JDG Financial Services / JD Group — after sales service and delivery
Good day 03 May 2017
Sales Order: 541465
I shopped around for furniture to furnish a new flat I bought in Pretoria East. My wife and I were quite impressed with the service we received from the sales personnel at both the Rustenburg and Parkview branches of Rochester.
I ordered furniture on 22 March 2017, and paid in full (R25 000.00) on 05 April 2017 on condition that when I phone on one day, delivery will be done on the following day as I could not pinpointed when the new flat would be registered. I did point out to the Parkview branch that I expected that delivery most probably be required at the end of April over the long weekend.
I phoned on Friday 21 April 2017 and requested delivery on Wednesday 26 April 2017. Someone from Parkview branch contacted me on Monday 24 April 2017 to let me know that delivery could only be arranged for Thursday 27 April. The next day, Tuesday 25 April I received a call from the Warehouse, confirming that the furniture could not be delivered on Wednesday 26 April as I requested. The person did however promise that the furniture would be delivered on Thursday 27 April, even though it was a public holiday. Although this was not in line with the promises made by the sales people, it was acceptable for me. My wife and I left Rustenburg early on Thursday 27 April. We only had the long weekend to furnish and equip the flat as our son had to move in on 30 April at the latest.
On Thursday morning I phoned the warehouse and spoke to Kim who confirmed that all the furniture was loaded and on their way to be delivered. At 13h06 somebody phoned me again and asked if we were at the flat to receive the furniture. This person also requested directions. I confirmed that we would be there. Although we still had lots of shopping to do for the flat, we remained there waiting for the promised delivery. Later (from 16h25) I attempted to contact the warehouse without success. No one answered.
The next morning, Friday 28 April 2017, we went to the Parkview branch to cancel the order as Rochester did not keep their part of the deal. The branch Manager persuaded me not to cancel and promised that she will ensure that all the furniture would be delivered on the same day (Friday 28 April) before 17h00. I reluctantly agreed. When Kim was confronted on the phone she denied that there were any phone calls between her, the warehouse and myself the previous day. I showed the Branch Manager the call log on my cellphone. We left the shop with the understanding that the furniture would be delivered on the same day before 17h00.
I received a phone call from Parkview Branch Manager at 15h14 informing me that the driver had just left the warehouse. As promised in the morning, she sent the name and cellphone number of the driver to my wife. Apparently the Regional Manager, Francois was at the warehouse and was aware that the delivery was urgent.
Again, although we still had lots of shopping to do, we left our trolley full of goods in Pick and Pay and rushed to the flat to ensure we were there to receive the furniture.
At 16h14 Eric, the driver phoned to inform me that he had just left the warehouse in Jetpark. He had been instructed to do my delivery first. His estimation was that he would be at the delivery address within an hour.
Although the inconsistent information of the time the driver left Jetpark received from the branch manager and driver were frowned upon, I was willing to wait for another hour.
We started phoning the driver and branch manager when the driver had not arrived one and a half hours later.
A lot of phone calls were made between me, Chipo from the branch, my wife and the driver on Friday 29 April:
- 15h15 – Chipo informed us that the driver has left the warehouse
- 16h16 – The driver informed me that he just left the warehouse in Jetpark and planned to do our delivery first. He was at a garage filling up with diesel.
- 18h07 – The driver he had some problem with his tyre.
- 18h08 – Chipo to inform us the driver had trouble with his engine and that the N1 highway was very busy.
- 18h43 – from driver – he was still on the N1.
- 19h36 - to driver – The driver was busy with a delivery in Midrand.
- 20h05 - from Chipo – the driver would be at our place within an hour.
- 20h37 - from driver – he was at Menlyn, asking for directions. He had no idea of where the delivery was supposed to be made.
I realised that the delivery that was originally supposed to take place on Wednesday 26 April was not going to happen before 21h30, if at all. I then told the driver that I was not interested in the goods anymore and that he should take it back to the warehouse.
The following morning, Saturday, 29 April 2017 at 9h15 I went to your Parkview branch to cancel my order and get my money refunded with interest for almost one month. During this visit the Branch Manager was nowhere to be found. I was told that the branch was unable to reverse the amount on their card machine and insisted that refunds had to go through head office. I was informed that it would take up to four working days before the refund will reflect in my bank account. Up to today the refund still does not reflect in my bank account.
I left Rorchester at ±10h00 and went to Etienne Lewis. We chose the furniture we required. Whilst still at the cashier to finalise the payment they showed us on their CCTV camera that the base and mattress set and lounge suite were already being scotchguarded. I was sceptic when the sales lady promised delivery in a few hours. At 12h09 my wife sent photographs to Chipo, Parkview’s Branch Manager. The furniture was delivered, carried to the fourth floor and the driver made double sure that we were happy before he left. The sales lady also phoned just to make sure everything was in order. Needless to say that we were very impressed with the excellent service received from Etienne Lewis.
One would expect every business in this day and time to concentrate on providing excellent service. Good products and affordable prices mean nothing without after sales client service.
In a nutshell I would like to point out the repercussions of your extremely disappointing service had on me and my wife:
1. We planned to sleep at the new flat on Wednesday 26 April in order to have enough time to furnish and equip the flat. We only left Rustenburg early on 27 April.
2. We wasted a lot of time on 27 April as we were unsure of the time the delivery would take place. I bought the furniture from Rochester on one condition only, that delivery might have to take place on short notice.
3. On Thursday 27 April my wife and I had to sleep on the floor. We waited until after 20h00 before we left to buy food as it was confirmed by Kim at the warehouse that delivery would definitely take place on 27 April. She later denied that she spoke to me.
4. When I wanted to cancel my order the next day, your staff at Parkview persuaded me not to cancel. The Branch Manager promised to ensure that delivery would take place before 17h00. I wanted the furniture before 16h00 but again I was lenient.
5. On Friday 28 April we again stayed at the flat and waited for our furniture. Wasting another day. Again we had no choice but to sleep on the floor.
6. After speaking to Kim at the warehouse she gave me the impression that she is in control there and where and when deliveries take place only once she gives the instruction. In spite of promises made by sales people or even herself. To say the least, her attitude stinks.
7. Although Chipo was not to blame, unfortunately she over promised and under delivered. First rule of sales: Never commit yourself and make promises if you are not in a position to ensure the promise will be kept.
8. When my wife requested Francois’s cellphone number from Chipo she claimed that it was in her diary at the shop. It was after hours and she already left the shop. She apparently did not have his number on her cellphone. I find this very unlikely.
9. I suggest you review your delivery service. At some points while I was speaking to the driver the Branch Manager phoned my wife and gave a totally different explanation. Whilst the driver was nowhere near the estate, according to Chipo he was at the security gate of the estate.
10. We have several investment properties that we bought and then rent out furnished. Later we sell the property with the furniture and equipment.
11. We plan to acquire more property for investment in Pretoria in the foreseeable future.
12. Needless to say that we will never consider doing business with Rochester again.
13. I request that the full amount that I paid for the furniture at Rochester is paid into my bank account. I paid for the furniture on 5 April and expect market related interest on the full amount for every day since 5 April until the day it reflects in my account.
14. Should the amount not be in my bank account by Friday 12 May 2017, I will instruct my lawyer to take further steps.
15. Be assured that we will share our experience with everyone we know. Your after sales service is non existing.
16. In your competitive industry I am dumbstruck that a business as large as yours can afford not only to lose business but clearly underestimate the impact of negative word of mouth and social network influences.