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I am breaking off from DIY to write this opinion for two reasons, one – my wife has just washed the kitchen floor, and I’m captive on the wrong side of the wet area, and two – the reason for my need to be wasting good un-metered off-peak surf-time on DIY, Dolphin Bathrooms.
About 3 years ago, I succumbed to the “a proper shower would really enrich my life” pressure coming from Mrs Bnibbles. Since I prefer a good wallow, we had to compromise on a corner bath with a power shower enclosure. Not being the world’s best plumber or most enthusiastic tiler (motto – “don’t worry, it’ll look alright when it’s grouted”), we reached for the Yellow Pages.
Having at least heard of Dolphin, combined with a friend rating their shower units as being very reliable, we got them to do the job.
Overall, we were very happy with the initial workmanship, which was done by their local sub-contractor. (God knows why I thought they would have a team of smartly dressed operatives of their own – they didn’t, which leaves you thinking “If they only hire a local plumber then why didn’t I?”).
Price-wise, this job stood at the high end of the range, and this included redundancy insurance which looked ominously like it might be quite useful to me back then (at £750 to cover £9000, it was almost worth losing your job to get the bathroom paid for!) We WERE after all getting a spa-bath for the price of a standard one, and surely that counted for something…...
In hindsight, this was a waste of money. A spa bath IS NOT a Jacuzzi, as it only blows air through the water (Ooh look, Mum, bubbles!).
This cools the water down, making the bath decidedly chilly after a few minutes, and its only real use is to mask the sonic effects of a high-fibre diet! Also, the blow-holes (the ones in the BATH, you rude boy!) fill with stale water and niff a bit after a while. The answer is to blast them clear after every use of the bath, including showering using the turbine pump hidden beneath.
We only had one problem that could be called “teething trouble”. A slight leak from the toilet cistern was making the hardboard backing under the carpet swell. The original plumber, who seemed like a nice geezer, fixed this in good humour.
The real problem started last year, leading me to have recourse to the insurance warranty. The curved panel to the curved bath started to develop a crack along its top flange, causing an unsightly gap at the lip of the bath. I contacted the insurance company who said they would send me a claim form.
This they did. Oh boy, what a form. “Please supply original plans with any claim submission”. Yeah, right, like I’ve still got them!
I rang the company to see if they would accept a claim without a plan, but, no, they were adamant. After all, I could have fitted a panel myself and then be trying to cover up for my own poor workmanship. Pleading to their better nature go me nowhere, as did trying to secure plans of the job from Dolphin. I asked them how many Dolphin installations had they heard of where the bath was fitted but not the panel. This also fell on deaf ears.
I’m afraid I got to a stage where I couldn’t be arsed to fight any more and gave in, resolving never to touch Dolphin (or Moben, their partners in crime) ever again. At least I was voting with my feet, and now I’m writing this opinion, helping others to “make that consumer decision” too.
So how am I going to get round renewing the panel? I’m using a vertical tongued-and-grooved board, fitted in a slight curve, tucked in under the lip of the bath. When completed this is then going to be carpeted to match the floor.
Overall verdict on Dolphin bathrooms – Pricey, but they do supply an all-in-one turnkey service. Watch out for the little extras, like the extended warranty, which in hindsight, doesn’t seem to be worth the paper it’s written on, unless you are a stickler for keeping bits of paper. Strangely enough, I am, which leads me to think that maybe I never had a copy of the plan in the first place.
Ho, hum, the beans are working, so I’m off to sit in the bath! See ya!
lf l have ANYTHING fitted . . . l shall have to not only KEEP plans but remember to ASK for a copy if l ever have work done
. . . . ~ ! ♥♥ ! ~ ........................................................... ~ jes ~ ! ♥♥ !
tommy_magpie 05.03.2004 03:38
Good work! They caused my parents no end of heartache also..
Goodchoice 10.11.2003 17:38
How entertaining you really made me laugh. My bathroom is (I cannot believe it) 23 years old now. I'm waiting for coloured bathroom suites to come back into vogue. They must do soon....surely.