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John Lewis customer service was a complete washout

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Via Yahoo Finance

We bought and had installed a John Lewis washer-dryer a month ago. Within two days, water leaked from the fitting into the downstairs flat.

We filed our complaint, then had a local plumber come around to fix the leak. We assumed John Lewis would cover the cost of the repair and the damage. That’s why we chose to pay extra and shop with John Lewis: for peace of mind.

Instead, a month-long war of attrition has resulted in customer service not accepting any responsibility.

It told us to claim through our home insurance and stated that it will not be responding to any further correspondence from us. But here’s where it gets fun. Our home insurance is through … John Lewis. But when I explained our situation, the rep said it sounded like faulty workmanship which our policy doesn’t cover. So back to the store.

As an aside, the machine, which is John Lewis’ own brand, broke last week. An engineer has since come around and fixed it. LP, London

John Lewis reported its first ever half yearly loss in September, which it blamed on the prevailing pressures on the high street.

However, its dispiriting attitude to customer services – once its badge of honour – has to be a factor. Some astounding stories of incompetence have come my way over the past few years and 70% of the 7,800 reviews on Trustpilot give it a one-star rating.

The store claims you signed a form confirming there were no leaks before the installer left. Which is meaningless, because leaks can take hours, or days, to become apparent.

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It also blames you for booking your own plumber rather than doing so through your John Lewis home insurance. This ignores the fact that such faults aren’t covered by your policy and that, when you lodged your complaint, you were not told to wait for John Lewis to fix it.

To your amazement you have now received a call offering to refund you the cost of the plumber and to pay for the repainting of the damaged downstairs flat. Sadly this seems prompted by the prospect of a headline rather than conscience.

John Lewis still absolves itself of blame, despite the report from the plumber confirming that the leak was around the pipe fitting.

“We believe the installation was carried out correctly,” it says . “However, as it is impossible to fully determine what caused the leak, we have offered to cover the costs associated with it as a gesture of goodwill.”

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions

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