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Does it matter that John Lewis has changed its price guarantee?

Woman going into John Lewis

John Lewis, the company that made its name on dependable customer service, has arguably shaken customers’ confidence by changing its guarantee: ‘Never knowingly undersold’. Will it stop us shopping there?

The thoroughly decent types at John Lewis have upped and tarnished the family silver.

Since 1925, the company has told customers that it is ‘Never knowingly undersold’, meaning that if you bought something at John Lewis, and then found it cheaper elsewhere, it would refund the difference. It also has a team whose job it is to scour competitors’ prices.

The terms have changed

Ever since I can remember, John Lewis was a place where you could assume the store prices were the lowest around. But recently, customers who tried to get a refund under its price guarantee were turned down.

Many hadn’t noticed that some recent additions (in smaller print) to ‘Never knowingly undersold’ meant it no longer related just to the upfront cost of the product.

Since the addition of ‘….on quality, on price and on service’, it now included extras such as guarantees and delivery. So if you found, say, a washing machine for £60 less at Argos, you’d be turned away because the Argos guarantee was one year, not the two (or three) offered by John Lewis.

Can John Lewis still compete on price?

The shopping landscape, and price competition, has been changing, and John Lewis has extended its guarantee to websites as long as the store has a bricks-and-mortar shop.

John Lewis is reportedly saying it’s now putting a ‘great deal of resources’ into checking competitors’ prices and ‘lowering ours, where appropriate’. ‘Appropriate’ must surely mean where it finds exactly the same guarantee and delivery offer as well as price.

You have to wonder how often that’s likely to happen, and, therefore, precisely how much this guarantee is really worth any more.

As a John Lewis customer of many years’ standing, I feel not only that this was done with little acknowledgment, but also disappointed that I can no longer simply assume that its prices are the lowest.

Chris Evans says:
20 February 2011

3 years or more ago I bought everything electrical from JL – Ipods, plasma screens, tumble dryer, Dyson, PCs, the lot. They were mostly competitively priced in the first place and often (especially if you find the more senior staff), they would offer a bit of discount if there was clearly a much cheaper competitor, without bothering to go through the formal matching bureaucracy. This seemed like a win-win. JL got the sale volume and undoubtedly still made a decent, if slightly lower, margin plus they got all my repeat business as they had my confidence. I knew I wasn’t necessarily paying the lowest price, but was confident I wasn’t being ripped off when I considered all the attendent benefits of buying from JL.

No longer. Basically the sales staff seem to have all autonomy or decision making power taken from them. They refer everything to some Undersold Bureaucrat in the accounts office who seems about as amenable than Ryanair’s customer service and in October, the last time I bought anything from them, I had to argue the principles of the Sale of Goods Act for half an hour after the docking system wouldn’t work straight out of the box. Unbelievable! They are now so uncompetitive on price that I don’t give JL more than a cursory glance any longer. It’s really, really sad. I wonder how long it will be before the loyalty they have spent years building up will dissipate for the majority of their loyal customers as it has for me.


When I used to work in retail we used to say that it took 6 years or repeated good service to make a single customer “loyal”, but just one bad sale to lose them.

I’m not sure to be honest if it was ever as clear cut as that, but my retail experience was pre-Internet and although it started just about bang on when the 80’s recession started and ended in 94, I suspect that with The Internet to content with, and the current financial situation too, our old saying is probably more true that it ever has been.

With regard to JL either they have built up too big a clientele of super-rich folk who will pay anything JL ask just to be able to say “I shop at John Lewis”, or else their heady days of burgeoning sales are probably about to end.

Not sure which it will be: we’ll all have to watch and wait to find out.

steve sanderson says:
17 March 2013

About 5 years ago i bought some expensive kitchen work tops from John Lewis, they were defective but they didnt give jot, the slightest splil of basically anything left a stain, and the lady i was talking tootold me that i should live in a dirty house then, customer service at its best. Of course i wrote in to them and around 10 weeks later received a reply apologising for the remarks but they didnt change the tops, so much for the guarentee.When i needed a new tv it felt good buying it from M & S. Recently i was buying a new dydon and i looked in JL and bought it for a whopping £110.00 cheaper in argos


I wonder if any of JLP’s managers are reading this?

If so it would be lovely to think they’d take note of how despised their company has become by some people and how many other people are realising that they are not what they used to be.

If they do take it on board perhaps they will start to address some of the issues – better customer service, more polite staff and increased product knowledge for a start should be quite easy and almost free to deal with.

I’m not holding out too much hope though: there seem to be plenty of shoppers who don’t care if the service is tat, the knowledge is tat and they are sold tat – they are staying loyal to JLP. It’s sad that people can afford to be so profligate but it will suit JLP’s bosses.


The never knowingly undersold thing only ever was really for a 30 miles radius.

I have shopped in JL for getting on for forty years. I think the lack of personal service in their stores is much to do with online bying from JL. The ‘partners’ know their bonus will be made up with online sales and so there is not much point in providing any interest in the customer. I enter the various depts within my local store and nine times out of ten the shop assistants are in pairs or threes chatting to each other about their last evening out. It does not matter if you are measuring up furniture, trying on a shoe and looking round for assistance, you are totally in the main ignored, along with other customers. Even if you do manage to break into their conversations, you are not welcomed at all. Very sad really, and as for we get asked alot for this that and the other but no we dont stock it!!


I find this loud chatting together by staff is prevalent in Waitrose but very rarely
in the other major supermarkets…… to my great annoyance.

Ditto john Lewis.


I have found John Lewis always found a way around this but they always kept their prices way competetive till of late. Having had a winter of discontent with electrical products with DVD Recorder, Microwave and Hoover dying on me I thought of John Lewis but having had such appalling customer service at their Bluewater store on 2 occassions I decided to look around. The DVD recorder I got £45 cheaper inc costing in for a 2 yr extended warranty. The Microwave was £30 including costing in a 5yr extended warranty. These were bought from a previously undicovered gem Co-op Electricals. The hoover I bought from a strictly online retailer and saved £60. John Lewis are going to have to up their ante in a lot of areas or they will lose many loyal customers.

edward kalfayan says:
10 March 2011

I did get wonderful service and advice when buying a TV recently from their Kingston store – including a good hour of an attentive and well informed salesman – much better than the overworked and formulaic service offered from Oxford street. That must come down to the quality of local management. However I am dismayed by their ‘ modernisation’ and introduction of those weasel words and bundling of service charge which I see as a deceitful way of evading their ‘never knowingly undersold’ USP which allowed one to shop there without worrying whether the price was right or not as they were really guarnteeing that it would be.

Now it seems that they have become so ignorant of, and therefore contemptuous, of marketing as
to destroy a reputation forged over many decades. This loss will be irretrievable unless the management do an immediate U-turn for customers such as this one. We will be more assiduous in weighing up alternatives before we buy, and JL will lose all those automatically repeating, because trusted orders. A great shame. A bad decision, but typical,of large corporations once they start to believe in their own inalienable right to our business.


John Lewis has just introduced a ‘never-ending’ refund, so you can take unused goods back whenever you like. Is this something you’ll be using? https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/john-lewis-never-ending-refund/

Helen says:
3 April 2011

I have only just recently ‘woken up’ to the John Lewis brand having only had one of their stores in my city for the past 3 years. I can honestly say that having worked and shoped at stores such as Next and M&S, John Lewis certainly holds the trophy for customer service and quality. I thought that JL was an expensive store, but it is not by any means. What it does offer is a lovely, relaxing and enjoyable place to shop and I never get ‘overheated’ or frustrated. Everything is easy to find and you never feel hemmed in. I say, well done JL for setting the benchmark for fantastic service, quality and value – long may you reign supreme!!!


Just had the same stunt from Comet in Aylkesbury
Their Samsung TV is £60 more than shops in the next county, I took in proof.

They refused – now they only match Argos (its nest door) and john lewis (its outside the 10 mile guarantee limit) and or Dixons /Currys, they are 1 mile away and have the same over priced TV.

I think this is now price fixing.


A guarantee to match competitor prices, many of whom offer far less quality pre-sale, during sale and aftersale service makes no sense to me and never did.

S Patten says:
30 November 2011

I think that you will find John Lewis after sales serivce on electricals is very poor. They expect the customer to return time after time to the shop for the item to be repaired 3 or 4 times – they will not replace faulty goods.


I am a big fan of John Lewis and I advertise them on my site (amongst most other retailers too). I don’t get the fixation on price-matching. I personally don’t want things to be cheaper at John Lewis. I want them to be cheaper at the other places where they don’t care too much about customer satisfaction, survive only on selling mass quantities of products and who’s staff know very little about the products they sell.

How can a business be so much better than that, and be the same price? It makes no sense. It’s the same with Marks and Spenser. I don’t sop there because I expect things to be just as cheap as at Tesco or Asda. I shop there because I want better – and I know better costs more. I appreciate you have to be reasonably well off to adopt such an attitude, and things are getting tough, but either a business model pitches better quality at a higher price which still equates to good value – if not better value in the end – or it trades on price, in which case standards must fall. Trying to offer the best and the cheapest cannot work.

I’ve also never got the “never knowingly undersold” sales pitch. Any one could use that, all they need do is never check competitor’s prices and voilà – never knowingly undersold 😉

Roger Neal says:
1 December 2011

For many years JL offered a genuine unqualified price-match even with some retrospection, together with their well-regarded 5-year warranty on TVs. This worked very well for customers who bothered to do their research; I doubt that most customers benefitted that much in reality.
Now they only price match if a substantial number of conditions are also met, which obviously makes the task much more demanding. As a result their prices are drifting significantly higher than before; they must surely be losing turnover from this attitude, they may however not be making smaller profits.
I find the current attitude of apparently hiding behind the small print to be common in many businesses these days; I thought JL were better than that but apparently not.


I was going to be away in singapore working, on my daughters 21st birthday so decided to order an LED Tv from John lewis to ensure her present was there, even if I was not. They were out of stock but I checked the website over 5 or 6 days and in late January they had 5 of the Samsung TVs that I wanted. I placed the order, and contacted my daughter to arrange a suitable delivery slot, so she was there to receive the present (she did not know what she was getting- it was to be a pleasant surprise).
Wednesday 8th Feb between 7 and 14.00 was booked and my credit card details were entered.
My daughter sat in waiting for the delivery that never came, while I sat in Singapore, desperately trying to figure out what to do. I checked the JL site – the delivery date and time had passed, and there was no info on the site. I contacted JL and they did not reply in the promised 24 hours- so I searched the found a set in a rival supplier in Manchester and had to tell my daughter to go and buy it, on her birthday- 10th Feb. So much for the surprise, so much for the detailed planning. I again contacted JL, and they simply cancelled the order – no apology.

When a shop gets the high accolades for service one sees in Which? one chooses the shop for important occasions, even when the price is higher – Beware of this strategy – we could have had the TV cheaper from Amazon, and like pretty much everything I get from Amazon, no doubt on time.
JL had stock when I ordered and allowed me to select a delivery day and time.( When they dont have stock you CANNOT place an order.) Then they chose not to supply this important present and did not even let me know, so I could make alternative arrangements. I would award them a service raspberry and certainly would not consider using them again for any important purchase.

Not supplying the goods is an issue, but my complaint is that having booked a day and time for delivery, they did not bother to notify me that they would not be delivering and when I contacted them they cancelled the order without explanation or apology – that is unforgiveable

shopping-girl says:
25 March 2012

I asked for a price match on a gas barbecue by Weber. JL turned down one match because the other retailer had a shop on an industrial estate but agreed to match another retailer’s price. They would not supply the free cover though as they say they don’t sell them. So far so good but, you have to buy at the higher price and then claim the difference back. They continue to sell the item to others at the higher price. I don’t see that as not being knowingly undersold, they know full well it is being sold for £150 cheaper elsewhere. Surely we should be able to buy at the cheaper price instead of having to pay more and depend on a refund. Also, why should I be the only one who benefits? If they know that they are selling it at a much higher price, why not reduce the item. Surely it is about time this practice is investigated by whatever body does the investigating?

Gill and Steve says:
10 July 2012

Recently submitted a price check for a Beko washing machine. The comparison was with Debenhams. The technical specifications were the same. On comparing the two machines the only difference the John Lewis team could give us was the model number.
What is the value of the price match promise if it is based on ‘model numbers’ only? This is especially the case as it appears that stores have their own model numbers for machines that have identical techncial specifications.
The result was that we bought our machine from Debenhams, which was cheaper even after buying their extended warranty (3 years compared to John Lewis’s 2 years).


Most retailers have been using that tactic for as long as I can recall and I’ve been in the trade for 36 years now. To be fair John Lewis usually make their “exclusive” models different in some way to offer better value for money, but it’s easy for any major retailer to get a manufacturer to make them an exclusive model, and because it’s exclusive to them you can’t see it cheaper anywhere else.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone knows that selling things cheaper than anyone else is an art involving cutting costs to the bone and reducing quality of service. It’s the only way it can be done these days. So why should anyone expect a company renowned for its much higher quality service both before and after be expected to sell as cheap as the cheapest available? The whole never knowingly undersold is antiquated and quaint but flawed IMHO. Never knowingly undersold should be the slogan of a business committed to selling the cheapest products – not one committed to high standards.

Johnny Carcinogen says:
22 September 2012

Some of this is laughable. I’m no great supporter of John Lewis but having had cause to look at their Never Knowingly Undersold policy today ( I work for an online retailer and have been detailed to find out how we can emulate John Lewis’s customer service) I stumbled accross this thread.

Gill and Steve – Model numbers are assigned by the manufacturer, in your case Beko. John Lewis/Debenhams/any other retailer cannot and will not change the model number. In fact if you look on the ratings plate on your appliance you will see it there in print as sold. So in effect you were asking for a price match on two different models. Their price match agreement stipulates that it must be for the same product – it’s not small print by the way before someone says that. And you come on here complaining about that!?!

Someone commented on the previous page that John Lewis is struggling to cope with the volume of complaints it receives these days and with customer’s like you I can’t say I’m suprised. Perhaps they have made a rod for their own back. Their reputation for after-sales service and price matching has attracted the worst class of Brits their is – those who like complaining or Moaning Myrtles as I like to call them.

Some posters here seem to understand what the Never Knowingly Undersold policy is and why it has had to change in recent years others seem to be in cloud cuckoo land! It is based on quality, price and service. Quality does seem daft in fairness when you are looking at price matches, as the same product from the same manfacturer will be of the same quality regardless of retailer. So that leaves service. How much you value John Lewis service is clearly subjective. So make your mind up is that famous after-sales care worth the extra? Does the extra warranty make a difference? If so shop at John Lewis, if not don’t but just stop moaning about it!

And another thing for a few of you moaners to consider. Imagine this scenario. You purchase a Panasonic TV from John Lewis for £449 and they no longer give a 5 year warranty with their tv’s because they are desperately trying to compete with other retailers on price. Instead you get a one year manufacturer warranty. 18 months later the screen goes. Panasonic kindly send out a repair agent and charge you for the call-out. Engineer says “needs a new screen, I can order one for you but it will be £400 just for the screen then you will have to pay a further amount for my labour costs and for VAT”. What you gonna do? You’ll come back to John Lewis – after all they did sell you this piece of crap TV! And you will be expecting them to contribute to the repair or to replace the TV. You will be quoting excerpts from the Sales of Goods Act which you will have hastily googled before speaking to them.

And what will John Lewis do? Well they could tell you to do one. Your TV is out of warranty. Under the Sales of Goods Act if a fault is reported any time over 6 months after purchase the onus is on you, the customer to provide evidence that it was inherently faulty when you bought it. You may or may not have a claim that the TV did not work for a reasonable amount of time but have fun taking that through the small claims court.

But John Lewis aren’t going to tell you that are they? They would help you out. That’s why all you moaners are on here moaning. Well sorry we can’t have it both ways either we want it cheap and we better be cheerful when we get crap after-sales and short warranties or we want to pay more and have good after-sales and a longer warranty. John Lewis are up the creek either way if a customer has a problem they are going to come back to John Lewis whether or not it is warranty. So they may as well extend the warranties and charge that bit extra to offset the cost of dealing with things that other retailers wouldn’t go near with a barge pole.


In a way you make the point I’ve made a few times before. How can a company that gives considerably better service than anyone else, swaps more products or gives more free repairs than any one else out of good will, and gives a much higher standard of pre sales service promise to match the prices of competitors who don’t give a toss and give very poor service? It makes no sense. Why don’t they have the confidence to say we are not the cheapest – we are the best. If you want the cheapest go elsewhere? They can still strive to be as competitive as they can whilst maintaining these expensive standards but you cannot be the best AND the cheapest!

One of my favourite famous wise words seem relevant here –

“There Is Nothing In The World That Some Man Cannot Make A Little Worse And Sell A Little Cheaper, And He Who Considers Price Only Is That Man’s Lawful Prey.”

Elizabeth says:
17 December 2012

My advice is never, never to go near a John Lewis kitchen department. I speak with direct experience of the department in the Kingston store and that of their Oxford Street store. The following is the saga of the Oxford Street store.
The kitchen we chose was, at the time, John Lewis’ most expensive but we were to suffer 14 months of shambles and stress from 25 February 2008 until 2 April 2009 to have it installed. As we live in a flat and were then in our late sixties this was even more unacceptable. So bad was it at one stage that my doctor advised that we stop the process for a while for me to recover.
The installation did not begin until 18 weeks after the 20% deposit had been paid; and the demand for the balance was made weeks before it was due. The Alno appliances were delivered on time but the two men had a foul mouthed row and the younger one had to be persuaded by my husband to continue working. Other items were delivered before or after the stated time.
When the installers arrived they discovered many items missing, the Miele hob scratched and other damage.
John Lewis’ sub-contractors who did the Corian worktop and splashback did such a bad job that it all had to be redone; additionally the hob, sink, one full length cupboard, one wall cupboard and one cupboard door were damaged by their operative. This was reported to John Lewis on 13 April 2008 but by 12 May 2008 John Lewis had made no arrangements for the worktop replacement so I had to deal directly with the subcontractors myself, arranging appointments etc. for the work to be done.
A Miele combi oven never worked properly; John Lewis improperly refused to replace it insisting that I had a technician to look at it. Three did so without success but as there was still no help from Jonh Lewis despite repeated requests I dealt with Miele myself to arrange a replacement.
A pull-out larder never worked properly and there was a problem with the integrated Liebherr fridge size and the size of the door panel. Endless Heath Robinson solutions were tried and a year or more later, only when all had failed or when I refused them because they were ludicrous, did they do the obvious and replace the pull-out larder (on 10 March 2009) and the fridge (on 2 April 2009).
We wrote 100 plus e-mails because unless things were written down they were forgotten or denied. We contacted Customers Services – on one occasion they promised to ring every day until it was all resolved – and they never rang again. We spoke to the office of the Chairman and were told that the kitchen department was “ doing its best”. We wrote to the Chairman twice – to no avail.
Finally when it was completed after 14 months of stress, of goods not delivered or the wrong goods delivered, of muddle and mismanagement, of misunderstandings and broken promises we felt we deserved some compensation. But even to get a relatively small sum we had to get a solicitor to negotiate for us and it was given with a very bad grace and no apology.

Foolishly we thought that we had reached the end.
Not so! in early 2012 I noticed the sides of two white cupboards were yellowing and that the pull out corner carousel unit was not working properly. Additionally a small knob on a worktop light had broken. On 17 April someone came and examined everything and agreed all should be replaced under the guarantee.
By early July the work had still not been done (we were to discover that the replacement cupboards had not been ordered until late June).
However, in early July the Liebherr larder fridge door would now not shut. This was reported on 6 July 2012. We later learned that the hinges had been damaged because the door panel was too heavy – some 7.6 kgs heavier than the recommended maxmum weight. There followed the usual Heath Robinson solutions such as hacking the back of the (glass) panel door out to make it lighter or replacing the Liebherr fridge with other makes which, when checked by me, would certainly not carry the panel.
Eventually, in late August, I asked the only person in the department who I respect (and whose job is not to deal with reparations) to come to my house and we worked out a solution: not entirely satisfactory, but a solution.
It was agreed that the additional items would be ordered and all the reparations, including those dating from the 17 April visit, would be done in one go. My preferred fitter unfortunately did not respond till 5 November to say that he could not do it until early December, so another fitter was recommended.
On 8 November, because of past experience, I wrote seeking re-assurance that all the items were indeed in stock. On 9 November I was rung and told it seemed that the replacement carousel unit was not, in fact, there but they would confirm this. Hearing nothing I rang again on 15 November and was told that it definitely was not there and would have to be ordered. This unit is due in on the week beginning 19 December – eight months after it was agreed that it needed to be replaced.
My husband has now taken over dealing with the department as I can cope with them no longer. In response to his complaint he was told “I am sorry that you feel let down by our department”. Hardly an apology. It seems that there is no recognition of how appalling their management is and what stress they cause.

Raw BayKon says:
30 April 2014

This article must be a joke and of course in 2014 out of date!
If you are doing a price match, you must be matching like for like! For instance, if you search the world wide web, you can find anything that John Lewis sells cheaper somewhere else. Taking it to the extreme, by the time you add shipping or airfreight costs and import duty an item will be more expensive, so how could you realistically expect John Lewis to match the advertised selling price? The statement in the article “Since the addition of ‘….on quality, on price and on service’, it now included extras such as guarantees and delivery. So if you found, say, a washing machine for £60 less at Argos, you’d be turned away because the Argos guarantee was one year, not the two (or three) offered by John Lewis”, surely is right; you must make a true comparison of what is offered otherwise why doesn’t every company give a lifetime guarantee for everything they sell and deliver for no cost? A guarantee is a risk of a cost if the item fails and there is not a delivery company in the country (or the world) the doesn’t charge for their services. I have no interest in John Lewis other than being a customer.
So, I have just placed an order for a camcorder from John Lewis after having carried out a price match. I reported the competitions offer to John Lewis and they have agreed to refund the difference after I advise them that I am satisfied with my purchase. I don’t have a problem with this as I may want to return the camcorder for a full refund.
I can’t argue with “Never knowingly undersold”.

Paul says:
3 July 2014

I recently made the mistake of buying a set of headphones from John Lewis for my Brennanb JB7. When I attached them I found the headphones couldn’t mkuster more than a loud hiss.
The real problem however was when I removed them from the Brennan – no sound, even when the headphones were no longer.

The Brennan had been fine until I attached the headphones. Of course I took the head phones back and got a refund, but, thanks to JL, I’m now faced with a bill of £54 + parts to get my Brennan repaired.

In future I shall buy be buying my electrical good at Argos.

Myrtle123 says:
2 September 2014

I have to say that this doesn’t surprise me, my experience of shopping at John Lewis in recent years has been less than satisfactory, and their online customer service is diabolical. I love this store and feel passionately that we should be supporting UK business but I can’t justify spending money there any more. I have an awful feeling they have expanded too quickly and have forgotten what their core values are – good customer service. I’d forgive them the change to the never knowingly undersold if they stuck with the basics.

Roger says:
2 September 2014

For many years I’ve bought my TVs at John Lewis, and continue to remain pleased that I have done so. Earlier this year I noticed an irritating fault on my three and a half year old Panasonic plasma TV and called them in to look at it. They agreed it was faulty and in turn called in their contractors. They then replaced two component boards, but to no avail. JL then sent another engineer to confirm the continued presence of the fault and then opened a discussion on replacing the TV. I found this process easier to carry out in my local store and it only took a few minutes to negotiate a very satisfactory settlement, whereby they allowed me a sufficient sum to purchase a replacement TV with the same features as the original. The amount allowed was greater than the original purchase price. It was also pointed out that if I upgraded to a more expensive set then I would also receive a new full 5-year warranty.
This in fact is what I did and I am now the very satisfied owner of a new Sony 4k TV which exceeds all my expectations, even on normal standard and high definition pictures.
I remain very satisfied with their service, although I’ve found the need for a little more patience than on previous occasions.
Incidentally the price of the new Sony TV appears almost identical in all outlets, and many are offering a 5-year warranty, but I now know that the JL one really does hold good.


l agree that these comments now seem out of date I recently bought a Sony TV from JL mainly because of the 5 year guarantee & the good service that I have always had in the past. When I got home, I noted that Curries were selling it for £80 less albeit with a 1 year guarantee. The JL website specifically mentioned that they would pricematch even though a competitor had a special offer on at the time so I called customer services. Initially I was told that it wouldn’t apply because of the difference in guarantee time but she agreed to pass the query through to the pricematch team for them to have a look at it. The next day I received a call from them accepting the pricematch & confirming that they would refund £80 onto my credit card. I am very pleased with the result.

Ferdinando says:
26 September 2017

John Lewis customer care and fitting and installation service is terrible. I report here my email thread with JL’s customer care team, after the catastrophic service they provided when I purchased an electric hob with them. You judge….

Dear F,

Thank you for your email.

Whilst I understand your disappointment with my previous response, we are unable to take this matter any further as we are satisfied the installation was carried out correctly and you did not give us the opportunity to revisit your property to inspect to rectify the situation.

Your complaint has reached the highest point of escalation within the John Lewis Partnership as my department deal with complaints on behalf of our Chairman, Management Board and Head Office as we are best placed to deal with any matter within our distribution network.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Service Distribution
Customer Fulfilment Operations
John Lewis

————— Original Message —————
From: F
Sent: 22/09/2017 22:04
To: yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear X,

Speaking to my wife just now, we both agree that your assistance was entirely unacceptable and would like to make a formal complaint about this process. How best to move forward? I could simply post this thread online and let the public judge the extent of John Lewis’s customer “care”, but I do not think it would be the most appropriate way forward.

Please advise as how to formally complain about your choice of resolution. We have been customers for decades and are appalled about the treatment we received.


On 22 Sep 2017, at 14:41, “yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk” wrote:

Dear F,

We are satisfied this installation was carried out correctly however we were not given the opportunity to revisit your property to have a look at this so we can not be held liable. We can confirm the boiler was turned off so the installation could be completed and the pilot light was re-lit before our crew left.

Because of the above, no further action will be required by John Lewis and as we believe the installation and disposal were carried out successfully, we will not be able to refund this cost.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Service Distribution
Customer Fulfilment Operations
John Lewis

————— Original Message —————
From: F
Sent: 22/09/2017 10:46
To: yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk
Subject: Re: Complaint

Dear X,

Let me be as concise as possible, and perfectly clear. The fitters DID NOT use the correct fuse, as the electrician replaced a blown 3A fuse from the fitted plug within the cabinet, which your fitters installed on the electrical hob. And the fitters DID NOT properly handle the gas supply, as the plumber had to open the gas at the mains, which means the fitters DID NOT ATTEMPT and allegedly succeed to leave the heating system as they found it, before they left. I am surprised that you are suggesting I am lying about this, and not your fitters, since I was very clear in my previous email about what happened, explicitly with regard to the fuse. I have two adult witnesses who could testify to what happened here, but I would not expect that you would question my word.

Therefore, while you did take the time to reply, which is a start, you are nowhere close to providing the customer care you so clearly seem to believe you are doing. I did have to call in emergency plumbing, indeed our usual plumber, to get my flat back in order, and a friend to sort the electrics. As I explained in my previous email, I could not wait any further. But I absolutely expect that you will refund the 115 pounds fitting and disposal cost, which I paid to you when I purchased the appliance, as you unequivocally broke your terms and conditions.

I hope to have been sufficiently clear this time.



From: yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk
Sent: 22 September 2017 09:23
To: f
Subject: RE: Complaint

Dear F,

Further to my email yesterday, we have now conducted the relevant investigations and have looked into this mater further with the crew involved in the delivery and installation.

Our crew have advised the correct fuse was fitted, which was 13 amp as per the manufacturers instructions. The boiler appeared to be re-lit and alight when the installation was complete and the crew left your property. If the pilot light has then went out and cannot be re-lit, this is not within our remit to resolve this.

We do advise of this on our website when the purchase is made and the terms and conditions of the service are agreed to: “Our installation team will have to temporarily interrupt your gas supply to allow a safe installation, so we’ll endeavour to restart any gas appliances in your home. However, we’re not responsible for any appliance that fails to restart, including central heating and gas boilers” (https://www.johnlewis.com/our-services/home-appliance-installation-services#cooking).

We would have been able to arrange a revisit to see if there was anything further we could do however we were advised you had already had someone out to resolve the problem.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to cover the cost of an emergency plumber as the installation was completed successfully and as our terms and conditions advise, we are not responsible for any appliances which do not start up again after installation.

Whilst I understand your disappointment and appreciate this is not the response you are looking for, I am confident the explanation will confirm our position on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Service Distribution
Customer Fulfilment Operations
John Lewis

————— Original Message —————
From: yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk [yourenquiry@johnlewis.co.uk]
Sent: 21/09/2017 12:34
To: f
Subject: RE: Complaint

Dear F,

Thank you for your email. Your concerns have now been referred to myself within the Customer Service Distribution Department as we are best placed to deal with matters within the distribution side of our business.

Firstly, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this has caused you. I would appreciate your patience while I investigate this matter further and will be in touch with you when I have an update on the matter.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Service Distribution
Customer Fulfilment Operations
John Lewis

————— Original Message —————
From: F
Sent: 19/09/2017 16:14
To: no_reply@johnlewis.com
Subject: Complaint

I am appalled at the level of service I have received. I purchased a £400 electric hob from your online store (xxxxxxxx), and paid an additional £115 to dispose of my gas hob and install the new appliance.
your contractors came, made a right mess of the kitchen, installed the wrong fuse in the appliance, meaning the fuse blew the instant I turned on the hob, and they left us with no heating or hot water, having fiddled with the gas in a way that I cannot understand. As of now, my family of 4 with two small children have no hot water and no heating. After a day on the phone with both your technical support team and your after-sale Department, I am no closer to sorting this, with the latest customer representative alerting me it is my problem now, as the installation team does “not come back to the property after the job is done”. They of course suggested I find my own technician to sort the mess, but were unwilling to cover this expense of course, as “it was not their responsibility”.
for a company that prides itself with excellent customer services, I think you should be ashamed of the quality of service I actually received. About to book emergency plumbing now, as we cannot all be with washing for another day, but who is going to pay for it?!


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John Lewis plc
Registered in England 233462
Registered office 171 Victoria Street London SW1E 5NN
Websites: https://www.johnlewis.com


David Sewell says:
21 November 2017

I used to always extol the virtue of buying from JL – not any more. They have a very “holier than thou” attitude when something goes wrong with a product and will stick rigidly to “their” policy when something does go wrong with it. I have had recent dealings with JL and was very disappointed! Companies like Sainsbury’s and Asda are much more understanding when items break down. JL seems to think that by offering a 2 year warranty on items, that that absolves them of going beyond the demands of S79 Sale of Goods Act and treating customers to the sort of service JL was once famous for! Shame on JL!