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@Wickes customer services ignoring us


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The background in brief.

 

Bought a fitted kitchen from Wickes (deposit paid by credit card, balance on a finance agreement) in August. Bulk of order was delivered October for installation to start at the beginning of November, expected to take 6 weeks to complete due to additional building works. Order included a made to measure worktop supplied by a sub-contractor.

 

Issue 1 - the subcontractors failed to turn up for 2 templating appointments so the worktop was not actually fitted until the end of January, meaning we had been without a kitchen for 3 months, including no sink and no hob. We had a temporary kitchen set up in the dining room with a hotplate and the microwave and were using the cloakroom for a (tiny) sink and water.

 

Issue 2 - the worktop price included an amount for 'drainer grooves' to go with the fancy undermount sink. There are certainly grooves there but they don't drain as they're too shallow and there's no slope on them, as a result anything left on the 'drainer' was sitting in a puddle and the constant puddle was leaving limescale deposits on the worktop within 2 weeks even though we were mopping it up regularly. Since you can't use harsh cleaners on the worktop, those deposits are getting harder and harder to remove and will become permanent. We wanted the undermount sink and drainer grooves to avoid having anything cluttering the worktop and to give us a little extra work space, but to avoid cups and glasses sitting in a puddle instead of draining we've had to put a trivet over the grooves so we might just as well have had a standard sink and drainer at a fraction of the price.

 

Issue 3 - we contacted Wickes on 17th February to advise that the double oven had stopped heating up. They eventually sent an engineer, lovely chatty chap, freely admitted he'd only been 'doing ovens' for 4 weeks. His only solution was to replace one of the heating elements, though he couldn't as the one he'd brought was the wrong size. Having checked the existing element as not being faulty he then spent 20 minutes on the phone to a colleague asking for advice after which he disconnected all the electrics and took the ovens out of the housing, stared at the innards for a while then put it back. In the process of reconnecting the electrics he blew the main trip switch. He then turned the top oven on and it appeared to be working correctly, though he had no idea why or how the fault had gone (I can guess - handbook says the first thing to do in the event of a fault is switch off at the mains and wait 10 minutes ...). At no point did he even switch the bottom oven on even though we'd made it clear the fault was with both ovens.

 

4 days later the top oven started playing up again, and a couple of days after that the bottom oven followed suit. We contacted Wickes again immediately, they acknowledged the email and said they were dealing with it (on 10th March) but have ignored every communication since. Their Twitter team say they have tried to escalate this repeatedly but if they have, they're being ignored too. 2 weeks ago I wrote to Wickes, the credit card company and the finance company saying we weren't prepared to put up with this any longer and giving them until tomorrow to contact us or we will have to take further action, e.g. replace the ovens ourselves so we can at least cook properly for the first time in 5 months and send them the bill plus charge storage for the faulty oven until they take it away. We've also formally rejected the worktop as not fit for purpose and made a claim for expenses in having to buy take aways etc. No response from any of them.

 

We feel totally let down by Wickes, not because of the issues with the worktop and ovens but because of their dreadful communication skills. The designer and installer did their jobs without fault (I've recommended both to friends and relatives) but their customer services team have let them down too. The delays in the kitchen have also delayed renovations in the rest of the house (being done by the same builder, he's that good) because the dining room was being used as a temporary kitchen so there was no space to store stuff out of other rooms so they could work in there. Originally the master suite should have been finished by the end of January, we're now in April and they're hoping to get first fix electrics and plastering done this week. Overall the builder thinks the delay is now about 10 weeks because they've had to go and do other jobs whilst waiting to be able to do more work here - I imagine it's been a bit of a nightmare for them with having to reschedule contractors all the time.

 

I plan to purchase new ovens by the end of the week but have to first find one that will fit as our model is no longer available and the replacement is smaller (and has a slightly lower spec, no telescopic runners, smaller oven only has room for a single shelf whereas ours has two). I'm not sure what to do if I can't find a 'like for like' replacement - if we have to mess with the oven housing I can see this turning from an annoyance to a wide screen epic. It also feels wrong to be having to escalate what should have been resolved weeks ago - I'll give them a few more days because I'd forgotten we had a bank holiday weekend in the way, but the next step will have to be a letter before claim.

 

It all just makes me feel very tired. 

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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A pretty long story

I'm trying to work out if the supplier of the materials and the installation contractor are separate. In other words, did Wickes organise the installation as well or is that a separate arrangement?

Is your complaint about the quality of the items which were supplied? Or the quality of the installation work?

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Wicked supplied the kitchen and arranged installation.. The problems are the quality of the worktop and ovens and how long it’s taken.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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So a single contract with Wickes and you were dealing with Wickes directly and paying them.

Your opening post was rather long.

Could you just bullet point the defects and the delays please

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