Driftwood Interiors Reviews – A bad online shopping experience

The following post relates to reviews for Driftwood Interiors based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.  The reason I have posted this is to try and prevent others going through the same nightmare as I have.  I have just learned a very hard lesson and never imagined it would happen to me, especially as I am so familiar with the rules of online shopping!

I purchased a driftwood coffee table from Driftwood Interiors in Paisley, Scotland but when it arrived it didn’t look anything like the photograph or description on their website.

The table on their website

As you can see the table on the website is pale in colour and has some protruding pegs providing lovely detail.  It clearly has a beautifully waxed top too.

Driftwood Coffee Table

The Table I got

The table they delivered to me is very rough, no beautiful honey colour for me.  Plus it is completely lacking the peg detail shown above.  Certainly no gorgeous waxed finish.  A clear breach of my consumer rights, I should receive what is described according to The Consumer Rights Act 2015. I expected to get the actual table that is on their website, which is what I thought I had bought!  There was nothing to say any different.

A very disappointing driftwood coffee table
The very rough top

On the website they claim

The amazing materials that we use are harvested from remote and beautiful beaches , lochs and woodlands throughout the West Coast and Highland areas of Scotland. They are then bought back to our workshop and hand crafted into driftwood tables,benches shelving, mirrors and cabinets.

I have seen a lot of driftwood and this is not it. I believe it is made from pallets because the wood is very rough and has numbers stamped on it.  The finish is horrendous, they have tried to make it look like driftwood by “raking” the surface of the table with some sort of router to try and make it look like bark. They have failed miserably – someone has machined it badly and it is a very ugly piece of furniture.  You certainly couldn’t balance a wine glass or a coffee cup on it.

Numbers left from the pallet

Trying desperately to return the item

I submitted the returns request online. They responded once telling me to use the returns form, I have never seen a returns form and we have checked the packaging very carefully, several times.   So despite sending 7 emails, submitting 3 contacts via their website contact form and even posting 2 recorded delivery letters (which they signed for) they have failed to process our return or provide any returns information.  In fact they have never responded since.  I am advised by the Citizens Advice Bureau that they are in breach of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 by not supplying us with any returns information.  Equally because they do not state anywhere who should pay for the return, in the eyes of the law it is Driftwood Interiors who must bear the cost.

Why not just send it back? The Crux of the Problem

The description on their website

According to the description on their website (see above) the table is 30KG in weight.

The table is actually well over 50KG in weight!

I know this because I booked Parcelforce to come and collect the item and return it to Paisley in Scotland.  They arrived to take the item but said it was well over 50KG so refused to take it.  £28.00 lost. They do not give you the money back if the item is overweight, which is fair enough.

I tried to book a return via Parcel Monkey and Parcel2Go, I would have paid around £80.00 for that and I was prepared to pay it to get rid of the monstrosity.  However, it is freestanding furniture, which is on their prohibited items list.  This meant that they would collect and deliver it but they would not insure it.  I couldn’t risk that.  Those two sites covered off all of the reputable couriers, so I had drawn a blank.

This is why we so badly needed returns information from Driftwood Interiors.  They have provided nothing, no help at all.  Since the first response telling me to use the returns form (never provided) they have completely ignored me.

Interestingly another point to note if you are ordering from them  – I spoke to a woman on the phone at Driftwood and told her that nothing bigger than a 7.5 tonne truck could get up our road, she said no problem the table would come in a van.  It came on a 32 tonne truck, with one driver (not a white glove in site) and we had to load the table into the back of our car to get it the final mile.

The action taken

We have done everything we have been advised by the Citizens Advice Bureau.  They have raised this with Trading Standards as a criminal act and we are pursuing the case through the Paisley Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court.  (Unfortunately you cannot go through the small claims court in England because it doesn’t cover Scottish companies.)  The Sheriff will be getting the summons out to Driftwood Interiors in due course, although that will take a bit of time.

Lessons Learned – I am £400 out of pocket

  • Always use a Credit Card or PayPal. If I had purchased via a Credit Card, PayPal or eBay I would have some recourse but sadly for me I was stupid enough to make a bank transfer directly to their account.
  • Always check Independent Retailers.  If I had done this I would have seen the bad news about Driftwood Interiors on the Companies House website.
  • Always search for reviews.  If I had done this I would have see the way others have suffered.
  • Be careful to check the Country Laws.  It is not so easy to make a claim in Scotland as it is in England and Wales.

More Driftwood Interiors (Paisley, Scotland) Reviews

Fiona Dunn Rojahn
16 days ago
Source: Driftwood Interiors Reviews
I am very disappointed not only with the driftwood mirror I purchased but also the treatment or lack of received from the company.  The mirror is not even driftwood and is stained so badly that gaps are left all over The mirror.  I have filled out a return form, emailed the company twice and left numerous answer phone messages and have had NOTHING in return.  Looks like I’m stuck with a really bad product for nearly £100!!! I would definitely NOT recommend buying from this company!

Buyer: a***e ( 15Yellow star icon for Feedback score between 10 to 49)
During past year
Source: Ebay
Item delivered was defective. Seller not replied to my email. AVOID!
Square farmhouse rustic wooden mirror chunky wide frame Dark Brown (#252941257567)

20 Jul 2018
Source: Yell
PLEASE PLEASE stay away from this company. Their product is terrible and their attitude is diabolical. Trying to get refunds for a broken and unusable item is almost impossible. We have now resorted to the credit card company chasing them for a refund. Trading Standards are also involved. Check out Companies House to see exactly how this company trades.

Jill Davidson
8 February 2020
Source: Customer Direct

The attached photographs show the mirror I was expecting at a cost of £500 plus delivery was very different to the mirror I actually received from Driftwood Interiors. The quality was shocking and it was also damaged on arrival. The damage wasn’t major but certainly not acceptable on an item of that price.

The item I was expecting
The Item I received

A photograph also show the packaging provided by Driftwood on a 32kg mirror despite the following claim on their website:

“We are experts in packing and delivering large and fragile items throughout the UK and overseas. This item is delivered on a pallet with the UK Pallet and freight networks which are used for extra large and heavy items.”

Driftwood Interiors’ packaging

I immediately emailed Driftwood regarding the poor quality of the item and the damage. Their website states photographs of any damage must be provided – which I sent. 

I requested a refund and also advice on returning the 32kg item. Their reply stated the cost of the return was not their responsibility. This is not correct according the the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The seller is responsible for the cost of returning any damaged item.

I arranged a courier to collect the mirror and deliver back to them at a cost of £80 and packaged the item up properly. 

I confirmed with courier that the item had been delivered on the date and time arranged which was 15th January 2021 without any problems. 

I had no contact from Driftwood so emailed them about the £500 refund which was due to be processed 5 working days after they’d received the item back to their workshop.They asked for the tracking information which I provided. It was then I was informed by email that apparently the mirror had been delivered badly smashed with an attached photograph as ‘proof’ and ‘management suggested’ I should claim from the courier’s insurer. 

The delivery note had been signed on 15 Jan 2021 confirming the item was received in good condition.

The couriers have checked with the drivers who delivered the mirror. They both confirm that had the item been badly smashed it would have been heard by who ever signed the delivery note confirming it was in good condition. 

I paid for the item with a debit card and contacted my bank after seeking legal advice. The bank have a refunded me the cost of the item and will be filing a ‘chargeback’ with Driftwood. This procedure takes several weeks. I’m still out of pocket for the £80 I paid to return the item.   

I would advise the use of a debit or credit card for on line purchases but especially with  companies like Driftwood. 

If they continue to provide poor quality and / or damaged items to customers, then refuse to refunds, ask your bank to initiate a charge back. Their customer service is non existent and a previous reviewer has mentioned their dubious activity (or lack of it) according to companies house.

Ensure you have all communication in writing should your bank need it for evidence. 

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