Following the issues described below, we had a long and constructive conversation with Ted Todd senior management.
They do care about their customers but maybe the business had temporarily outgrown management's efficiency in dealing with problems. Because, as great a product as a Ted Todd floor is, things will occasionally go wrong. Hopefully management will be better prepared and responsive if this happens again.
There was a fundamental design issue in our case. A lovely distressed herringbone floor not only has to look good - which it does! - but it also HAS to be engineered to within precision levels that maybe were not being fully appreciated by management. I hope that our case has helped in some small way to balance these requirements.
For us, it was worth all the hassle. We really appreciated being able to talk to senior people about our issues and our floor looks amazing. Our fitters - who were in fact the contracted party in this case - are still feeling a bit bruised by this encounter. Maybe Ted Todd could spread some love to smaller contractors too.
Our new Ted Todd floor will finally be fitted next week - 13 weeks later than our regional fitting date back in March.
The issue all along - as the fitters and I have pointed out consistently - was the quality of the boards. They were bowed and not within tolerance and therefore a faulty product. Senior sales people from Ted Todd claimed that the boards were within tolerance. At best they were woefully badly trained or at worst dishonest.
In addition, attempts were made to obfuscate Ted Todd’s responsibility for these faulty boards by blaming the fitters for poor quality floor preparation and fitting. It was Ted Todd who urged to attempt to lay the floor with bowed boards in the first place. The company does give good advice regarding how to fit a herringbone floor but blaming the difficulty of laying bowed boards and the poor finish achieved on the workmanship of our contractors was cynical and arrogant.
Ted Todd’s conduct in this affair does not make commercial sense. We know that the firm depends on larger retailers and contractors for a lot of its business but good and fair treatment of smaller operators may well be of comfort in a severe downturn in commercial projects. Having asked around and received reports from other private projects and smaller contractors, Ted Todd is not covering itself in glory with regards to customer service.
As a result of this delay, we have incurred expenses of over £650 in additional furniture storage costs, £500 in additional fitting costs (to remove faulty boards and re-prepare the floor).
In addition, we have obviously suffered severe delays in joinery and decoration and the resulting stress and misery in the final stages of a building project to enhance our home.
However all we ask is that Ted Todd apologise. It is high time that the company took better care of consumer end-users. We are a very powerful voice and we WILL make a difference in the end to Ted Todd’s reputation and commercial success. The building trade has a lot to catch on with regards to customer service. Ted Todd should be the leaders not the laggards in this transformation.