Tuesday 25 November 2014

Dear John Lewis (Again)...

Dear John Lewis,

Since then we've upgraded or replaced a whole range of things, and because of that incident very few were purchased from you.

More recently I needed to replace my old Kenwood Chef, so I asked in your Cambridge store how big the packaging was for the model I wanted. I was delighted to hear that it would fit in my bike trailer so I paid for the item and came back with my trailer that Saturday.

I was mortified to discover, after battling busy city centre traffic and queuing for a space in the underground bike park (there aren't any special spots for cargo bikes or trailers - note that, as ever, there were spaces free in the car park - when will you be having words with your landlords to get more bike spaces?) that the size of the box was almost twice what your 'partner' had said.

Yes, after throwing a bit of a paddy on social media you agreed to taxi it round to me, which I thought was the least you could do after all that fuss. And yes, you've credited me with £40 - which wasn't he point, but that'll be going to the Red Cross so thanks.

I just wonder why you seem to hold cyclists in such contempt? You need to have accurate measurements for your products when packaged so if we're making special trips we'll be able to take our stuff home. You need to clearly offer the same service to get packages to cargo bikes or trailers that you offer to motorists.

The reason most of us cycle is because we want an easy life - its an efficient, fast, simple way of travelling and transporting goods. So, quite seriously, if you want us to cycle to you to spend money, stop making it so bloody difficult. 

Do us all a favour will you? Can you try engaging positively with cyclists in Cambridge to get this kind of thing right? Can you provide some places to lock up cargo bikes or trailers so we can get bigger products home? 

Its not asking much for you to treat the half of Cambridge's population who cycle as customers you DO want, as opposed to plebs you want to keep away. Come on guys, you're not market stall traders, you're the big JL. Get this stuff right.

Wouldn't it be nice if cyclists, like me, were singing your praises rather than picking such obvious fault?




  1. Don't forget John Lewis put their own "Cyclists stay back" type stickers on their vehicles even after we had got TfL to realise the error of their ways. peter Walker corresponded with them about this, unsuccessfully.

    Dr R Davis, Chair RDRF

  2. "You need to clearly offer the same service to get packages to cargo bikes or trailers that you offer to motorists"

    What service? The only thing I can think of that JL offers to motorists is the offer to drive your stuff out to Trumpington P&R for you, so you don't have to drive into town. I'm sure they don't care whether you have a car or a bike at the P&R.

    The available cycle parking at the GA is clearly insufficient to meet demand, and utterly fails to accommodate anything that's a "strange" shape (better than the bloody station though, where the racks are too narrow to even manage a large basket!); but that's hardly the fault of JL.

    The inability to look up the size of a box is clearly JL's fault, and pretty inexcusable since they clearly need to know that for their own purposes.

    1. Anonymous, at least post under your name or an identifier you use online.

      Tell JL staff that you need help getting a box to a car, you can drive your car up to multi-storey point closest and the staff will carry your item to the car.

      Go buy something big and ask them to carry it right across the shopping centre to the cycle park. I dare you.

      Go check the other post that I linked to at the top of this article. I tried. I asked.