Ranty Friday — B&Q Again

To date I have not had to blog about the same rant twice on Ranty Friday.  I blog, I get it out of my system and I calm down again.  Or whatever it was I was ranting about get resolved and that is the end of that.

Not this week though


The reason I spotted the gift cards in B&Q that made me rant last week was because we were in there for two things.   Decorating stuff for J and E and their bedroom re-furb projects, and to look at getting a new bathroom.   The new bathroom has been on the cards since the day we moved in.

Eight years ago.

We have one quote already but want another one to compare.  Mr B duly measured the room and off we went.   Apparently you can’t rock up and chat to somebody about spending money.  Don’t be silly.  You have to make an appointment.

So despite wanting to spend money and do something there and then we had to make an appointment for somebody to come out.    Duly done for the following Saturday at 9.30am.

Foregoing a lie in.  Again (will I ever get to stay in bed past 10am?  I suspect I may have to die for that honour, but I digress).   I was up, bathroom cleaned and ready for 9.30am.

It came and went

10.30am came and went

As did 11.30am

And 12.30pm.

By 12pm Mr B was deep in helping J with paint shopping and had to go to B&Q anyway to get paint top ups so stopped by the bathroom desk and pointed out that nobody had turned up.  They made some comment about “oh so that is where he should have been this morning”, apologised and sort of left it at that.

In the meantime I called B&Q and explained nobody had shown up and this where I started to get grumpy.   I was told they could not look up the booking as I didn’t know the name of the guy coming out.   Really?  I can barely remember my own name, let alone the name of a guy I was told a week ago.

They couldn’t look up the booking on our surname, or our postcode.    She took my number and said somebody would call me back.

Saturday came and went

Sunday came and went

Monday I got a call from the chap who was supposed to turn up who advised “all our systems were down on Saturday, do you still want me to come out?”

Systems were down?  Why did nobody say that when Mr B went in on Saturday? They didn’t look like they were down when he stood there.    Or when I called on Saturday?  Nobody said “Really sorry, all our systems are down”.     Nor did we get a call when the systems came back up

They had mobile numbers and an email address yet nothing.    Nothing until 7pm on Monday night.

Customer service for me is all about how you handle things when they go wrong.   And from where I am sitting this is not good enough.  Certainly not good enough for us to want to spend a few thousand Pounds.

And as far as I am concerned B&Q have blown it.



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  • I was going to say I wouldn’t spend my money with them if they were the last store on earth, but looks like you’ve made that decision already!

    That is completely appalling. Sounds like the guy lied through his teeth to you for a start, and the fact they’re obviously not interested in doing business with you otherwise they wouldn’t have failed to turn up on Saturday, means they would probably have done a botch job on the bathroom – part failing to turn up on time, missing parts etc etc etc.

    I used Homebase for my kitchen 4 years ago and although I was pleased with the end result, I have noticed a few things that aren’t up to scratch. One in particular is quite a serious issue and involved electric boards that their electrician decided to connect too many things to and our regular sparky is actually confused as to why a qualified electrician would have done what he did. Not good really is it.

    We had our bathroom done with our regular plumber – he got all the parts, suite etc, from a builders merchants and apart from a leaky shower, it’s been fine, and was much cheaper to do it that way. These huge companies like B&Q, Homebase etc, want you to take their installation as well and that’s big bucks. Bloody rip off actually!

    • Hi Kathryn and Mummy B

      Thanks for the shout about builder’s merchants. We totally agree about customer service – and it doesn’t even matter how much a person wants to spend, their relationship with us is important. Sometimes, the smaller companies value customers more – which shouldn’t be the case, but sadly is.

      Hope you have better experiences with them in the future. Did you know some builders merchants even do colour matching now?

      Happy decorating.


      Mel, online representative of EH Smith Builders Merchants

  • Why do companies find a basic level of customer service so hard! I used to work in a Managing Directors complaint team and most of the time all the customers wanted was the truth or someone to call back when they said they would. Like you say, mentioning the system was down (if it was) would have been a good idea! May I also suggest you steer clear of PC World and Talk Talk.

  • Oh B&Q are absolutely dire aren’t they. We parked in one with a private car park once and asked if we could bring our car closer as they helped us load in big stuff. Park here he said. It’s disabled we said. It’s ok he said… it wasn’t and the B&Q private security guard fined us £60. We appealed it but no… Of course we had to pay it!