Pricewatch: Reader bought a bed from Littlewoods, but it never arrived

‘I ordered the bed because I need it, why can’t they now send me out another one?’

DHL had noted the shipment was delivered on July 16th but I had not received it. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/ Bloomberg

DHL had noted the shipment was delivered on July 16th but I had not received it. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/ Bloomberg

 

A reader called Jaclyn bought a bed online from Littlewoods on July 1st and was given a delivery date of July 11th. “On July 13th I was contacted by DHL [courier company] to say it would be delivered on July 16th,” she writes. Nothing was delivered and no one contacted her about it.

“I tracked the shipment, it noted it had been passed twice to a third-party courier. On July 20th I called DHL, they told me Littlewoods items are handled by the ‘Supply Chain’ , they gave me a number to ring. I rang five different times on different days, it rang out every time. I left a message on the voicemail with my number, no one contacted me,” she says.

Also on July 20th she called Littlewoods customer service. “After holding for some time while the girl I was speaking to made inquiries, she told me the bed was sent to a third-party courier as it was a ‘high-value item’ and they have ‘escalated’ its delivery status with them to be delivered by the following week, and that the delivery company would call me to arrange the day and time and she would arrange a call-back for me on July 27th to check it had been delivered. No delivery company called, no delivery came and no call back from Littlewoods either.”

Escalate

Then on August 2nd, Jaclyn called Littlewoods customer service and again explained the situation to another girl who transferred her to the original customer service girl to whom she had spoken. “She checked the status again and said she would again ‘escalate’ the delivery status and arrange a call-back. Nothing.”

Five days later she called again and asked for the same girl as before.

“She checked the status again and said she would again try to ‘escalate’ its delivery status to highest level and investigate what was the issue but if it was not delivered this time that she could offer a refund. I did not ask for a refund. She said she would monitor the issue and arrange a call-back. No delivery.”

On Thursday, August 9th, Littlewoods called her back to say DHL had noted the shipment was delivered on July 16th “and obviously I had not received it. They were very sorry and they would have to initiate an investigation as to what happened with the courier. She would now refund me. I told her I did not want the refund, I wanted the bed. I continued [by saying] I ordered the bed because I need it, it is still available to purchase on Littlewoods.ie, why can’t they now send me out another, if they know it has not been delivered to a customer who has paid for the good? She said an investigation would take 48 hours with DHL and she would call me back Monday, August 13th. No one has called me back as yet.”

When Jaclyn wrote to us she said she was “so lost now, I don’t know where to go to get an answer. The bed is for my little girl, I wanted to get her settled in it with plenty of time before school starts.”

She says she understands that as a bigger item it may need more time for delivery and she has no problem with that.

“My partner runs an online business from home, we have all the courier companies here on a daily basis so I know there is no problem with them coming to us. I thought ordering from an international company, it would be a smooth service. I was so wrong. I would not take issue with having to wait longer because of logistics etc, but the lack of communication is unacceptable.”

She says Littlewoods has no communication from purchase to delivery.

“You track your parcel from your online account but it’s very limited information; there’s no automated shipping notification email, nothing. When the email asking for a review arrived, I reviewed it based on the facts above. An email came back almost immediately to say my review had been moderated, as it contained delivery details, not information on the quality of the item. It would not be published as it’s not helpful to customers’ decision-making. Yet, still no one from Littlewoods contacted me.”

She says that if it was truly the case that the item was shown to be delivered on July 16th she does not understand why they weren’t able to tell her that on the first customer service call, “if they had ‘investigated’. I purchased the bed at sale time, it was €389; it is now online for €579. If I was cynical I would think there’s more to it, luckily I am not . . . yet. I had to take my daughter out of her cot so now she’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I have a chronic illness, this is just adding to my stress levels.”

A spokeswoman for Shop Direct Ireland said: “We’ve looked into the details of Ms Maher’s case and identified a number of service failings. We’ve contacted her to say sorry, refunded the item and sent €100 to reflect the stress and inconvenience caused. The service Ms Maher experienced does not meet the high standards we set ourselves. We are now investigating this case to help ensure that the same mistakes aren’t repeated.”