A woman who suffered horrific burns when a ‘budget store’ hot water bottle exploded is furious after she took it back to be told: ‘What do you expect – it only cost £2.
Debra Strickley, 29, was snuggled up in bed with the rubber bottle when it exploded all over her back.
She required hospital treatment but claims the Home Bargains store failed to take her complaint seriously when she took the product back to complain.
Mother-of-three Debra said: “The thing that frustrated me the most is that the shop assistant said, ‘Oh, but it was only a £2 water bottle.’
“Just because it is a cheap product does not meant it should be allowed to explode. It should be safe to use. What if this had happened to one of my children?”
“It’s just not good enough that they are not taking responsibility.
“I have had no refund and no apology – they have shown no remorse at all. It is absolutely disgusting.”
The incident happened at the end of May after Debra, of Kitts Green, Birmingham, bought the water bottle from her local Home Bargains in Stechford Retail Park.
She has taken one to bed every night for comfort ever since having surgery on a brain tumour in 2011.
Debra added: “I has been using this hot water bottle about three or four times a week for the last two months.
“I got into bed and I just remember screaming because it felt like my back was on fire. It was like my skin was melting. It was excruciating pain.
“My partner laid me down on the bed, took my clothes off and poured water over my back. I couldn’t stop crying.”
Debra’s partner, Matthew, rushed her to A&E where nurses applied a cool pack and applied bandages.
The next day she went back to the store but was disgusted by their dismissive attitude.
She has been left with red marks and scars on her lower back and is concerned that the same thing could happen to another customer.
Debra, who does not work because of her tumour, said: “I’m really worried that this might happen to a child.
“It could explode over anybody and I just don’t want any one to have to go through what I have been through, because it has been horrible.
“It has completely scarred my back and I’m so self conscious.
“Home Bargains are saying that they have had the bottle examined and that it was all fine, but obviously it wasn’t.
“He said that an oily substance was over it and he mentioned shampoo and I just thought ‘what the hell are you going on about?’
“It wasn’t overfilled and there was nothing on it at all.”
Joe Morris, operations director at Home Bargains, said all of their hot water bottles are manufactured to meet safety standards.
The standard requires that instructions are including with the product which advise users not to overfill the bottle, use it as a cushion or place anything on top of it.
Mr Morris said: “All of our hot water bottles are manufactured to BS1970:2012 safety standards.
“Following Ms Strickley’s complaint, we have thoroughly investigated the matter and we believe that the incident was not the result of a manufacturing fault.
“We have fully updated Ms Strickley on the outcomes of our investigations.”