There’s nothing easy about trying to get my face masks

On 10 June I placed a phone order for £47.96 for face masks with Easylife, having seen an ad in the Guardian. On 23 June, I called to ask when I’d receive the masks; I was told there had been a problem with the credit card I’d used.

I’ve never had a problem with that card, before or since, but I gave a different card which was accepted.

I was told the items were in stock and I would receive them in a few days. Since then, I’ve phoned several times to find out what’s going on. I am immediately put through to customer support where I’m typically told there is a waiting time of up to an hour.

On 16 July, I placed a complaint on the Easylife website but I’ve not heard anything. On 20 July, I emailed to complain, but again, no reply.

It’s clear from my calls it is swamped by orders it cannot fulfil, yet I still see ads for Easylife in the Guardian.

GL, Crewe

Unfortunately, you are not the only reader to have contacted us about this. One ordered three masks for £54.96, and says payment was taken 8 July but, at the time of writing, they had not been received. Another ordered 50 but says she got just 30. Others say they are waiting for goods paid for several weeks ago.

Firstly, we should say that the Guardian and the Observer have halted taking any adverts from Easylife Group. On 16 July our advertising department told the company it could not run adverts with us given the complaints we were receiving.

Guardian Money called the customer helpline numerous times.

We did eventually get through to someone who said he was “overwhelmed with callers”. We asked to speak to senior staff, and, after a week, finally got a response.

Commercial director James Oakenfold says: “We have seem a huge influx in orders since March, which put terrific strains on our processes, including our contact centre. We’ve now invested in additional call centre resources and moved to 24 hours a day at our despatch warehouse, increasing our workforce by some 300%.

“Although we’re well on our way to bringing our service back to the levels we would normally expect, despatching within two to three days, we do know some customers have received service below these standards we had been delivering in recent months.”

In the case of GL, Easylife says the order was not processed as his credit cards failed to go through. But GL disputes this.

Oakenfold does admit that “he has not received the service we’d normally look to give our customers, with that I do apologise for this”. The firm will also consider other readers’ complaints.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at [email protected] Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions: http://gu.com/letters-terms

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