I ordered a side table from John Lewis six months ago as a present for my brother’s birthday.

Unfortunately I did not realise the lengthy delivery time involved, but we were prepared to accept that it would be three months before we received the table.

However, when the three months were up, I received a phone call to say that the supplier was having problems and delivery would be delayed for a further month. This was not really acceptable since I had paid three months before.

I then received confirmation that the table was on its way for delivery, which would be within the following week. I rang again because I had not heard from the carrier as promised.

I was told delivery would be made the following week but the table didn’t come. I rang yet again and the order was again tracked as it had been before. Then I was told the table had been delivered to another customer. Someone at last reacted to my concerns and arranged delivery.

SJ, Denbighshire

You had paid £230 for the side table as a present for your brother’s 70th birthday.

When the table arrived at last, it was damaged in one corner. From the state of the packaging you deduced it had been dropped. You wanted to return the table for a refund.

Stingily, John Lewis offered you a £35 discount instead. You tried to return it over the next two months. That failed and so you wrote to me.

My involvement led to a sudden change of heart. John Lewis arranged to collect the table and reimbursed the price.

It said: “We are sorry about Mrs J’s experience, which was well below the level of customer service we aim to provide, and we have offered her a gesture of goodwill to apologise for the inconvenience it caused.” This is £150.

Meanwhile, your brother is nearly 70 and a half. You are ordering the table from a different retailer.

You say one of the biggest problems over this has been being ignored by John Lewis. You had phoned a number of times and sent a couple of emails.

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