but first, a big thank you to Mary of mh-mixes for my award. I’ll leave it up there for now and then move it to join the other awards further down the page. You can click on it to reach Mary’s scrapbooking website. Lots of lovely freebies for you scrapbookers!!!
So, to the main event!
I almost bought a new bathroom last week! The idea of a shiny new bathroom suite, tiled walls and floor….. really appealed, so when I got a cold call from a company offering me a voucher for £1000 off a new bathroom – or kitchen, or bedroom – I fell for it. OK, I know, It was stupid of me, but hey ho!
The salesman came to call. I showed him my less than 2m x 2m bathroom – shower, no bath. We discussed my budget – not very big, but neither’s the bathroom – and what I would like in a new bathroom. He did some measuring up and we looked at catalogues – you could have this, and that, and that tile would look nice…..….. and “for the whole lot” he came up with a figure almost three times my budget, to which I exclaimed in John McEnroe fashion You’ve got to be joking! I can’t afford that!
Oh but we can get that down, he was quick to explain - as you can have a 50% discount for having your before and after photos in the sales magazine! And what about my £1000- off voucher? I asked! He actually told me not even to go there, in those very words! He’d already given me 50% off, hadn’t he! Just remember you came to me, I didn’t call you, I reminded him, and eventually he agreed to include it! The new price was still above my budget though, and I told him I still couldn’t afford it, so we haggled a bit and eventually agreed on a figure that I thought was reasonable (still above budget, but reasonable) but he reckoned was me driving a hard bargain – he said!
The surveyor arrived a couple of days later, did some more measuring up, and we talked about the fittings. Tiling the shower cabinet was mentioned. And the rest, said I. After all I’d have expected the astronomical price first quoted to include not just the floor and wall tiling but gold taps etc, as well! Well, I’d certainly expected it to include the tiling of the walls – but no, they weren’t on the plan – at which I thought some rather unladylike thoughts, and said almost as much to the young surveyor. He got on the phone to the salesman, who said no of course the wall tiles weren’t included. He couldn’t do that on my budget! That would cost four thousand more! Yes, thousand! What! So the astronomical price he had given me to begin with would have been even more astronomical? There were more “blankety blank” thoughts at that moment, especially when he said we hadn’t even discussed the walls being done! (So why did he say the boxed -in pipe work in an entirely different corner from the shower corner would be difficult to work round, if the other walls were not being done at all? Trouble was I didn’t think of that till later!)
Well, I wasn’t a happy bunny at having been taken in by his sales pitch – So what’s to be done? Am I going to have to cancel the order. Oh I hope not, was his reply! I bet! Finally we agreed a compromise. No tiled floor -which had been included - but tiling half way up the walls, which in effect was only one wall as there would be cabinet units and the suite against the others.
However, that was still going to leave me with a half done bathroom costing over my original budget for the whole job, PLUS I would still have to pay out for what they weren’t going to tile to be painted or otherwise decorated, so after contemplating for another 24 hours and talking it over with my friend Linda, I decided NO WAY, and wrote to the company cancelling the whole thing! Thank goodness for a 7-day cooling off period!
On Monday I got a call from the company. Was there a problem? Was there? I had explained the “problem” in my letter, but had to go over it again. Of course they gave me the spiel about maybe getting the job done at cost price if they’d made enough money that week. Forget it! I told them, and was still feeling strong when the something-or-other-else manager came out to the house to “sign off the paperwork”. Apparently it has to be done in your home as anyone could write to cancel an order and they need to make sure it’s the correct “anyone”! Customer protection, it’s called! Hmm! They need customer protection against pushy lie-ing salesmen.
Of course this guy had to back up his colleagues, but even if it was just to placate me he said he understood my problem and that what he would have done would have been to tell me they couldn’t do a lot with my budget but discuss what they perhaps could do! That is why I’m cancelling, I said, because that is what I would have expected from the salesman in the first place.
I know these sales folk have to make a living, but coming up with an astronomical figure, knowing the customer’s low budget, and then offering all the discounts to make them think they’re getting a bargain – and especially then telling them that they never were getting all they thought they’d agreed to in the first place is definitely what I’d call a rip off. So be warned!
Talk again soon.