Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Just wondering what other Backroomers would make of this, maybe I\'m being a foolish customer, or maybe this car accessory shop is taking the mick, I\'d like your opinions!

I needed some decent cloths to clean the interior fabrics of the Fiesta as there were a few marks starting to appear, so whilst I was in the accessory shop I picked up a packet of Valeting cloths. They say that they are lint free and that\'s about it. No directions for use, or comments about suitability for different areas of the car. However, as I\'ve always been fairly happy with their own brand stuff in the past, I bought them.

Now I know that they are unsuitable for use on paintwork \'cos they contain some polyester, which to my mind, if you can\'t use them outside, means that they are to be used for valeting the interior.

But when used on either fabric or even the dashboard, they leave white fluff everywhere which needs hoovering out. Not much use. So I tried returning them:

Front Desk repsonse - \"They\'re for outside use only\", it doesn\'t say that on the packet, so he referred me to the supervisor.

Supervisor - \"You need lint free cloths for interiors, so these are no good, you should have expected white fluff\" My response to that was that it clearly says \"Lint Free\" on the front of the packet, he didnt say much but referred me to the manager.

Manager - \"Not going to argue with you, we can\'t resell them so you can\'t have an exchange or refund\" He even dared to suggest that it was the fault of the fabric cleaner that I used, but gave up when I told him that it was Auto Glym.

Anyway, he gave me the head office address and said that they could have the product sent away for testing and see if they think it is also faulty.

I wouldnt normally bother, but they\'re response was so pathetic that I\'m going to write in, the only thing I\'m afraid I didn\'t think to ask was what exactly are the cloths suitable for, \'cos you certainly can\'t polish with them due to the polyester content, or use them on dashboards or fabrics. What else is there to valet?

Am I been unreasonable, or are they being very unhelpful? I should point out that I didn\'t even insist on a refund, but merely to swap for a different item...

Advice/Opinions please!

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Ooops! Sorry for the mammoth post! I was trying to make sure that I covered all relevant points.

Car Accessory Shop Hell - DavidHM
Sale of Goods Act - are they

a. reasonably fit for purpose - i.e., can you use them for cleaning inside or outside the car? Apparently not.

b. as described - i.e., lint free? Hell no!

c. of satisfactory quality - well they seem to fall apart when used, so probably not.

Failing on any one of those entitles you to a refund. So no, you\'re not being at all unreasonable.

I can\'t believe that they\'re willing to annoy you over a packet of cloths that costs them about 50p and they\'re selling you for a fiver, or whatever.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Baskerville
If you sew lots of them together you could make a parachute, or a duvet cover maybe. But I bet if you write a polite letter to the manufacturer and include a sample of the cloth they will send you some freebies.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Unfortunately the manufacturer is their own brand, so I could be onto a loser there!

What exactly is lint? The cloth doesn\'t fall apart, but leaves white fibres which really stand out on my nice grey coloured fabric! I wouldn\'t have expected problems like this from an old T-shirt, which is what I\'ll use from now on, unfortunately we have no clean rags left and I didn\'t fancy attacking my wardrobe, so this seemed a better option! :-)

Car Accessory Shop Hell - terryb

I replenish my stock of rags by an occasional visit to a local charity (scout, guide etc) jumble sale. They usually have heaps of shirts etc going for a song - towards closing time they're grateful not to have to pile them up for dumping - and the youth community benefits from the few bob you force on them.

Car Accessory Shop Hell - teabelly
If they say lint free on the outside and they are clearly not then trading standards would be interested. I think you have a perfect case for a refund/exchange regardless of whether they can sell them on as they are not fit for the purpose. I would demand a refund/exchange and mention to trading standards that they said they wouldn\'t give you an exchange or refund as they couldn\'t sell them on, *not* because they disagreed about their suitability.

Judging by your description I have used exactly the same cloths, and had the same results (fluff everywhere!)

Car Accessory Shop Hell - peterb
The fact they can\'t sell them on is completely irrelevant! They\'re trying it on.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Ah ha! So lint is the fluff that gets left behind then? Wish I\'d known what that term meant about an hour ago :-)

I was conciously trying not to become a mad rambling customer though, at least not whilst I had *any* doubt in my mind. i deal with them often at work, and the thought of becoming one myself horrifys me!

It is a bit sad that the store manager values £6 more than repeat business though. Shows a short sighted view that is sadly typical of British business. :-(

If I had the guts to go back I would, but unfortunately we agreed to disagree and he gave me head office address. I suppose they should be my next port of call, if they give a response that makes up for it then good for them. But I\'m not holding my breath...

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Canon Fodder
Don\'t give up Blue, their attitude is a disgrace, if it had been me in there the air would have turned blue!

Head office should be made aware of the manager\'s actions, if they concur with him then God help them - they deserve to go bust and they surely will.

Here are their details to help you along - please let us know how you got on,

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Hugo {P}
Don\'t give up Blue, their attitude is a disgrace, if it
had been me in there the air would have turned blue!
Head office should be made aware of the manager\'s actions, if
they concur with him then God help this shop - they deserve
to go bust and they surely will.
Here are their details to help you along - please let
us know how you got on,

Failing all the above, your local trading standards department (County Council) may be interested.

In addition, what about those motoring mags, HJs column in the Telegraph etc etc - You could REALLY make their lives hell!

Good luck to you!.

Oh and if you still want lint free cloths, try a company called Countdown. They should come up on the web under a search for that name. They sell cleanroom consumables. FYI Cleanrooms are used to build/repair dust sensitive product. My last employer used these extensively.

Tell them you\'re some kind of industrial valetor and you\'ll probably get some samples.

If this draws a blank, do a search for \"Clean Room Consumables\". You\'ll be spoilt for choice.

Sorry Blue, If I was still working there I could have got you stacks of phone numbers etc.

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Thanks for the recommendation, I\'ll give a search a try soon.

It looks like it may have been resolved, my dad came home when I was in the middle of writing my carefully worded letter, and he insisted on rining the store to get the Cheif Exec\'s name.

After a few mins of the \"Not you personally\" and other points that my dad made, not least the fact that I spend a small fortune in there, and the manager agreed to give us a credit note if we go in tommorow. So a result then!

Why he wouldn\'t do that in the first place is beyond me, but at least he\'s making up for it now. :-)

We\'re going down tommorow to collect the credit note and hopefully I can be a happy customer again.

I really should say that in the past, I have always been quite happy with their stuff, it\'s just this one product that\'s let them down, and the woeful attempt at service afterwards which spoiled it.

By the way, is it adviseable to use a cloth containing polyester to polish a car? For example when applying DiamondBrite, as that is what they recommended to my dad a couple of weeks ago, I\'ve only just found out, but he applied Diamond Brite to the Z4 with a similar kind of cloth. I wasn\'t impressed \'cos I always thought that polyester cloths caused hairline scratches, in my experience they have anyway...

Car Accessory Shop Hell - king arthur
I know the cloths you mean, they are clearly marked \"lint free\" and yet if you try to use them to wipe the dashboard or any textured plastic surface you get loads of lint everywhere. I\'d just stick to using old shirts if I were you....
Car Accessory Shop Hell - sean
Hello, BO.

How much was your purchase? How far are you prepared to go?

County Court?

The shop to which you refer to used to be a great place. They have no factories. Everything with their name on is made for them, just like M&S and Tesco, for example.

Where they fall sadly behind the supermarkets is in customer service. You are not unreasonable. You bought something there, it did not do the job that a reasonable person would expect. Your contract is with them. That store. Why be fobbed off writing to Head Office?

It depends on you, but in the same position I would go to

and download the form to sue them. Link is Moneyclaim online.

Print a copy off, fill it in by hand and go and see yon manager.

Now then, young man (always puts them on the back foot, even if they\'re older than you) we\'ve spoken before. I REALLY want my money back for these. Here\'s my receipt. Here\'s my Court Claim form, I\'m just on my way down to issue proceedings, but I need your name on the form as the the shop contact I\'ve liaised with\".

Light the blue touch paper, and walk out with refund.

This works. I know!

Let us know how you get on, please mate.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - HF
Hi Blue,

Sorry to hear your tale of woe!

I have nothing of value to add that hasn\'t already been mentioned here, but I *do* feel you have been treated absolutely abominably, and you are quite right not to leave the matter as it stands.

I know how well you are able to stand your own ground, but I am wondering if these particular sales people treated you in this way because they thought they could bully you due to your age.

In any case, I hope the solution as worked out by your dad comes to fruition tomorrow, and that you\'re happy with the outcome.

If it was me, I\'d probably still write to Head Office anyway, to let them know how appallingly you\'ve been treated, but then I\'m just a troublemaker ;)
Car Accessory Shop Hell - none
Given the absence of old sheets and t shirts, a visit to the local Oxfam shop should prove fruitful in the search for the perfect cleaning rag. Colour coded if required - black for black bits, white for white bits.
No fancy prices, no comebacks.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - eMBe {P}
Blue O :
1. Don\'t be fobbed off with a credit-note.
2. Whether you get a refund or not, you must report this incident to Trading Standards.

As some backroomers may be aware, I have a \"close\" connection with consumer policy issues.

A FTSE quoted company, used to own this accessory shop and had a very positive consumer friendly policy. They used to go out of their way to settle any complaints, and had a very generous policy which was wasy beyond the minimum required by Law. This shop is now owned by a venture capital company, which takes a \"different\" attitude. Customers can figure out for themselves whether it is better or worse.

Another High Street FTSE quoted company used to own a famous home DIY chain and again their customer services were faultless. That chain was sold to a venture capital company and the policy on returns was changed with statements displayed at checkouts which were in breach of Consumer Law. After complaints to Trading Standards, the new owners were forced to eventually change their practice. (However the company still interprets the Law very rigidly, and is allegedly reported to take matters to the Courts to defend its obstinate stance.)

The point I am trying to make here is that with some Companies, you have to report incidents to Trading Standards for the good of other Consumers.

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Oz
As far as I am concerned a credit note in such a situation represents very little more than zero commitment to customer relations. You should have had your money refunded instantly with a full assurance that the issue would be looked into.
Oz (as was)
Car Accessory Shop Hell - GroovyChick{P}


Car Accessory Shop Hell - Dynamic Dave
Sorry Blue. I\'ve removed all trace of the company name in your thread. The fact is this could happen in any shop, not just the one you mentioned. I felt it was nearing naming and shaming.

I would be grateful if others refrain from mentioning the particular shop name as well please.

Dynamic Dave
Back Room Moderator
Car Accessory Shop Hell - DavidHM
Sean - unfortunately Money Claim Online, while it would be worthwhile over a couple of hundred quid, is less so with regard to the £6 at stake here. I'm not saying it's not useful for frightening a store manager who is less than cooperative (or aware of his legal rights) but a rush to litigation, especially over such a trivial sum, would not be looked on kindly by the courts.

Dave - I seriously doubt it could happen in any shop, but I do understand the site rules and I think it is perfectly fair that the BR has a policy against naming and shaming. However, the shop in question has a large presence and none of us can really avoid being a customer of it at some point.

eMBe and Blue - I would very much like to see a complaint to Head Office and Trading Standards. I don't think it's about being fobbed off, but it is possible as eMBe says that there is a deliberate policy to minimise returned goods. Well fine but in that case they do need to know the effect it has on consumer's perception of the brand, and their loyalty to it.

Also, 9 out of 10 customers are less interested than people who post to the BR and take what they are told at face value, even if they don't like it. Therefore it is definitely the decent thing to do to attempt to prevent others from being ripped off in this way.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - HF
David and eMBe - you two are agreeing a frightening amount of the time lately. What's going on? ;)))
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Soupytwist
It does appear that this policy of not doing anything about complaints in store and referring people to head office is more common than one might think. I was at the photo developing counter of a famous high street chemist last week and witnessed the less than edifying spectacle of a couple complaining first to a member of staff on the counter, then their supervisor and then the store manager all of whom said that they couldn?t do anything about the complaint but suggested that the complainants write to head office. What made it worse was that the whole situation was played out in front of an increasingly large queue of photo developing customers, who were being made to wait longer than necessary because it all took place at one of the tills/service points. You?d have thought that the manager would have had the common sense to gently usher them away to a quieter corner of the store !

And then they proceeded to charge me over £20 for £9 worth of developing, luckily I noticed.

Some of the photos concerned had cars in them !

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - eMBe {P}
DD - Now that the name of the shop has been removed, I can say a little more about the alleged consumer-UNfriendly attitude.

Allegedly, the Venture Capital company (VCC) buys out chains of shops from "demerging" large FTSE companies. These shops are bought at a "bargain" price by the because the FTSE company is desperately in ned of cash and there are few buy-out predators around. The VCC then engages in ruthless cost-cutting and "effieciency" drives. One aspect is to cut back on dead-stock as well as "returned-goods" inventory.

These are some of the key criteria that are used in transforming the aquired Company in to a "lean & mean" shape in the books - ready for sale back to the stockmarket. The VCC people get their profit and walk away without worrying about the long-term damage to customer relations. In the case of the DIY chain, the VCC people were in a court case very recently where the image of the DIY company was allegedly came across as extremely bad.

So I think it is imperative that Blue seeks the help of Trading Standards in this matter, I strongly urge him to do so.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Well, I'm just about to go down now and see how things go, my dad's at work though so we'll have to see just how co-operative the store is today.

I don't mind a credit note for the store as I do need other stuff, I would have been quite happy to swap them for a big can of Back To Black at the time ;-)

I would inform Trading Standards, but as the manager appears to have came to a reasonable conclusion I wouldn't feel right reporting them, my major gripe is with how long it took to to this stage. We'll see what happens when I go back in on my own, but now that I am armed with suitable comments from here, I will NOT be fobbed off! :-)

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Rob C
Thats very interesting eMBe, I wasn't aware of a "change in management" so to speak.

I previously refrained from posting, but in light of what you said, I will say that when I worked for that chain of shops, many years ago, this sort of situation would never arise. The Manager would simply refund the item and send it back to HO. Far better to keep a customer happy then to get a call from HO and another tick on the complaint sheet, plus that customer will have a good 30 years of polishing cloths and shampoo etc etc in him.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - eMBe {P}
Thats very interesting eMBe, I wasn't aware of a "change in
management" so to speak.

RobC: do a search on this site using the name of the store and you will get links where their new ownership is discussed.
simply refund the item and send it
back to HO. Far better to keep a customer happy then
to get a call from HO and another tick on the
complaint sheet, .

I know. I had a call from a Director of the HQ of the original parent company in one case I dealt with 3 years ago; and the complaint was settled with generous "gifts" plus a personal letter of apology from the local Manager, and follow up phone calls 2 weeks later from HQ to ensure everything was OK. In the type of situation described by Blue, even for a matter of 50p, I whould have taken it up with Trading Standards and would have asked for my wasted time/trouble to be compensated.
Car Accessory Shop Hell - hootie
I like my principles - so, if they goods were advertised as 'lint free' (i.e. wont leave bits or fluff behind) then that's what you should expect, otherwise you could just use any old bit of rag, and not buy something especially for the purpose.

We could go on and on about the legal whys and wherefores - the sale of goods act or whatever it's called now, but the simple fact is that this issue was badly handled, and has cost far more in time than the initial problem was ever worth.

Actually, the store should be pleased that their attention has been drawn to a defective product sold under their own label - and the staff should undergo a bit more training (IMHO) It's not like you were demanding massive compensation for your 'trauma' is it. Ooooh no, I can see the tv ad's now LOL

"Appearances can be Deceptive"
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Blue {P}
Well, I returned, he didn't look thrilled, but said that I could pick products to the value of, or more than the original price and we could settle the difference. He said that he was still sending the cloths to head office for testing to find out if there was a problem with them.

Anyway, I left with a large synthetic chamois (based on recommendations in another thread), Turtle Wax Extreme Tyre Shine Gel, and Turtle Wax Brake Dust Barrier, all for just £2.49 more than the original price, feel much happier with that little lot :-)

In case anyone is interested, they have a buy one get one free on the *ENTIRE* Turtle Wax range (cheapest item free), which is actually a really good offer, the brake dust barrier should have been £4.99 or something but I got it free! :-)

Thanks to all who advised, I'm pleased it didn't have to go further, but hopefully this thread may be of benefit to someone else... Oh, and thanks to Dave for editing rather than deleting! ;-)

Car Accessory Shop Hell - Chris M
Why does anyone use this shop? They cater to the Max Power brigade.

If you want spares or tools - go to a proper motor factor
If you want ICE - go to a specialist
If you want a bike - go to a bike shop

In each case they are the specialists and you will invariably get better advice and service. In the case of spares, they'll be cheaper too.

And finally, if you want polish - where do you get the time from to use it?

Chris M
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Rob C
Why does anyone use Sainsburys?

If you want meat, go to a butchers
If you want bread, go to a bakers
If you want candles, etc etc etc
Car Accessory Shop Hell - Rob the Bus {P}
Excellent post Rob

In the town where I was born (lived a man who sailed to sea)

Harrumph, sorry 'bout that.


As I was saying before my odd mind took over - where I previously lived there was a shop of which we speak directly opposite a quite fantastic and helpful motor factors. Guess where I bought all my service items? And guess where I bought all my car cleaning stuff? For service bits and parts, the motor factors could not be beaten. But for stuff like polish etc, the shop which must not be mentioned was certainly cheaper.

Just as an example, a cam belt for my late lamented Granada was £9 at the factors, but £17 at that shop.


"Lord of Lard"


Value my car