Bensons for Beds nightmare. Two year struggle, over £800 down. failing after failing. AVOID!

Jacko373
Jacko373 Posts: 1 Newbie
edited 16 July 2021 at 3:05PM in Praise, vent & warnings

I bought a wardrobe from Bensons for Beds in February 2019 and in January 2020 I reported a problem with one of the draws on the wardrobe not closing properly, this is something we lived with from the off but was getting progressively worse.

They asked me to pay for an independent report on the wardrobe and gave details of a recognised company that does the reports. I spend £80 on this report which stated there was a manufactures fault with the set of draws on the lower part of the wardrobe. At first they didn’t accept this as the report wasn’t clear enough, however after a few emails to Bensons and the inspection company this was cleared up and confirmed as a manufacturers fault. The money was refunded at this point by Bensons and I was given two options; Repair or replace.

Not wanting to cause a fuss I asked for a repair. About 6 weeks go by and they finally get a call and was told that the parts cannot be sourced as there is now version two of the wardrobe. So they tell me that I need a full new wardrobe.

A few months go by and the wardrobe was now ready and a date was set for replacement. This didn’t happen due to lockdowns, re-arranged but cancelled again because of their driver having to isolate, I then had to re-arrange due to work constraints, then the wardrobe fitter had to isolate so it was re-arranged again. This I can totally understand and at this point I was fine with the service, not great at all but forgivable in the circumstances.

THIS IS WHERE THE REAL PROBLEMS START……

Its now January 2021, a year after reporting the fault. Delivery was arranged for Thursday 7th of January, I called up on the Monday before just to make sure the delivery was still on due to the lockdown at that time. Yes, delivery was on. GREAT!

I was asked to dismantle my old (and only) wardrobe ready for collection so that’s exactly what I did. I moved it all into my garage where it could easily be shifted into Bensons van on arrival. After waiting in all day on the 7th nobody turned up.

I called up the next day and got nowhere. They didn’t know what happened. I called up nearly every day for two weeks and they eventually came up with the conclusion that the wardrobe had been misplaced and a new one would need to be ordered.

I now have clothes organised in piles on the floor and a house which looks a total mess.

Each week I called up checking on the progress of the wardrobe as I was told numerous times that it was being manufactured in Germany and the process takes several weeks.

In March I get a phone call telling me that they have discontinued that wardrobe. So were they just lying telling me it was being manufactured? they offered a refund or replacement of a similar styled wardrobe. I choose the latter as we styled the bedroom around the wardrobe, and could only find that colour/ style at Bensons.

 After much deliberation we settled on another wardrobe. This was £900 more (mostly due to not being in the sale at the time) and “for our trouble” they offered £100 off. They also said on a few different phone calls that they would give us some compensation once the order had been completed for all our troubles. They would not say how much though. They said they had no idea and couldn’t even give an estimate to how much compensation they could offer as this would be calculated after the order has been completed.

By now we had spent three months having almost no storage space upstairs. It was causing real stress. Being so used to a tidy, well organised home we found it impossible to keep the place tidy. Me and my partner both have stressful jobs but coming home to a messy house really affected us and our resentment for Bensons started growing.

Putting our feelings for Bensons aside and thinking logically, we agreed that the quickest way to resolve the situation would be pay the £800 for the replacement wardrobe. By this time we were thinking more about our own sanity than anything else.

We still had the issue of the old wardrobe filling up the garage, which was space that id need in soon for putting my car into storage while I leave for a work trip for a couple of months. we gave Bensons nearly one months notice to collect this but they couldn’t collect it until the day after I leave for work. Just bad timing, so I offered to leave the pieces on the front drive ready for collection. I was told that if I did this then it would be considered neglect and I wouldn’t get a refund. I offered to dispose of the old wardrobe myself but they said the same. They HAD to take it back to the manufacture in order for me to get a refund. I was forced to leave the wardrobe in the garage and have a family member (my mum) wait in all day until they came and collected the wardrobe. The people who collected it said that they take it to the skip and dispose of it. Yet more avoidable inconvenience. I felt like they were going out of their way to make things awkward for me.

Its now the end of May. I’m back home and have been for some weeks. Its now been 6 months of living without a wardrobe in the house. The new wardrobe finally arrives and is fitted. Everything is good.

I call up to ask about the previously promised compensation and was told I could have £25 compensation. The reasoning is because they already gave me £100 off the none- sale price of the replacement wardrobe. this was a load of rubbish. I know because I called up pretending to be a new customer and after saying one phrase “whats the best price you can do” I was immediately offered £100 off, so there is no way they can justify that as a good will gesture for the inconvenience, not when they give it to anyone and everyone.

With eventual discussions they offered £100 compensation and an extra £30 to cover what I spent on buying cheap clothes rails in a failed attempt to establish a little bit of order in the house.

I find their offer a kick in the teeth. I would have genuinely preferred to just keep the faulty wardrobe and live with it than to go through what we did. Most people I spoke to from Bensons didn’t seem to care at all, and the few that did couldn’t actually do anything about it.

In total there were over 80 phone calls made, with several promises to call back by certain dates just ignored.

Throughout all these calls I was polite and calm, even though the stress and inconvenience they were causing was the worst I have ever experienced. It sounds silly getting so stressed over such a thing and looking at someone else in this situation I would probably joke about them being a snow flake, but to go though it was genuinely horrible. This is an example of a nice guy getting nowhere. The sad thing is that if I were awkward from the start and demanded a new wardrobe right away I would probably have never gone though this.

I have not accepted the compensation they have offered. I will never buy from Bensons for Beds again and wish I never stepped foot in their shops.

Apologies any grammatical errors you might find in here. This is my rant, not an English exam. 


Comments

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 19,006 Forumite
    First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped! First Post Name Dropper
    The money was refunded at this point by Bensons and I was given two options; Repair or replace.

    if the money was refunded why were they offering repair or replace?
  • ripplyuk
    ripplyuk Posts: 2,888 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    sheramber said:
    The money was refunded at this point by Bensons and I was given two options; Repair or replace.

    if the money was refunded why were they offering repair or replace?
    The refund was for the independent expert’s report. Not for the actual wardrobe. 

    That’s how I read it at least. 
  • cattom
    cattom Posts: 259 Forumite
    First Post
    erm I dunno. trading standards maybe?
  • Lavendyr
    Lavendyr Posts: 2,583 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 18 July 2021 at 1:40AM
    I mean, it's a bit of a first world problem isn't it, not having a wardrobe for a while. If I understand right you've paid an extra £800 to replace the faulty wardrobe with one of your choosing. You had other options but didn't like them. I'll be honest, I've never heard of anyone "styling a room around a wardrobe" - the exception being perhaps a beautiful vintage wardrobe - certainly struggle with the concept of styling a room round a wardrobe from Bensons. I can, however, understand wanting a wardrobe which fits in with the other furniture. 

    I do get the frustration with the customer service. It sounds rubbish. However I think you need to set out clearly what you want to achieve. Is this just a rant or do you want advice on how to achieve a better outcome?
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