CONSUMER FIGHTBACK: Screwfix fixed things the right way when a shower went wrong – here’s how to get a similar result
Retailers can often get it wrong. We all make mistakes, that’s understood, but it is how we resolve them that matters.
In this latest Consumer Fightback column we feature a story of a company that really did go ‘the extra mile’ to put right a wrong they made regarding a customer and the advice she was given.
And our columnist Helen Dewdney, aka the Complaining Cow, explains how to get a simialr result.
Helen Dewdney runs The Complaining Cow site and has written a best-selling book – she is here to help This is Money readers
Abigail bought a shower from Screwfix. The shower was a Triton Verne Rear-Fed Exposed Chrome Thermostatic Mixer Shower Flexible, retailing at £119.99. A couple of weeks after fitting, it started to leak.
There was clearly a fault and she contacted Screwfix, who in turn transferred her to Triton. Triton came out but refused to repair it, saying that they would not drain their water tank, as it should have service valves to make servicing easier.
A letter to the CEO worked
Abigail contacted me and I helped her write an email to the CEO of Screwfix.
The email I wrote stated that Abigail’s contract was with Screwfix and not with Triton. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 the shower was clearly faulty and at two weeks had not lasted a reasonable length of time.
Abigail wanted a replacement. She also pointed out that any damage caused by the leak would be the responsibility of Screwfix.
In less than two hours the Screwfix CEO, John Mewett, responded. It is rare for a CEO to intervene personally. However, I find that those who do respond seem to care more about their customers and know that by listening to customers they can understand what is really going on within their company.
Mewett apologised and arranged for the store to contact her as soon as possible. I advised Abigail to email back a ‘thank you’ and that she wanted everything in writing so that she had a record. Mewett responded swiftly again, explaining that there was no hidden agenda and that writing was fine.
Later that day, the store manager emailed Abigail apologising for the standard of service and saying that she had requested the Area Manager to investigate and review the internal issues.
In this instance, Abigail had to use a plumber to uninstall the old shower and fit the new shower. I helped her write back to say that she would also be claiming for this and also expected redress for the inconvenience.
Abigail got her shower replaced, together with the £75 for the cost of the plumber plus £20 for the inconvenience. Screwfix initially offered this as a gift voucher but as Abigail was unlikely to use this in the near future we requested this as a cheque. This was honoured.
When Abigail contacted me it was more than 30 days from the point of purchase. However, she had started the complaints process before the 30 days and so was entitled to a full refund. But she wanted a replacement, so insisted on this, rather than a repair, which was the initial offer from Screwfix.
If the shower again developed a fault up to 30 days from purchase I suggested to Abigail that she should request a full refund. Fortunately this has not been necessary.
Abigail was delighted with the outcome. She had only been trying to get a new shower. However, it is about the principle and understood that she should not be out of pocket due to a company’s faulty products. She said ‘Helen was so helpful throughout the whole process. Really pleased with the response from Screwfix too.’
I was also delighted to help her get this successful outcome.
Get help with your problem
Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow, writes This is Money’s Consumer Fight Back column.
Helen is the author of best-seller How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! and runs The Complaining Cow blog.
Helen can help with your consumer complaints. Rather than do all the work for you, she will empower you to gain refunds, repairs, replacements or improved service by explaining how to complain and get results.
If you have a problem you need help solving, please email email@example.com with Consumer Fight Back in the subject line, include a short paragraph about your issue – if we need more details we will get in touch.
If the company fails to act, she will ask them why and what they plan to do.