Friday, 22 August 2008

OPINION: Never Buy From BestChoiceFurniture

By M.D. Spenser

The benefits of internet shopping are obvious. No need to drive from store to store searching for what you want. With a click, you can buy from a reputable company like Amazon, and within a day or two your stuff arrives at the door.

But there are risks.

What if the company boasts a professional website offering a range of goods at what seem to be reasonable prices – but won’t stand behind what it sells?

What if the company is, for example, BestChoiceFurniture.co.uk? And let’s say the product turns out to be defective. You’re likely to be SOL – stone outta luck.

Had you bought from a store with a physical location and regular opening hours, you could go there, demand to see the manager, and probably reach some accommodation. Your merchandise would be replaced or your money refunded.

Take my experience as a cautionary tale. I ordered a bunk bed from BestChoiceFurniture for about £100. The bed arrived in short order. Good news. Unfortunately, when my wife and I assembled it, we found that one part – necessary for stability – was defective.

I called BestChoiceFurniture. When I finally got through, I was told no problem. I could choose between having an entirely new bed delivered or just having the defective part replaced. The bed was 99 percent assembled, so I opted for just the part.

Over the next couple of months, I kept a log of the scores of calls I made to the BestChoice, and the false things BestChoiceFurniture told me in reply. I will spare you the details because that would run to thousands of words. A small sample will do.

I dealt with an ineffectual person named Lisa. The manager refused over the course of several weeks to get on the phone with me – and in the end never spoke to me at all. But Lisa, on behalf of the company, gave me certain delivery dates: I would receive the replacement part next Tuesday. Didn’t arrive? Oh sorry, it will come next week, either Wednesday or Thursday. Not yet? Good News. The part was put in the post today.

All false.

When I became more annoyed, Lisa told me it wasn’t BestChoice’s problem, but one for “the supplier” to fix. I pointed out that I had no deal with “the supplier”. I gave my £100 to BestChoiceFurniture. My arrangement was with them. They took my money; it was their responsibility to provide me with what I paid for – a product I could use.

To no avail. The problem was the supplier’s – and, what’s more, Lisa informed me she did not feel able to “harass” the supplier.

In the end, despite scores of phone calls, I was SOL. BestChoiceFurniture took my money and simply did not care.

None of which means, of course, that you should never by anything from the Web. But it does mean you might want to check out the companies you do business with, searching the Web for testimonials or complaints. And – just my opinion – never do business with BestChoiceFurniture.co.uk

10 comments:

M.D. Spenser said...

For another bad experience with bestchoicefurniture, see this web site:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=41004

M.D. Spenser said...

Another web post about bestchoicefurniture, from someone calling himself Ken_1969:

I had a bad experience with this trader also. We ordered a divan bed from them back on 16th January, and they agreed a Saturday delivery. We phoned them that Saturday lunchtime to double-check that the bed would definitely be delivered, to which they said yes (although any time up to 10pm). So we dismantled our old bed and waited. And waited, and waited! 10pm came and went and still no bed.
Called the next day and no answer - fair enough it was Sunday.
Then at 11pm that night we get a call from their driver, sounding like he was in the pub, telling us we would have the delivery at 7am the next morning. His attitude was terrible, and as it was already after 11pm we said there was no way we could take delivery at 7am. He got very stroppy so we told him to cancel the order and take the bed back.
10 minutes later we got a call from the shop, a young lady (Lisa) who was very conciliatory, so we agreed a delivery date of the following Wednesday (25th Jan). I had to take time off work to wait for delivery, but again, the day went by and no delivery!!
At that point we had enough, and phoned up next day, spoke to Lisa again and she agreed to cancel the order.
We then ordered a new bed from Argos.
My wife then got a call from a driver saying he was about to deliver our bed from Best Choice Furniture! She told him we had already cancelled the order, and even if we hadn't, there was nobody home to take delivery anyway.
Then my wife got a call from Ian, a manager at BCF, who told her that as she had "refused" delivery twice we were giong to be charged 20% of the order value as delivery costs! In both instances, it was a failure on their part, so we refused.
This went back and forth all day and in the end we were asked if we could take delivery that evening after work. We agreed as long as it was between 6-8pm. We then cancelled the bed from Argos (which they were very polite and helpful about).
The bed arrived at literally 8pm on the dot, but then there was a set of wheels missing. Without the wheels the bed just sits on the floor, meaning the draws built into the divan cannot be opened.
The driver promised to have the wheels posted. Next day we phoned Lisa again at BCF just to confirm she had got the message about the wheels. That was Jan 27th.
By February 2nd, still no wheels. My wife phoned again and as her name was mentioned heard in the background someone loudly saying "she's not complaining again is she?". However, she still politely asked if they could just send the wheels so we could actually use the bed properly.
By February 9th, still no wheels, so we wrote a letter to the owner of the company detailing the history and asking for our wheels yet again.
We were "guaranteed" we would have the wheels by that Saturday - 11th Feb - but guess what? Still no wheels!!
It is now 22nd February. After consulting the Trading Standards web site I called again myself, spoke to Lisa and requested a full refund as the goods were not as described and not fit for the purpose intended. She told us we would have to pay delivery charges, both for the original delivery and for picking up the old bed. I told her that was not acceptable as they had not actually delivered goods that were fit for the purpose or as described.
She then spun me a tale of how their office boy had been given the wheels twice to take to the post office and they must have gotten lost and so on and so forth - that she would walk over to the warehouse, put the wheels in an envelope and take them to the post office herself right now.
I told her fine - as long as the wheels arrive by the beginning of next week (I figure I will give it til Tuesday) - otherwise I will phone back and cancel.

This company obviously have some customer services issues and I think you just need to be aware of your rights and be firm with them. They will quote their terms and conditions to you - which actually if you read the small print let them get away with a lot - but as I pointed out their terms and conditions do not affect my statutory rights as a consumer.
Hopefully we will get the wheels and the problem will be solved. I will post a reply either way next week!

M.D. Spenser said...

Yet another complaint about BestChoiceFurniture, this one from chelleb87:

It looks like my fears have been confirmed!!!!, we are also having problems with this company, we eventually got delivery same problems as others have described, when we tried to build the bed, the bolts weren't long enough, went out and bought correct ones, then tried to put the slats in they had sent wrong size..., so now we have a half built bed, trying to get them to send slats from last tuesday after false promises, tons of excuses, vagueness, still no slats, after reading other comments i dont see any hope of getting them any time soon

M.D. Spenser said...

Yet another, from someone named David Rossiter:

I am presently having a very bad experience with this firm too.

I bought one bed for about £280 by credit card on supposed 24hour delivery. The confirmation showed 2 beds for some reason so I called and emailed them straight away. The agreed to a refund. We then had a call 2 days later saying the beds were out of stock and we had to wait 2 weeks.

After another week no refund appeared and we hadnt heard anymore. They said it had been processed and I should wait and they would call back about they bed status.

Four more days - no contact and no refund/bed update. So called again.

They said that bed was now on 4 week+ back order, and also my first refund hadnt been done. They agreed to do it that day.

A few days later no refund and called again to find yet again they hadnt processed the refund. Ill spare you all the details but suffice to say that they are presently evading my requests for a refund.

I have spoken to trading standards and credit card company who have given my inconsistent advice.

What do people suggest as the best way to get this refund back.

I cant believe this company can trade like this - the website is unchanged so presumably people are ordering, paying their money and getting into the situation I am??

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks David

M.D. Spenser said...

Yet another dissatisfied customer, this one named TinyShep:

BCF ARE RIP OFF MERCHANTS. THEY HAVE £200 OF MY MONEY FOR GOODS THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE - LET ALONE DELIVER - I HAVE NO APPARENT MEANS OF GETTING A REFUND!

THEY NEVER ANSWER THE PHONE OR RESPOND TO EMAILS - A COMPLETE BUNCH OF THIEVES - AND IT APPEARS THAT THEY CAN DO THIS WITH COMPLETE IMPUNITY. I HAVE CONTACTED TRADING STANDARDS - BUT THEY HAVEN'T RESPONDED AS YET! READ THE REVIEWS ON REVIEWCENTRE.COM IF YOU THINK I'M AN ISOLATED CASE!

M.D. Spenser said...

For 50 more bad experiences with BestChoiceFurniture, visit this site:

http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews89826.html

RagingAardvark said...

For you folks out there who are trying to contact this company I have, through some extremely painstaking work, managed to find the private mobile number of someone at this company .......... it means that you haven't got to suffer the "our phones lines have a problem, that's what they're constantly engaged" blurb.

I'm currently in the "ten minutes"(tm) waiting for them to call me back to advise where my bed is. If I've heard nothing from them after twenty, I'll repost and then anyone who wants the number can email me.

Kevin James said...

Well, what do you know! The mobile is now another phone that isn't being answered - as I guess they recognise my number now.

However, they won't recognise all of yours, so 0759 5394342 is the number that you require. Good luck!

AlexInUk said...

I just clicked on their ad (google adesense) on your site, so that can you to get some money back from these people. :)
P.S. Maybe you should do the same. Pay back time...:)

Gwyn said...

Issued a summons against Glacier Furniture Ltd t/a "The Bed People" in November. They didn't respond so asked for judgement to be issued and I've now issued a warrant so the bailiffs will move in next