October 06, 2007

L. K. Bennett at Bicester Village

My limited experience inside L. K. Bennett at Bicester Village has left me with a very bad impression of the customer service provided by L. K. Bennett.

The failing of L. K. Bennett’s customer care lead to a complaint to the management at Bicester Village, but even they were unable to draw out some token gesture of putting the customer before profit.

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Addition: 01 Jul 2008

Written on 26.05.08

Rating: one star out of five.

I worked at this store – the brent cross branch to be precise, and honestly the way the managers treat staff is unacceptable. My contract did not state we had to clean toilets and yet we were made to, the managers treated you like you were worthless and we didn’t have a say in anything in case we ‘over shadowed’ the managers judgement, both the assistant manager pataniya and the manager herself caroline were the worst to work with!! Some of my colleagues and myself also became quite ill as the shop floor was air conditioned and we had to keep going back and forth into a hot stuffy room to get shoes, etc!! Worst company to work with also, the prices charged for the beautiful shoes are no way near their true worth!!

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By Susan – written on 09.05.08

Rating: four stars out of five (bad attitude in London – go to Paris instead).

I have to agree with that review about the treatment that staff receive in certain branches as I have witnessed it , having wor(k)ed in London for quite a while myself. There is actually a general bad attitude from senior staff who regard the sales assistants as “disposable” and easily replacable. I have to say it is sufficient to see how the company’s owner herself looks at them (the sales assistants). I was shocked the first day I saw her as she greeted her in the store She looked at me from head to toe and just blanked me totally as if I was nothing else but a piece of furniture. That set the whole work atmosphere , doesn’t it!
Thankfully, I have met some fantastic people there who were great to work with like the Paris staff who are just adorable and very diffferent from my co-workers.

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By anne lowry – written on 06.03.08

Rating: one star out of five

Please Be Warned, I purchased a pair of all leather ankle boots with a slightly pointed toe. After wearing them to work for a couple of days I noticed the leather had scuffed off the toe area revealing a blue backing underneath – the leather was so thin there was nothing to polish! I went back to the shop twice to see the manager and rather than apologise for the inconvenience, she accused me of walking on my tip toes – kicking my desk – using escalators and driving in my boots! I would love to be so agile! I requested they were sent off to their quality department but was left waiting 3 weeks – after several calls chasing a response,I was told they were not going to do anything about it! disgraceful way to deal with legitimate complaints and an appalling way to deal with customers.

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Addition: 20 Jan 2008

Came across interesting posts on dooyou.co.uk

In case they become inaccessible from the links given, copies of the reviews are provided below.


Name: jess in harrogate
Product: L K Bennett
Date: 11.06.07 (64 review reads)
Rating: one star out of five

Advantages: some nice shoes and accessories
Disadvantages: extremely rude staff and a hopeless customer service helpline.

I have visited LK Bennett on many occasions, and have usually received good customer service. However, when buying a pair of shoes there recently i did ask specifically if i could receive a refund if the shoes did not match my dress. I was told that “of course i would receive a full refund,” and that it wouldn’t be a problem. The shoes did not match the dress and so i returned to the store to receive the refund i gad been promised. The manager told me that as this was not their policy to give refunds to unworn+unfaulty goods, i could not possibly have been told otherwise. Basically, she said i was lying. I now have a £168 credit note for a store i never want to set foot in again, any takers?


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LK Bennett – not worth the pain and awful credit note mentality

Name: Ice Princess
Product: L K Bennett
Date: 23.10.06 (390 review reads)
Rating: two stars out of five

Advantages: gorgeous shoes
Disadvantages: sales assistant who got me to buy size lower, awful exchange/credit note policy

I have to say, I agree with other reviewers, gorgeous shoes but high prices. Having said that, I have 1 pair of cream pointy toed high heeled shoes (never worn) and 1 pointy flat pair of blue shoes which when i wear them i have to be careful as they give me awful blisters.

Then there was the time i wanted a pair of beige strappy suede sandals and was persuaded to buy a size smaller which fitted in store but when i got home found they were far too tight (prob because i tried on late afternoon when feet were swollen). tried to take them back and got credit note, useless dratted credit note.

for that reason i tend now to avoid this shop, pointy shoes are not comfy if they give me blisters (i do have a gorgeous almond/pointy shaped pair of flat shoes from Accessorize that didn’t give me blisters…!) and if i can’t return (the shoes) unworn because they hurt me for full refund then sorry i will not buy from here again. You can get round this by buying from an LK Bennett concession in dept store like Selfridges who give 30 day refund/exchange no problem (i checked!).

If LK Bennett has changed her policy like Karen Millen has then I’d be more than happy to try and buy again.

Summary: not for me

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Something similar and very recent at reviewcentre.com it seems.

By ashopper on 15th Jan 2008

Good Points: None
Bad Points: Returns policy out of order

If you purchase any goods from LK Bennett during the sales and for any reason the item does not quite fit properly, you will need to throw it away as you cannot exchange it nor get a refund. A shame no one tells you that at the point of purchase nor it is printed on your receipt ( which in any event would be rather late to find out).
I purchased two pairs of boots yesterday, one of which I was not sure about and the sales assistant was quite aware of. I was quickly wisked at the till . Today I called the store to find out if I could get a refund on one of the items, as my receipt said nothing other than being attached to a product care leaflet, and was advised I cannot even exchange the item.
I will simply buy nothing from any of their stores in future, this way, I may have wasted £110 this time round but the company will make no money out of me in future.
Shameful policy.

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By Princess07724 Rank: Lance Corporal on 21st Dec 2007

Good Points: They have some very nice items.
Bad Points: They are over-priced and badly made.

LK Bennett was once upon a time one of my favorite shops, but after having to deal with their customer services regarding some faulty (£110) shoes, I will never buy anything from this shop again. I have been refused a refund or exchange, and the unfriendly customer service advisor then proceeded to post the shoes back to my home address (non recorded delivery), and now the shoes are missing, and I can not get anyone to respond to my phone calls…not really what I expect from a high end High Street shop.

- 21 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Lu

    Since when do you shop?!?!

    07 Oct 2007, 12:55

  2. I frequently have to buy many things! Whatcha doing checking this blog anyhow? There’s not much activity here :)

    07 Oct 2007, 16:15

  3. Io-Io

    Thanks Mike!

    13 Nov 2007, 11:37

  4. Paula

    I agree lk bennett customer service is awful…...i tried to return some faulty shoes and they refused to exchange them and then sent them to me in the post (not even recorded delivery) and lost the shoes.

    21 Dec 2007, 13:33

  5. V Rait

    I agree – I have written to them serveral times about their customer service on a pair of shoes that I was incorrectly advised about by a shop assistant. I have written to them three times and so far all I have been offered ( for their incompetence and badly fitting shoes) is a 20% voucher for my next purchase. Ironically, RED magazine were also offerince a 20% discount the same month for LKB shoes…what an insult. I will never, ever buy their shoes again.

    07 Jan 2008, 13:13

  6. janette fenner

    Dreadful company with terrible attitude to customers. I have been a customer for a long time and had no problems until I bought a top that had beads on it. Beads came off and they refused to exchange it saying I had misused it!!!!!! I wore it once and hand washed it. The manager’s attitude was appalling so wrote to their head office – their reply was appalling too, basically telling me I was in the wrong. Then wrote to the Retail Director and Linda Bennett – guess what – no reply!!!!

    They don’t give a damn about their customers and I therefore would never cross the threshold of their shops again!! No wonder they are up for sale! Stinking attitude.

    13 Jan 2008, 12:00

  7. J Smith

    I do not know what you lot are talking about, I have been to L.K Bennett in bicester village many times and the service has been fine. Admittidly on a busy saturday the service isnt 100% but what can you expect when the shop is full to the brim with customers. I have always been advised well and as for the exchange policy it is written up as you go the till so really you all should have read it properly, 28 days for an exchange or a credit note is completly adequate.

    Lovely shoes and clothes and I will continue to be a customer

    02 Apr 2008, 18:43

  8. J smith

    Why dont you all get a life and stop moaning!!!!! a lot of stores are now offering exchange or credit note only.
    Bicester village is the BUSIEST outlet in the UK, 100% customer service is impossible to achieve when 1 sales asisitant could be serving up to 4 customers at one time.
    I love LK BENNETT.

    02 Apr 2008, 21:17

  9. Sarah Moor

    I recently tried to return a pair of £110 shoes from L K Bennett, the heel snapped in 2, the 3rd time that I wore them. I spoke to Customer Services who said I should send them in & they would be in touch as soon as they arrived. Some 3 weeks passed & I heard nothing. After a week of leaving messages, none of which were responded to, I finally got hold of what must be the most unhelpful & rude customer services ever. I have been refused a refund or exchange, been accused of of buying the shoes at a lower price & trying to pocket the difference, no one returns calls, I’ve had the Operations Director’s PA patronising me over the phone & a month on, I am without my shoes, they haven’t been repaired and no one has returned my calls… I won’t be shopping at L K Bennett again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    01 Jul 2008, 15:51

  10. M Pavey

    I think its unfair to tarnish all LK Bennetts with the same brush. My local store is excellent. All staff are so friendly and helpful. They always state the refund policy available to every customer at the till point so there’s never any confusion. And they have always tried hard to locate items for me.

    10 Aug 2008, 12:29

  11. Christy

    They are a shop that will tell you anything to get a sale.

    I bought a £300 cardigan thinking it had 3/4 length sleeves. It was only when I saw someone else wearing it the next day, that I realised it was a cardigan with full length sleeves but it was basically just too small. (It fitted everywhere else – so it wasn’t obvious).

    When I was trying it on in the shop, I had several shop assistants round me as there were no other customers – & NO-ONE pointed out that the cardigan was designed with full length sleeves.

    Tried to return it immediately to be told I should have known that they don’t do returns, so I got a £300 credit note. Wrote to Linda Bennett, who basically told to take a running jump. Marvelous.

    They have now changed their return policy so you can get a refund. I hope my complaint fuelled that decision.

    23 Aug 2008, 17:12

  12. jen

    Just reading the comments, and i have to say i went into the bicester village store a couple of weeks ago on the weekend (a saturday) all the girls in there were so helpfull and were all running around helping as many customers as they could. If you ask me they are short staff but all every friendly indeed. When i went to the till point they told me the refund policy which THEY DO NOT HAVE TO SAY EVERY TIME THEY SELL AN ITEM but they went out there way to say. There is a sign on the desk…!!!

    I worked in retail a while ago and its hard work keeping every customer happy and REMEMBER its not the poor girls faulty that they cant refund its head office.

    All i can say is that most of the girls were serving between 3-4 customers at once trying to keep them all happy, how can you give 100%!!!!

    10 Oct 2008, 19:43

  13. Amanda

    I purchased a pair of faulty boots from LK Bennett in Bicester village. They have never been worn and the fault is quite clear. I love them I don’t want to exchange them but they can’t be worn. The policy is clear but so is the law where faulty good are concerned! At this moment in time I am still fighting for my rights as a customer having spent almost 200 pound on faulty goods that are simply not wearable. The sales staff are fabulous at selling, Customer Service well that’s another matter…..disgraceful. Top knotch prices and rock bottom care. Having spent in excess of 500 pounds this year on shoes alone I will NEVER buy from LK BENNETT again. I will stick with Russell and Bromley and Hobbs. Quality goods and exceptional customer service.

    03 Nov 2008, 19:54

  14. Susan

    First to Amanda:if your boots are faulty and cannot be worn but you want to keep them and don’t want an exchange,then what the hell do you want ???
    Now a few things that obviously need to be told as I have been a manager in one of their branches for a few years…According to retail laws,refunds are not compulsory in any way.A faulty good can be exchanged for the same if available or for a similar item if you wish,or a credit note if you prefer (which should have not expiration date whatsoever!!!).If not,then only can you be offered a refund. But if a company want to introduce refunds as part of their policy,it’s entirely up to them.Having one company doing it does NOT mean that another one has to do it too.Remember that once you’ve bought a pair of shoes and you find out it’s not comfortable or if you’ve been badly advised,it doesn’t matter according to the law.You took the final decision and are entitled to nothing.So think well before reaching for your purse!
    Now I have to agree that their customer services are just not efficient enough.But one should see the state of some items that are returned to their office! I have seen some shoes worn out completely,faded to the extreme and in the dirtiest state ever,returned by customers who’d bought them 2 or 3 years before and who just were not happy about the way these “aged”! What do you expect from a pair of delicate suede courts ? To last 15 years ???
    I have seen some shoes returned to my store with a bow detail that had been ripped of by a customer who simply changed her mind after wearing them a few days and tried for a refund! I have seen beautiful boot cut with a razor for the same reason! I have seen some leather boot ruined in the rain because the customer did not use any waterproof spray on them and decided that it was a fault if her boots were not waterproof! Since when are leather shoes watreproof ???
    As for the instore customer service,and before complaining about the staff,remember that these girls have to run up and down stairs to sometimes bring 6 or 7 pairs to sometime 2 or 3 people at a time and trying to keep a 100% effective service in these conditions is really hard,so please be understanding…and patient.On the other hand,having a sales assistant wrongly advising you may happen as I know some of them are only driven by money and would say anything for a sale…being pushed by the managing directors to get as many sales as possible or running the risk of a bad review and sanctions…
    Having said this,I can now also mention a couple of things any woman should know before entering a store…Prices tend to vary for a same item during the course of one season (“silent” mark-downs or mark-ups they call these…) which is not legal so keep your eyes open…
    And now to finish this comment,a little trick! As some of you have noticed,the prices are simply barred in red for the sales…Just bring in a red felt pen and discretely change the price down ! Not very honest but very effective! In the UK they might just refuse to sell the item but take a little trip to Paris to do this and you’ll have a pleasant surprise! Whatever the price is on an item and they have to sell you the item at that price! I told one of my friend to do this and although the manager was not very pleased,she could get for 79 pounds a pair that was 139! Good bargain!

    27 Jan 2009, 06:53

  15. jacky mabbett

    does anyone have a pair of tan rider boots by lk bennett size 5 in very good condition love them thanks

    27 Jan 2009, 20:24

  16. susan

    Hey Jacky…Just try your luck at their outlets or at their clearance store on King’s road (You need to go there as they don’t give this store’s details on the phone!)!

    29 Jan 2009, 03:52

  17. SM

    I am a sales assistant at Bicester Village in a very similar but better retailer than LK Bennett & I have to agree with a number of the previous emails.

    I have been in LK Bennett a couple of times to buy shoes in quiet periods & have had such appalling service that I have twice left the shop without buying due to the time I was left to wait.

    My own store would not countenance such customer service and offers a full refund up to 28 days

    05 Feb 2009, 14:08

  18. Susan

    Hi all! Just a quick one for those of you who intend to purchase something from one of the LK.Bennett stores. They have constant promotions with magazine vouchers,and you can get a 20% discount practically all year long when not in sales period. If you can’t get one of these vouchers (usually in Red, Style, or such…),just be daring and ask for a 20% discount at the til!!! Since the company has been bought and due to recessions,sales have soared tremendously in the past months and it’s highly unlikely they will miss a sale for a 20% off ! Believe me !

    11 Mar 2009, 04:51

  19. Monica

    I have just written a very nice complaint letter about my shoes to the customer services department as followa: “I recently bought a pair of your shoes in a shop in Bath (I was on holidays). I adore your shoe styles. I am a size six (no foot abnormalities like bunions etc) and choose a 6.5 as I felt they were a little sore with the size 6. I have worn them outside today or the first time ( I had worn them a few times at home to break them in )and looks like it will be my last. I am soooo dissappointed as your shoes are lovely but they are hurting me all over….above my big toe and heels as well. I am covered in plasters and dont understand why this has happened….I would have thought that when shoes were expensive that they shoudl fit like a glove.? Can you help or give me any soloution to this….I was so looking forward to buying more of your brand but am now afraid to in case this happens again. ”
    The reply was as follows: “We are very sorry to hear of your unfortunate experience with your LK Bennett purchase.
    Please take your shoes along to your local stand alone LK Bennett to seek further advice”

    I dont live near an LK Bennett retailer and bought these on holidays. I had planned on buying more on line but not with that response from the ‘customer servcie’ people.
    Expensive shoes..look great but feel like a cheap pair. NOT WORTH THE MONEY!!!

    22 Apr 2009, 22:17

  20. Susan

    Hi all! In response to all the complains regarding customers services…Don’t bother calling them.They are the worst and most unhelpful people you could think of.When I was working in that company (not that long ago so I doubt things have changed!!!) there was only one person dealing with complains.First,you leave a message on an answering machine that someone listens to whenever possible which was about once a week.Then You’ll be told to either bring them to a shop or to send them (at your cost of course!) directly to the Head Office (which by the way is at 3 Cavendish Square in London) where they would be “examined”. Let me tell you that in any case,the answer is most likely to be “damaged caused” or “normal wear and tear”. In other words,”your fault”. I ‘ve always tried my best to satisfy complains in my shop with exchanges and refunds or even free repairs (being “told off” so many times about it and even receiving ” warnings”!!!) as I knew that they would basically do nothing and a displeased customer is a lost one. Many times was I proven right with such customers being regularly back in my store . What would shock me beyond belief is thatthat I had to sell certain styles that were obviously faulty (straps or hells snapping) and be ordered to still keep selling them as I would have far less people returning them than the amount actually sold ! (No need to say that these styles would “suddenly” become very bad sellers….
    maybe due to the fact I would simply say to customers I did not have sizes rather than selling them some crap.!o )Anyway,all this to say that instead of sending them to customers services ,try to find an understanding shop manager…but then again,not so many of them think like I do ! One of my colleagues used to do the same but unfortunately left the company too …

    16 Jun 2009, 07:35

  21. Tania

    LK Bennett has seen the last of me. What a shame for them, as this was the first pair that I bought and as the shoes do look so good, I might have come back. Except for my bizarre experience of their refund and exchange policy. I bought a pair of shoes on sale, nobody told me anything about the policy at the till and when i went home, I thought I’d exchange them the next day for a half size bigger. I glanced at the receipt and was horrified. Of course it’s too late to get this message now! no refund, no exchange and no credit note on sale items that are unworn or not faulty. I went back to the store and said I couldn’t believe it. They pointed to a sign, which was far away to the right, out of the average customer’s visual field, as was nowhere near cash register or chip and pin device. A small, glass block with the refund policy. I laughed.

    To avoid a scene, I politely asked if they could make an exception, a compromise, be flexible with me. So basically I had to grovel.
    Can you imagine?????
    i got my half size bigger in the end, but it was as if they were doing me a HUGE favour.

    LK Bennett = Brand Hype + low quality manufacturing + Primark level fit + Absurd ideas on social superiority.

    Never again.

    06 Dec 2009, 16:25

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