One week later, this is what they looked like: but you can disregard the general staining and dirt, that is perfectly normal and what you would expect (except for the
Yes, that is a darned great 'ole in the end of the finger.
The end of the index finger has also split, so now these two fingers are getting wet and dirty, and these gloves are being consigned to the bin.
After one week!!! And, to add insult to injury, they are called the Cressida Heavy Duty Gardening Glove. Heavy duty!!
I looked them up online, they sell for between £16 and £21, which is shocking for gloves of such poor quality that they only last one week.
Now, I read on the BBC website the other day that "Social media is becoming the default method of dealing with customers." So I turned to social media, ie twitter, and contacted Laura Ashley: my hope was that would let me send back the damaged glove, and would replace it with a new left, if their customer service was as good as that of Gold Leaf Gloves, who I wrote about a while ago, they are the makers of Winter Touch, my best and highest recommended winter gloves. I was planning to be cheeky and ask them to send me two lefts, in the hopes that these gloves would then last for twice as long, ie a fortnight. It was my hope that they would be generous in this way, as the transaction would be done on twitter, in full view, as it were.
So I tweeted them:
That did the trick - a day later, they finally deigned to respond. They kept asking me for the product code (product code? Mate, you sell them, don't you know your own product codes??) despite me telling them repeatedly that they were sold as Laura Ashley Cressida Heavy Duty Gardening Glove. How much more did they need?
Eventually they must have realised that I was getting shirty, and decided to fob me off with the following corporate rubbish:
What?? They have labels with Laura Ashley all over them, how can Laura Ashley UK disclaim all responsibility for them?
They are sold at an enormously inflated price, Amazon have them for £21, and most of that has to be for the famous Laura Ashley name.
Yet the company won't stand behind that name, and won't replace them when they wear through after just one week of use.
So, dear reader, what is the moral of this tale?
1) Laura Ashley are full of hot air: they are very happy to trade on their name, but don't bother to check the quality of products made under licence to use that name, therefore they won't accept any responsibility if the goods are of poor quality or design, or both.
2) Don't buy Laura Ashley brand gloves at inflated prices. Buy Briers instead. At about a quarter of the price.
3) You can sometimes get a fairly prompt response on Twitter, although you might not get the result that you wanted.
So those beautiful Laura Ashley gloves are going in the bin, and I am going back to wearing my Briers Professionals for dry days, my Showa Thermos for wet and coldish days, and my Gold Leaf Winter Touch for wet and very cold days. And I will never buy anything marked Laura Ashley. Ever.