A bad experience with Littlewoods and an elusive call from the ‘specialist’ team

Debbie Murphy’s problems started when she ordered two grey headboards

Debbie Murphy moved into a new house over Christmas and tells us the experience "has really opened my eyes to the poor customer service from some companies. We've had issues with a few but I've never seen anything like my dealings with Littlewoods Online."

Her problem started when she ordered two grey headboards on November 25th and was given a delivery date of December 8th. “I received emails to say they had been dispatched and on their way, but the delivery date came and went. I rang a few times and was told in the T&Cs they do state they can’t guarantee the delivery date and it was with their courier. I accepted that even though their communication was poor and eventually they arrived on December 20th.”

Debbie wasn’t there to accept the delivery and when she came home that evening she was less than pleased to see that one of the headboards was the wrong colour. “I double-checked my order to ensure I hadn’t made the error and rang them on December 22nds to advise them. I was told all they could do was send a courier to collect the incorrect headboard, and because I was a cash client they could not reissue me the correct one, but just refund me and then I order again. Delivery again could take another four weeks. They said the courier would ring me to arrange collection of the incorrect one first.”

Debbie missed a call from Fastway Couriers on January 5th as she was in work and on another call. “I spent the following week trying to call them back but you’re on hold for an hour and only moving in the queue from number 17 to 13, they are impossible to get through to. They didn’t try ring me again either.”


‘Specialist’ team

Eventually on January 15th she rang Littlewoods again to tell them she still had the wrong headboard, and couldn't reach the courier and to tell them that the whole thing was taking far too long. "I was told it would be escalated to a 'specialist' team, and they would use UPS as the courier, and I would receive a call within 48 hours.

And did she receive the call? No she did not.

“I didn’t receive any call, so phoned Littlewoods again. I was told again that someone from the ‘specialist’ team would ring me in 46 hours. I pointed out I was told this last week, and was then put on hold and transferred to underwriting. The customer service agent obviously just wanted rid of me as the person in underwriting had no idea why I was transferred through and couldn’t help. She transferred me then through to upholstery.”

Debbie says the customer service agent in upholstery went into the system to arrange a courier collection again while she was on the phone.

So that was brilliant. Except it was not brilliant.

She was then told that the system wouldn't let him make the changes because Debbie was in Ireland. "He advised the only way I could return the headboard they incorrectly sent me was to bring it to a post office and return it myself. I pointed out how ridiculous that is for me to carry a king size headboard into a post office at my expense in terms of cost and time because of their error. I also pointed out I have been told since December 22nd (a month ago now) that a courier would collect. He just advised the system wouldn't let him and offered to escalate to his manager. I took him up on that offer and he advised a manager would ring me within four hours. That was yesterday and I haven't received a call back yet."

She says that aside from the debacle of trying to get the headboard back, she is “dreading ordering it again for fear of going through all this once more. I have the single headboard all along in the correct colour, so it is either return the whole lot or hope I get the right colour when I eventually return the king size one. “

We contacted the company and received the following statement:

“Our customer service team has worked through the details of Ms Murphy’s case and identified a number of things that went wrong to create an experience that does not live up to our usual standards. We’ll be looking into appropriate steps we can take to ensure this type of situation doesn’t arise again.

“We have been in contact with Ms Murphy and arranged collection of the incorrect headboard and a replacement. We’ve also apologised to Ms Murphy for the stress and inconvenience caused and arranged for a gesture of goodwill to reflect this.”