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Warning - Don't buy Mothercare's Smart Nappies!

(8 Posts)
AlmostStace Wed 19-Oct-11 21:37:08

Just a shout to anyone that may be considering buying Mothercare's reusable nappy line - they've discontinued the line but aren't telling anyone. I bought the starter stuff thinking it was a good investment for two years' worth of nappies but it only lasted me a few weeks because you can no longer get the other bits you need. I tried to get a refund by pointing out how wrong this is but was rebuffed by their customer services, who didn't even try to address my points - I've enclosed the thread below so won't repeat it here. Essentially, they're trying to make the most of a dead line of goods by leading people to invest in an expensive and quickly useless piece of kit - very naughty. After speaking to Consumer Direct I managed to get a refund directly from the store but the whole experience left me quite angry!

On Mon, Sep 26, 2011 at 5:20 PM, customersupport@mothercare.com> wrote:
Dear AlmostStace,

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, the Smart Nappy range has been discontinued and as such any stock left in stores or available online is the last of what we have.

I am sorry for any disappointment caused by this, but I hope this information is of help.

Kind Regards
Customer Care Advisor

Received: 9/27/2011 11:45:43 GMT Standard Time (GMT + 1:00 )
To: <customersupport@mothercare.com>
Hello,

I am writing to complain about the Smart Nappy line being discontinued, as detailed in the email from your customer services department.

I assume the line is no longer considered viable - this is a business decision and cannot be helped. My complaint is that I was not, at any time, advised of this when I purchased my Smart Nappy items for my newborn son; in fact, I was assured at my local store that the line was still running and more stock would shortly arrive as recently as two weeks ago. I initially invested £80 in two starter kits and then spent a further £7.50 on newborn sized inners to use as booster pads. I did so on the understanding that I would eventually save money I would otherwise spend on disposable nappies. I now find that my investment was a waste only a few short weeks later, with my son now needing the medium sized outers. Not only are all the inners, liners and nappy soak I have now useless, but I have been wasting money on disposable nappies for the past two weeks while awaiting stock at my local Mothercare to be replenished, as I was assured it would be.

It is clearly of benefit to Mothercare to try to sell as much Smart Nappy stock as possible before people realise that what they are buying will be shortly useless; I do hope that this is not being done deliberately, as I would find this rather deceitful. At best, it is fairly thoughtless to sell items like this and your staff in Basingstoke are advising customers like myself quite badly. On a system that is clearly intended to save money over the long term, there was and is no notice at all of plans to discontinue the product, either on the shelves at the store where, as of the weekend, you could still purchase starter packs for the system, or online; a quick search on the Mothercare website brings up sales information on the product: http://www.mothercare.com/b/58960031.

The amount I have invested in this system is a great deal of money to me; indeed, I suspect anyone with a newborn child would agree as money becomes rather tight at this time. I would like my money to be refunded to me and am perfectly happy to package and send all Smart Nappy items that I have to you, or to return them to the store.

I await your prompt reply; many thanks.
AlmostStace

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM, customersupport@mothercare.com> wrote:
Dear AlmostStace

Thank you for your reply.

I can appreciate your frustration with the Smart Nappy line being discontinued, and I do apologise for any disappointment caused by this.

Unfortunately, we are generally not made aware of all of our discontinued lines until they have been discontinued. As such, the staff in store will not have known this either.

I can advise that you will be able to be refunded instore for any items that you have not yet used. However, we will be unable to refund any used products.

Once again I apologise for any disappointment caused by this, but I hope this information is of help.

Kind Regards
Customer Care Advisor

Received: 9/28/2011 21:05:32 GMT Standard Time (GMT + 1:00 )
To: <customersupport@mothercare.com>
Hello,

Thank you for your reply. However, I'm afraid I am not satisfied with this response.

You state that staff are not generally made aware of discontinued items until they are discontinued. While this makes good logical sense, I believe you miss my point. This line has already been discontinued, but is still being sold by your staff, in your stores and on your website, with no mention that this is the case.

I don't doubt that some staff at store level are unaware of this line finishing; my point is that they should be aware. In fact, after searching online I have found forum posts here http://community.babycentre.co.uk/post/a13966965/cloth_nappy_liner_help_please and here http://community.babycentre.co.uk/post/a11586105/mothercare_smart_nappy_disposable_inserts_rant which show that the Smart Nappy line has been discontinued since at least the start of the year, months before I purchased my starter pack items in June, and long before I was advised by your staff that the Smart Nappy line was still running only two weeks ago. The fact that the consumers that wrote these posts were informed of the discontinuing of the line in their local stores obviously means that those staff members were aware of this fact. Clearly, therefore, staff members across Mothercare are badly informed and are misleading customers.

This line is a long-term investment that customers like myself are purchasing at great cost that is useless to us in a very short space of time. Mothercare is knowingly selling this us this investment and leading us to waste money in order to make the most of a dead line of goods. I believe that to do this is careless, misleading and reprehensible.

I would again ask that my money is refunded to me in full. Please be advised that I have also contacted Consumer Direct for advice in this matter.

Many thanks,
AlmostStace

On Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:24 PM, <customersupport@mothercare.com> wrote:
Dear AlmostStace,

Thank you for your reply. We do appreciate your feedback on this as it provides us with the opportunity to improve the products and service that we are able to provide to our customers, so thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I have forwarded your comments on to our buying team so that this can be taken into consideration and our team will be able to use your correspondence as a valuable reference.

Although I am unable to promise you immediate changes I can assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration for our products in the future.

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer any further assistance as it is standard practice to sell all stock that may be left over despite there being no plans to restock the item.

I can appreciate how frustrating this is for you and I do apologise for any disappointment caused by this, but I hope this information is of help.

Kind Regards
Customer Care Advisor

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately, I am still not satisfied with your response regarding this matter; not merely the refusal to refund my investment in the Smart Nappy line but the failure in your responses to actually address any of the points I made in my two emails.

I have therefore contacted Consumer Direct regarding this matter. I have been advised that Mothercare have potentially committed a criminal offense in selling these goods to me with no notice of the discontinuing of the line, as the Consumer Protection Regulations state that a seller is obliged to give a customer any information which may affect the customer's decision to buy the product. The matter has therefore been passed to the local trading standards authority who will now investigate it. I was also advised to inform the store as such and ask for a refund from the manager directly. I have now done so and have been refunded in full.

Regards,

AlmostStace

CaptainKirksNipples Wed 19-Oct-11 21:43:17

Good work!

sleepdodger Thu 20-Oct-11 04:59:45

God I hate mothercare
Keep going on at them- phone customer services continually until you get a 'good' interested assistant...
After many phone calls I was finally suggested to go to store that day for a chat with a manager who offered to exchange my faulty bugger
Long story and more phone calls later it's refunded and so far they've forgotten to collect the buggy so I still have it...
From discussing with friends everyone has a mothercare horror story- and if youre persistent you'll get the right result and end up with products too as everyone seems to have had extra products delivered and refunded in the end
Like I say. Idiots.....

MrsBloodyTroll Thu 20-Oct-11 05:29:46

Love the "faulty bugger" typo/autocorrect grin.

We bought and tried Smart Nappies with DC1. They were shit.

Good luck with your refund, be persistent!

TheRealMBJ Thu 20-Oct-11 05:59:32

Well done! I hate the way some company's think they can just fob you off with standard email.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 20-Oct-11 06:02:27

How cheeky of them! I would find the CEO details and email him too.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 20-Oct-11 06:03:57

Ben Gordon - so ben.gordon@mothercare.com, .resend to .uk, etc etc

CEO emails normally get very quick response in my experience.

AlmostStace Fri 21-Oct-11 13:57:20

Thanks for the details and the encouragement! May very well do the CEO thing.

Got the following reply to my last email today:

Thank you for your reply. If you wish to pursue this through an independent body such as Trading Standards then we will of course comply with any queries they may have should they contact us directly. I hope this information is of help.

I wonder whether they train them to be obtuse and unhelpful? Anyway, I got my cash: that's all I care about.

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