Carl Birkenshaw
Howdens' Complete Failure in Design, Customer Service, and Accountability My experience with Howdens, particularly the Benton branch in the North East, has been nothing short of catastrophic. While the branch manager tried to mediate, it became clear that his efforts were severely limited by the constraints imposed by the head office's lack of urgency and disinterest in customer satisfaction. Waiting three weeks for a response to urgent emails regarding significant design flaws is unacceptable, especially when the response dismisses the severity of the issue. The company's stance, as reiterated by Louise from customer service, is a testament to Howdens' unwillingness to acknowledge the gravity of their mistakes. Their claim that the design service is "complimentary" and "for illustrative purposes only" is not only misleading but also contradictory to the promises made on their website about their bespoke design service. This disclaimer, hidden in the fine print of the planning documentation, serves as a convenient escape route for Howdens, shifting the blame onto customers and competent fitters for not catching their design failures. The offered resolution — sending a designer to propose adjustments, replacing drawers, and offering a mere £100 for the inconvenience on a project that cost £3,300 — is laughably inadequate. These gestures do not compensate for the fundamental design flaws that rendered the bedroom furniture unfit for purpose, with clothes unable to hang properly and drawers that could not open. Howdens' insistence on washing their hands of any responsibility by referring me back to the contracted tradesperson, in line with their Terms and Conditions of Trade, is indicative of their lack of accountability. Their readiness to abandon customers post-purchase, especially after delivering a subpar design that significantly impacts the usability of a space, is appalling. This entire ordeal has exposed Howdens' failure to provide not only a competent design service but also adequate customer support. Their approach to handling legitimate complaints and concerns highlights a systemic issue within the company, prioritising policy and procedure over customer satisfaction and quality service. The Benton branch's limited ability to effect change and the head office's dismissive attitude have solidified my decision to never engage with Howdens for any future projects. This experience has been a stark reminder of the importance of choosing a company that values its customers and stands behind the quality of its service and products.
5 months ago
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Howdens has a 1.8 average rating from 207 reviews
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