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To wonder where the old John Lewis has gone?

(114 Posts)
Deadlylampshades Fri 11-Oct-19 11:44:37

Is it just me? I am sitting on the phone waiting on hold for the main John Lewis customer services - it has so far been 28 minutes and counting....
I called twice last week to try to resolve the same issue- they were both wait times of over 15 minutes.....

I am trying to replace an expensive boxed table lamp (bought as gift) which JL online decided they would post in a flimsy grey plastic bag- it arrived completely crushed and split - quelle surprise!

I love JL, l spend probably far too much there, especially in the run-up to Christmas, it's always been a good experience and I have bought with confidence knowing that they have (had) great customer service.

Am I alone in seeing a big drop in their approach to customer service?
If staff post fragile items in plastic bags they will also incur significant costs in unnecessary replcements.

Well I've written this post, drunk a cup of coffee and am STILL on hold after 39 MINUTES.

Please come back old John Lewis- customer service was your USP

Have I just been unlucky?

(finally hangs up after 41 minutes)

Ghostontoast Fri 11-Oct-19 11:57:10

I think they have over-expanded (remember what happened to Allders), spent too much on their Xmas ads and have probably out-sourced too much to cut costs but have not kept a grip on quality control at the same time.

I hope it doesn’t go belly-up,

MustardScreams Fri 11-Oct-19 11:59:32

They are pants! Customer service is awful. I went in yesterday to look at a sofa and get a fabric sample and I was wandering around the department for 20 minutes looking for someone.

Went to a local department store and viewed and ordered the sofa within 20 minutes. So it is possible JL!!

spongedog Fri 11-Oct-19 12:00:55

Customer service has been rubbish for years. I bought an expensive, but as it turned out, faulty laptop. It still doesnt work. I spent so much time trying to get JL to take responsibility. So I havent been in in years. When I saw the announcement last year about drop in customers and profits I wasnt surprised at all. If they could alienate someone like me, then yes they are in a bad way. Poor leadership.

Alsohuman Fri 11-Oct-19 12:03:20

Their customer service used to be gold standard, it’s rubbish now. The last time I had an issue I ended up emailing their director of operations. The resolution was swift and satisfactory - just like the old days.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Fri 11-Oct-19 12:14:15

Havent they outsourced the telephone customer services now?

Service and attitude in our local store are shocking. Luckily last time they had an independent market researcher conducting a survey on the way out. I gave her the full feedback on my thoughts and how after 30 years as a loyal customer, JL is no longer my go-to store.

WingDefence Fri 11-Oct-19 12:50:42

There are regular stories about how bad JL's customer services are on the Guardian's consumer champions page. That July article says that "69% of the 7,000 reviews on Trustpilot rate its customer services as bad". sad

Deadlylampshades Fri 11-Oct-19 12:54:07

I didn't realise that they'd outsourced their customer services phoneline- that explains it I suppose.

I always thought that the fact JL isn't beholden to big city shareholders or in masses of debt would protect it.

I too really hope it can sort itself out- I don't know where else I'd go sad

Figmentofmyimagination Fri 11-Oct-19 14:06:39

Don't really want to knock JL as they are only reasonable quality department store left in "shopping distance" to where I live. However, I had a really bad experience of their online service last year. Ordered 8 expensive dinner plates to be delivered to the house. Lovely plates, hand crafted in England by some careful person. They arrived in a large box (Hermes), with a bit of bubble wrap - nothing on the box to say the contents were fragile or breakable or even to say "which way up" the box should be. Predictably, the box was delivered on its side.

Four out of eight of the plates were smashed.

They replaced the plates when I sent photos, but there was no apology or acknowledgement that this was a stupid way of delivering china.

I submitted a review that the plates were very resilient given that only four were damaged on arrival. They didn't print it, unsurprisingly.

I would never buy anything breakable from their online store again, unless I was doing "click and collect".

dreichsky Fri 11-Oct-19 14:31:55

They have significant financial struggles and have made significant backroom cuts including customer service.

Oly4 Fri 11-Oct-19 14:36:18

I agree the customer service has gone downhill and it’s hard to find somebody to help you in store.
But I still LOVE the quality

OrangeCinnamon Fri 11-Oct-19 14:37:59

I blame Elton

Rainatnight Fri 11-Oct-19 14:41:30

I think their customer service has gone downhill. My DM had a comically bad personal shopping experience there recently.

M0reGinPlease Fri 11-Oct-19 14:47:28

It's absolutely not the shop it used to be. Was always worth paying more for their impeccable customer service, but as a PP said they've outsourced it now and it's just not the same.

BiarritzCrackers Fri 11-Oct-19 14:49:02

John Lewis is irritating me too today, for a different reason! I need to buy a hat for a child, but they've changed the way they present clothes on the page, so instead of having the garments laid out flat (like the used to) you're confronted with child models wearing hats at squiffy angles. I want to be able to run my eye over it quickly - here's an example of what I mean:

H and M good

John Lewis bad

Deadlylampshades Fri 11-Oct-19 14:50:39

Good point- what on earth was that Elton advert about??
He can't have been particularly cheap to hire, the advert had no bearing on JL warm family values, particularly as he ended up hating his mother didn't he? He is hardly a great role model and they don't even sell pianos or sheet music do they?

I do still love going into the stores- I've been to 4 different ones across the country within the last month and they always look bright and attractive, have a great range including unusual stock not easily found elsewhere. I like the look of the new 'experience' hubs e.g. style advice.

But without decent customer service in store and on the phone it will lose customer trust and loyalty and that feeling that you don't have to look on a load of websites before making a purchase.

I wonder if cost-cutting will mean that this year's Christmas advert will be the bloke from Cillit Bang shouting 'shop at John Lewis' against a neon backdrop.

Charlie2108 Sun 13-Oct-19 10:31:14

You might find this amusing...

Despite several letters letters to Paula Nickold - who didn't give a monkeys, she just sent them on to Customer Service - they were completely intransigent. That's what happens when you outsource to Glasgow to save money.
On the plus side I'm told that have excellent installers.

Ming49 Sun 13-Oct-19 10:39:26

Our local JL stores offer impeccable service, care & attention. The major problem is the Manchester Call Centre (MCC) where all orders are consumed like a black hole. Two senior managers at the MCC freely admitted on the phone it was a “flawed system” with “inherent problems” which will be fixed in the next few days. Compensation after several issues was substantial but I would prefer efficiency like our local stores in Milton Keynes & Reading - staff & service are wonderful.

Alsohuman Sun 13-Oct-19 10:48:48 also have the best customer service in the world, it’s just like JL was once. We’ll never go anywhere else for white goods now.

AuntyElle Sun 13-Oct-19 10:54:44

We had dreadful customer service from AO recently. Absolute pig’s ear of an ongoing mess. Have also noticed JL’s CS nosedived some years ago.

TooMuchSun12 Sun 13-Oct-19 11:14:54


I wonder if cost-cutting will mean that this year's Christmas advert will be the bloke from Cillit Bang shouting 'shop at John Lewis' against a neon backdrop.

Oh I do hope so! grin

roisinagusniamh Sun 13-Oct-19 11:19:20

The worse job I ever had was at John Lewis!
So to derail but I was actually traumatised by the time there!

HeyHoAO Sun 13-Oct-19 11:22:09

It’s not just you. A couple of years ago I bought the kids an Xbox as a Christmas gift and within a few weeks it was showing a screen of death. John Lewis were hopeless on the phone so I hefted it into a store, where they were about to replace it until a senior manager decided that it was too expensive and I needed to deal with Microsoft and not them. Cue spending 20 mins on the phone in a JL back room organising posting a device to Germany that we’d only had a few weeks.

They were rude, dismissive and unhelpful and bearing in mind the only reason I’d bought the damn thing from them was because I’d wanted decent customer service they’ve subsequently lost out on me purchasing a tumble dryer, a freezer, two sets of AirPods and a MacBook from them just in the last two years. Idiots.

I won’t be buying a kitchen, sofas, beds, Vacuum cleaners, carpets or curtains from them either just in case something goes wrong. The whole point of trusting JL was that they select decent merchandise so issues don’t arise and sort it quickly if they do.

AO/Amazon/Apple on the other hand have delivered promptly and had helpful people to deal with (although AO’s insurance after sales people were a bit hardcore and to be avoided!)

So come on JL. Before you turn into Marks and Spencer’s “thinks he’s cool but he isn’t anything of the sort” little brother. Because you’ll look like a knobber.

TheFaerieQueene Sun 13-Oct-19 11:27:06

I would tweet them if you have a problem as they are pretty responsive. Btw @johnlewis isn’t their twitter account but an American man who is v funny.

Alsohuman Sun 13-Oct-19 11:32:11

Sorry to hear that @AuntyElle. We bought a dishwasher from them that died after ten months. We decided to upgrade the replacement because we’d lost faith in the original, not only was this swiftly arranged, but they didn’t charge us the difference in price. Every single person I spoke to at AO was friendly and helpful.

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