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Although this review is primarily a moan at Benson’s Bed Shop, I have endeavoured to give a brief background of the shop and the products they sell. Unfortunately, I have already posted in the Buyer Beware section, so I have had to use this category for a rant.
Last year our bed began to show signs of age.....you know the thing, you get out in the morning and have the imprints of the springs in your back…..
My mother-in-law decided she would buy us a new bed for Christmas, so we duly trundled off to Bensons Beds in Coventry in November 2002. Bensons have stores all over the country, 220 of them to be precise, and pride themselves on being the largest bed retailer in the country. Details of your nearest store, should you ever be unfortunate enough to want to buy a bed from them, can be found on their website.
The shop is very brightly lit, and has a comprehensive range of beds, both wooden and metal, old fashioned and ultra modern, as well as those suitable for children, including bunk beds.
As well as the beds, Bensons also sell soft furnishings such as curtains and cushions. The bed section took over the top floor of the shop, and the other items were housed on the ground floor.
The shop also sells ornaments for the home, as well as bedside tables, and small tables suitable for use in the front room.
After some deliberation, we chose our dream bed, a wrought iron king size. Bensons were kind enough to throw a duvet and pillow set in, complete with covers. However, this is all a marketing ploy, as there is not much choice regarding the linen, and none would be the type I would have chosen if I was going out specifically to buy linen.
The assistant was quite pushy, and although the bed had not got to be paid for until some months later, as we chose the interest free credit plan, he was constantly trying to persuade us to buy more items. In the end, I got fed up and left my partner and his mother to deal with it, as I found the assistant quite rude.
On checking delivery times, we were told that the bed could be delivered to us on Christmas Eve. We of course queried the date, being Christmas, but were assured that this would be fine and to call Benson’s order line the day before Christmas Eve, to check that everything was in order.
By 23rd December, I was beginning to think I would have the imprints of springs on my body for life, so you can imagine my pleasure at being told by Bensons when calling their order line, that the bed would be delivered on 24th December as promised, but they could not give me a time for delivery.
The morning of the 24th dawned, and we gladly hopped out of bed, stripped it, and took it to the dump, waving it gladly goodbye. We then went home to wait……….and wait.
By 4pm I was becoming slightly concerned as the bed had not arrived so I called the order line, only to listen to an automated message that told me everyone had gone off on their Christmas break.
Christmas Eve was spent sleeping on the floor downstairs, very cosy - NOT. By Boxing Day we were both heartily fed up, so we rang the Coventry store and complained that the bed had not arrived. We were promised that they would call us back, but no call was forthcoming, so we had to call them again at 4.45 pm. We were then told that nothing would be able to be done until 30th December as the warehouse was closed.
The following morning, my partner returned to work, and I received a call from the manager of the Coventry store, who seemed to think it was quite amusing that we had by this time spent three nights sleeping on the floor, and in his words "hoped we had a good drink before we went to bed". He told me that the bed could not now be delivered until New Years Eve, which was a week after the proposed delivery date. I said that this really was not acceptable and my partner then called him back. He was then told that the bed may be able to be delivered on 30th December and we would receive a call that day.
Guess what? No phone call on the 30th, so we called the Coventry store again. The manager was busy so my partner spoke to a member of staff who assured him that the manager would call us back. I bet you've guessed already......no phone call so we called AGAIN at 4pm. We were then told that the bed would definitely be delivered the following day, New Year's Eve.
The bed was delivered the following day, but not without a circus. An hour after it was delivered, we received a phone call from Bensons, informing us that they thought they may have delivered the wrong bed. They were wrong, and to be honest, if it had been the wrong bed, I think I would have screamed.
We wrote two letters of complaint, the first on 31st December 2002, and the second on 13th January. We eventually received a letter from them on 24th January, just to say they had received our letter and would be dealing with it, with the wrong spelling of our surname. By this time, I was seething.
We rang the Head Office on two occasions, and had to leave messages, as the answer machine was permanently on, and we were never called back.
At the end of February we were offered £50 compensation or a free duvet and pillow case set. I accepted. Not because I was happy, but at least it was some form of compensation.
However, three months later, the mattress developed a fault. I had a spring sticking in my legs this time. I rang Bensons again, and called them, and they promised to send some deliverymen, with a new mattress.
The delivery men arrived with my new mattress early one morning. Not only did they knock the shade off my landing light when they were negotiating the new mattress up the stairs, they then broke my stair banister on their way out.
So, I think if you have read all the way through this review, you will know that there is NO way I would EVER buy anything from Bensons again. Granted, they do have some beautiful beds for sale, but the customer service is appalling, as is their delivery.
One good thing though, the bed is lovely and the spring mark indentations have all disappeared from my back. We're getting a great night's sleep at last....
I can agree with all of that. I went into the Bensons for Beds section in Debenhams in Staines and bought a low 'Carlotta' bed, king size. That was the 28th November. Three times Bensons have called and given me a delivery date, then after taking the day off on those days, the warehouse has called to say it is 'not in stock'. After a month of waiting (and three weeks past the original delivery date) they offered me a similar bed.... If I was willing to pay the £100 difference. The staff (in the Staines store anyway) don't seem to know what they are doing, make promises they do not keep, and generally go out of there was to frustrate and anger. They have now offered me 10% off my original order price and the bed should be turning up Saturday morning.... we shall see!
TALKSHOW 17.05.2004 11:35
I know from people who work for the company that all their metal beds and headboards are imported from malaysia at dirt cheap prices and they expect a 20 % complaint rate on these products all can be bought much cheaper from retailers like argos
who at least dont pretend they are top quality
as for free duvets and linen they pay £10 in king size for both linen and quilt
take my advise dont be ripped off
debbie_marway 26.03.2004 11:39
I can agree with every word you have written. I made the mistake of purchasing two cabin beds from the Uxbridge store. After waiting two long months in which my boys had no sleeping facilities (I dumped their old beds the night before the originally delivery that never was), I have since cancelled the order.
They do not like refunding your money but fortunately my credit card people placed a block on the transaction. I will never ever enter the store again or even consider buying bedroom furniture that has the name Benson attached to it.