Friday, 13 April 2012

Dreams Beds: the sorry tale of the bed not suitable to sleep in

One of the things I was most excited about when we moved house last October was that the new house had an extra room for guests to stay. A guest bedroom, small but perfectly formed.

It wasn't first on my list of rooms to decorate, but pretty near the top of the list because I have a number of friends who are keen to visit and stay over; these friends live too far away to get a taxi home after a boozy dinner and when we visit them they have somewhere for us to stay.

So, just before Christmas I took advantage of an offer on the Dreams website offering sales prices and free delivery. I chose this bed for the guest room. I liked the look of it, and for occasional use I thought it would do the job.

First problem: delivery. I agreed a date for delivery, a day I wasn't going to be at work. I also paid an extra £29 for assembly.

Four days before the agreed delivery date, I was woken at 7.30am by two delivery men with the new bed.  I showed them the bedroom where they could set the bed up.  "We're just dropping the bed off" said Mr Delivery Man "don't know anything about assembling it, not our job."

Second problem: getting through to Customer Services at Dreams. I phoned....and phoned...I was put on hold several times, I rang the Sales lines and was told by a very abrupt man that he couldn't answer my questions because "I'm sales, not customer services". When I explained that I couldn't get through to the ironically named 'Customer Services'  he told me he was going to have to put the phone down because I was blocking the sales line.

Third problem: getting someone to help. I took to Twitter - this is where it comes into its own. I started writing about the poor service and very soon a very nice woman called Sarah got in touch and tried to sort things out. She arranged for a contractor (not employed by Dreams) to come and assemble the bed at a date convenient to me. She also, very kindly, refunded the cost of the bed assembly which went some way to repairing the inconvenience thus far.

On the agreed date, he arrived and the bed was assembled.  Hurrah!!

I was relieved and pleased, the bed looked good but...what was this, the frame didn't seem very sturdy and I was able to move the foot board without the rest of the bed moving with it. Very odd.

Anyhoo....I set about decorating the room in time for our first guests, scheduled to arrive next weekend.

Dreams Beds: poor quality.
Note how the wooden slats have fallen through the metal base
Today, I had finished the room and was hanging curtains, bringing in accessories and generally finishing off the room. Just as I was about to put the bedlinen on the bed, my brother came in to have a look. "Looks nice" he said, and sat on the edge of the bed which promptly gave way beneath him.

Yes, my brother is 6' 3" and a big lad (although certainly not fat) but he only sat on the edge of the bed and the wooden slats broke straight through the metal base. God forbid that didn't happen when my visitors were here!

Fourth problem: getting someone at Dreams to help resolve the problem.  I explained to their customer services person "I have a broken bed, guests arriving next weekend, and the whole process has been a nightmare from start to finish".

She offered me a 'bargain' divan base as a replacement. I declined, having already had a poor quality bed I wasn't confident that would be a decent quality and frankly, it wasn't really the look I wanted. As a compromise I suggested that perhaps this one might be a better quality and could I have that one? She informed me that I would have to pay the £20 difference in cost. WHAT???!!!

I asked to speak to her manager, and was left on hold for several minutes. The manager, Chantelle, told me exactly the same as her colleague - she was "sorry" that the bed wasn't suitable, but they could only offer what had been suggested.

I mentioned the inconvenience to me, the numerous phone calls, the amount of time I had wasted trying to resolve the issue, and - most importantly - the fact that the bed was 'not fit for purpose'.  Could they, in view of those things, be a little more flexible and offer me my suggested (although not ideal) choice of bed? A big fat NO was the answer.

And so instead I have asked them to collect their shoddy bed and refund my money. They say they are going to call me 'tomorrow, or maybe Monday' to arrange collection. Yeah, whatever.

Meanwhile, still panicking due to my guests arriving next weekend, I went to my local furniture shop this afternoon, ordered a bed and asked them to deliver it. It was delivered and assembled for free just TWO HOURS later (they also part dismantled the Dreams bed, which they said was missing a central metal supporting rod).

How's that for customer service, Dreams?

UPDATE 18/4/12: A very pleasant man called Pete became involved in this mess, he is employed by Dreams and seems to be a colleague of Sarah who is mentioned in the blog post. They must be responsible for trying to clean up some of the customer service blunders at Dreams, which must keep them very busy.

Pete kept to his word, phoned me when agreed, and organised a refund for the cost of the bed. When I asked if they would compensate me for my wasted time, numerous phone calls and inconvenience he offered to refund my phone calls (subject to me providing an 'itemised phone bill') and some in-store vouchers. I declined the offer for 2 reasons a) I don't want to waste any more of my time because of Dreams so wasn't prepared to get an itemised phone bill; b) I don't intend to ever set foot in a Dreams shop ever again so the in-store vouchers would be wasted on me.

And finally, I had a call today from Dreams' courier asking if they could collect the faulty bed on Thursday. Thing is, they'd already collected it 2 days ago.