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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Debenhams or Amazon?

Last year I was visiting Oxford and was seduced by a roasting pan. Not just an ordinary roasting pan but a non-stick one, made by Stellar and sold in the Oxford branch of Debenhams. I brought it home, looking forward to my first roast in my new non-stick roasting pan. And it worked fine. More importantly it cleaned easily with a wipe of a sponge.I roast, on average, about twice a month so I reckon it was used no more than eight or ten times at most. And then a few weeks ago this happened.

I resented having to throw away the meat juices I’d normally use for gravy. God knows what non-stick chemicals it had floating around in it. According to the Stellar website I had no reason to worry about this. In its own words: The coating is a completely inert substance. In the event of some of the coating coming off during cooking and being mixed in with the food and eaten, if would simply pass through the body in the normal way.” A bit like German troops marching through Belgium. I looked again at the devastated pan and was not reassured.

Even so I felt reasonably smug. I had the picture, the receipt, and a five year guarantee. 

I contacted Debenhams on line and received this very helpful reply.

Dear Mr Keyton,

Our reference: 527363

Thank you for your email.
I would like to apologise for any disappointment caused because your Stellar non stick oven pan has become faulty.
Promising start
Our products are inspected by their various manufacturers, in addition to checks carried out by our own Quality Assurance Department. This minimises the frequency of faulty goods being received by our customers.
Okay. Understood.

Please be advised that as you have purchased this item instore, I am unable to access any details of this order and offer you a refund or replacement.

I would suggest that the best course of action would be to return the item, with the proof of purchase, to the Sales Manager at Oxford Street store, who will be pleased to examine it and take appropriate action.

Why can’t I go to Debenhams in Cardiff? It will cost me getting there but not as much as bloody Oxford!

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused.

No I won’t accept your apology. It means nothing. And you wonder why Amazon is eating up High street!

Kind regards,



Maria Zannini said...

Despite the haters, Amazon has the best return policy ever.

I can't believe Debemham's wouldn't honor a return at any of its stores. Will you try to go to the Cardiff location?

It's a little more costly, but I've had good luck with hard anodized steel cookware. I've had my cookware for over 25 years. It's not as pretty anymore, but it's still nonstick.

I hope you get your money back. That's just a ridiculous response from the company.

Mike Keyton said...

I agree with you about Amazon, Maria. Mind you, persistence and this blog post pays. I've just had an email from Debenhams saying that I can now take the offending roasting pan to their branch in Cardiff. Let's hope there's no 'part two' to this saga :)

Misha Gerrick said...

Wow. Yeah that's terrible!

I'm glad you got them to accept the pan in Cardiff. :-)

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks, Misha. Fingers crossed

LD Masterson said...

I'm reminded of this definition of a Lifetime Guarantee - the guarantee is good for the life of the product. If the product has died (become unusable) then obviously it's life has ended, and so has the guarantee.

Mike Keyton said...

Interesting definition, Linda :) In fairness we finally exchanged the damaged product for a new one in the Cardiff branch. The sales staff there were delightful.