Couple’s dream kitchen turns into ‘nightmare’ after months without working oven

A couple’s dream kitchen turned into a ‘nightmare’ after they were left without a working oven for months.

Barry and Jane Sanderson are now so annoyed they have asked DIY firm Wickes to remove it, but insist this has been refused.

Mr Sanderson, 64, feels misled by the company and claims finance firm Barclays said they would not pay Wickes until they were happy with its installation.

But he claims payment was transferred while he and his wife left without an oven or microwave.

ChronicleLive reports Barry of Newcastle, Tyne and Wear claimed it was not a working kitchen.

He said: “It’s way beyond snagging – yet Wickes have also advised me that because I have a sink and a hob installed that no compensation will be given as this is deemed as a working kitchen.”

Both Barclays and Wickes have apologised to the Sandersons and said outstanding issues will be resolved early next month – more than seven months after the project was started.

Wickes stripped the couple’s old kitchen out on January 29, and started fitting the new one began on February 10.

But the work ground to a halt two days later, when Barry the wrong worktops were delivered.

After talking to the fitter, they decided to change the worktops, as they were not informed the ones they had chosen were prone to staining.

Barry said: “We were then told that there would be an additional £2108.12 because of the change of worktops, which I thought was extortionate.

“Wickes then offered a £600 discount as a gesture of good will, but there was still no date for completion.

“So we were left with with only a hob and sink and a partially fitted kitchen, then we heard that in April that Wickes had received the payment from Barclays, despite me calling Barclays to say we were not happy at all with the situation.

“I was told much later by Barclays that the terms and conditions of the financial agreement state that Wickes can be paid on delivery or partial installation of the kitchen, which is absolutely not what we were told by Wickes, and we would not have taken finance out on that basis.

“We were happy to pay in full for the kitchen but thought that Wickes would have an incentive to finish everything off to our satisfaction if they would not be paid until they did so.

“We have been told on three separate occasions that a fitter would be in contact or be arriving to sort things out, and three times we have either heard nothing or no-one has turned up.

“It has got to the stage where I hate this kitchen. It was meant to be a dream but it’s turned into an absolute nightmare.

“I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of last year and Jane is in the process of preparing to donate a kidney to her brother – the stress of this is the last thing we need.”

A Wickes spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Sanderson’s installation issues as we always aim to carry out our work to a high standard.

“The delay to the kitchen installation was caused due to changes to the worktops.

“Following delivery of the worktops, Mr Sanderson was advised of the necessary care and high maintenance required for the material chosen.

“A request to change the worktop style was made, however as they were the same material, a goodwill gesture was offered to help cover the costs.

“Mr and Mrs Sanderson have since chosen laminate worktops as a replacement which are being installed at the beginning of September.

“Our customer relations team have been in touch to arrange for the oven to also be installed within the next week, however Mr and Mrs Sanderson are keen for all remedial work to take place at the same time.

“A new point of contact has been assigned and remain in contact to ensure this is completed to the highest possible standard.”

A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are very sorry that Mr Sanderson has had cause to complain.

“We have received confirmation from Wickes that the remaining work will be completed in early September 2022.

“Therefore, as a gesture of goodwill, we have extended the first payment due date for the loan until September 2023, to ensure that Mr Sanderson has a full 12 months from the kitchen being finished before having to make any repayments.

“If the installation is not completed as expected, we have invited Mr Sanderson to get back in touch with us, and we will review the first payment date again.”