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“So Much For The Much Vaunted John Lewis Customer Service”

Written on: 09/08/2011

I have shopped with John Lewis for years because I trusted them to give good customer service. JL wins awards all the time for customer service, this year (2011) included. In 2008 I bought a Hotpoint Condenser Dryer which came with the usual JL 2 year guarantee. That guarantee expired some 11 months ago. Two weeks ago, the Dryer refused to start the programme. I contacted JL with a formal letter to the Senior Customer Services Manager describing the problem and explaining that, although the 2 year guarantee had expired, this is no way affects my consumer rights. I told JL it was responsible for the cost of repair and for arranging that repair. There was a delay in reply of a week or so, while my damp washing is constantly draped around the house and a depressing sight that is! My blood pressure was starting to rise at being ignored in this way, so yesterday I chased up my contact at JL who had referred the matter to "the appropriate department" and she chased up the "appropriate department" which turned out to be Customer Services. And I got a reply yesterday from Customer Services. You guessed it. I was fobbed off by a JL Customer Service Manager. I was told to get my own "quote and documentation" for the repair, produce this to JL who would then CONSIDER whether to contribute towards the repair. The email also said that I should expect to have to replace a condenser dryer every two years! And quoted some amateurish legal nonsense at me. So I was expected to spend money and time calling out an engineer to assess the problem (there goes £80 - 100 to start with just for the call out and a further fee for the report, let's say another £50 or so). Then JL would look at this and CONSIDER whether to CONTRIBUTE to the repair. Now there's a great deal for the customer :0( I decided straightaway that I was not going to correspond with this particular Customer Service Manager - clearly he had no idea of what "customer service" means! I believe he thinks that it's the customer's job to sort the problem out rather than his. What he should have done is suggest that an engineer hired by JL would attend at my home at my convenience to assess the problem and report back to him and then arrange for repair/replacement. He would not have argued that a person should have to buy a new condenser/dryer every two years. If we all had to replace all electrical white goods we buy every two years we would not just be seriously out of pocket but we would probably go off the idea of buying white goods at all and go back to washing by hand, mangling, washing lines, and the stewpot over the fire like in Victorian times. So disgusted was I by this customer service manager's cavalier attitude to my plight (I am at this moment contemplating a damp towel hanging over the living room door), that I have written a complaint about the faulty Dryer and the sadly wanting customer service too to the Chief Executive/Managing Director, who I read in the media believes heartily in good customer service at JL. I shall report back to Reviewcentre on the progress. Let us hope that us JL customers will not be disappointed. After all JL did win Which Magazine Retailer of the Year in 2010 ....

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