Why I Won’t Shop at Littlewoods this Christmas

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I’ve been going back and forth on whether I would write this post. Perhaps if Littlewoods had responded to my written letter back in September then I’d let it go. But I want to share my experience of shopping with Littlewoods because I really don’t think this demonstrates good customer service.

It all started on a sunny day back in July, not long after we moved home actually. We needed home insurance, so the hubby went online and did some comparisons. Littlewoods popped up with one of the more cost effective policies and they offered a £50 voucher to spend online at littlewoods.com as an incentive to take out the policy. As I buy most of our home purchases, mr d gave me the voucher to spend. Little did I know this would result in faff after faff after faff, that literally went on until just recently! Honestly, you couldn’t make it up and the story I will share is completely farcical.

In all honesty I wasn’t sure what to order. We’d just moved home and we needed lots of things but I prefer to buy stuff second hand and at the car boot sales. So August 22nd I had a look on their website and decide to order a rug. The price was £49 and when I went to check out and enter the voucher code, a red error bar pinged up but with no message. The order stated the code had been accepted but I thought I’d start up a chat just to check.

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I was told not to worry and to complete the order in full and that the £50 would be then credited back to me once it had shipped…This seemed odd to me but that’s what they said and the order confirmation stated the code had gone through so I completed the order.

Then the next day I got an email telling me the order amount actually had to be £50 or more for the voucher to be credited. I’m guessing the error message that didn’t display was in fact telling me this. I had various emails go back and forth with the customer service department telling me it was the Insurance group’s problem and to email them (of which I did). Three days later the rug was delivered and I still had no confirmation as to whether the £49 would be credited back to me.

Two weeks later I’d still heard nothing from Littlewoods saying whether I’d be credited the £49 back or not so I decided to just return the rug. I had three options – drop it at the post office, use collect+ or have Littlewoods collect it from me. I decided I’d drop it off at the post office close to where I work. The post office told me it was too big to ship and I’d need to go back to Littlewoods. I went back online and re-requested to have Littlewoods collect the rug. I was told to ensure I be home between the hours of 7am and 8pm at night. Brilliant.

Two days later the rug was collected by Yodel at midday. There was no confirmation given to me in terms of yes Yodel picked this up. I called Littlewoods a few days later but they couldn’t tell me if the rug had been returned or not. After this I was travelling for work and honestly didn’t have the energy to worry about it anymore. I wrote a letter of complaint, printing out all the screenshots from emails, chat logs and social media conversations. I sent this to the Customer Excellence Team and to date I still haven’t had a reply.

I returned from my work trip at the end of September and finally my £49 had been returned. Result. I could forget about the whole rug mess. But no, I still had £50 to spend by the end of October. Really I should have just said stuff it – I’ve had a bad experience and I’ll just forget the voucher. But it was the principal and the promotion was offered to us in return for our custom. I was entitled to my fifty quid!!

So I went online again and ordered a few bits for Christmas – some toys and candles –ensuring the amount came to over £50 this time. I applied the same code and everything went through as expected. The final balance was £2.98. Finally!

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And then my relief turned to raging anger when I checked my bank statement the next day. Littlewoods had charged my card the FULL amount! To say I was fuming would be an absolute understatement. And so it began again – calls, emails and social media chats to try and find out why I’d been charged the full amount when my order stated the code had been applied.

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I emailed them straight away and no one replied. It was only after a public post on Facebook ten days later that someone responded to my question – why had I been charged the full amount when my order stated the code had been applied?

And here was the response – they credit the money back when all items are dispatched. So because my candles weren’t dispatched until November, that’s when I FINALLY saw my fifty quid back.

I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything online where a voucher is credited after the goods are sent. There was no obvious explanation on my order confirmation and it took me weeks to get an answer. Have you experienced this with any online retailers?! It is safe to say I will “stick to what I know” this Christmas!

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Linked with KCACOLS


  1. This is really bad service. I have been with littlewoods for years as a credit customer. I used to get 12.5% commission back on all my orders, but just recently they have done away with that. So now I am paying way over the average price for each item. cheaper to buy elsewhere #KCACOLS

  2. Sounds like a really bad experience! I used to have a Littlewoods account and it helped us furnish a new flat when I was 20, we never had any problems but I wouldn\’t use them again (or any other catalogue to be fair!). Its a shame as you were using a voucher that was given to you as a \’thank you\’. At least you have sorted it now! 🙂


  3. That\’s so strange! I\’ve never heard of voucher codes working like that before, surely they just deduct the amount from the total when you check out! I\’d be fuming if I were you! x #KCACOLS

  4. Such a shame when you receive poor customer service – it just makes you never want to shop there again. Time and time again poor customer services lets these companies down. John Lewis has impeccable customer service. In fact, every company should copy what John Lewis does – if they did it, shopping would be a much better experience for customers!

  5. This sounds awful. I\’m so sorry you had to have such an awful and seemingly shady experience with Littlewoods. I had been eyeing them for a bit, but after reading this, I can\’t say that I find myself finding an allure in them anymore.

    And honestly, I\’ve never heard of a company taking off the coupon cost after everything clears ever. That just sounds like bad business practice, in my opinion.

    mchi (@mchiouji) | http://blog.mchiouji.me

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