B & Q - more rubbish than ever?

B & Queue use to have a scam where they claimed they would pay you the difference if you could find any of the same products cheaper, however they just relabelled everything with slightly different specifications so nothing was exactly the same, for instance timber was 0.5 mm bigger which was just within the normal tolerance.


This website here has a list of good web sites if you want nice timber for more decorative stuff.
Never ever ever ever ever ever shop at Block and Quayle. It’s where council scum go to the toilet
Since leaving the Service just over a year ago, I have refurbished our own house and a small cottage in the Dales which we've finally managed to holiday let after all this CV19 nonsense.

I use a variety of suppliers, but (sadly) much of it comes from B&Q, where I have a TradePoint account, spending about £500-£1000 a month. Two weeks ago I purchased three lengths of self-adhesive quarter-round bath trim. Two lengths were fine however the third had no adhesive at all. I learned this after I had cut the requisit lengths on a mitre saw and then peeled off the protective plastic. Nothing. no glue.

So after carting the pieces up and down the country, I popped into a branch of B&Q and attempted to return it, with the original wrapping and receipt (£9.85).

Conversation went like this:

"I'd like to return this sealing strip as it is devoid of adhesive"
"Can't take it back because you've cut it."
"It was only after I cut it I found that there was no glue on it"
"You shoud have checked beforehand that there was glue on it"
"I had used two previous strips without any problem. Now, you've sold something that isn't of saleable quality. I'd really like my money back."
"I feel threatened by you. I will call the manager"...
...(Manager) "My colleague is right. As you have cut the trim we can't take it back. And don't shout"
"I'm not shouting; if you care to notice I am deaf [bilateral hearing aids visible] and that is why I ask you to look at me when you are speaking. But you have sold me something that is defective. I woud really like my money back."
"But, Sir, as you have cut it, you've used it"
"Perhaps you could get a member of staff who has a modicum of DIY knowledge." (followed by manager flounce)
...another manager turns up "Can I help you?"
"Yes, I bought this strip two weeks ago, but it is not self adhesive as advertised"
"But you've cut it; you should have checked beforehand."
"I did (you fool, muttered under my breath) but you can't cut it if you take the self adhesive protective strip off, becasue it, err, sticks to everything. And where does it say that you have to check the strip for being sufficiently sticky before using it?"
"We'll have to take it back to the manufacturer and they can put glue on it."
"Are you serious? It's made by B&Q..."
"I'll have to get the manager (and talks into handset)"
"But I thought you were the manager?"
"Well, sort of..."
...Another person turns up. "What seems to be the problem?"
I explain, painfully slow, so the staff can keep up.
"Oh, yes a refund is appropriate. We've had problems with these strips. Sorry to have caused you trouble."

Luckily I now have access to a number of independent suppliers so buying less and less from B&Q. In case anyone is interested, I have written to B&Q Customer Services highlighting this - and other - aspects of customer service.

There, there, I feel much better.

Joshua Slocum

Book Reviewer
I am using Wickes, more and more over B&Q.
Wickes are owned by Travis Perkins, they are trying to sell it at present as it is losing money
many years back mates in the trade used Wickes all the time as they did a simple no nonsense range of stuff
and in many ways they still do
I often use them for odd things
B and Q on the other hand I am wary off
last year a client wanted a monobloc tap replacing, no problem said I a new one is 120 quid plus i hours labour if the old one comes out ok
often they are corroded solid and its 2 hours work to remove them
ooh thats expensive
well its a lifetime warranty stainless steel and comes with high quality flexible hoses
nope they insist on getting some double barre led name thing from B and Q
got the old one out, first problem, the B and Q hoses are shite and collapse when I bend them slightly ( no choice as its a confined space)
so thats another hour to nip to the merchants and get a set of hoses
phone rang last week, the tap is leaking from the stem !!!

waste traps supplied by B and Q are likewise utter rubbish, the thread pitch is nowhere near that of the waste, you attempt to nip them up and the locking ring jumps
client says use PTFE tape
me says use the bin its shit
I go to the merchants and get a quality one, fits first time and nips up nice

Joshua Slocum

Book Reviewer
I have an account with this company, they have long term staff, who are always friendly, and very useful if you have a problem

problem 1.
I dropped a shower screen through a bath ( seriously bad day) asked if they could sort me a replacement bath toilet and basin, as it was a weird colour, so looking at spending 600 to 800 quid, plus three days labour plus tiling
my fault so I put it right
ah you dont need to do that Give Jim a ring
Jim ??
yes Jim, he does all the old out of stock baths and sanitary ware , so I give him a ring
he asks some sensible questions, and asks me to cut a bit of the bath off to double check the colour, as photo images are not precise, the colour and the range is usually moulded into the lid of the cistern, this one wasnt

post it to Jim
hasnt got one in stock, will hunt me one down 350 quid collect from his place in a couple of weeks, he prefers it delivered to him so that he can check it over
if he could not get one, he can get me one made to fit for a little more money
2 weeks later bath arrives, I drive over to collect it, perfect colour match, slight difference in size, but easily sorted
2 days work and tiling saved
he has bathroom stuff going back 70 years

Problem 2
building a replica world war one decoy tank ( as you do)
need to paint it, so plan to prime with water based primer, then 2 undercoats oil based, then oil based camo colours ( Solomon J Solomon paint scheme)
Chris the paint guy says use emulsion paints cheaper to mix, easier to wash brushes, no priming, no smell, and will easily last a few weeks outside
again did as he suggested and it was perfect
( its gone to a chap down in Hampshire for his private museum in exchange for a donation to winstons wish)


War Hero
Memory jog:-
Opening a packet of drawing pins, one was found without a spike, just the cap, so for shits and giggles me and a few lads took the whole box back to the hardware store, opposite Hounslow west underground station, and confronted the shop assistant, who looking quite perplexed at 3 squaddies, called the manager, who just laughed, and very ceremoniously took another one out of a packet on display and handed it over, as though it were the crown jewels, laughs all round,.......... There, after 47 years, the full story is out, I feel so much better.
You are officially the dullest man on the planet.


About a month ago I went on a bit of a spending spree in B&Q. At some point I needed a tape measure to measure some timber so, as is the normal drill, I borrowed one off the tool shelf, intending to put it back before I reached the checkout. Inevitably I forgot, and once home I found I was the proud owner of a seven quid Stanley tape.

About a week later convinced myself that I needed a cordless circular saw (I’m very easily convinced when it comes to buying tools.....) so again I went to the same B&Q and bought a £56 pound Skilsaw.

When I got home I eagerly opened the box and found that it contained the saw...... but no battery or charger.

Both these things were my fault, the tape measure obviously, and the box containing the saw did say it didn’t contain the battery or charger so I was expecting some resistance when I tried to get my money back.

In the event it was a doddle.... I explained to the nice lady that I was an idiot and without actually agreeing, she refunded the money back onto my card without question.

I know it’s going against the grain of this thread, but personally I was happily impressed with the service.


But does 'e 'ave; pumps, fork 'andles, o's, and bill 'ooks?
They certainly do have a wide range of er, well, stuff. You can have a rummage around and a poke about which is nice. It's not a big shop but it's stuffed with stuff, some of which you use once and throw it away 'cos it broke. They do have some branded and useful stuff too.

Edit to add,
B&Q are totally sheit and are a last resort if I can help it, for anything.
Interestingly b and q own screwfix and travis Perkins are owned by the wickes group. If you need timber, always go to an independent wood supplier. Half the cost and treble the quality.
On a point of order, it was Travis Perkins that bought Wickes. At the time my old man was Group Personnel Manager for Travis Perkins. He correctly predicted two things. His own imminent retirement and that TP would regret the purchase. TP have been trying to offload Wickes for some time (and may even have done so now).


War Hero
B&Q -- I will avoid unless there is absolutely no other option available.

I went in for some 5/8" moulding pins -- we don't stock them, nor any panel pins in stock, nor any of the other 3 items on my list.

Their brassware is not worthy of the name. Brass clothes hooks snap with the weight of a coat on them, brass screws strip the slots out as soon as you put a bit of torque on them, they don't even have a wood cutting service anymore which is one of the few useful things they did at our local.

These days it is local builders' merchants for me or else Wickes or Tool Station at a push.

Wickes used to be great until they were bought out by Travis Perkins. TP are overpriced shite too.

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