Matthew Allwright Mostly Allwrong!
There has been a lot of negativity written about myself and my business DeluxeHire. And now, I wish to use this opportunity to bring clarity to the misleading allegations levied against us. Furthermore, I wish to point out the grave errors in BBC Matthew Allwright’s Rogue Trader so called "factual report" about DeluxeHire which is anything but.
Allegation 1: "However Bebe doesn’t always deliver the goods but keeps the money. It’s not just parties that she’s ruined; she’s also wrecked weddings."
"Nicola Jennings ordered £400 worth of dinnerware from Deluxe Hire for her wedding in July of 2011. Three days before the big day, Deluxe Hire said that they’d lost her order and couldn’t deliver her goods. All they could offer as a replacement was a confused mixture of stuff, which was everything but what she’d ordered".
Response 1: Nicola Jennings, who featured on BBC Rogue Traders report was asked if she had actually told Matthew Allwright that she ordered DINNERWARE from DeluxeHire, and the following was her simple response, “I ordered from you 100 beaded glass charger plates.” Charger plates are NOT dinnerware. Charger plates are decorative items for enhancing the look of a table. This is obviously a fabrication meant to give the impression that we let Nicola down by not delivering vital crockery, cutlery and other tableware needed for her wedding therefore "wrecking" her wedding. This is false and misleading. There was a misunderstading with Nicola's order but has been fully refunded for the charger plates.
Allegation 2: "Robert Stemson ordered goods from the company in July of this year totalling £740, including a £200 damage deposit. Close to the wedding he went to collect his order but there was no one at Deluxe Hire’s depot. Robert repeatedly called Deluxe Hire but there was not a peep from the company".
‘I made about thirty to forty phone calls, on the two numbers that we’ve got and no-one was picking up.’
"Because of Deluxe Hire, Rob was left high and dry close to his big day".
Response 2: Robert Stemson was never left "high and dry"; that is not true. In July 2013, an incident brought about by the Management of Access Self-storage Hayes meant that DeluxeHire was unable to operate its business, for a few days, from Access where it was based. Therefore all customers including Robert Stemson, who later featured on Rogue Traders, were informed of the situation on time. ALL were able to source from other suppliers in time so NOBODY was left “high and dry”. I am uncertain what conversation took place between Robert and Matthew Allwright but like Nicola above, it is highly unlikely that Robert Stemson would have made such a claim as it could leave him open to litigation. Robert Stemson was fully refunded.
Allegation 3: And because Bebe doesn’t have a registered address, and instead, "shifts her business around lock-ups over London ".
Response 3: DeluxeHire was founded in 2007 and our first storage space was a 50ft2 self- storage unit at Big Yellow in Hanger Lane, West London. As the business grew, we expanded into Access Self-storage on the same lane. Then we rented a warehouse at Bizspace Business Centre, Perivale – still only 5 minutes’ drive from Hanger Lane – where we stayed for a couple of years while maintaining and expanding our storage spaces with the above companies. We also had storage facilities in North Acton and Greenford in addition to our existing sites simply because there were affordable deals going. Please note that ALL our storage facilities have been located only in WEST LONDON and in close proximity to each other, not a case of me "[shifting my] business around lock-ups over London" as alleged. Our business simply expanded.
Why self-storage units? Simple; they offered flexibility to expand and decrease space as required with no long term contract. For a growing business without the capital to enter a 5‑year lease with 6 months' rent upfront for example, self-storage licences provide an excellent financial option.
The suggestion that I shift my business around lock-ups all over London is therefore false and misleading. The logistics alone would make this unsustainable and pointless.
Allegation 4: "customers have difficulty in tracking her down".
Response 4: All our licences have been registered in my name: “Blessing Taylor, trading as DeluxeHire”. All the managers in all the sites knew me personally, all having assisted me greatly in my start-up years. Anyone trying to "track me down" would only have had to visit our nominated collection point and they would meet me as I've always been the first point of contact.
Allegation 5: "In the last four years, Bebe and Deluxe Hire have had thirty four County Court Judgements against them, worth around £20k – and not one has been paid."
Response 5: This is obviously THE trump card in BBC Matthew Allwright's otherwise deeply flawed report. What Matthew Allwright failed to explain is how the CCJs came about.
Let's be clear, we successfully service hundreds of corporate and private clients every year so it's not a case that we don't deliver but rather, our failure THEN to process refunds for breakages and loses within our stated terms and conditions after goods were returned or not in some cases, this was due to suddenly having to relocate. Our average damage deposit is £100.00 multiplied by 34 gives £3,400. Demand for refund, court fees, interest, compensation, etc. increase this to the figure suggested. We want to assure customers that DeluxeHire does not cancel orders. We work closely with other hire companies so there's absolutely no reason why any clients should be disappointed. Our policy is always to find a workable solution and deliver no matter the cost.
Effective communication and finding solutions to problems is the key to running a successful business. Most new clients come recommended so we wouldn't have a business if we habitually let customers down.
Lock-ups? Guess what? The so called "lock-ups" Matthew Allwright cleverly refers to are not the ‘holes-in-the-wall’ that the term conjures up but are actually very large warehouses: e.g. 2,500 ft2in Access Self-storage, Hayes; and 3,000 ft2 in Safestore, Stains, and similar in Slough. Not really your average lock-up is it?
In short, you'll find that most, if not all the negative reports online and that of Rogue Traders happened in 2012-13. All customers affected at that time where refunded almost immediately or just a few months afterwards. I suppose if we had refunded Rogue Trader investigators within our stated 28 days refund policy then things may have turned out differently. But unfortunately, we were short of funds due to the unexpected move but refunds were done only a few days later but it could not prevent us being labelled "Rogue Trader" which is laughable really as we're anything but! If we were, then we'd be out of business just like some of the others tarnished by Matthew Allwright. But unfortunately for him, we're still operating, serving the same old customers and making new friends including, believe it or not, the BBC, who are happy to hire from us but prevent others from doing so by putting out such misleading lies. How ALLWRONG can Mr Allwright be? (Business references on homepage).
Since then, our business has stabilised. In regard to Matthew Allwight's "Trump Card" the CCJs, most have been obliterated. We didn't take the easy way out but worked hard to repay all customers who responded to our invitation for a refund. That is certainly not rogue trader behaviour, but that of a business where moral values, ethics and excellence underpin everything we do.
Finally, The BBC rule the airwaves and we believe much of what they tell us. But as we read and watch the SERIAL rapist and sex abuser Jimmy Savile saga unfold, we might want to start thinking objectively for ourselves. Jimmy Savile, who worked for the BBC, was an aging jockey who was friends with the high and mighty (He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990.) Apparently his prolific sex abuse on children and the vulnerable was widespread knowledge to the BBC and to many it appears, but he was left to carry on raping and destroying young lives until he died! This smells bad for the reputation of the BBC as a trustworthy broadcaster. As they say, muck sells stories.
BBC Jimmy Savile 'abused 63 people at Stoke Mandeville Hospital'.
BBC Jimmy Savile rapes a 10 year old! and the list goes on!
Blessing C Taylor is Linkedin.