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Old 15th May 2014, 08:49 AM
Bob216 Bob216 is offline
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Unhappy Dispute with Howden's Ltd!!!


I'm hoping someone here can advise me on the best way forward in a dispute with Howden's Joinery Ltd over a kitchen they supplied.

Simply put, I was sold a kitchen by Howden's under their price match promise after I had a quote for a kitchen from Ikea. I sat with their in house designer, selected the product, colour, doors, panels etc. At this stage I was happy with my choices and was clear about what I ordered for the price matched.

However, when the kitchen arrived it was not as I had been led to expect.
1. The order should have been ALL cream, but half of the items of the order were white:
2. Some units were not the specified size.
3. Some doors were not the specified size
4. 2 doors were sent instead of wall end panels
5. One 300mm wall unit door was from a totally different product range.

This was bad enough and costly as I spent much time trying to correct this order and swapping various items. Mistakes can happen, I know, but this was beginning to go beyond that.
However the final straw for my client was when we discovered that the base and wall end panels were not as expected. I came very close to losing the job and even though I was working in the North of England at the time I drove back to try to sort out what I believed was simply yet another annoying mistake in order to save the job and reassure my client.

In fact, I found that the panels had been substituted for a cheaper type and it was not a mistake after all. I understand that it was the branch manager who took this decision. Her justification was that she ‘matched the price’ from Ikea and that therefore the end panels received were all that could be provided for that price – this WAS NOT mentioned during purchase or after delivery. I had not been advised by anyone at Howden’s that this would be the case. During my sitting with the designer it was clear what panels and doors I was to be buying.

The branch manager was less than helpful and seemed to care not one jot about the inconvenience and stress to my client, and the cost to me in delays. The manger stated that I could have the promised panels - as long as I now paid the extra charge! She had matched the price and that was that.

I had to refund my client £300 in order to keep the work and lost further potential work from her neighbours over this debacle and was forced to use another Howden's branch to finish the work at yet more cost to me.

Howden's are a nightmare to try and contact and have no visible complaints procedure. I eventually wrote to their head office stating my dissatisfaction and have withheld paying my account.

Their reply was not helpful. They say they have carried out an 'investigation' amounting to simply calling the branch manager. They have ignored my list of complaints to them completely.The say that the goods were as ordered and therefore, unless I can provide proof to the contrary, I must pay in full etc.

I would like to know what my rights are here? Am I within my rights to possibly pay the bill less my costs, say £400? At least an apology from them would be nice.

Hoping someone knows what is best before they send the bailiffs round or blacken my credit rating.
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Old 15th May 2014, 10:16 AM
Sammy80 Sammy80 is offline
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Default Re: Dispute with Howden's Ltd!!!

I don't know what to suggest here Bob but I hope you don't lose out too much. It sounds like they are just trying to cover their tracks and hoping you'll just pay up.
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Old 16th May 2014, 12:16 PM
PapaJ56 PapaJ56 is offline
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Default Re: Dispute with Howden's Ltd!!!

We have had a dispute with them for over a year and they did absolutely nothing - washed their hands of us in a very nasty letter from them too, when clearly their manufacturing process was faulty.

A totally disreputable company who promise to 'guarantee' your kitchen then refuse to do so when a fault happens. Stay clear of them if you don't want ripped off.

Sorry to hear that you are having problems with them too - they hide behind their 'Not actually selling to the general public' spiel which is just a way of trying to get out of any responsibilities they have for their goods. Disgraceful.
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