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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Loulé, Faro, Portugal: Leroy Merlin - Total Incompetence and Lack of Customer Service ... Astoundingly Horrific Management!

Leroy Merlin Loulé
Av. Algarve 2, 8100-299 Loulé, Portugal
+351 289 151 700
Prices: €€€€
Wow, 96% of Leroy Merlin's reviews on TrustPilot are poor or worse and only 3% are above average! I wonder why?

That is because they could care less about customers, they treat customers in the store like garbage, like I was today, and their online/email/phone customer service, if you can call it that - it's more like customer disservice - does not even bother returning calls or emails.

I bought two, very expensive five-meter awnings and paid for them, installation, and delivery at Leroy Merlin - Loulé in early April 2022. I was told at the store when I paid for the awnings and installation that the awnings would be delivered on 19/05/2022, that their installer would be at my home when they arrived, and that they would be delivered to our 4th floor apartment terrace with 'no problem'.
I received an email a few days before the scheduled delivery date of 19/05/2022, telling me that the awnings would actually be delivered on 18/05/2022. I didn't have a problem with them arriving on 18/05/2022, but I wanted to verify with the installer that he would be here on the 18th when the awnings arrived, so I contacted him to find out what was going on and he said:

'We are an independent company and only provide the installation. The product delivery and conditions were with Leroy Merlin. Be aware because this kind of problems with the delivery happens very often'. 

'When you make the order, you told them that it is the 4th floor? I think it is better to call them tomorrow to ask if the value that you payed includes the delivery in the apartment ... We only make the installation and be sure that the client get the right choice for his needs. We don’t have access to delivery info or how they do it.'
 
‘Yes, of course I told the store’ I told the installer, not only having asked Manuel, the Leroy Merlin sales representative, if there would be a problem delivering two 5 meter awnings to the 4th floor, and he told me that they would, but our delivery address clearly indicates that we live on the 4th floor: Rua Xxx Xxxxx, 4 Dto 8700 Olhão.
 Why was the installer, whom Leroy Merlin coordinated the installation with and whom I paid for in their store, telling me that he has no involvement in coordinating this and that I have to contact Leroy Merlin to coordinate it myself? This was ridiculous and someone needed to sort it out, soon.
 
I was told when I purchased the awnings that they were a special order and could not be returned, so I verified with the installer beforehand, paying €29 for him to come to our home and provide an estimate in order to ensure they could be installed on our 4th floor terrace. He said they could and I assumed that because he was the Leroy Merlin installer, Leroy Merlin and he would do their due diligence and coordinate the delivery and installation. It seems obvious that did not happen.
 
The installer originally told me the €780 installation would take 2-3 days, justifying the ridiculous labor charges when I asked why the bid was so high. Then, he has cancelled on the 19th as originally scheduled, because he said he was working another job, and would come on the 20th instead, telling me ‘it is only going to take one day’, not 2-3 as I was originally told when I asked him why the price of installation was so high. 

A €100 per hour for labor charge is in unprecedented in Portugal, having paid three men far less than that for 2.5 days of labor when we renovated our apartment last year. It appears to me that I was charged non-Portuguese prices because I highly doubt that a Portuguese customer would pay anything near €780 for one day's labor. The math is very easy, having paid almost 63% less than I paid for this installation when I renovated our apartment. Leroy Merlin shouldn't take advantage of expat customers like they do.
 
I believe that when Leroy Merlin arranges installation and I pay Leroy Merlin for the installation, Leroy Merlin and the installer should communicate directly and handle any issues such as this, not the customer. Every time I asked him a question, he told me to 'talk to Leroy Merlin, it's not my job'. Unsatisfactory!
 
I called the number, 289 151 700, on the morning of 17/05/2022 as instructed in the SMS I received and pressed '1' for English, but the lady did not speak English. She took my number and told me someone who spoke English would call me back, but that never happened. 

On a happier note, Rita and the store manager were extremely helpful on 17/05/2022 when I had to make a special trip to Loulé to ensure the delivery would arrive and be delivered to our 4th floor terrace because Leroy Merlin employees do not speak English, would not return my calls, nor would they answer my emails. The manager and Rita told me that the awnings would have been dumped on the street if I had not checked and Rita was a lifesaver, jumping into action and arranging for a crane to accompany my order the next day so the 5 meter awnings could be delivered to our terrace, not on the street below.
 
I was supposed to get a message on the morning of the delivery day, 18/05/2022, telling me when the delivery would arrive, but I received nothing. Their website said 'delivery failed" as of 0914 that morning, but I called all day long, seven times, and couldn't talk to someone who spoke English until, finally, at 1534, I spoke to a man who said that the ‘delivery hasn't failed, it's on a truck now’. He couldn't give me any more information than that, so I asked him to have the Loulé store manager call me, but that didn't happened either. 

I waited all day and the delivery never arrived! I finally left home at 1845 for an engagement that couldn't be canceled, so I asked the installer to contact the store and find out what was going on. The whole fiasco was an absolute disaster from the start and Leroy Merlin should be ashamed of themselves for what I had been put through. I did my due diligence, but Leroy Merlin did not perform theirs, eventually wasting a great deal of my time and two extra wasted trips from Olhão to Loulé to solve the problems that they caused.
 
When I returned to the store, for the second time, on 19/05/2022 to solve the issue of my delivery not arriving, a female calling herself ‘manager’ and a female, supposedly in charge of delivery/logistics, by the name of Maria Biato were both rude, condescending, and insulting me because I couldn't speak Portuguese (along with many of their other customers). 

Their behavior was appalling. I know that we are in Portugal and should speak Portuguese when possible, I’m trying, but many expats have told me about how difficult it is for non-Portuguese speakers to navigate their website and deal with their employees. Expats would probably spend a lot more money at Leroy Merlin if they made it easier for us non-Portuguese language speakers.
 
The awnings were finally delivered on 24/05/2022, nearly a week late!
 Carlos, the installer, finally arrived on the morning of 25/05/2022 and told me we ‘have too many things on the terrace’, even though they were the same exact things that were there when he came to do the quote. They moved some things around and damaged them, scratching or denting a few objects and left many heavy objects for me to move back where they belonged when they left and I am a disabled combat veteran. 

The job only took about 8 hours, not 2-3 days as Carlos had originally told me, at a rate of €100 per hour, an unprecedented labor rate in Portugal. Some things were damaged and heavy plants were not put back. I was taken advantage of, paying €780 for an 8 hour job, €100/hour. If I were Portuguese, I would have paid 1/2 that because I know how much labor rates are. One of the remote controls also doesn't work properly and the awnings are unstable, even with just a 15 kph wind.
 
I will never shop at Leroy Merlin again after these experiences and they should be ashamed, not only for how I was treated by Maria Biato and the manager on 19/05/2022, but for the amount I was charged for labor on the installation.

The Main HQ in France needs to know how these people treat their customers as I can guarantee you that French or German customers would never allow being treated the way I was and as many other Leroy Merlin (Portugal) customers obviously have been treated based on the reviews I have seen here.

I contacted them through their Facebook page via message early on in this process and was promised that they were 'looking into it', 'following this complaint', and 'will be in touch' with me, but they have done absolutely nothing in the past six months. Here is their most recent response:

Good afternoon. We know that your case has been followed internally through the "Portal da Queixa". Since you have not reached any agreement with the store, the resolution of the case will follow the judicial route, and LEROY MERLIN is awaiting legal contact from your lawyer. 
          
Thank you

Leroy Merlin undoubtedly has core values and key metrics which leadership are briefed on regularly, so they must be aware of the massive problem with LeroyMerlin.pt. Their TrustPilot rating is an abysmal 1.3 / 5 stars with 91% of the 197 reviews being rated 1 / 5 stars. Surely, they must be aware of this data:

  

I am not paying a lawyer to deal with Leroy Merlin! I have stopped purchasing at Leroy Merlin because of the way I have been treated. 

I do not spend my hard earned money at businesses that have no respect for customers and zero integrity. They have lost this customer and from what I can see on TrustPilot and other websites, Leroy Merlin has a massive problem in the way it treats its customers and the kind of service they provide. 

Leroy Merlin, like many Portuguese businesses obviously do not understand customer service and are oblivious to core values such as honor, integrity, and treating people with dignity and respect. They have likely already lost thousands of customers and will lose untold numbers in the future. 

I contacted Thomas Bouret Nouhin, Leroy Merlin Managing Director, personally via Facebook Messenger as I am sure he is unaware of the appalling way I have been treated and the extremely negative perception of his Portuguese operations. I have not heard back from him yet. 

In my opinion, customer service is a foreign concept to Portuguese businesses and, based on my experience, professional business acumen is equally as bad. Companies who treat customers like Leroy Merlin does in Portugal would not last a month in the USA, their doors would shut because American customers expect to be treated with dignity and respect as well as receiving outstanding customer service.

Get a clue Leroy Merlin, fire all of your Portuguese management team and train their employees on how a business as big as this must be run!

CombatCritic Gives Leroy Merlin Loulé 0 Bombs Out Of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better!
Zero Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

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Title: Loulé, Faro, Portugal: Leroy Merlin - Total Incompetence and Lack of Customer Service ... Astounding!

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