In 2017, I reviewed a business called time4sleep as follows on TripAdvisor;
5* Excellent Service
Great range of products and excellent customer service. Ordered a bed last year and have no complaints, have just ordered another two, together with bedside tables and mattresses.
Due to the size of the recent order, Time4sleep were even kind enough to offer a small additional discount on the order – so always worth emailing or phoning them rather than just ordering online.
So, in 2022, when I looking to purchase another bed, the obvious first choice was time4sleep. Unfortunately I didn't have 'time4' the chaos that would ensue. A cautionary tale that reviews only show one experience, which may be atypical.
I will preface this with I accept that any goods can be delivered damaged, or manufacturing errors can creep in no matter your business or the nature of the goods. I measure a business based not on whether it goes wrong, as from time to time it will, but how they put it right.
time4sleep failed miserably.
Order Placed 10th July 2022, Total price £679 with a lead time on the confirmation of 2-3 working days (we knew this wouldn't be the case due to living in Scotland, but oh well)
Much to our surprise, it arrived on the 19th July. We opened and inspected all four boxes to find that there were no fixings. All the parts were present, but with no means to join them together. Since all the parts were present we disposed of the packaging materials and made the missing fixings known the same day.
Somehow sending a small bag of dowels and bolts took until the 26th of July. One full week later for something that could have gone Royal Mail first class and been there next day, disappointing service there but at least we now had everything we need to assemble the new bed that according to their website was "sure to enhance your bedroom"
Well, it would have had it fitted together. Quality Control is clearly an afterthought (or not-a-thought) indeed one of the QC stickers wasn't even signed and the others were signed by someone who either has no respect for their job or a severe eyesight problem;
- Several holes were misaligned, meaning pieces didn't fit together
- One threaded fixing had the remnants of the factory drill bit in it (and marks where it had slipped off during insertion clearly!)
- In total, three parts (two legs and the footboard) were completely unusable
So we speak to time4sleep again about these parts, whilst trying to assemble the bed into a state we can actually sleep on it even if it's not quite assembled properly.
We can't (do anything apparently)
"We can't send individual parts"
"We can't book specific deliveries in your area"
"We can't use another courier"
Seems "We can't" (which is, of course, more accurately we won't) is their favourite expression rather than thinking "how can we help this customer?"
Indeed, to time4sleep, it seems there's only one courier in the entire country. Ignoring the fact the parts were small enough to be shipped with DHL or DPD or anyone like that who would get it next day.
No, instead, we had to wait for two complete boxes to arrive on August 2nd (these are two of the original four boxes, so although they can't split a box out and send just the bits we need, they can apparently split a bed and send just some boxes, no doubt someone somewhere will receive half a bed in the future as a result)
Then we get an eMail reminding us that the original items must be packaged before the courier's arrival (not going to happen, we don't have the packaging materials and we will be inspecting the new ones before they leave anyway!)
At this point, I ask them for a discount for the inconvenience we've suffered, and this is refused. I remind them that a price reduction in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a statutory right (hate having to do that, wouldn't be nice if companies just complied with the law rather than having to have customers tell them about it?) and they offered... £50. Well, it's something, but the time I've wasted to this point probably exceeds the value of the product!
I also request that this is escalated to management or director level, and this is refused. Thankfully, the director's home address is on Companies House, so I shall contact him at that address (in writing) and see how he feels about this experience and whether this is the standard his company hopes to achieve.
The parts (don't) arrive
To be absolutely sure we got the right parts, I had sent them an annotated copy of their own assembly instructions, can't possibly get that wrong...
The friendly team from BJS Home Delivery (the drivers, not their office, they're incompetent but that's besides the point - the drivers are lovely) who are now on first name terms with our dog, arrive with two boxes and immediately I notice that at least one of them is wrong (and damaged annyway)
They also have instructions not to deliver without collecting packaged items (which we can only package if we use the newly arrived packaging)
Straight back on the phone to time4stress... and I'm categorically assured that the 'wrong' box does in fact have the right items in it. I apologise (silly me believing what it says on the box I guess!) and hang up whilst we unpack the new boxes in front of the drivers in the driveway.
It didn't have the right items in it (funny that)
Another phonecall to time4suffering and they assure me that they'll send me the missing leg ... wait for it ... separately with another courier tomorow.
The very thing I asked for from the outset and they repeatedly told me was not possible under any circumstances.
I reluctantly accept, accept delivery of one box of parts, refuse delivery of the other one, send BJS on their way (again, but at least they got to see the dog) knowing they'll have to come back to pick up bits in the future.
For the third time, let's assemble a bed...
This bed has been taken apart and put back together more times than the knob in Bedknobs and Broomsticks by this point and with none of the magical powers or beautiful animation. I tell you, at this point, Substitutiary Locomotion would have come in really handy!
And it fits together, mostly. Except one foot protrudes about 4mm from the base, the other one about 16mm from the base, and there's a few bits that don't quite line up right (probably because some of the 'new' parts are noticeably different, from two different batches, where measures were clearly introduced to cut costs further)
Hardly the "Gentle curves and subtle styling details" promised by the marketing copy, unless a subtle styling detail is it doesn't match!
End result, three weeks later, three deliveries, and I have a bed that doesn't meet the standard expected and is still missing a part.
But, more disappointingly, I have a company that doesn't seem to care.
It's probably a lottery, this is the 'fault' of the manufacturer (which isn't time4sleep - the brands on the bed are Sleep Sanctuary and Pearl neither of which bring up any results on Google beyond time4sleep so it may be exclusive to them) and the previous products we've had from them have been very good.
This one isn't, it's a poor quality product, sold at an inflated price, by a poor quality company.
My gut feeling is to avoid time4sleep unless you have time4stress and time2waste when it goes wrong.
Final Resolution Postscript
So, eventually, I gave up and sent them an eMail saying I either needed a discount closer to 50% than £50, or they could collect the entire bed (no doubt at great cost and inconvenience because we don't have any packaging) - they elected to accept the 50% discount offer.
So, in the end, they did put it right. And, to be honest, I do feel a little sorry for them because this was entirely down to their supplier (and they admit they are quite a new supplier to them) but there are still numerous points they can learn from.
And, to be honest, we may order again in the future (being careful to ensure it's not a product from their Pearl/Sleep Sanctuary line!) because everyone deserves a second chance but, really, they have to improve but that's a matter of policy rather than people.
At every stage I feel they were trying to help but had their hands tied by policies which, as I was reminded as they're a small company, broadly comes down to one person. Jonathan, if you find yourself reading this, please fix it.