Real life

I’ve always enjoyed myself on Wayfair – but this time I’ve had enough

17 August 2019

9:00 AM

17 August 2019

9:00 AM

One thing Lorraine Kelly does not say in the Wayfair advert is: ‘What if I fancy getting my money back for an item that hasn’t arrived?’ I guess they’ve only got 30 seconds, and it’s a wee bit complicated. This is a shame because I’ve always rather enjoyed myself on Wayfair.

When the wrong bed arrived, they set about despatching so many beds to me that I ran out of storage space until the right one randomly materialised. So when it came to ordering a new mattress for another bed I returned for more, thinking that if it went wrong I might get deluged in the EU mattress mountain.

The mattress didn’t appear, reliably enough, and I got an email a few days later saying it had not been despatched from the supplier. I looked forward to the usual apologies, followed by the arrival of 36 mattresses.

Ten days later, however, I had to call customer services, whereupon a cheerful lady said they would sort it out. But three days later I had heard nothing. When I rang again, a chap who sounded like he was not where his innermost soul wanted to be told me that the mattress was well and truly lost.

I told him fine, I would like my money back. I couldn’t be bothered trying to pick another one. And I’d suddenly gone off the idea of 36 mattresses piled up in my hallway.

‘Yes, of course,’ he said, ‘and while I do want to help you with that…’ Uh-oh… ‘I’m afraid I have to follow procedure. I can’t issue a refund until I can locate the mattress in our warehousing system.’

‘You don’t understand,’ I said, ‘I’m after either my mattress or my money back, not both at the same time.’

He reiterated more guff about procedures, possibly reading off a pre-prepared script entitled ‘Customer hasn’t received item/item lost/stop giving away items or we are going to go bust!’

‘So what you’re saying is, I can have my money back, just as soon as I get my mattress?’

He read some more mumbo-jumbo.

‘What has happened to Wayfair?’ I asked, distraught. ‘Aren’t you going to push a button and deluge me with excess goods?’ I still thought he might offer me another mattress or 30.

But he didn’t offer a thing. Perhaps they felt I ought to be enjoying my mattress just knowing it was somewhere. Then, when I got it, I could enjoy calling them up to initiate a returns process to get a refund when there was no need for one.

A friend told me to go to Paypal. I opened a dispute and waited a day, then decided to press the escalation button, mainly because Wayfair had the cheek to send me an email asking me how the chap on the phone had done. There wasn’t an option for: ‘As well as could be expected given that his life was in free-fall and his once glittering career path had landed him in a call centre listening to me whingeing about a mattress.’

It was my first Paypal dispute so, obviously, it took me an hour to lodge my complaint as the system timed out and crashed three times while I was attempting to do it.

A few days later, I got an email from Wayfair telling me I would be getting a replacement mattress in a month’s time and that I was to arrange the return of the mattress I didn’t want.

‘How can I send back a mattress I never received?’ I ranted down the phone to some poor blighter who told me the email was a mistake as the file now said the mattress had been ‘lost by the carrier’. He was very apologetic. In fact, he went straight to the crib sheet entitled Emergency Grovel.

‘If you tell me you want your money back I will push for that for you.’

‘Yes, well, I don’t have a mattress,’ I said.

‘I do understand. I treasure my sleep and I’m sure you do as well.’ Hang on, where are we going with this?

‘It’s not just your money, it’s your time and effort.’ Ye-es?

‘I want to get this resolved in this call because it’s gone on too long.’ And? ‘I’m going to ask my manager if I can put through this refund.’ I heard keyboard tapping. ‘I’m waiting for a response from my manager.’ Silence. Two minutes, three minutes.

‘Is anything happening?’ I asked.

‘My manager hasn’t got back to me.’

‘Look, let me just say one thing before you go any further with this whole “I’m asking my manager but she’s not there” thing. I don’t want a mattress in a month’s time, and you can’t keep my money.’ I admit I just kept saying this until he said: ‘I’m putting the refund through now.’

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