We saw an article in the Guardian recently about kitchen companies ripping off their customers, we were horrified by some of the stories and want to give people peace of mind about buying a new kitchen.
Some of Britain’s biggest manufacturers and suppliers have been accused of helping builders exploit innocent customers by producing quotes that are wildly different to the actual price of a kitchen. The story we read was about one particular supplier who gave a customer 3 quotes for the same kitchen that ranged between £9,900 to £44,895! The 3 kitchen quotes were related to the exact same doors, kitchen units and modest appliances. So how can a kitchen quote fluctuate so much!?
This particular company, differs from others, in that it does not sell directly to the public. Builders buy the kitchen that their customer has chosen, and can either pass it on at cost, or sell it to them for a profit. The article claims they are helped in this by the estimates produced by this particular supplier’s staff.
After a little digging on the internet and in online forums, it’s not hard to find unhappy customers who have had dealings with the company. Not satisfied with the prices they have been quoted and left confused by the pricing. Customers are angry with the claim they ‘do not know how the building trade works’ an excuse they heard when challenging the company.
The Guardian article spoke to the customer who saw 3 different prices for his kitchen and wrote; ‘Adam Hussein, a surgeon who lives in Hertford, contacted Guardian Money to ask whether the company can be trusted by consumers given that it is seemingly happy to produce differing estimates at the drop of a hat. He says he was given three different quotes for exactly the same kitchen. The first, via his builder, was for £16,003; the second, provided by The Company directly, was for £9,916; and the third, for £44,895, was provided to show the “full” price before discounts. Each one includes VAT at 20%. The paperwork, seen by Money, shows that this is for exactly the same kitchen units and appliances’
So how can you avoid these cowboys? These rogue traders who try to scam you out of money? One tip is to find a company who is open and honest with their pricing structure, look at their website, are all the prices laid bare for you to see?
Another big tip is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. These days there are 100s of ways to check if a company is legitimate. If the website has reviews on the website, read those. Find if they have a Facebook page, look at their review section there. If they have pictures of previous jobs then even better, putting post on Facebook leaves companies vulnerable to negative comments. So, if they have lots of pictures of real customer kitchens, with generally positive comments, then they will have nothing to hide. Twitter, Instagram and even Linkedin are really good for this as well.
Asking friends and loved ones about who they would recommend is also a good route to go. A lot of local companies get their work through word of mouth. The better prices they offer and superior work they do will earn them a good reputation.
Tip three, is to shop around. Try many different companies, compare the quotes. A lot of places have a price match guarantee now, meaning they will beat any price you send them for a like for like kitchen plan. At the end of the day they want your business, knocking off £200 doesn’t mean a lot to a company that will be designing and fitting your entire kitchen. Speaking to designers is always good, telling them your budget as well as how you want your kitchen to look means, they will be able to make cost saving choices you would not have known.
Here at Meridien Interiors, we have always been open and honest with your kitchen quote. We have over 30 years’ experience in the interiors industry and have built good relationships with our suppliers. Meaning they give us the lowest prices possible for kitchen units. We know that everyone likes a deal, so any deals we get, we pass straight on to our customers. We encourage people to come to our kitchen showroom in Wimborne, to not only see our stunning installed kitchens, but to meet our professional kitchen designers. Face to face meeting promotes an open honest relationship. Clear lines of communication allow us to design customers dream kitchens within their budget, as well as always being clear about price. We only supply our kitchen doors from the best and most trustworthy manufacturers; Second Nature, Multiwood and Kitchen Stori to name a few. All of which have many years of good service behind them. Our kitchen quote will be an honest kitchen quote.
Get in touch with us here, to talk about your new kitchen.
To read the full and orginal Gardian article vist www.theguardian.com/uk/money