After purchasing an ash sucking vacuum for the fire, we discovered that when in use, it blasts ash from the top all over the room. We took it back to Machine Mart who sent it off to their engineer and came back with a verdict of 'no fault found'. Interesting to us as I'm not sure how you could use it and not see that it doesn't work as it should, given the large volume of ash swirling around your head during use. We gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking they might have fixed something on it... took it home and lo and behold, the same problem occurred.
Took it back today to get a refund and spoke to an incredibly nervous member of staff called Mark (later revealed as the acting Manager for the Sunderland store) who informed us that they can't sanction refunds in store and we'd have to ring their customer care line. We asked Mark if he could ring their customer care line and explain the situation... he did and we spoke to someone called George who told us they'd have to send the vacuum to the engineer (the same one who had recorded that there was no fault with it...) to which I pointed out that we'd already given them the opportunity to fix it once and that as it was under warranty and not fit for purpose, they were obligated to give us our money back. George started his refusal speech again at which point I handed him back to Mark who ended the phone call.
Mark proceeded to tell us that unlike 'B&Q', most of their stock was manufactured by them and that they'd lose money if they just dished out refunds. Quite staggering really. I pointed out this wasn't the customer's problem, to which he stated it was the way Machine Mart do business. There were then some veiled accusations like 'you wouldn't believe how many people buy something to use it once and then try to bring it back...' and 'so many people find stupid ways to break stuff'. Wow.
Now reporting them to Trading Standards and warning people like yourselves who work hard for their money not to touch Machine Mart with a barge pole.