I strongly advise all reading this to AVOID this company AT ALL COSTS especially if you live on Merseyside/Wirral/Cheshire area. They are truly awful with the most unprofessional and obstructive delivery service I have ever encountered, with literally no insight at a senior level/management level of how bad their service really is. Tony, delivery manager in Liverpool, actually believes he is ‘excellent at his job’ – he is not being ironic!
We only wished we had known this before paying approximately £2500 for a gazedo. Don’t worry, we got it back and cancelled the order as soon as we realised what a farcical outfit DH are. If you read this though, please warn all your friends and family about this company (especially if on Merseyside/Wirral/Cheshire) because if you review the hundreds of bad reviews and complaints on multiple websites there is a clear pattern in behaviour. DO NOT believe the so called positive reviews – it is well known that those satisfied will not go to the effort of finding a review website to post onto but this company supposedly has thousands of good reviews. I suspect DH are paying employees to post very brief positive reviews to reduce the relative percentage of negative reviews – they supposedly have nearly 13000 reviews which is vastly more than some massive companies such as B and Q which has circa 3000 reviews… it is very suspect.
Our issue was the same as many others. We live on the Wirral. Ordered online, paid in full and then told of a delivery date – all good so far. We started to get concerned when my wife was told the delivery was ‘kerbside’ over the phone – we had never heard something like this for big items (wood beams etc) and based on our property this would have been a nightmare especially as I was/am recovering post major abdominal surgery. We had hoped the company would place the items into our garage (which is less than 10 metres from the kerb) but we were told this was not in their ‘terms and conditions’. We explained our situation but it was clear they did not care – we even offered to pay more to place in the garage but the company did not listen. However, we visited the DH website and found this:
“Please note that goods will be delivered to the first point of contact at the front of your property e.g. on your driveway. This must be within 20m from the delivery vehicle (Safely Parked at Kerbside). Our team will be responsible for assessing the risk of carrying out an assisted delivery upon arrival at the property. If they feel that there is no clear access as stated above, they will have to leave the items at the kerbside” (https://dunsterhouse.co.uk/delivery-1)
We read this out to the company and they then said they would place on the driveway as per above. We were still concerned however. The day of delivery arrived and my mother in law (nearly 80) was with myself (recovering from surgery) and my 3-year-old daughter. We knew already that DH would refuse to place in the garage (meaning we would later have to struggle to place the gazebo into the garage) but on arrival we double checked as when people see our property the garage door is literally 7-8 metres from the kerbside. My mother in law answered the door and asked them. The two delivery men were extremely dismissive and told her that they would not place in the garage as it was in the terms and conditions that they did not do this which we accepted. However, they said would only place the delivery next to our bins (a 8-9 metre walk from the lorry) but would not even place outside the garage door, which still would have met their terms and conditions and given the inconvenience of them just placing on the floor on the driveway rather than the garage, and we could have struggled a bit easier to place into the garage later in the day. This is despite the distance to the bins being the same/less distance from the delivery lorry as the distance from the lorry to outside the garage (yes we measured it after this debacle) – in short we were not asking them to walk or move any extra distance. They, in short, were choosing to make life more difficult for the customer despite being informed of my circumstances. Hearing my mother in law calling me from the front door, and her saying they were not listening to her and simply dumping the delivery where it was convenient to them, I looked out of the window to see the delivery men literally throwing the gazebo on the concrete driveway (rather than placing) next to the bins. At this point I went outside to speak to the drivers and explained I was post surgery and we had hoped they would place the delivery in the garage (which they said was not in their terms and conditions), which I said that was not particularly helpful to consumers such as me recovering from surgery but they could place it next to the garage door and it would be no further to walk to move things. I also asked them to please not to throw things on the floor.
The response from the 2 delivery drivers was rude, intimating and very unhelpful stating that they either put the delivery ‘where they wanted to’ or they took it way again. I explained that I was not asking them to do anything extra but merely place the delivery in a spot whereby we would not struggle to put the delivery in the garage ourselves later in the day. The tone returned was very unhelpful and rude again from the drivers, essentially saying they would not change what they had started doing (with only a handful of items at that point) and that it ‘wasn’t their problem’ and they were going to instead pack up the delivery and take it away. This all happened very quickly (their decision to not deliver the gazebo) – it was very clear they had been empowered to do what they want. These individuals, we the only DH we had met so essentially were the face of the company to us.
I explained, increasingly exasperated (but not rude and not intimidating) that this was simply appalling customer service – they were not being asked to do anything outside of their terms and conditions, but simply listen to the customer and place the delivery next to the garage (not in it) for the reasons I have described. They simply would not listen and instead, loaded up the lorry whilst one of the delivery men called a man called Tony, who was his manager, to give a false narrative of the events (false narrative = made up version of events claiming they were, as 2 well built men intimidated by a single post surgery man, an 80 year old pensioner and a 3 year old child). I can assure you that being on the football terrace of any of the local Merseyside clubs at any given weekend is vastly more intimidating that anything that occurred on our driveway! In short it was nonsense. They seemed disinterested in their job and it was clear they had done this before – this was the most slick thing they did i.e. pretend they were victims and leave. Note – this meant they did not need to do a fraction of lifting off the lorry van – which they are paid for. If you look on this page and other review websites you can see the same scenario repeated and I have strong suspicions these same men are mentioned in a complaint where Tony, is clearly mentioned. It is an almost carbon copy event as this. As one of the men said ‘these are heavy and it is hot, I’ll put it down where I want otherwise you won’t get it’. Remember we had already paid in full. This was simply appalling,
Our neighbour witnessed all this across the road and so did my mother in law and young daughter. My family and I were very intimidated and upset by the delivery drivers attitude and could not see any sense in their decisions other than they wanted to do what they felt was convenient to them but not to the customer. The delivery man (wearing a grey T shirt) attitude especially was that he was not bothered about poor customer service and did not care at all about how he represented (badly) the company or treatment of customers who were not asking for special treatment but just for common sense to prevail. Two men were abusing me verbally on my own property!
I rang the head office immediately and spoke to Marcus (at DH) and asked to speak to a manager but was not put through. He did tell me to ring the dispatch manager at Liverpool HQ that I did after a delay – this was Tony, who had already been given a false narrative story by these delivery men. I spoke to Tony and explained how upset I was by the customer service, that I heard the false narrative given by the driver to him and how I was concerned, that all we wanted was for our paid for goods to be delivered (which they have not been) and placed in a common sense position which would not have involved any extra work to the drivers unloading. I explained to Tony how appalled I was by Dunster House employees and how this represented their company and customer care and if required I would easily and happily inform local press and media about how the company operates. Tony did not apologise for our experience or concerns and actively defended the delivery men saying he would launch a ‘thorough investigation’ which he stated would feedback back to me ASAP when I explained I was so appalled that I was strongly considering cancelling the order – I had paid £2500 and only received grief and appalling customer service. I was very concerned by his manner and could see his non-independent investigation would be shambolic as it turned out to be. I wrote a detailed complaint to DH customer service (you can’t speak to anyone about complaints from customer service which, I think this is deliberate to frustrate processes and people) and took photos (which I had taken at the time of delivery) and a video showing the layout proving how ridiculous the delivery men team had behaved in not placing outside the garage and demonstrating that essentially they had been deliberately obstructive. I rang DH again and they confirmed they had my email, the photos and video. I also rang Tony in Liverpool and he confirmed he had everything to do a ‘thorough investigation’ but he again did not fill me with confidence – when pressed he said he did not have the video which I strongly advised him to watch as placed everything into context. He said he would and that he would ring my wife and me back on the following afternoon to give the outcome of his ‘investigation’. I explained the outcome of the investigation would determine whether we cancelled the order or not given how poor the service had been so far which he noted.
The following afternoon my wife was at home and Tony sent a voice message via text to my wife asking her to call back. We both rang him back so I had a witness to the conversation and recorded the conversation. He did not apologise initially but said he had done and investigation and immediately said he wanted to arrange another delivery date. I repeated that I wanted to know the outcome of his investigation (as he knew that this would determine whether we cancelled our order) and he said he would not reveal this and essentially it was dealt with but he was not prepared to discuss this with us. When pressed he admitted he had not bothered to watch the video so still did not the context of delivery and had simply googled our postcode and looked at the layout from that! It turned out that from his ‘investigation’ and googling (which does not show the up to date layout of the driveway) that he was still not prepared to put the items outside the garage door (for some inexplicable reason which the video would have demonstrated) but wanted to drop the items to the left of our driveway which I explained was a area of mud and soil currently! Tony then tried to tell me he knew my driveway better than me and that it wasn’t a soil/mud patch! The arrogance is shocking. He then explained then ‘his’ drivers (clearly not the CEOs Alex Murphy’s drivers, but Tony from Liverpool’s drivers) would drop off the items to next to the bins – the place that was the original bone of contention. At this point my wife and I decided unanimously we were dealing with untrustworthy and arrogant individuals and rang up DH and immediately cancelled the order. By chance Marcus (see earlier) answered the phone stating that he believed the customer care in this situation was shocking but that all the senior people at DH had my complaint and now could not say they were not aware of how their company was being represented.
We received a full refund after a few days but not a single word of sorry from DH. This says everything you need to know about how they treat customers and are even prepared to lose £2500 worth of business as they cannot get delivery men or their managers to use their common sense or treat customers respectfully. If I was a director or CEO of DH and had lost £2500 of money because of the above not only would I have sacked the drivers, but Tony ‘I am excellent at my job’ would have been sacked too.
I am detailing all of the above but have sent this to BBC Watchdog too. I hope they cover the story as fear many other people will continue to be treated this way by this company. It is so unnecessary too as people like us would have even paid a little extra to have the items placed in the garage for no real extra work off the delivery men – why don’t they offer this (at extra cost) to customers as it clearly is a recurrent issue (see complaints)? Why do they have such poor customer service and how have they empowered people like Tony and the drivers to think they are ‘excellent at their job’ when they directly lose the company thousands? Why empower people like Tony to supposedly do a ‘thorough investigation’ when clearly that is not the case – it was a sham and pointless?
The mind boggles but I hope people read this and then avoid Dunster House (especially if you live in Merseyside/Wirral/Cheshire) as they simply do not deserve your custom – they will never receive ours again! We have bought a lovely gazebo elsewhere which the company delivered and assembled without any issue – and we happily paid the extra cost in order to ensure this.