Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kitchens Direct: the saga so far

Kitchens Direct came round in early March to give us a quote for a new kitchen. It was a reasonable price, better than the others we had quoted, and we managed to keep it down by just fitting new cupboard doors, not replacing the whole cupboards for the top part of the kitchen
( because there was nothing wrong with the cupboards, which were four years old, also from Kitchen Direct and covered by their 5 year guarantee. It was just that the doors wouldn't match the new kitchen).

The surveyor came round in mid-March and said what they had quoted wasn't do-able; the whole cupboard carcasses would need to be changed. I pointed out that they had drawn up a contract stating doors replaced only, and agreed a price with us, so if what they had quoted wasn't do-able, that was really their problem and they should have said so at the time. He agreed, called the branch who first demanded more money, then caved when I pointed out they had a contract with us, and said they'd replace the cupboards for the same price. Two weeks later, almost £1000 was removed from our account (the deposit), so we took up the floor and tiles as instructed a few days before the delivery of the kitchen on April 2nd and waited for it to arrive and be installed the next day.


Nothing the next day either.

I phoned them up-the branch said I needed to speak to head office, the head office said I needed to speak to the branch. Back and forth. Eventually I managed to speak to someone. They couldn't deliver, apparently, because they needed to get some more money off us - the price had gone up. Why? Because of the cupboards.

'But we told you we only wanted cupboard doors, and you said fine, signed a contract to that effect with the price broken down and then agreed that you'd made an error and said you would stick to the contract price after the surveyor came round. And you've taken nearly a grand off us, and failed to deliver the kitchen, and not got in contact with us, and in the meanwhile we have no floor and the kitchen tiles are all taken off so the kitchen is a mess and is damaged. And now you're holding us to ransom and demanding more money.'

Claims that they called us. Oh no you didn't. Claims they will call back. But they don't.
More chasing. The amount of money they are demanding goes down, but they still want more money.

'Is this good business practice, drawing up contracts, taking nearly a grand out of customers' bank accounts, getting people to rip up floors and then demanding extra money after failing to deliver kitchens without explanations?' I ask them.
No, they say.
'Is it your normal business practice?'
No, they claim.

Eventually they agreed a new price with us, and promised to get in contact about a new date to deliver and install the kitchen .

That was on Friday.Nothing happened and nobody called.

Yesterday, someone called from Kitchens Direct. Was he arranging a delivery date? No, he was asking for more money - the extra that we had finally agreed with them in order to replace the cupboards and deliver the kitchen.

I explained that they had already had the best part of a grand off us, that they had made an error in pricing which was technically their problem and failed to deliver a kitchen on April 2nd with no explanation for not doing so and I was buggered if I was going to give them any more until they delivered the kitchen. They could add the extra we had agreed onto the delivery price, at which point we would pay the balance.

He called back to say this had been agreed and someone would call with a new delivery date that day. Did they call back? Nope.

Last night I was down the pub with Kings Cross United and the phone rings. It was Kitchens Direct.

Would I like a surveyor to come round and give me a free design and quote for a lovely new kitchen?

I laughed hollowly.

'You have no idea, do you?' I asked the salesgirl.

'No' she said.

I explained, she went away.

I have given up waiting and managed to chase them and they have agreed to install and deliver the damn kitchen. In mid-May.

We shall see what happens next.


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Blogger John said...

You are not alone! You might want to share your experiences here
- but after the job is done!
Found by googling Kitchen Direct Sucks by the way ;-)

April 16, 2008 12:47 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

i don't know how it happens. my mother is having much the same problem with kitchen flooring from John Lewis.

my only advice is keep notes of times, dates, names, call details, who said what, the whole lot and then write to head office (that's assuming you can find a contact point) and set out the whole saga as a time-line. (it worked with British Gas)

fingers crossed for you! x

April 16, 2008 1:04 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...


I am not very hopeful about Kitchens Direct.Kitchens Misdirect is what they are called at the moment in this household.

Or just 'the bastards'

April 16, 2008 1:11 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...


another friend is having probs with Carpet Right (or carpet wrong as he suggests they should more realistically be named)

i have found cataloguing a company's errors repeatedly to them can have some amusing results (other than financial) especially when you receive letters which start "may i apologise for the errors contained within my letter of apology dated x..."!

April 16, 2008 1:14 pm  
Blogger Stratford Girl said...

What a nightmare. I do sympathise having spent the best part of last summer at war with TalkTalk when they failed to deliver what they had promised (and what I had paid for). I am still chasing them for compensation ...

Definitely keep a note of dates, times of calls and what was said and who you spoke to. You may get some compensation in the end. Although, I'm sure that at the moment you'd just be happy with getting your kitchen!

April 16, 2008 6:55 pm  
Blogger Henry North London said...

I take it this is kitchens direct from Moben? I could have told you for nothing that they were not worth the hassle, in fact I went with magnet and moben who I had initially asked to do the kitchen begged me to do it with them even to the point of doing it for nothing. I turned them down having heard bad stories....

Sorry you are going through the mill with this...

April 16, 2008 7:27 pm  
Blogger Henry North London said...

Interesting blog

April 16, 2008 7:28 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Not Moben. They came round, did a survey, took £100 and buggered off with it.

April 16, 2008 8:09 pm  

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