John Lewis / Retailer standards are becoming unacceptable

This is both a warning and headsup, but also a lamentation on the state of modern retail in the UK.

Myself and my wife have shopped with John Lewis for many years, as traditionally customer service and warranties have always been excellent, and JL have traditionally been one of the stronger large retailers when it comes to issues.

Unfortunately, it seems they are now beginning to go the way of MANY other retailers, and customer service is declining, but they are also now lying to their customers, seemingly on an institutional level.

This started for myself and my wife, when we bought an electrical from JL quite recently in the sales. We have often used John Lewis for larger electricals, Apple devices etc, due to the fact they offer extended warranty as standard on 'all electricals'.

This extended warranty can be seen clearly here:
Guarantees | Customer Services | John Lewis & Partners

"Guaranteed for longer
Minimum 2 year guarantee now included on all electricals, 5 years on TVs. All at no extra cost."

With this in mind, I picked up a sound bar on offer/clearance (as new I might add, this wasn't some sort of open box special) from the website, along with a few other bits. I noticed an issue however when I received an email confirming the 2 year warranty for 2 items on the order, but I did NOT receive one 

Confused as to this, I spoke to customer services, and I had 3 separate advisors tell me that the item doesn't come with 2 year warranty, one in writing by email, they could not identify why (the person via email stated it depends on what they get from the manufacturer; but if that's the case, they should NOT be advertising 2 year warranty on all electricals which they cannot deliver), nor could they answer to the fact it directly contradicted the JL T&Cs or statement on the website, which I raised with them, and even screenshotted.

I also highlighted to them that nowhere on the item's page did it explain the item does not have standard warranty. Normally I'd think maybe they were mistaken, h
owever, the simple fact multiple advisors all gave me the same story, and I also did not receive the standard extended guarantee email leads me to believe this may well actually be correct. I must be honest, the customer service staff very obviously didn't care also, and also refused to raise a complaint over the phone, despite the website explicitly stating they should. Overall though, this lacklustre feedback and experience from multiple advisers via different methods tells me that this at least partially comes from above.

I then went into my local store, to customer services and they were confused as they confirmed it DID contradict the T&Cs and advertised standards, and whilst they were at least much less disinterested they ALSO could not find warranty info for this item and confirmed no where on the pages description or page did it highlight a non-standard warranty; they tried speaking with electrical whom basically told them they couldn't help!! 

All in a terrible experience, but also one that doesn't entirely sound legal given the statements they make on the website.

In the end I was able to get a refund, as I didn't want to have the argument if it ever came to need it, but realistically it shouldn't ever have got to this level; the item should have been warranted as advertised; explicitly as John Lewis states they do. 

Ultimately, it shows to me that the quality of John Lewis support; and also remote customer service has deteriorated massively, in years gone by they used to be fantastic, now you cannot even speak to a store without going in; and I wanted to leave a warning here for all to be more careful with John Lewis than you needed to in the past; it seems even ALL <X> does not mean ALL anymore.

Unfortunately this general decline in standards appears to be all across the board, my wife had some hell of trouble with Sports Direct whom essentially cheated her out of a promotion and voucher, just a few months ago, and then customer service was none existent to resolve the issue, even communication was dire.
Now Sports Direct are known to not be amazing, but John Lewis, and so many other stores which USED to be amazing, seem to all be in general decline. I am guessing it is the rush to bottom out prices, but at the rate its going, customer service and guarantees aren't going to be worth the paper they are printed on, and we will all be worse off for it.


  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,854
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    John Lewis' customer service has been in decline for some years. Well done for standing up for a refund. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • swingaloo
    swingaloo Posts: 2,649
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    So all that trouble for a 2 year guarantee which was totally unnecessary anyway as you already have your statutory rights. Most guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on anyway.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,709
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Warranty is over & above you consumer rights. 
    Life in the slow lane
  • alexrose1uk
    alexrose1uk Posts: 10
    First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    edited 9 January at 11:27AM
    swingaloo said:
    So all that trouble for a 2 year guarantee which was totally unnecessary anyway as you already have your statutory rights. Most guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on anyway.
    Not really about the warranty itself, more the principle of being promised something, and then finding out you don't have it after purchase.

    By the above argument, you wouldn't be upset if your car actually only has a 1.4l engine, not a 1.6 as promised? Or the model of car doesn't have DAB or Bluetooth like you were promised? Of course you would. It's not about how useful, or what the previously promised thing does for you, its the fact it WAS promised, and therefore formed part of your decision to buy and enter into purchase/contract, and you expect it to be there; especially when in this case, John Lewis blanket promise ALL electricals will have said warranty.

    Statutory rights may exist, but as someone with experience in having to hold companies to account over it and sales law, it is often an involved and headache/time inducing experience, something I don't really have time for nowadays.

    John Lewis used to be excellent at providing a reasonable service, even for tech, which is not something that can be said for a lot of retailers; however this is not a decline in service, more a complete negligence to provide the appropriate one.
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