Moneywise helps a reader who was promised a refund
We are renovating our new home and went to Carpetright to get flooring. We decided on a style we liked but, unfortunately, there was less than half the quantity needed in store, so the order was carried out in two separate batches. When we were paying, we asked the salesman if we could return the flooring if we changed our minds. The salesman said we have 14 days to return the flooring.
We did change our mind and after seven days went to return the flooring to the same store. We were met by the same salesman who asked if we had opened any boxes, and then referred us to his manager.
The manager flatly said “no returns other than surplus stock”, which – not mentioned in the contract – was just under 10% of the order. We asked if we could at least cancel the remaining order, which we hadn’t received, only to be met with a “no”. We were told to speak to customer services, which upon answering our query, said it was up to the store manager.
The total sum is just under £800, which to a young family who has just bought a property is a huge amount, but to a national company like Carpetright is a pittance, especially as they will have its stock back unscathed.
We escalated our complaint to the area manager, who agreed to refund the part of the order that was not delivered. Even so, they have not followed through, and we are yet to receive any money back.
Can you help us get our cash back?
I researched Carpetright on the internet and there appeared to be a number of other people with similar complaints about delayed refunds or botched orders. But when I contacted the firm on TS’s behalf, it responded right away.
A Carpetright spokesperson told me: “We were sorry to hear about the issues that TS has experienced with regards to his flooring and refund. The refund has now been authorised and should be in TS’s bank account within three to five working days. We would like to apologise for any distress or inconvenience caused to TS and his family.”
That was a good response, but it shouldn’t have been necessary for me to get involved in the first place.
Carpetright is a struggling company involved in a desperate turnaround to save the business. Last year the company agreed a rescue plan, which included the closure of 81 stores. Even so, losses in the second half of the year were almost £12 million.
It seems clear that in its struggle for survival it has taken its eye off the ball in terms of treating customers fairly. If it doesn’t improve and ensure that customers have a happy experience, I can’t see much of a future for the firm.
Hopefully, it will take positive action to improve things.
OUTCOME: Carpetright has promised the reader a refund
SIMON READ is a a money writer and broadcaster. He was personal finance editor at The Independent and is an expert on BBC1’s Right On The Money