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How Would You Escalate This?

At the beginning of February, I ordered over £600 worth of trees for my dad from Pomona Fruits. They had (from what I could see) a good reputation so neither of us had any reservations. When my dad received them however, in his words, they looked like they'd been pulled out of a skip. He took photos and from what I could see, it was a pretty accurate description. I gave him their details and he gave them a call. Initially they were helpful and he spoke with the manager who sounded like the type of guy who would get things sorted. He asked for some more photos which my Dad took and I then emailed them to Pomona. My dad then rung them again and the manager told him that he would check what they had in stock, take photos and email them to me. That was almost two weeks ago. I still haven't received any emails. My dad has rung them this week and was told that the manager was out but a message would be given to request a call back. He hasn't heard a thing. I get the feeling that they're now trying to give him the runaround but don't know what the next step in pushing this should be. £600 is a lot of money, especially for a disabled man in his sixties.

Where should I be taking this next if Pomona continue to be unco-operative?
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  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,115
    While their apparent inaction is frustrating I would give them the benefit of the doubt and a little more time to respond. However, you should let them know you are unhappy with the service received so far and give them a deadline for resolution. When that discussion comes you should point out that, if you don't receive satisfactory service, you will take the issue further and publicize your experience on social media and other wide-reaching media.

    SM has become a powerful tool for the consumer when used properly.

    I hope you get this resolved. 
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,698
    I agree with Dave Humby and give them a little more time. If they haven't responded in say a week or so then I would write to the company director, Claire Elizabeth Higgins, and let her know the state of play and then tell her exactly what you want to happen. I think that should get things moving. Company details below.

    https://checkthecompany.co.uk/06962956-pomona-fruits
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,106
    I imagine by now you have little faith in the company's products and don’t want replacements.

    So you want a refund.

    I would write a letter stating this and giving them five working days to issue you with a full refund, failure to provide said refund will result in the small claims court.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/legal-system/small-claims/deciding-whether-to-make-a-small-claim/

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,504
    I hope they do get it sorted for you and your Dad, but if they don't and you paid by credit card, tell the card issuer your problem and you'll likely get a full refund.
    A long time ago I had a similar problem with plants I'd bought via an offer in The Telegraph. I got no response from The Telegraph, so called Barclaycard and they issued a full refund.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • OmoriOmori North YorkshirePosts: 1,514
    I had the same experience with Pomona Fruits. Terrible quality.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,106
    I think, I could be wrong, that the credit card thing only works for single items worth over £100.

    If the purchase on the credit card is made up of a lot of low value items they aren’t covered, even though the order ended up as more than £100.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,504
    The value of the plants I bought was around £30 if I remember correctly, but that was probably about 15yrs ago
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,698
    I've been thinking about this since my last post and personally, I would get in touch with the company straight away. Two weeks is plenty long enough for them to sort out a problem or a complaint. Looking at it another way, if it were my business I would much rather deal with it properly and have a happy customer than the said customer telling all and sundry about the poor service they have been dealt.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,064
    I agree, write to the most senior person you can find details for (email is fine these days) politely but firmly expressing your and your Dad's disappointment with the quality of the items, attach the photos again, say who you've already contacted (and dates) and that the matter hasn't been rectified, state that you expect a full refund within some number of days (whatever you think reasonable) and ask them to arrange free-to-you collection of the sub-standard plants that they delivered if they want them returned. It wouldn't hurt to say you are acting on behalf of your disabled father.
    If you don't get a reasonably prompt satisfactory reply, then call them out on social media and try the credit card company for a refund - the worst they can do is say no.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 1,673
    It sounds absolutely dreadful - both for you and your Dad.

    What was the actual state of the trees when received ( apart from looking as if they had been pulled out of a skip that is ) ?  Were they actually dead on arrival or not of the quality advertised or could they have been damaged in transit ?  Sometimes suppliers send out perfectly acceptable specimens only to have the transport company let them, and therefore the customer, down.  If you think that could be the case, might be worth tackling it on both fronts - supplier and courier ?

    As has already been said above, go to the "High Ups" of Pomona if you possibly can .  They aren't always aware of what is happening on the lower levels of their company.

    Very best of luck in getting it sorted :)

     
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