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Having read the reviews on this site, I was wary of buying my kitchen from MFI but I felt I was armed with all of the facts and as the kitchen came in at 1k less than the nearest competitor (Homebase) I was quite keen to use them.
My other concern was all of the problems I have read about when purchasing a flat packed kitchen from one company and having it installed by someone else - this seems to remove all responsibility from the vendor of the kitchen as they simply blame the installers for any problems.
I went to the MFI in Lewisham, and spent two hours designing my kitchen. I was very pleased with the options available and the knowledge of the staff. I took home my completed design to have a think about.
After a dire visit from Kitchen's Direct, I went back to MFI. They offered me incentives to sign on the dotted line (free furniture insurance, a discount and an upgrade of the type of drawers) but bear in mind that I was also going to have the installation done by them which came in at around £1,500 all together so I presume I was a valuable customer.
After signing the contract, I was told that I would be contacted within 10 working days by the fitter, who would do an onsite visit to check my measurements and would arrange a fitting date. On the 10th working day, I called MFI as I had not heard from the fitter, they said they would get back to me. Within 30 mins, the fitter called me and arranged to come over in the evening a few days later.
He turned up on time, checked all of the measurements and the design - added extras to my installation fee (for gas supply fitting and moving the water inlet, I was made fully aware of these by MFI so this was not a surprise - and you have 24 hours after the fitter comes to cancel your order if you aren't happy). We agreed a tentative date 4 weeks in the future, but he did say he would have to confirm delivery times with MFI and that they would call me in the morning.
They called me the next morning and gave me a delivery date and an installation date. They were unable to tell me if it would be a morning or afternoon delivery so I booked the time off work.
Two days before the delivery date, I called them to confirm and they were able to tell me that it would be a morning delivery.
The boxes all arrived just after 12 on the delivery day and were delivered by two friendly men, who allowed me plenty of time to count the boxes (i made them tea and gave them biscuits, this might have helped) and I signed the delivery recipt.
On the installation day, which I had also taken off work, I had no idea what time to expect the fitters, so when they still hadn't arrived at 9.30am, I called them directly and was told they'd be there about 10.30am. They arrived around 11am, but once they were there, they worked pretty quickly. There was a fair amount of noise and disruption but I would expect that - my kitchen (in fact, my whole flat) is quite small, so they did more or less take over, but they were polite and friendly and I was very pleased with the work. In all it took 2.5 days for the kitchen to be fully fitted and I was very happy with the overall job. One cupboard door had been slightly damaged (I don't know if this was prior to delivery, or afterwards) and they arranged for it to be delivered and fitted during the following week. I wasn't too concerned about this, accidents happen and it did not leave my kitchen unusable. The door arrived a day or two later.
The friday after the fitters left, I was standing in the kitchen when a row of wall cupboards started tipping off to one side, a lurch and a pop later and the cupboard was still on the wall, but at a very perculiar angle. I immediately called the fitter (it was about 8.30pm and I'd had a glass or two of wine) and told him what had happened and he said he'd come round first thing in the morning. Bearing in mind, the morning was Saturday, I was worried that he'd "forget" and I would be left with a crumbling kitchen for the weekend. To his credit, he was there by about 11.30am. He stayed for about 30 mins, fixed the cupboard (a screw had popped out of the wall) and replaced the damaged door. He was very apologetic and said I could call him any time if things went wrong again.
So far (a week later) everything is working as it should be and I have no further complaints. My advice would be to use MFI, but with your eyes open. They are very far from perfect, but they are cheap and they do have an excellent adaptable range of kitchens. Keep notes of the people you speak to, and when you are supposed to hear from them and chase them up. But I'm very happy with my nice, new, cheap (!) kitchen!