Hammonds FurniturePaying for inefficiency, not quality

Q Jul 30, 2016 Review updated:

My mistake in committing myself to Hammond's furniture is that I have failed to take seriously the many complaining stories on the internet about Hammonds. "They must be hard-to-please customers, " I told myself .
I would have had a similar suite of bedroom furniture from Barker and Stonehouse for less than half the price I pay Hammonds. Given the reputation of the latter as a premium furniture provider, I thought I was paying for the quality. I could not have been more wrong.
The designer came twice and the surveyors three times because of various miscommunication. The joiner partially put up the furniture then took them down in one bedroom and then did the same in another because of some specified or unspecified errors.
Another joiner came back for the first room two weeks later to give another try. When I heard him spending long time talking on the phone again like the other joiner did I knew things went wrong again. I asked him what was going on, he said he was waiting for instructions.

Suddenly I realized why I am paying them so much: for the wastage, for the miscommunication, for the incompetency and for the inefficiency.

( A six-working-day job dragged on over nearly two months!!!)

There are three obvious explanations why Hammonds is such an inefficient company. Firstly, there are too many communication channels, most of them dysfunctional. For instance, the designer had put down on paper a front system for one bedroom to maximize usable space; the surveyor, failing to pay attention, put down in his drawing a carcass system, cutting the usable space to half (despite of charging a made-to-measure premium price, the major parts all come in standard sizes). When the wardrobe was nearly finished, I was called forward to inspect it. When I questioned the size, the office answered the joiner that I had signed the papers (piles of them, and some in hardly readable fine prints), hence responsible for it myself. Eventually, they admitted their mistake and took the carcass down.
Secondly, Hammonds subcontract the jobs to an army of tradesmen. The drafts of the surveyor do not give all the details. The contract tradesmen on site, unwilling to take responsibilities, spent most of the time making phone calls to the office rather than working on the furniture. One morning, a sit-and-wait joiner told me that he had spoken to seven different people in various departments of the office but still had no clue what to be done. The tradesmen I hired before own their businesses directly. When matters arise, they are usually dealt with immediately on sit by the tradesmen themselves.
Thirdly, the company has little financial pressure to finish the job on time. The customer is required to pay down 20% deposit when signing the contract, and another 64% long before installation. They generate fat interest returns on the loan market from these free credits supplied by their customers whilst the customers waiting indefinitely for their furniture to be put up. The local tradesmen I hired directly before did not charge a penny until the job is finished. In order to get paid on time, they have to finish the job on time.
The only efficiency I can see in Hammonds is the way they collect money from their customers (this is the area where the company has truly invested serious human resources). The company has caused considerable disruption to my plans and life. For more than one month, I was forced to live in a house dangerous like a construction site. It has also caused considerable damages to my house, as most of the tradesmen sent by the company have not bothered to put down any protection on carpet, floor, banister etc. The company lightly shrugged off its responsibilities with French polishing and a 5.29% discount, using its market power. The marginal cost of a court dispute is near zero to the company but substantial to the consumer. Hammond's know that, and take full advantage of this knowledge.

P. S. I have just read complaints in this community about Hammonds furniture falling apart in just six year (and pages of similar stories). I can only keep my fingers crossed now.


  • Q
      Jul 30, 2016

    This review was originally published on Trustpilot. Hammonds' PR team has been trying to block it there. I have found a way to get around its mechanism for the time being but pretty sure that the company will soon find another way to block it on Trustpilot, Hence I have copied the review and put it down here.

    0 Votes
  • L
      Jul 31, 2017

    @Qin Xiao I just don't know where to start... I am locked into a dispute with Hammonds now. My daughters room.. fitted wardrobe and drawer/dressing table. Measured wrong, drawer does not open. No shelves arrived, the cornice does not fit... it just goes on. The fitter used white cork with cream furniture, the wardrobe is coming away from wall. The job is not finished. No handles in place and the draws cant open. My daughter has had half a building site in her room for 3 months now. She is 11. Copious amounts of emails from different staff members. 3 visits from different people. Hammonds accepted they measured incorrectly .. and i have just received a letter threatening court action for outstanding £96 when i have not even received all the materials including shelves and handles or the drawer which is measured wrong anyway... I wish i never even heard of them. Absolute disgrace and bullies.. unbelievable. HELP!!!

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