Thursday, May 15, 2008

More on the Kitchens Direct Saga

Things did not get off to a flying start with Kitchens Direct back in March. Yesterday was meant to be the longed-for day when the kitchen was finally delivered, ready for installation today and tomorrow.

So I waited in all day, having removed everything from the cupboards and stacked it all in various places all over our small flat. Every room has boxes of pots and pans and spices and oils and pasta and pulses and crockery in it. I can't open my built-in wardrobe door now because of all the boxes so to get my clothes I have to climb in through J's door and stand in the wardrobe and rummage in the dark. Miff followed me and then got trapped and cried to get out.

The new kitchen was meant to be delivered at 9am yesterday. By 11am I had phoned twice and been told various stories. An 'eighteen foot lorry' had 'been and gone' because it had 'not been able to park'. No lorry had been anywhere near my flat, and there was seventy feet of parking space outside my front door. I rang again and was told the lorry was in North-West London, the driver was just delivering something to another customer and would definitely be there by one. I sat in the sitting room, working and looking out of the window. A van delivered wine to my neighbour. The postman came round. A man went past on a skateboard. Two women with prams. The local eccentric who has a walking stick decorated with silk flowers smiled and waved at me through the window. I waved and smiled back. I rang again and was told that the lorry had been, rung the door bell and gone away again. It was 1.30pm.

'No it hasn't.' I described the morning's proceedings and gave my address. They said perhaps there were two customers with the same name in London.

Eventually, after seven calls from me, they admitted that the lorry had not been booked or given our order to deliver and this was a mistake, and it would come tomorrow instead.

'The fitter is coming to install the kitchen tomorrow. Allegedly, ' I reminded them.

They said that they were sorry and the lorry would definitely come at 7am. 'It's on the system now'. An hour later a cheerful person called to see whether the kitchen had been delivered and whether anyone had contacted me, and was crestfallen when I said it hadn't and after numerous calls and various tales being told to me, I had managed to get them to promise delivery the next morning. They said they were sorry.

Today, the kitchen lorry arrived at 7am, to general rejoicing, having driven down from Manchester, and delivered 41 boxes and flat-packed objects, which I signed for, and the driver relieved me of over £3000. I looked at the boxes filling half the sitting room and crossed my fingers.

The fitter arrived at 8.45am and removed the kitchen; everything including the kitchen sink, uninstalled the washing machine, stacked the old kitchen in pieces outside on the street, promising it would be removed tomorrow. Then he counted what had been delivered, and said that all the bloody top cupboards hadn't been delivered and it was too late to order them for delivery tomorrow.

Then he said he was leaving. It was 12.15pm.

'What? I thought you were going to install the new kitchen? And work all day? I'm not in on Monday or Tuesday so the idea was it would be done by the weekend' ( it's only a small kitchen).
'No, I have some other work to do'.
'Will you be here tomorrow?'
'After I have been to the dentist'
'And Saturday?'
'Not sure. I might have other work to do'
And off he swanned, leaving me with a pile of boxes and a fridge and a kettle.

I called Kitchens Direct and politely explained that things were less than ideal. So far Kitchens Direct had had over £4000 off me and now I had a pile of boxes and no kitchen. The girl at the other end suggested I wrote a letter.
I suggested they could pull their finger out and deliver the missing cupboards tomorrow. To her credit, she said she would try.

Then a passing man rang the doorbell and asked if I knew that there were a pile of unopened brand new boxes with some nice pear wood in them outside on the street. Could he have them?I said I thought they might be my missing cupboards so he helped me bring them in out of the rain.
'It's a good job that I am an honest person' he chortled. I agreed that it was very kind of him.

I rang the fitter. Were these my missing cupboards? No, they were 'extra stuff' that he was 'dumping'. He congratulated me on getting the missing cupboards delivered tomorrow instead of Monday. 'You must have scared them'.
'Yeah, I'm good like that.'

I put the boxes of pear wood back outside again. And went off to buy myself lunch in a local restaurant. I think I may become a good customer over the next few days. Or possibly, weeks.

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Blogger Brennig said...

Bloody hell! This is awful; the inconvenience to you shouldn't be a side-effect of paying these people a sackful of money.

Kitchens Direct do advertise in national media.

Can I suggest you email their press/PR department/marketing people the URI of this article with a snapshot of your readership stats?

May 16, 2008 6:07 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Good idea.

The cupboards have arrived, or at least 3 boxes which I assume are cupboards have arrived.

So that's something.

May 16, 2008 8:56 am  
Blogger TN said...

I've just had a new kitchen fitted, Thankfully my housemate is a DIY enthusiast and great at scamming old kitchen units from friends. It's still not going to make me use anything else but the microwave tho! Great post made me giggle.

"I suggested they could pull their finger out and deliver the missing cupboards tomorrow."

You have a talent for understated humour.


May 17, 2008 1:45 am  
Blogger Ariel said...

Eh... If it's any consolation, B&Q would have been just as bad, if not worse. It's BBQ season anyway, so just move your dinner making to the garden and relax.

May 23, 2008 7:38 am  

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