Leigh Park pensioners’ anger after bodged SCS fitting left them tripping over their carpet for a year
Leigh Park pensioners Joan and Cyril Haiselden splashed out £1,037 on new carpeting from SCS in their 2018 winter sale, and expected it to be professionally laid.
The carpeting was ordered from the firm’s Waterlooville store to replace hallway, stairs, front room and porch carpeting which after redecorating they subsequently decided had seen better days.
But getting safely through her front door soon became a tripping hazard when Joan discovered the porch carpet hadn’t been laid properly in one piece.
Instead, there were three individual carpet segments, comprising one running parallel with the door and another two wider strips down each side.
Because they hadn’t been secured to the floor the various pieces of carpet soon developed a nasty habit of lifting when hoovering and walking over them.
As the problem came to light around a month after the carpet had been laid by a fitter approved by SCS, Jean, 73, thought it would be a doddle getting the matter sorted.
However that wasn’t the only bone she had to pick with the national home refurbishment store.
She says the carpet was advertised with free fitting, but after the fitter had finished the job leaving her with two trips to the dump to dispose of the offcut debris, he insisted on a £173.50 payment for laying the carpet.
‘The carpet was guaranteed for a year,’ she said, ‘but as you come into the doorway it was all lifting at the threshold so I complained to the store who told me they didn’t do complaints and I’d have to get onto head office.’
‘I rang the complaints number they gave me at least five times. I initially rang them and got no satisfaction, so I rang them again and again only to discover I was just banging my head against a brick wall.
‘As the months went by I was getting more and more frustrated. I was furious. It was the principle of the thing.
‘Every time I complained they said they’d get in touch with the carpet fitter, but as the months went by I still had no joy so they said they’d give me the carpet fitter’s number to ring.
‘I told them in no uncertain terms that as they’d recommended the fitter it was up to them to get the matter sorted.
‘Customer services then agreed to call the fitter for me but when I heard nothing I rang him four times but he never got back to me.
‘The last straw came when I was talking to my son-in-law about it. He couldn’t believe it so he volunteered to go to the store and kick up a fuss for me.
‘He went there in September, October, and November, each time to complain about the shoddy fitting of the carpet and he’s just gone again in January for me. Despite the struggle to get it sorted for the last 12 months they’d not even sent anyone out to look at it.
‘During all this time the head office has known about it as well as the store. That’s why I’m so angry and disgusted.
‘I don’t blame the staff in the shop. At least they were always polite. It was just the way I was constantly brushed aside by the complaints people at head office. I’d never recommend them to anybody after what I’ve had to put up with.’
When Joan asked Streetwise for help it was obvious she was at the end of her tether and seething with anger at the dismissive way her complaint had been handled.
We wanted to know why the national sofa and carpet retailer appeared comfortably relaxed about it and were apparently prepared to walk all over her.
It was an outstanding example of how not to deal with what was initially a minor customer matter that had been bungled and allowed to morph into a major incident.
We soon discovered carpet fitting problems and the failure to deal with them promptly were all down to the firm’s policy of not employing their own carpet layers, and failing to handle customer issues at a local level.
Although the firm has a good reputation for retailing quality carpeting at competitive prices, we were critical of issues with SCS approved fitters who were behind a significant number of social media complaints about customer service standards.
We were also uncomfortable about their advertised free fitting promotion which could be potentially misleading, so we invited them to comment.
Almost by return Joan’s problems were quickly resolved.
A company spokesperson explained: ‘We have contacted Mrs Haiselden direct to resolve her concerns with regard to the flooring, and to clarify that we did pay for the fitter, her order was discounted to the value of the fitting costs.
‘The terms of our fitting offer are available in store and on our website.’
We got onto Joan to give her the good news that her year-long battle to get the porch carpeting sorted was finally over.
She said: ‘After you got in touch with them I had a call to say they were sending someone out straight away to measure up the porch, and refit the carpet all in one piece.’
‘They’ve promised it will all be fixed within three weeks.
‘I’m happy that they’ve finally contacted me but the bit that annoyed me most was the fact that it wasn’t until you got onto them that no one ever even got back to me or came out to have a look at it to see what needed to be done.
‘I told them I’d get onto the papers because I just wasn’t prepared to leave it there. I wasn’t going to give in after the expense of all the phone calls to them. They didn’t seem to care we’re pensioners.‘I really appreciate what Streetwise has done for me, and I can’t thank you enough.’