John Lewis’s customer service is really bugging us | Money

I know you have discussed whether John Lewis’s customer service has got worse, so I thought you would be interested in my experience after it sold us an oak bed containing rare wood-eating beetles that kept us awake at night.

We had bought two Cooper beds – described as being made from oak in Vietnam – from John Lewis, but a year or so later my daughter complained of hearing odd noises at night. After calling in a plumber and roofer to no avail, we eventually realised the noise was coming from inside the headboard. To cut a very long story short, it turned out – after a Defra visit – there was an infestation of a tropical beetle called the kulsi teak borer.

But trying to get John Lewis to take the matter seriously – and replace the bed and remove the old one – has turned into a nightmare. Call centre staff don’t seem able to deal with anything complicated, and don’t call back as promised. The only John Lewis staff who showed any initiative were the drivers who eventually turned up to deliver a new bed. At first they said they couldn’t take the old one away, though when I explained the saga, and the fact that Defra officials had confirmed it did not pose a risk but should still be burnt, one agreed to take it back to his workshop.

I accept this is a very rare occurrence, but the store’s handling of this has been woeful. I emailed the head of customer service twice and had no response. JM, Bungay

This is a shortened version of a very long letter which will not have made good reading at John Lewis HQ – particularly the promises of returned calls that failed to materialise. This has been a repeated complaint from John Lewis customers in recent months. After we took up your case, things did change. You have since received a full apology from a senior manager, who has told you that they should have been more proactive in managing the problem, rather than leaving it to you to deal with the relevant environmental agencies. Staff, you have been told, will be retrained and £600 has been credited to your account – the cost of the original bed.

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