From a basket case to a carpet bug!

Hi all.

I posted a question a week or so ago about market stall holders using plastic baskets to weigh produce in and I’ve pretty much been assured that we are not likely to be being ripped off with the practice. Thank you for all the replies.

However, that niggle has just been replaced by a bug in my brain after spending a couple of days looking for a carpet.

Long story short, we went into our nearest branch of a national flooring retailer to get a quote for a carpet which we want to place over floor tiles that are ugly and desperately need covering.

Having chosen the carpet, given the salesman the relevant sizes and asked for a couple of additional options, he told us he would do the work for 650 euros. We managed to get him down to 600 euros.

Because we weren’t sure if this was a decent price, we thought we’d try another branch of the same company a few days later. The second branch is about 10 minutes drive further away from the first.

With exactly the same carpet, dimensions and additional options the salesman there quoted 1,050 euros!

I won’t mention the name of the Company as they haven’t done the job yet but just thought I’d mention this on the forum in case anyone is thinking of buying any sort of floor covering from one of the nationwide retailers expecting them to quote identical prices in all the branches. That wouldn’t have been the case for us in this instance and, bizarrely, even shopping around within the same Company prevented us from being “ripped off” to the tune of 450 euros.

I should add that most of the difference appears to be down to the cost of fitting the carpet with each salesman working out the cost of doing this using their own calculations.

To add to all that, we did get a quote from an independent flooring retailer which was for 2,100 euros (as if we were going to pay that!). 600 euros now seems a very good price.

So, a bit of a cautionary tale that deserves not to be swept under the rug!

Have a good weekend all.

Personally, I don’t see the problem.
People buy from people. It is for the merchant to decide who he will trade with and if they have wind of you trawling the shops to get comparative quotes from the same merchant (but a different branch) then they might just load the price to encourage you to take the lower one. It also works that if the merchant doesn’t want your business (for whatever reason) they may load the price to discourage you rather than just tell you to bugger off! It’s a free trading society and no-one is compelled to do business with you.
I didn’t even know there was a national flooring retailer in France TBH. My own view is that if you regard the floor tiles as ugly, one man’s meat is another’s poison and might be regarded by others as “traditional”. If the floor is laid directly on bare earth (often the case in older properties) covering with carpet won’t fix the problem in my view but could worsen it encouraging dampness and other issues. The carpet will wear extremely quickly in areas where the tiles are uneven - perhaps that was the reason for the higher quote - to fix the floor first before covering it up?

If you live in an old French house, be careful about carpets. The introduction of waterproof membranes is a recent innovation and old floors need to allow evaporation of underfloor moisture through the joints in the tiles. Carpets can become mouldy and are not advised.
A better option is to lay modern tiles over the existing floor.

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I’m sorry, and it may be my fault for not explaining everything in detail (I did say long story, short), but you’ve made quite a few assumptions including the state of the tiles that we’re wanting to cover up.

There are no issues with damp, uneveness, bare earth (the room is on the third floor) and no drastic reason to fix the floor before covering it. I’m not sure where you got the impression any of that was relevant. The tiles are ugly because previous fitted furniture units were screwed down into the tiled floor and now they are no longer there, we have the original screw holes in the tiles and they look unsightly. There’s no way to fill 12 screw holes in floor tiles that will look good. If they weren’t damaged in this particular way we wouldn’t have thought about covering the tiles. If you saw them you’d probably think the same.

There are loads of nationwide flooring retailers in France.

And there was no possibility of either of the two salesmen being aware that we checked out the prices in both branches. So, no reason for either of them to load the price in order to discourage or encourage us to buy with the other branch. And what’s wrong with checking with the other branches anyway? I may be wrong but I imagine you’ve probably shopped around for quotes when you’ve bought stuff in the past yourself.

I would have thought also that after the disastrous time retailers have had recently, they wouldn’t be turning down a simple bit of work. There’s no logic in that assumption either.

I was just pointing out a situation I found myself in and posted about it in case others might one day be in the same place.

You may not personally think it’s a problem but, as I said, you’ve happened to make a few assumptions that are not applicable.

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Don’t think I’ll bother offering suggestions to you in future if you can’t be bothered to lucidly describe your problem. Long story short without the significant facts is not much use :-1:

You seem to enjoy using the term ripped off. I actually saw it as you saving money by getting more than one quote and being able to chose the lower one, I can’t see anyone trying to rip anyone off. Different businesses have different hourly rates, it’s up to the customer to chose the one that they believe offers the best value to them.

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Thanks Mike.

If the property was our own there would be no problem with retiling.

As it is, we moved here seven months ago and are renting the place for three years (or longer) if we decide the location suits us for the long term.

So to cover the existing tiling because there are a lot of unsightly screw holes in them with some sort of covering is our preferred option. The carpet itself is synthetic and the building is very sound and dry. It also won’t be fitted or glued down. It’s more like a “made to measure” mat that we can lift up and clean beneath.


Which suggestions did you think were applicable?

I’m sorry but I don’t see any.

Sorry I posted about it too.

Just pointing out something that happened to me and might have been of interest or useful to someone at some point.

And the whole point was that it was not that “different business have different hourly rates” as you say, but that it is the exact same business, the exact same nationwide Company that gave different rates for the same work. And with a huge difference.

You might get away with it, especially if you can take it up to air out from time to time.
But I would recommend taping a 50cm square of polythene to the floor and see what has happened after a couple of weeks, before committing to a fairly large expenditure.
Screw holes can be filled with grout, tinted with a matching colour if necessary.
Why the fitting charge if it is not fitted?


Perhaps you could have asked for more info then. I’d have been happy to have told you anything you wanted to know. That might also have been useful.

So basically what you were writing was a rant and not seeking comment from the community.
Got it. I’m out of here. I won’t trouble you again.

No, it’s two different businesses. Even McDonald’s meals can vary in price from place to place because they are not ‘owned’ by the same people. Supermarkets are the same, just because I pay €x for something at the Intermarche in my town I cannot guarantee that the one in the town 10km down the road will be the same.


Thanks again.

Yes I thought about filling in the screw holes and disguising them in some way but it wouldn’t be good enough for sure. We need to cover the tiles.

The fitting cost is because they will come out to us, cut the carpet to fit the room, then take it away to their workshop to sew the edges so that there’s no possibility of the carpet unraveling in the future. I think it’ll be done quite well and it should end up doing what we want.

Do try the polythene test first. A tiled floor can breathe a lot of water vapour without it being noticeable.

I guess you require a very odd shaped carpet if a special visit is required, otherwise you could just tell them the length and width and they could make it to that size.

You’re right. It is a room with a lot of odd shapes including alcoves. I could attempt it myself but if I screw it up I’ll have lost the whole carpet because if you cut too much away you can’t stick it back on again of course.

I’ll try the polythene test today.

Thanks again

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I have been in quite a few French houses and have never seen a carpeted downstairs room. There may be a good reason for that.

He said it was on the 3rd floor.

eventually :wink:

Yes. I know all that of course. But a 450 euro difference on a purchase of a 600 euros, I thought, was worth mentioning in case someone else was in the same place as I was when we started getting quotes.

It’s not the same as paying 2.50 on a kilo of tomatoes in one branch of intermarche as opposed to paying 2.80 in the branch down the road. Don’t you think?

I don’t want to be seen as a problem here but some people seem to have got out of bed on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Is it the heat or what?

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