Sunday, March 04, 2007

BHS (British Home Stores)

If I was clever (like my youngest daughter Beccy) I would write an open letter to British Home Stores. Having just looked for their web site I'm not sure whether to be impressed for their simplicity or more annoyed because it is as bland as their in store customer services. Let me explain:

When Beccy was staying with me at Christmas we went looking for a new coat for my grandaughter and in case you don't want to read the link we found one in BHS. Now unfortunately within six weeks the pull up on zip fastener had broken off, she could still manage to do it up but we felt this was not really acceptable after such little use. On my last trip to Dublin I returned with the coat but no receipt (it had been thrown away) I took the coat back to the store hoping for an exchange. Of course the coats were now in the sale and greatly reduced and they did not have one in the same size. The young lady on customer services was very helpful and rang other stores but to no avail, she discussed with a supervisor who agreed I could try and get it repaired and they would pay the cost if it was not too much. He assured me that if I couldn't get it done I could have a full refund. After chatting with Beccy we decided that it was not really worth it as there would then be additional costs of posting the coat back. So today I went back for the refund and they then told me without the receipt or proof of purchase I could not get a full refund, I argued put my point and the girl who served me last week suddenly appeared, she remembered me but insisted and I quote "I would have told you" the refund would only be for the sale price-noooo I don't think. The manager who dealt with me last week was not on duty and this manager would not budge. When I explained that I had brought the coat over from Dublin the response I got was they have a BHS in Dublin. Really I said "I don't think my daughter realises this as it would have saved us so much trouble," I asked if I could have the address, the manager looked in her book "sorry it's not listed." I think that says it all and I left the store feeling frustrated, angry and realising why I have never liked the store anyway.

The frustration was compounded because I had just been on a wild goose chase to another store ASDA (owned by Walmart) where I had been told I would find this...

But no luck, staff there were equally unhelpful. Both Sam and Beccy want a jar and hubby would like to try it- I am banking on Sainsbury's selling it from March 7th onwards but I have lost faith in what customer services are telling me- maybe my faith will be restored.

I just tried ringing my daughter to be told by my 6 yr old grandson she was out at 'PowerCity' and I'm hoping he was joking when he said he wouldn't tell her I phoned. Must send a text to see if she's back yet.

PS Spoken to my Beccy who now has to send me her credit card statement so that I can prove we bought it at full price and I can see the next problem will be that they will want to refund to her credit card and will want that produced which of course will be impossible.
(my grandson did not tell her I had phoned but worse he had not turned the phone off and the line had been open for over 2 hours which explains why I was getting the engaged tone when I tried to call again- I think he might just be in a little trouble but he's only just beginning to answer the phone)

PPS Just wondered did anyone see the eclipse of the moonlast night, we had a brilliant view around 11pm.

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At 5/3/07 00:48, Blogger cookiecrumb said...

You are so good to be chasing down that Guinness Marmite for your girls.
I'm afraid I won't be able to find any over here.

At 5/3/07 03:43, Blogger Sam said...

ccokiecrumb will be able to try my guinness marmite. Thanksmu for looking for it.

mum - about the receipt - it is a WELL KNOWN FACT that in Britain if you no longer have the receipt they can only give you the sale price back if the item is at a lesser price - this is to stop people buying coats in the sale and then claiming they were bought at the full price and trying to 'steal' the difference. You can't blame them for having that policy in place. They have to protect themselves, I am sure you would feel the same way if you owned a shop.

Here in the USA taking things back for being faulty isnt as easy, believe me.

At 5/3/07 05:03, Anonymous Karmyn said...

Seems to me that customer service is about the same everywhere...I don't even try to take anything back unless I have the sales receipt anymore. It's horrible.

At 5/3/07 05:23, Blogger Pamela said...

we couldnt see it from here (the eclipse)

I went searching for vegemite and ended up with marmite.. just to try it.
My hubby gagged. I ate it with toast and cream cheese and liked it

At 5/3/07 08:19, Blogger ChrisB said...

CC if I find some I'll try and get you a pot as well

sam I'm worried I won't be able to find any I just cannot believe somewhere as big as Bristol doen't have it in any stores.
I know about the return policy but I am genuine and it still made me mad and it was shoddy goods and to quote the law' not of merchanable quality'(or something like that) and why they call themselves British - this coat was made in China.

karmyn I keep receipts for ages but my family don't always but it's OK Beccy is sending me her card statement so I will take great please in going back with it yet again with the proof.

pamela shame you coulldn't see the eclipse we were lucky it was such a clear night.
There's always the M v V debate it will always be marmite for us.

At 5/3/07 10:56, Blogger Beccy said...

So Sam are you saying I should keep the reciept for everything just incase there turns out to be a problem. When the coat fitted I decided I no longer needed the reciept as I wasn't expecting the zip to break.

If you are taking back a broken item it is very unlikely you are trying to con the shop and the law states that you don't need a reciept if the goods are faulty.

I do not have a study or desk or space to store every single reciept.

At 5/3/07 13:12, Blogger Sally Lomax said...

Customer Service in this country is absolutely appalling. Letter to the MD i think!

At 5/3/07 14:53, Blogger ChrisB said...

sally according to sam it's even worse in the states so it must be pretty bad there. I don't think Beccy had any luck doing that so I think I will save myself the cost of a stamp which of course is what they are banking on, customer's apathy in going this route. Once I take in the proof of purchase and get my refund I shall not darken their doors again. It's a pretty naff store anyway and we only looked in the Tammy section in desperation to find Mollie a coat.

At 5/3/07 17:08, Blogger Sam said...

no - i am not saying that - but i do keep all my receipts of expensive items in a receipt pot and it has saved my backside from time to time soio it is not a bad practice to follow.

but you have to understand it from their point of view and why they have to have protections in place to stop thieves.

this is a good reason to buy with card not cash, because they will accept credit card receipts as proof of purchase.

there you go - problem solved .

At 5/3/07 17:55, Blogger Beccy said...

I too keep reciepts for expensive items, I would not call £20 expensive.

I do understand the point of the shop but the law is there to protect the purchaser and they ignore it, that is wrong.

At 5/3/07 19:04, Blogger Sam said...

I thought the law required you had to have a recipt, no?
Why don't you just accept their offfer of fixing it instead?

At 5/3/07 20:02, Blogger ChrisB said...

sam it would cost almost as much as the coat so we thought it wasn't worth it and zips don't always go in as neatly the second time around

At 5/3/07 22:03, Blogger Beccy said...

You don't need a reciept if the goods are faulty.

At 6/3/07 00:02, Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Is see that the lack of good customer service extends to the other side of the pond as well.

At 6/3/07 12:35, Blogger ChrisB said...

anvilcloud guess it's world wide; companies are mainly concerned with their profits not their customers.

At 6/3/07 19:14, Blogger elena jane said...

i save receipts for expensive items or items that might not fit. but in general, unless it blows up (like the toaster), it doesn't go back. for a broken zip, if it wasn't an expensive item, i'd either fix it myself or toss it (putting it down to faulty workmanship). on a namebrand, i'd try to return it or call the company. i've exchanged with tags w/o a receipt for same item (baby clothes and the like) but they don't want the items back w/o receipt or tag. i save receipts in a box, then go thru and toss the unnecessary ones.

At 6/3/07 20:49, Blogger ChrisB said...

elena jane we really wanted an exchange and that would have been ok but the problem was they had none in that size. You are too good fixing things, I'm afraid with us it's the principal and I tend to stand my ground, I'm just waiting for Beccy's proof of purchase to arrive and I will be back to the store- all guns blazing if necessary.


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