman. He knew I was getting it done by a fitter buying from them (ie not a DIY job) but point blank wouldn't discuss prices with me.

    Can't be doing with that attitude. If they want to be that precious they can keep the units.

    It does differ from branch to branch Somerset.Each branch to a degree sets its own policy. Certain branches in my area won't deal with Joe public and others will do..
    Back in the spring a customer contacted me to ask me to fit her kitchen as she had been let down by a fitter who quoted her a fortune. The order had been placed at Howdens for the kitchen, she knew the price and I fitted it for her...If the guy had turned up to fit it he would have made a fortune..Howdens told her they were still happy to supply the kitchen to her...They are competing against each other and the bottom line is "sales"....
  • as someone pointed out earlier it is meant to be a trade discount so that a builder can make a profit. However my feelings are it is a bit of a scam like all these 70% discount sales that unscrupulous retailers use. No business can exist knocking 70% off the price unles they had marked it all up in the first place. Howdens sell pretty dull, basic kitchens theyre not the worst but theyre not even vaguely near middle of the road. However pretending they are knocking off 70% makes builders think they are getting a deal. and coupled with fact they have most stuff in stock makes a builder truly believe its a good product. i personally wouldnt touch them with a barge pole. If your on a budget you can get a much better product for your money and if you have a healthy budget and by that i mean ~ £5k for cabinetry (dont forget labour appliances and worktops will bump it all upto about £10k+) then you can actualy get something pretty decent. See https://www.crown-imperial.co.uk or www,mustardkitchens.co.uk forexample or mail me ifyou need an impartial opinion on whether what you are contemplating is any good or not.
  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    I don't think Howdens kitchens are dull. They have a really big range. If you want bright purple gloss, curvy doors etc, they do them. They do the same sort of ranges as anyone on the high street.

    The discount thing is odd but no one thinks they're getting a great deal when everyone knows that no one pays full price. The % makes a difference when they are offering 50% to one person and someone else is getting 75% or more. That's where the % is different. It's the customer of a builder that might be fooled into thinking that they are doing well by getting a discount off the RRP.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • amargamarg Forumite
    216 posts
    This kind of thing is common.

    Travis perkins offer discounts of upto 75% on some items, that is why you see a lot of tradesmen taking customers around Travis perkins showing them how expensive things are ;)

    Some tradesmen are not happy with making the money on the installation, but want to make a packet from the supply as well ;)
  • I just feel it is unethical for me to be provided with Howden paperwork with the Branch Manager name on it and Trader and then I couldnt the get invoice from either of these people, even though it is my warranty, because they didnt want me to see the difference that was being pocketed, sorry but I think I have been ripped off by my builder and I am certain his "friend" as he called him was in on it as I now have the invoice from Head Office with all the same names on it but with the different price - maybe not a scam then but I feel ripped off and yes I was naive and Howdens seem to have no set policies at all, so some get lucky and others get ripped off depending on who they know and fiddled paperwork! I still smell a rat here....
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  • edited 25 October 2009 at 10:16PM
    leveller2911leveller2911
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    edited 25 October 2009 at 10:16PM
    jillytb wrote: »
    I just feel it is unethical for me to be provided with Howden paperwork with the Branch Manager name on it and Trader and then I couldnt the get invoice from either of these people, even though it is my warranty, because they didnt want me to see the difference that was being pocketed, sorry but I think I have been ripped off by my builder and I am certain his "friend" as he called him was in on it as I now have the invoice from Head Office with all the same names on it but with the different price - maybe not a scam then but I feel ripped off and yes I was naive and Howdens seem to have no set policies at all, so some get lucky and others get ripped off depending on who they know and fiddled paperwork! I still smell a rat here....


    Jilly, ive had an account with Howdens for 11 yrs...There is NO scam going on.
    You employed a builder to supply and fit your kitchen. He then asks Howdens to arrange a site survey (usually done by a rep or builder tries to plan it). The builder then obtains a quote from Howdens for them to supply the kitchen. Your builder then gives you his price which includes the fitting and his profit margin and the job is done. You then pay the builder and he pays Howdens for the kitchen they sold to him.

    Your builder has more than likely added more than most people would say was reasonable for his profit margin. He doesn't sound like a decent builder to me.

    However , i'm afraid to say and you may not like this but You are partly to blame here. I ALWAYS recommend to people to get more than one quote so a comparison can be made. You have been very naive and taken him at face value......

    Its the builder who has the account at the "Trade supplier" . You hire the builder, he buys the kitchen, fits it and puts his profit margin on top,(in this case far in access of what genuine builders would) and you pay him... There is no scam going on , I can assure you..

    Its a bit like you going into DFS for a sofa and they say its 75% discount for today and you buy one, the only difference being theres a middleman involved , who happends to be employed by you...DFS don't make sofas, they are middlemen. The sofa,s are more than likely made in China, they pay £100 for a sofa which they then sell for £800 , no different that your situation.

    As for the remarks about the Warranty. When Howdens do a quote and then a sale the quote is held against your address and you as the client , so you still have a warranty even though you shouldnt have the invoice.. In fact it use to be the case that when they delivered a kitchen all of the appliance warranties were automatically logged with each manufacturer, you didnt even have to send them in ..

    It may be difficult to take but put it down to a learning experience ,albeit an expensive one.
    Don't blame Howdens , blame your builder and partly yourself for being naive. For a "scam" to be set you need at least 2 parties and In my opinion Howdens are not perfect but theyre not sharks.......
  • rachbcrachbc Forumite
    4.5K posts
    I have to say it doesn't sound like a 'scam' to me.

    You were happy to pay £6k for your kitchen - if you wanted it cheaper you should have negotiated or shopped around. Your builder has added a daft mark up because he negotiated with Howdens to buy the kitchen cheaper than you were prepared to pay for it.

    I buy flours eggs and butter, make them into cakes and sell them for more - thats how capilatism works!
    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • As for the remarks about the Warranty. When Howdens do a quote and then a sale the quote is held against your address and you as the client , so you still have a warranty even though you shouldnt have the invoice.. In fact it use to be the case that when they delivered a kitchen all of the appliance warranties were automatically logged with each manufacturer, you didnt even have to send them in ..

    Leveller the warranty is the actual invoice, Howdens have confirmed this to me, they also have no record of my address and Howdens never came to my home... there is also a discrepancy over appliances I have, there is definitely some things that are not right about this.
    Yes, I am naive I realise that now, I was recommended to use this man and I was just so keen to have someone i had believed was "honest" - if the mark-up had been 10/12% I would say fine but he was well paid for fitting the kitchen... anyway I live and learn but there are some questions over certain details and whole transaction. Not to worry I will stop ranting here, can see I am just a silly woman who got ripped off to most of you - cheers!
  • leveller2911leveller2911
    8.1K posts
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    I understand your anger Jilly and I would be in the same situation.

    I did say in my post that the kitchen can be planned usually by a rep but also the builder,obviously the "builder" planned the kitchen and thats perfectly legal and above board (kitchens really need to be planned by someone with experience tbh).
    I also said the warranties use to be automatically logged. You can still log the warranties for the appliances via the manufacturers.

    I wish you luck Jilly............Ps there are a lot of decent, honest and reliable tradesmen out there and youve been very unlucky ..Keep thinking positive and ask around for recommendations, never go via the Yellow pages and the like, always get a few quotes, word of mouth is the best recommendation....You sound feisty and driven so keep your chin up and you,ll get there.......
  • I will get there and thank you Leveller! The funny thing is there is a discrepancy for my appliances which is something that needs to be looked into!
    This chap was recommended indeed, they have come to blows recently needless to say.... still I have my health, also the will to fight!

    I buy flours eggs and butter, make them into cakes and sell them for more - thats how capilatism works!

    Rachbc, thank you for explaining capitalism I never knew, maybe that is something to do with so many being affected by this deep recession? Patronising those in unfortunate situations really is not nice. Happy baking!
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