Taking a screwdriver to bed

On October 20th I posted about our broken bed. I had taken the problem to the branch of Dwell where we had bought the bed and they had promised speedy action. Some sort of action eventually ensued but not within a time frame that I would consider speedy, given the importance of the problem.

On November 6th. I received an email, the main part of which I reproduce below. The mis-spellings occurred in the original.

Thank you for your email and the image sahowing the fault

Unfortunately this product is now discontinued and no longer sold in any of our stores. We are currently trying to look in to this issue for you and locate a new set of slats. I am afriad that at this stage I can not give you a definate outcome to this issue but I do hope to come back you as quickly as I can with some form of resolution.


I don’t know how you would react to this, given that the bed is uncomfortable and noisy, but my reaction was that this was a completely inadequate response. I replied as follows.

I am not quite sure what you understand by “slats” but the problem lies with the metal frame (the part that can be raised and lowered), which has sunk in the middle at the top (i.e. pillow) end of the bed, as shown in the photo I sent you.

This causes the bed to slope towards the middle and makes the bed creak, suggesting that the whole framework is under inappropriate stress.

Our concern, I hope you understand, is not merely an aesthetic one. We are concerned, firstly, that the bed may collapse entirely under us and, secondly, that the whole bed structure is being weakened. In any case, the bed is uncomfortable in this situation and does not provide a healthy sleeping position.

This is a matter requiring urgent resolution and I don’t think it can be conveniently shelved by the phrase “at this stage I can not give you a definate outcome to this issue”. A definite outcome is precisely what is required and it is required immediately. You have already taken far longer to reply to my complaint than is acceptable under the circumstances.

If you cannot find a replacement for the defective part then you will have to think in terms of replacing the bed as a whole. We bought the bed from you in good faith and we expect reparation to be made in equally good faith and in a timely fashion as required under British consumer law.

I hope to hear from you not later than one week from today what arrangements you have made to provide us with a bed of the quality we were promised.


On November 12th I received a phone call from Dwell but wasn’t able to answer it at the time so a voice mail was left. This informed me that they had managed to find a replacement part and asked would I please call them to arrange delivery. Was it a coincidence that a part had turned up or did it have something to do with my email? Who knows?

When I called the number I was given, it turned out to be the general customer services number and of course the person I spoke to had no idea of the matter. I explained. Her response was “Is it a collection or a delivery?” I thought I had just explained that but, well, never mind, let’s get on…

Delivery has been scheduled for Monday (tomorrow) afternoon between 1 and 5 pm. By rights, they should remove the defective part and fit the new part but as this has been arranged as a “delivery” and the bed was originally delivered as a flat-pack, I expect we shall have to fit it ourselves.

As Tigger has to go to work tomorrow, we have decided to remove the defective frame today and store it temporarily in the corridor (there is simply no room in our tiny flat). This involves raising the metal frame on its hinges and climbing inside the base of the bed and there removing 10 screws holding the frame in place. Fortunately, we bought ourselves an electric screwdriver. Once detached, the frame had to be lifted and manoeuvred out through the door into the corridor and a notice put on it to pacify any neighbours who might think to complain about its presence.

The mattress had to be stuffed into the base of the bed. Needless to say, it is not meant to fit here and is too big but we managed to jam it in. The result is something like the bunks on ships with raised sides to prevent you falling out as the ship rolls. It’s low because the mattress is virtually on the floor.

Tomorrow, we will haul the mattress out again, just in case the delivery men have instructions to fit the new frame. Otherwise, we shall do it ourselves as soon as Tigger comes home from work.

Then at last, we should be able to sleep on a bed that doesn’t slope towards the middle and creak like a doomed ship every time we move.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Taking a screwdriver to bed

  1. Reluctant Blogger says:

    Oh well done re the success of the letter. I hope the new bed arrives and that it is OK.

    I really hate being messed about like this and having to fight and make efforts to get what you should get automatically without having to do so.

    I am having problems with my car at the moment (someone drove into it) and it is stressing me out! I shouldn’t have to be stressed about something that is not my fault in the slightest but life does not work that way, does it?

    Sigh . . .

    • SilverTiger says:

      Unfortunately, as I recount in my next post, things did not turn out as we hoped. The battle goes on.

      One reason why I am glad I no longer have a car is because of the problems that ensue when there is a claim to be made. You very soon find that you have 3 opponents: the other driver, his or her insurance company and your own insurance company, all trying to do you down.

      It isn’t worth getting worked up. Things will take the time they take and you just have to go with it.

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