Good Customer Service

Regular readers will be aware that we’ve recently had a new kitchen installed, and that we had some delays in that process. We sent off a letter of complaint asking for compensation for having spent over 4 weeks without a kitchen (the room was completely bare, back to floorboards and brick).

Last night we received a response.

In a two page letter, each of our points was tackled, apology was offered and a full explanation of the processes and reasons for the delay were given. It was sympathetically written whilst being firm on certain points, and answered every issue we raised. It also offered us an amount of compensation that we are happy with (we pitched higher, and they offered exactly what we wanted, score!). The matter is, in essence, closed.

I will be phoning the Head of Technical Services to clarify one thing, namely that they need to outline their working processes in a bit more detail, but that aside I have to admit that, throughout our dealings with them, Kitchens Direct have been excellent.

Whilst they could do with a few more staff on the support line, every query I had was dealt with quickly and, crucially, I was kept up to speed at all times.

Replacing an entire kitchen is a major piece of work, so Louise and I went into it with the full understanding that there would be some glitches along the way and aside from the 4 week gap of inactivity, we only had a few problems. For example, a skip was supposed to be delivered to hold all of the rubbish and old kitchen units. It hadn’t appeared so I phoned Kitchens Direct to ask what was going on. The guy who answered apologised (and sounded genuine), took my number and said he’d call me back once he’d spoken to the firm that should’ve supplied the skip. 30 minutes later he did, the skip arrived the next day and, presumably, was filled and taken away that same day as we never actually saw it, or all the old ripped units, again.

Similarly when the fitters started hanging the doors, they found one was completely wrong. A replacement was ordered and delivered to us promptly, with the delivery driver using his own car for it because he’d already done his mileage for the day in his van and “well, it was only one door and I didn’t want to hold up your new kitchen”.

It’s difficult to get customer service right, but I believe Kitchens Direct are doing a pretty good job. Not only that but the kitchen itself is absolutely first class, the fitters have done an excellent job, and if it wasn’t for one glitch then I’d have spent all of this post extolling their virtues.

The bottom line, and my main point, is that I’m still willing to recommend Kitchens Direct to anyone who is looking to get a new kitchen, and that recommendation is largely down to their customer service department.

And finally a quick thanks to her witchy of blueness for some sage advice for our letter of complaint.

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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I think that, as they sub-contract all the work out, it seems to be a bit luck of the draw. Their surveyor (who is hired by them directly) doesn’t do what I’d call a survey though, he passed our electrical system only for the fitters electrician to reject it after one quick test, hence the letter of complaint.

mum says:

Result!! Glad that’s it all sorted. Bathroom next?

Now that all the delays and letters of complaint are behind you, the business of enjoying your kitchen can continue unimpeded.

The kitchen looks fantastic from the photos.

I think that your definition of good customer service is rather more flexible than mine (the time they took to respond to your letter of complaint being a case in point…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Glad you’ve got the outcome you wanted – although I always say that, like insurance claim payments, it’s a bad idea to accept a company’s first offer if it’s not all you asked for. But, given how long it’s all dragged on, I can see how you just want an end to it all.

BTW Kitchen’s Direct make more ‘silent calls’ from call centres than any other company, I discoverd last week. Which does not impress me at all.

Now, if/when you do the bathroom, DO NOT UNDER *ANY* CIRCUMSTANCES USE DOLPHIN BATHROOOMS!!! (haven’t time to tell you why, just take my word for it). For that job, may I recommend sourcing your own items (use local plumbes merchants, not the DIY sheds – although they can be good for design ideas if you need them) and getting a recommended local plumber/tiler to fit it all? You’ll save a *lot* of money (especially if you get your plumber to get the units for you at trade price, which many of them will) and have a lot more control. London Calling dave, now living near Blackpool, is in that line now. It may be worth dropping him an email…

‘scuse typos and stray apostrophes…

BW, you are excused and right on several fronts (as bloody usual eh! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Yes we shouldn’t have accepted their first offer but you hit the nail on the head, we just want it over and they weren’t that far away actually. And yes, our experience is not indicative of the company for others but that’s all *I’ve* got to go on.

And, finally, yes. When we get the bathroom done (hey Mum are you offering funds??) we’re definitely going down the route you suggest.

Here’s an idea for ‘funds’ – if your parents have money in the bank that they don’t immediately need, and presuming they pay tax, perhaps they would be prepared to lend it to you for a defined period, with monthly repayments, for what they’d otherwise get in interest from the bank/building society, minus the tax they’d pay. Which will be way cheaper than you can get a loan, so everyone gains ๐Ÿ™‚

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