Bloody B&Q again

I have finally got round to fitting my sink and bath that was purchased in the summer.
However the monobloc tap flexible tails finish with a female screw fit that is smaller than the standard 1/2 inch bsp. Trekked over to B&Q as was told that a 15mm to 10mm converter would do the job. However the 10mm compression fitting male end is too small. So yet another 10 mile trip is going to be needed.
Has anyone any idea what size male thread I need. the thread is about 15-16mm outside diameter. Is this just some continental size fitting that is never going to work. Earlier in the day I went to Plumbcenter, next to my work and the guy there said he didn't know of any fitting like this.
I also bought a 32mm basin trap and found that this doesn't fit onto the sink waste fitting. What size is this likely to be.
I am very loath to remove the fittings and take them to B&Q as they have now been put in place with silicon sealant.
Any help appreciated.
Tim
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On 2006-10-17 00:13:30 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said:

Did you buy the sink, bath and brassware from B &Q?
If so, then rather than trekking around, I'd go for a phone call and fax to their HQ.. They only stock 8 and 10mm fittings and 32 and 40 for waste so whould either buy sanitary and brassware for that or stock adaptors to convert.
If you have had a wasted trip, talk to the manager and ask for compensation for time and fuel. Vouchers are normally forthcoming.
If you bought elsewhere then I would identify the manufacturer of the sanitary ware and brassware and go from that.
Some of the most attractive brassware is coming from Germany, Denmark and Italy and sanitaryware from Italy and Spain.
I'm just in the process of remodelling a cloakroom and there are products from all of these places.
The better manufacturers do have decent downloadable instructions on their web sites. For example, I have just been fitting a wall hung pan to a Grohe frame. The instructions are more or less entirely pictorial, although there was one on the last steps of fitting pan connector and flush pipe where there was an inset picture with a cross through it and including a label marked Fermit. A little bit of searching reveals that Fermit is a German brand of sealants and mastics so it's pretty obvious what doesn't need to be done.
However, to avoid wasted time and trips, nowadays I always unbox all these bits and identify fittings and bits on delivery or soon afterwards. Then a shopping list can be made and ideally placed on line.
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I bought the whole bathroom suite from B&Q. This includes all the brassware. The instructions glibly state that 'the water supply pipes can now be attached to the flexible tails'.
In a previous post, I complained about the poor quality of the instructions, only to be lambasted by some people who seem to think it shouldn't be necessary for suppliers to provide reasonable instructions. I think this latest example confirms my view about how crap this company is.
I have now managed to get the flexible tails out of the tap and it is not too difficult to put them back in again. So I will be going to B&Q tonight to see what they say. Watch this space.
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On 2006-10-17 09:07:35 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said:

Hmm...
Instructions should be reasonable. However, they are often now language neutral or multilingual. In the former case, its then a question of how well done the diagrams are.
I gave the example of Grohe. Their instructions are almost entirely pictorial but are well enough done that it is obvious to a tradesperson or sentient human what needs to be done. Take a look at their web site for examples. On the other hand, they target their products at the professional market and instructions accordingly.
B&Q target themselves to consumers and should have consumer type information. They should also join the dots - i.e. make sure that they are offering a complete solution including accessories.
If you are going to go back to the store then there is only a point in that if you are going to see manager or deputy manager level people. Below that they may be well intentioned but don't have the authority to make things happen creatively.
If you can get to see one of these people then they may be able to help. If not, then I would be asking for compensation for the titting around and a contact in their organisation who does have the knowledge on how all this goes together.
Unfortunately I have a feeling that you will have trouble with the latter. Like most warehousing operations the game is to have the products available at the prices that customers are willing to pay. This may well exclude attention to detail. Therefore, you may experience extreme frustration at trying to get sensible technical help on what is needed.
The other approach to take is to force them into to telling you who the manufacturer is and the product. It's probably special version products for B&Q but based on a standard design. If you can identify that, then you can at least contact the manufacturer and hopefully get the information you need.
The important thing is to put and maintain the retailer on the spot. Be a squeaky wheel and you will be oiled. There is no reason to waste time going back and forth to their stores in the hope of a solution. This is probably not the place that you will efficiently find it.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I had a similar problem with an ebay monoblock tap. My local PlumbCity figured out it was a 3/8" thread. They then supplied me with 3/8" to 15mm compression adaptor and hey presto.
But B&Q shouldn't be supplying stuff that they don't supply adaptors for!
Jon.
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On 16 Oct 2006 16:13:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

99% sure it's a 3/8 BSP.

Best to buy a range of bits from BES to do what you need, and get their catalogue too.
cheers, Pete.
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wrote:

Also watch what type of converter is used, there are two types.
One is a reducer and other a tap reducer. The difference is the reducer is thinner brass as only designed to reduce pipe and not fit against a tap washer (tap reducer has a flat end to mate with a tap washer). Eventually the reducer cuts through the washer and water leaks out as experienced in our new professionally fitted kitchen thus wrecking the nicely fitted units.......
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Quick update.
Went back to the B&Q and they gave me reducer. Whilst this fitted, it was exactly as predicted a compression fitting and would indeed have cut into the rubber washer. Phoned them up the next morning to complain again. This time the manager actually seemed to know what he was talking about and he said he had the right reducer with a flat end, although he admitted this was not a stock item. That evening went for the third time to pick the reducer upl
Got home, soldered two copper pipes in place to accept the flexible tails which are 500mm long. Connected up the pipes and although still peeded off at b&Q, was prepared to leave it at that and just be happy to finally have the sink connected.
Turned on the water supply and water started spraying out all over the bathroom. On investigation the latest part supplied is still not compatible and the rubber washer is not being put under pressure because either the hole in the flexible tail or the adaptor is too small/big with the consequence that it is just brass against brass! Hard to explain, but I have now taken pictures for the formal claim I will be making against B&Q.
They have arranged for their resident expert to come and visit me tomorrow, but I don't expect much more joy. What is worse, is that all the flexible tails available from other outlets such as BES, screwfix etc all seem to be only 30cm long, so I will now to extend my feed pipes by another 20cm.
So far, I intend to claim for.
mileage for 4 trips to B&Q 10 Telephone costs. 1. Time spent on additional effort doing plumbing, driving to and fro, phoning etc. 3 hours. (which I think is a generous under-estimate). I was thinking 30 an hour, is this reasonable? What else should I claim for?
Has anyone else had any experireince of making a claim against B&Q?
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On 2006-10-19 21:23:33 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com said:

Why did you waste your time with all these trips?
I hope they gave you at least 20 in vouchers for all this.

Easily pleased. Don't be peed off with these people, they don't understand. They do understand money out of the tills in customer compensation - much more visible and much more likely to result in a proper fix to the real problems.

Now you're talking. Appeasement is where Chamberlain went wrong and look what happened as a result of that

How far is it? Go for at least the HMRC rate of around 15p/mile for fuel and then double it to include depreciation

Go for 6 and be prepared to negotiate down.

40 and negotiate down to 30 if you have to,

So you're looking at 100. They will look at the value of the entire deal and the margin they made. I would go for that figure and accept vouchers. Those effectively cost them less than hard cash.

Yes. I've had vouchers from them for half the price of the goods after the second visit to return them as faulty. This needed little pushing.
I had to push them a little harder concerning a product that failed after 18 months but had a 12 month warranty. They did the right thing in the end.
These discussions need to be had with the store manager or one of his deputies - no lower.
I almost always ask a retailer for some form of compensation if I need to return faulty goods or there are other issues like products being stated over the phone as being available but not on arrival even though an agreement was reached to reserve them.
It is very rare that something is not forthcoming. For example, I wanted a particular shirt at an M&S store, called them and arranged it all. On arrival, no shirt and a wasted trip. Spoke with department manager and indicated that this wasn't very good. 20 in cash for the time and fuel. Didn't cover it, but I hadn't bought anything and they were very pleasant and apologetic about the whole issue. The shirt I wanted arrived by post two days later at a discount. That's how customer service should be. It's not reasonable to expect perfection every time - the key issue is what happens to fix the problem and to make the customer happy.
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Well, joy of joys, someone working at B&Q who actually knows something. Turned up at 9.00am, had a bit of a mutual moan about B&Q and produced two o rings. These are enough to make the two brass pieces stand proud of each other. 9.15:- sink connected and no leaks. This guy has been plumbing for over 30 years and says they are always getting things in to the store with strange fittings which end up causing them grief.
I will still be making my claim against B&Q of course, but I am pleased that I will be able to complete the bathroom this weekend.
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