One of the worst companies to deal with.
I am writing this review to warn others of the experience we had with Mandarin Stone. They portray themselves as an upmarket company, but provide a third class service. We paid for delivery, which we assumed would be the same way as when we ordered our samples, but it seems they use third party delivery companies which do not have insurance to handle their goods so they just basically prefer to dump them on the pavement.
This was not highlighted too well. Apparently it was in the email sent to us, but in the email the main bit highlight was to check our address and to make sure they got our order right. The information about the delivery was buried under the massive email disguised as Q&A about delivery - so we didn’t realise that it was something where they just would not deliver through the door and instead would insist on leaving it outside on the pavement. We are currently dealing with DeVol who have made it very clear how their delivery work and how much their delivery guys can carry or what they won’t carry.
As I was alone in the house and I am a petite woman, I could not carry those heavy tiles into the house and therefore had no choice but to refuse delivery. After I refused delivery, I called Mandarin Stone’s Cheltenham branch and their store manager, Helena answered. I was expecting to resolve this impasse by perhaps paying for a service that would deliver the items through my door to the house, but instead I was treated with the utmost unprofessional manner. The woman, Helena, was extremely condescending and rude and had absolutely no interest in resolving the issue or hearing me out, instead she complained that now they will be charged by the delivery company and that how terrible it was for their company - no regards to me trying to resolve this delivery issue. I explained to her that since we are in the middle of house renovations, this is the first time a company has refused to put goods down inside the house. We have recently purchased tiles from Fired Earth and they had no problems with delivering inside our house to which she called me a liar. Which was extremely rude, because I was telling the truth!
By now I was sure that this lady was not very helpful. I also told her that we were still waiting for the refund of our sample tiles which had come broken to which she said this “Tiles break. OK? That’s the nature of things”. So when I explained to her that in fact the samples were sent without any bubble wrap she said “oh didn’t realise that!”. I knew she wasn’t going to help me so I asked her if there was someone else I could speak with to which she replied “It’s just me and I was going got take it to the top guy for you, but never mind” so I asked her if she could just give me the number and I could talk to her top guy myself, she then just hung up on me!
During this horrible phone call, someone from the Mandarin branch had called me and left an aggressive voice mail for refusing their delivery.
I called up their head office and by now I was very emotional and decided that if this is the way Mandarin Stone treat their customers BEFORE they have had their item, they are probably not likely to be helpful in case of things going wrong with their products. I had noticed that when the delivery man had arrived, he wanted me to sign a piece of paper to say that after I sign the paperwork and find any tiles broken then Mandarin Stone does not take responsibility for them. Considering there were a few hundred tiles to be checked, they were packed, the man did not want to wait around, and the fact that our sample tiles had come broken, I wasn’t sure what to make of that paperwork. The third party delivery guy was in the rush to leave as well.
A man called ‘Sam’ called me and introduced himself as the “director” and tried to flatter me by saying that we had such wild and amazing taste for ordering the tiles we did and that he would like to see photos of the completed work “if we choose to go ahead with our purchase”, then he said that he is not trying to make money from me, so if I wanted to cancel the order it would be fine, but that I should think about it. So I said that’s fine. He promised to call in half hour but an hour later he rang and left a voice mail. I was busy with work, but before long, he was trying to call me again. I think only 15 minutes had passed since he had left me a voice mail. My husband and I had decided by now that we did not want to go ahead with the order because their customer service had left us with doubts about their quality of service and products. My husband called Sam and told him that we would like to cancel our order, which is our right per law as online sales come under Distance Selling (https://www.gov.uk/online-and-distance-selling-for-businesses). As a buyer, we have 14 days to cancel our order if we wish to do so. After my husband told him that we wished to cancel our order, he told us a story about how it will take days before our refused delivery would make its way to Mandarin Stone and how difficult and inconvenient it was for him, but that we should think about it again.
We emailed them to convey our wish to cancel this order in writing. The next day, we hadn’t heard anything form them so in the afternoon we called again. During this time, we had already spoken with our credit card company and knew that we were entitled to a refund minus the delivery cost. Sam became very aggressive on the phone and told us that he wanted to charge us extra. According to him the distance selling doesn’t apply to him that the Government is wrong. Long story short, he was very unpleasant and would not let us get a word in. We told them about the Unfair Terms Act and he told me to keep my voice down! In the end, he suddenly changed his tone to say “life is too short, you can have your refund” and we ended the call on that. Right after we hung up, our door bell rang, it was Mandarin Stone delivery guy!! he was told to deliver the goods to us again! even though we had told them we did not want them. The delivery guy had picked up the goods from Mandarin Stone, so not sure about this story Sam told us about having to wait for days before Mandarin Stone could have their items back.
My advice to anyone looking to buy tiles is to please look elsewhere. The way this company behaves may work with trade customers, but no one else. Also it occurred to me that if you are in any shape or form incapable of lifting heavy tiles, the company is discriminating against you by not offering a delivery service in which an insured driver can deliver the goods inside your house. Most companies, Mandarin Stone is trying to compete with, including Fired Earth, actually offer proper insured deliveries. If Mandarin Stone is cutting corners on delivery cost, it gives me very little confidence in their product quality and therefore my advice to all would be to take your money elsewhere.
We are still waiting for written confirmation of our refund. So far nothing has been sent to us.