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It’s not often I’m annoyed about an online purchase for if there is a problem, a replacement is usually sent out quickly, and my ire would soon disappear.

But not this week. Oh! No! Not this week.

To protect the guilty I will not disclose the name of the superstore; let’s simply call them Query and Bad.

I needed three new fence panels to replace the rotting ones. The money was paid, and the date of delivery was confirmed. We were inside our home when the panels were delivered, and my wife signed the paperwork. We had left the side gate open, ready for them to stack the panels and once they had finished their delivery, they could drive away.

After they had left, I checked the panels. Oh! Dear! Two panels were fine but the last one had one strut missing and one was hanging off.


I called the number for Query and Bad and eventually got through to a human. I gave him the details and was then cut off. ‘Damn, blast, poo,’ said I in my best polite voice. But soon after the swear words appeared in large numbers. With my anger rising, I had to do something.

I phoned back. Another man - I won’t mention his name but let’s call him Mada - took down my details and agreed to phone me back once he had looked at my problem. The phone was so quiet for the rest of the day and the morning of the next one. No matter how hard I tried to stay calm, my anger was close to boiling over as it was clear, they couldn’t be bothered.

After many hours of waiting, I phoned again and this time a lady answered the call. Once more, I gave her the details of my discontent and she promised me she would deal with it. She did. They would send me a date when a delivery van was available and a new panel would replace the broken one which would be removed.

How someone can deliver something which was clearly damaged was way beyond my understanding of customer service. And to say it might have been damaged in transit - their words, not mine - was ludicrous as on underloading the two panels, the delivery men, would have seen the damage. They should have apologised and immediately arranged for another panel to be delivered.

But no, instead they said nothing and did nothing. I made another telephone call.

No answer. I was left to let off steam and swear as loud as I could without my wife hearing me, before thinking of another plan that would work. I gave up and vowed I’d never order anything from them in the future.

But many days later I received a call to explain a new panel would be delivered three days later, and the old one would be removed.

A few days after that, a man with a large van pulled up outside our home and swapped a new panel for the damaged one.

Great! And for the inconvenience, I received a 50% discount on this new panel.

Happy days, I thought, but there was more to come.

Two days later, I received a message informing us another delivery of a new panel would be made the next day, and was that convenient?

What! Were they mad, stupid, or indifferent? Another panel would be of use, but as I hadn’t paid for it, It wasn’t mine. Nevertheless, that prompted us to send another text to find out what they meant, as we had already received the three panels. We thought that was the end of the saga, but much to our dismay, the story wasn’t over. No, we received a text saying your panel will be delivered soon.

If I had more hair, I’d be pulling it out. If a small business was run on their lines they wouldn’t last long. Do Query and Bad keep records? It makes me wonder. If this was their normal Modus - Operandi, I’d hate to think how they could manage their day-to-day business. Or, maybe they simply don’t care for their business is, I think, growing.

But no matter what, you couldn’t make up this story if you tried.

Customer Feedback?

If there was such a thing, which I don’t think there is, I’d give them 2 out of 10, and that’s very generous.

The culture within the company was, and is, without a doubt, mainly one of indifference.

I may visit their store for small items in the future but any chance of me requesting a delivery service is zero, nil, no chance.

I wouldn’t trust them. And after reading my missive, would you?



I thought the matter had been closed and I could relax once more. Alas for me the gremlins in their crazy system were in hyper-drive. You probably can guess the next bit in the saga of the wood panels, but just in case, here goes. Out of the blue, I received an email. My order had now been verified and will be delivered on such a date. I used to say something rude like …. Off, but now I say, Oh really.

With so much going on, doctors and hospital appointments, etc, the last thing I wanted was to stay home and await the delivery of something that wasn’t mine.

There certainly is more to come and all will be revealed once this saga of incompetence, and callous indifference, has been blown away.



With so many stores, shops, and supermarkets plying for my, and your business in these most difficult times, we shoppers will vote with our feet. They will say, ‘Thanks for the crap service, and by the way, if you haven’t guessed what happens next, let me tell you in simple English. I won’t be returning to shop with you.’

Shoppers aren’t stupid, especially with the cost of living crisis hitting them so hard. They are counting their pounds, hoping they would have enough money to heat their homes and have enough to feed their families. What we all need is simple. You, and I, want to buy what we need, receive the purchased goods on time, and not have to make a call saying, ‘What happened to my goods? When will I receive them?’

Multiply my tale across the UK and I bet many families have faced the same problems as I did or experienced customer service worse than I did. And that’s an appalling way to treat customers.

In the USA the customer is King.

In Japan, the customer is GOD.

In the UK, the customer is a nuisance, but someone to sell to no matter what the circumstances.



Working in the garage I heard the noise of a rattly old Query and Bad van slowly reversing up our joint drive. I rubbed my hands with glee as I awaited their presence. They would try to deliver another wooden panel and I’d have the pleasure of saying, ‘Thanks but no thanks as it isn’t mine.’

What a disappointment! The driver was delivering something to our neighbours.

What a let down but I did manage a wide grin.

C’est la vie!

Would I order anything from Query and Bad?

Not a chance.

In my shoes, and your shoes, would you?

Thanks for reading.

Rick Haynes


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