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Martyn's complaint against Littlewoods

Martyn Bennett


You call this customer service?

Complaint against Littlewoods

This is a copy of the email I sent to Littlewoods with a little bit added on. This complaint was made on behalf of my mother who ordered me a sofa as a housewarming present and originally sent from her email address. I have a complaint regarding my recent order(s) of the Bardot LH double arm corner group plus chair (item number 6GGNL) My complaint does not relate to the product as such, as will be explained further on in this email I have yet to take delivery of this item. My complaint is quite wide ranging and is linked to various customer services issues which have been encountered by both myself and my son for whom I have ordered this as a house warming present as he has recently moved. This sofa was originally ordered on the 8th August, some 6 and a half weeks ago now.  At this point we were advised a delivery date of 22nd September, I then received a text guaranteeing this would be with us by this date.  However, my son was due to move to One flat but at the last moment a bigger plot became available in the same new build block and so he took this one on instead. We contacted Littlewoods in order to change the delivery address assuming this would be no problem as I had personally requested it and the delivery address was merely changing to be the floor above the current delivery address.  However I was informed (I also have the email to prove this) that this was not possible and I would need to cancel my order and then place a new one for the product.  Reluctantly and perceiving there to be problems with this having already ordered the product 3 weeks we checked the delivery date and it said estimated delivery time had been reduced and that the second delivery should be with us only a week later. We placed a new order and again received a text along the lines of "great news well have your order with you by the originally delivery date of 29/9" a while later.  Having moved and with nothing to sit on and having previously known products to come quicker than expected (for example my Bardot 2 price suite was delivered earlier than originally estimated) after checking the tracking we saw that in the 14th September the items tracking was updated to "available for delivery" at this point we left it a few days before our first contact with your "help" line. We spoke to the First Lady who basically refused to give me any information at all and had an attitude as if to say "it'll get there when it gets there now just leave me alone" later that evening I rang again and got someone vaguely more helpful who passed us on the name of the courier and a tracking number (which doesn't fit the format for online tracker with said courtier). After ringing the courtier they advised that they had the order destined for the first flat already and waiting to deliver but that it was being redirected to sender as the order had been cancelled and that the second order came in 3 parts A B and C and two parts had arrived at their depot and the third hadn't. At this point we set about getting back in touch with you in order to try and chase up the missing part.  This is where the problems really began. The first person I spoke to was again unhelpful and basically said well it should get there eventually but had no answers as to why the tracking said available for delivery when it clearly wasn't.  Unsatisfied with this as anyone would be I rang again and spoke with someone who rang through to the depo to make sure they didn't have it, they claimed not too and I tried asking where the item could be to which I didn't really get a response. We then decided to try a new angle and had a few conversations with the Arrow XL depot to try and understand the process a bit more , they said that the first one had come in all together and items like this normally do so we're confused as to why the second order hadn't and raised an enquiry to search the warehouse to make sure it hadn't been delivered to them but not scanned. We then tried ringing littlewoods again as we assumed as again I believe anyone would that you would have some sort of idea wether it had been delivered to the depot or where the third part actually was and what was causing the delay , again no information was really forthcoming and I was told to "wait until the 28th if they haven't rung you by then, we'll do something we won't do anything before then" which isn't really good enough or polite customer service , is it? I work for the largest retail mail and logistics company in the country as a branch manager and therefore can understand the mishaps which can happen with deliveries etc.  However there is no excuse for the lack of customer service or effort on both your and Arrow XLs part to trace the item. Having been informed by arrow and knowing from previous experience they usually call 4/5 working days before delivery to arrange a slot and them having logged an issue on it about 4 working days ago today we decided to try them again.  They basically told us they definitely hadn't received part C and still haven't up until now and to contact littlewoods , during my various contact with them I asked of any chance of re routing the original order to me and also asked littlewoods on numerous occasions to try and do this to which I was consistently told no.  I also asked arrow whether part a and b could be delivered and we could get part c at a later date to which they also vehemently refused to do. Now here is where things get very bad and confusing, so pay attention as I don't expect some copy and pasted generic response. After work on 23/9, my son dialed littlewoods in my presence, he was placed on hold in a queue with an automated message saying he would be on hold for 20 minutes, I then tried my phone (with him still on hold) and made it through in about 45 seconds. He hung up and I spoke to someone who was quite possibly the most unhelpful person I encountered at first , at which point while I was still on the phone my son redialled and was placed in a hold queue again. After getting to the bottom of my query (an exhausting process)!your colleague on the help line eventually looked into the issue and assured me that my item would DEFINITELY be with arrow by Friday and delivered to me by MONDAY.  About a minute before the end of my call my son got through and began chasing the same enquiry , his respondent on the help line was a lot more helpful from the get go but open looking through everything and ringing the courier (which we told both advisors we had done multiple times) that there was absolutely NO WAY it would be with us by Tuesday. Here are the serious issues/concerns/questions this raises for me: 1. How could one phone be placed in a queue expected to be 20 minutes long and still be on hold after someone who has rung in afterwards? Is this purely luck of the draw? Why is it not a straightforward queue as anyone would expect? 2. How can we be told LITERALLY 5 minutes apart two completely different things? How can one guarantee something for Monday while another assures us there is no hope it will be with us by Tuesday which is afterwards? 3. Why is it that over the course of probably 6/7 calls the customer service received varied so widely it is hard to believe all these people have the same job role in the same company? Does littlewoods not look to offer a consistent service? 4. Why has no one been able to get past Arrow XL as being the problem? If Arrow have not received the item at all the problem (which I have told at least 3 of your advisors) is quite clearly wherever the product comes from before this, so why had no one yet chased up this part of the process? 5. Why is one person happy to look into our query now but someone else isn't prepared to until a day before the delivery date? The advisor who spoke to my son also said these were advised delivery dates and estimated whereas your website tracking, your text and other advisors have made this out to be a guaranteed date? How am I meant to know what is going on with my item with such inconsistent service? So anyway, my son explains all these issues to his advisor and he gets transferred over to another team, I'm assuming some sort of issue resolution service, we didn't quite catch his exact job title. he seemed as if he was trying his best to help and actually took on board what we were saying to him, however he did raise another interesting point, upon seeing the two orders for the same item he questioned why we hadn't just changed the delivery address especially after I asked whether the other one could be redirected.  I told him we were told this was not possible and he told me it was completely possible and we should never have been told it wasn't and forced to cancel my order. Although agent "k" let's call him seemed helpful it turned out he was full of hot air. He took a phone number and did some digging and when he came back he said it could be a number of issues and he was raising these internally with Arrow and Littlewoods in order to get to the bottom of it, one of the things he suggested could be the problem is that the stock isn't actually available. Now , we're this to be the case, you should've had one available as Arrow told me they had the full and complete order we was incorrectly forced to cancel in their warehouse/depot as late as last week, so there is one that should be available.  Also this product was ordered in the sale and the price has now gone up to over double the price we ordered for, now if we can no longer have this item if part C is unobtainable are littlewoods going to discount another full price similar style and quality sofa to the sale price? As I'm sure you are aware when I ordered the item we entered into a contract of purchase which you will then be reneging on. I want this issue resolved and my increasing concerns looked at in detail and responded to as soon as possible..  This is without doubt the utmost worst customer service experience and sales process I have ever encountered.  Having been previous a customer of Kays/KamdCo and this being the first order I have placed since the merger with Littlewoods, the standard of service has definitely decreased significantly and should a satisfying solution not be found to erase my concerns then you could well find my business transferring elsewhere imminently. Considering the below is the profile on your own corporate website of one of your executives (Let's call them "j" for now) ""J" joined the board of Shop Direct following her appointment to the business in January 2009. Since then, she has had responsibility for delivering a far-reaching change programme within Shop Direct, which has included a major rationalisation of its contact centre operation and the outsourcing of its IT function. Her current challenge is to engender a purpose and values-led culture within the organisation that enables people to deliver against its ambitious world class digital ambitions." Based upon my experience somebody should be getting fired as the "rationalisation" of the contact centre operation has obviously lead to a decrease and more widely varying level of customer service and due to the amount of issues experience I would not say I have seen anything to let me believing that littlewoods and the shop direct group is enabling any sort of "ambitious world class digital ambitions" To add insult to injury, I have now today received my monthly bill and am being expected to make payment towards an item that by your own admission may never actually be delivered to me. I drafted this email last night and have since now spoken with you again to be told "the courier had cancelled my order and advised us (littlewoods) to re order it for me.  What use is this going to be? This is going to mean waiting st least another 6 weeks and why wasn't the order already re ordered by the time I managed to phone your advisors back 3 hours after they initially left me a voicemail? Most importantly why is every single persons attitude seemingly "there's nothing we can do" this shouldn't be the case, why is nobody trying to find a bespoke solution to this issue? It's not acceptable , I am sick to deaf of hearing "our process is we only deliver a full order" even when the customer is requesting the part order? And the customer recovery team had agreed to my son verbally that this would be the sensible option? Also, what good is t reordering my item? If the product is unavailable it will still be unavailable upon reordering, the truth of the matter evidently seems to be that the item has either been lost or damaged beyond recognition but nobody seems to want to admit this? I look forward to receiving your quick, detailed and non generalised response suggesting a solution to this whole situation. Further to this email which was originally sent on 25/09/2015, that evening I tried to contact again, to be PROMISED that "k" the person I had been dealing with at customer recovery would be calling me back at half 7, when this call did not materialise I made another call to yourselves to find someone who would give me no information at all, until my son took the phone and directly requested to speak to Kalil, I have gone blue in the face explaining myself over and over yet nobody will give me a direct number to phone through to the customer recovery team who are supposedly already attempting to deal with this issue.  Eventually getting through to customer recovery we were promised again that we would be rung back by "k" as he was busy by the time they closed at 11PM, at 10 to 11, having waited up (I leave for work everyday including Saturdays at 5AM) for 2 and a half hours to be told that the customer recovery team finishes work at 10 AND NOT 11. It seems there is an absolute disregard for customer service within the organisation, I have made over 20 phone calls regarding this and still haven't actually received anything that I can classify as being help, nobody is prepared to even give me the glimmer of hope of a phone number or email to get a direct response from someone who actually has the power as part of their job role to do anything other than read notes that are on a computer. UPDATE: 26/09/2015 - finally got through again to the customer recovery team, although not the person supposedly dealing with my issues who hadn't called me back, again all they were willing to do was chase the courier (WHO NEVER HAD THE ITEM!!!) I mentioned chasing the supplier during this call and others and was told they couldn't check this. Promised a call back after they had spoken to courier (I requested them to try and get them to not return the order so something could be sorted) call back never came and after chasing twice I eventually just said out me through to anyone, again provided with an email address that takes 3 working days to get a response and nothing else. Eventually getting back through to a different person at customer recovery to be told my order had already been returned (maybe if someone had listened to me originally and actually tried doing something this wouldn't have happened) told my only option was to re order the same sofa (which had now left the sale and the price more than doubled) to be told they will discount this back to my original order price, I mentioned being told by "K"the advisor the other day I would be able to order a similar quality and price product and have this reduced if a quicker delivery time was available, this advisor decided to tell me this was not the case (yet more Incohesion!!) requested escalation and explanation as to the lies , again given an email address with 3 days response time (NOT GOOD ENOUGH) asked to speak to a manager to get to the bottom of the lies. Manager doesn't take phone calls, he managed the staff (is sorting an issue with your staff providing incorrect information not managing the staff and their future performance?) requested a further fall back from "K"to find out why he had said this, told he would do this, no call again received. Requested details on how to submit a subject access request in order to gain all recorded calls for reference , told that it would be £10 per transcript of each call (around £300 by this point). Emails sent to various senior staff members within littlewoods and to the "customer excellence team" where everything is escalated too (incidentally the first point of contact where I was given incorrect information, so how they're going to help I don't know) on Friday, received an automated reply from one listing other people to contact in his absence so also forwarded to them on Saturday and no response yet received from anybody.

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