Homebase sucks…

…in so many ways, but especially if you’re disabled, and especially if you use the one in Upton, Wirral. But first, a little back-story…

Why? Well, despite many of the stores’ locations adjacent to the supermarkets, they are no part of Sainsbury’s. They are, in fact, owned by the group which owns Argos. Online, it’s actually a branch of Argos – the checkout process uses Argos’ deeply defective software, which assumes everyone lives in A House, on A Street in A Town – god help you if you live, as I do, anywhere that deviates from that simple-minded formula. It simply can’t cope with my address:-

Flat X

XXX Court,

XXX Road.

X Post town

A simple format which I’ve never had any problem with (I do a huge amount of shopping online), except at Argos and, now, Homebase.

I placed an order with Homebase some weeks ago, and was unable to input my address correctly (it’s impossible, as an alternative to the above, to put Flat X, XXX Court, on one line, which would have solved the problem, because the line won’t accept more than about 6 characters. Just how unimaginably stupid is that, for it never to occur to anyone that someone may need to input more than just a simple number?

I have by the way, been shopping online for pretty much as long as it’s been possible to do so. Even in the early days there was nothing quite as retarded as the Argos/Homebase checkout address page. That’s because anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that there are a variety of address stiles in use – it’s not always simply number, street, town.

So, to make sure it had some chance of getting to me, I replied to the acknowledgement email, which displayed the wrong address, pointing out my correct address, and telling them that if they tried to deliver it to the pub a quarter of a mile away (which is what Argos have done in the past), I would be exceedingly displeased.

I got back an email promising to ensure the package bore my correct address. However, when it arrived, they’d completely fucked it up again. Luckily, it came by courier, not by Argos van, and most, if not all, of the courier drivers know where I am.

Today, though, I went to the Homebase store in Upton, Wirral, as I needed a few items. Sod’s Law, of course, dictated that what I wanted was up on the mezzanine. But, hey, the customer lift (elevator to my colonial readers), had an Out of Order notice on the door. To my certain knowledge that’s been there for at least 3 years; it looks like it, too, being torn, dog-eared and coffee-stained. Oddly, the lift was up on the mezzanine level, but didn’t sport an OoO notice. It was clearly turned off, though.

I managed to get up and down safely, if exceedingly painfully. Going up is painful, coming down again is downright dangerous, as my quads are atrophied, and with my knees bent my legs have very little strength. OK, that’s the case going up, too, but that’s not dangerous – it just (ha!), hurts.

So I thought, man, are Sainsbury’s in for a bollocking when I get home. No point in complaining to the staff – I’ve already done that. Cretins. However, to add insult to injury, the checkout numpty, picked a 10- quid item out of my basket, and asked if I’d like to put that on a Homebase storecard. WTF is wrong with these people?

I used a basket – I wanted 4 small items, max, I wasn’t going to impulse buy a sack of cement or a bloody door, so I saw no point in taking a trolley (and how would I have got the trolley up the bastard stairs?). At the checkout there was nowhere at all to put the empty basket. The words piss-up and brewery, with the inability to organise the former in the latter, sprang inevitably to mind. I refuse to believe no-one uses baskets – there’s a stack of the buggers by the door – so is providing somewhere to dump the things when they’re finished with too much to ask?

Then it dawned on me – it’s no longer Sainsbury’s.  So, back home and off to the website to find out where I complain. The website deals ENTIRELY with the online operation. People who pitch up on foot – many hundreds in the course of a day – are completely disregarded – and we’re back in the brewery again.

There isn’t a link that says “Are we fuckwits? Please let us know…”. Er, how many guesses would you like?

Or one that says “Yes, we know we’re in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act, but we don’t give a shit…”.

There’s just this:-

For any other customer issue, please email us on enquiries@homebase.co.uk

What? They expect only one issue? Good luck with that!

I think we all know that anything sent to that address will wind up with some underpaid minion who couldn’t care less. The chances of anything getting to anyone senior enough to get the problem fixed is approximately the same as the chances of a snowflake in hell.

So I’ll see if I can track down the CEO online and pester him, in the meantime, I’ll just bitch at you lot.

It’ll probably do me as much good as moaning at Homebase anyway!

5 thoughts on “Homebase sucks…

  1. Loads of sympathy for anyone facing that kind of stupidity, but I trust that with a face to face complaint your choice of words would be a little different to those used in you story.

    • Indeed – I’m always polite – the fact that the store is managed by a moron isn’t the fault of the staff even if, taken as a whole, they’re pretty useless. And if you think I’m being hyper-critical, you’ve never shopped there.

      As for the language in the post – it’s appropriate to the situation and to my feelings on the subject. And why the hell am I justifying myself, FFS?


  2. Been working in homebase for about 12 months now, and can only sympathise, it is possibly the most uselessly managed place ive ever worked, i was looking for an exit (ie another job)after about 4 weeks.
    So many people try and fix the idiotic way things are done when they first arrive, only to be rebuffed by the brown nosing management, since the initial idea came from another manager, id bet mcdonalds has nothing on this place when it comes to poor moral and bad management, eventually all staff slip into bitter, miserable, apathy at the fact that we cant improve things, and the people who can have no intention of doing so.
    – AhomebaseEmployee (hopefully not for much longer)

  3. should also mention that they sack anyone with real knowledge and employ school part timers or retirement age part time housewives, all for minimum wage the “training” is being told to read the back of whatever product and regurgitate it to the customer, which of course, doesnt impress anyone, at least in my store, overtime is also dependant on getting people to take out stupid homebase pseudo-credit cards with an insane (26% off the top of my head) amount of interest if you dont pay within 2 months. and encouraging you to offer them to people buying a five quid tin of dulux.

    • They tried to flog me a credit card, on one occasion, when I’d just popped in for a pack of tap washers!

      The big problem – and I doubt I’m alone – is that I pretty much have to go there for stuff that, in the past, I would have bought from Woolies (not worth going to B&Q when I’m already next door at Sainsbury’s). Otherwise I’d never set foot in the place.

      The other problem, of course, is that it’s really Argos these days, and they are deeply crap. My local Argos store promised – years ago, when the DDA was just beginning to make its presence felt – that they would be installing just one automatic door in a couple of weeks (the existing doors were/are very narrow and mounted on absurdly heavy springs). As far as I know – haven’t been down there for a year or so – they still haven’t done it, and it’s impossible for anyone using a wheelchair, powerchair, or scooter, to get in or out without asking people for help.

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