Homebase: The Sad Sorry Tale of a New Bathroom

Once upon a time a girl decided that it was time to remove the 1968 green avocado bathroom suite which graced her house and so began saving up every spare bit of cash she possibly could. She worked really hard and took on extra jobs just so she could find the money. Eventually she saved a reasonable amount and noticed a special offer in her local DIY store. She had the phone number of a plumber and so decided to bite the bullet and order her new bathroom. It wasn’t her dream bathroom suite, but she was never going to be able to afford that, this was a compromise but Homebase came highly recommended so it seemed a reasonable compromise to make.

The bathroom suite was delivered (late) and the plumber was then engaged. He came to fit the bath only to find that the feet were missing. A nightmare then ensued because Homebase would not respond in store to me, well, they wouldn’t answer the phone to me or the plumber and when they finally deemed to speak to us they couldn’t provide any feet for the bath. Considering we were paying the plumber fifty pounds an hour this was a bit of an issue. In the end we went to PlumbCentre and bought a new bath for him to fit. Thus, thanks to Homebase we no longer actually had a matching bathroom suite. The plumber then carried on and fitted the rest of the bathroom. I estimate that the delays caused by Homebase and their lack of customer care cost us £250 as we had to pay for additional hours of the plumbers time. Eventually thanks to a small Twitter campaign we got the money for the bath refunded. Not for the additional plumbers time. However I was satisfied. Well, I was eight and a half months pregnant and newly redundant from my dream job. I had other things on my mind.

Shortly after Ned was born I looked at the toilet and noticed the cistern was a different colour to the rest of the toilet. Since we hadn’t finished tiling the bathroom at this point, I gave Homebase the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe it was my tired eyes and a trick of the light. A few weeks passed, then a couple of months and I didn’t really pay that much attention, the tiling was still unfinished and frankly I didn’t have a second spare to lay in the bath and enjoy my new bathroom.

However, the last few weeks have seen a major push at DIY and we finished the bathroom tiling. Yes, that’s right, it appears that the toilet cistern is in fact a noticeably different colour to the rest of the toilet. Great. I do feel incredibly disappointed. Gutted in fact because I don’t have spare cash to throw about and frankly the whole bathroom has been an unmitigated disaster thanks to Homebase incompetence at actually providing us with goods fit for purpose.

Now, both me and the husband are reasonable people and I realise that time has lapsed since we paid for the suite. (Interestingly though we are well within the legal term for a refund or exchange for the entire bathroom suite).I thought I would just buy a replacement cistern which matched and attempt to fit it ourselves. I didn’t want to overtly ask on Twitter so I thought I would FaceBook private message the Homebase team to ask their advice because I couldn’t see where I could buy just the cistern on the website. Apparently it appears I cant, I have to buy the entire toilet. This toilet is over two hundred pounds to buy. I don’t have two hundred pounds spare. I have just been made redundant. What am I to do? All I want is a toilet which is all the same colour. Their response ‘ I’m sorry but you have a 7 day checking period to check these things 6 months down the line this is. I’m afraid we wouldn’t do anything now I’m sorry.’ Er, no, that’s actually wrong according to Trading Standards I do in fact have FIVE years for Homebase to rectify this. And anyway, all I want to do is PAY for a new cistern which matches. I don’t want anything for free, I just want a matching toilet.

Now, I’m stuck I could scrap the loo and buy an entirely new toilet from a decent shop. However, the flooring has been fitted, the tiles have been fitted. I don’t want to have to do a whole load of DIY again. What would I do with a toilet pan and a cistern lid if I bought a replacement Homebase toilet?

It seems they really don’t want to help me have a nice bathroom. They have taken my money and as far as they are concerned its acceptable to leave me with a faulty product. I mean, frankly I cant possibly have discoloured the toilet cistern could I? They provided me with something which wasn’t matching to start with and according to them they are all part of the same product. I would argue they clearly are all separate parts so they could SELL me one of these parts quite easily.

I hear that Homebase are running a marketing campaign to try to target women with a new brand identity. Well, at the moment I really do think that they are taking the piss with me…TO BE CONTINUED…

If you want to read my husbands take on this you’ll find his post here

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4 Responses

  1. PantsWithNames 7th June 2012 / 7:59 pm

    Good timing – I'm thinking of launching into a new bathroom and was toying with Homebase. But I can't take shoddy customer service so will take your experience and my custom elsewhere. Thanks for sharing this sorry tale. I hope they are contrite and make good asap but somehow I doubt it.

  2. mumsdotravel 8th June 2012 / 6:38 am

    What a nightmare! Having stuff like that done is stressful even if everything goes to plan, let alone when you're pregnant and receive service like that.We're planning to refit our worn out bathroom at the moment, and will avoid Homebase. I hope you manage to sort something out.

  3. cartside 8th June 2012 / 11:26 pm

    I've had bad experience with Homebase too and actually boycotted them for years. I don't now because I'm lazy. Shame that they're still dealing like this, and what a nightmare experience for you!

  4. steve hill 5th August 2014 / 9:18 pm

    I had same issue with Homebase, my <a href="http:/tlc-services.co.uk/essex-bathrooms-fitting//" rel="nofollow">Essex Bathroom Fitters</a> sorted mine but the attitude of HB was unbelievable! Mine was also a Cisten that did not match! I am a resonable guy but they could have just sold me one too!! good luck.

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