No Pole Dancing

My TWDB and I went in search of a coffee table for his des res yesterday morning. A simple operation you might think, especially as he’d found one he liked on the internet in a local shop, Cocktail Scandinave.

We went in my car as I have an estate with a sizeable boot, crossed town and found the place. All furniture plus shops now seem to be designed along the lines of Ikea where you follow a predestined route which takes you on a visit of absolutely everywhere whether you want to see it or not.

We found the section with coffee tables and spent a while comparing them before deciding on the one he wanted. Then we had to find out how to buy the thing. Wending our way back around the shop in a seemingly endless search for a till we eventually came across a customer service block.

My TWDB told the young man which coffee table he would like to buy, and the young man went to the computer to look it up. Not in stock. When would it be in stock? Mid-May. What about a different one? Not in stock, would be in stock at the end of May. Two months! Gone are the days it seems, when you can walk into a shop, choose a product other than food or clothes and walk out with it. No, you have to wait for it, for months, and then when it arrives you have to put it together yourself!

Their stock system was so bad, they couldn’t even keep up with demand. Ikea, of course, has a much more sophisticated system where things are usually in stock (although not always), but they didn’t have a coffee table that looked anything other than crappy. My TWDB was not prepared to wait two months so we headed towards the door.

I noticed some nice parasols in the entrance and, with the glorious weather, got seduced into believing I needed one. I went to the girl on the till by the door and asked how I could go about buying one as there were none in view apart from the ones on show, and she told me I had to go back upstairs to her colleagues there.

Honestly, what a palaver! Back to the same guy, a wait while he was on the phone to check the stock of something (it wasn’t in stock), then dealt with the person in front who wanted to know if something was in stock (it wasn’t) and finally to me. I wanted either a terracotta parasol or a blue one. Unsurprisingly, the terracotta one was out of stock so I went for the blue one.

I was given an invoice and told to go round the corner to deliveries where I would be able to obtain it as it was not in the shop itself…

Back to the car, round the corner, another wait in the reception of deliveries, then an even longer wait while someone got an entire kitchen brought out and someone else got a bathroom. Had I not already paid, I would by this time have given up, but was obliged to hang on to the bitter end. What a system!

Eventually, it came and we got it in the car and went in search of a coffee table elsewhere, fruitlessly it turned out.

Back home today, I decided to put the parasol up and into the garden table. The weather was beautiful and I wanted to sit out and have lunch under the parasol. It’s a pretty big one, but I assumed that parasol poles come in standard sizes to fit garden tables. My eldest and I dragged it out of its box and exerted our muscles to the tricky task of fitting it in the hole.

Imagine my fury when I discovered that the damn pole was too big for the table hole! Swaying precariously around, there was no way it was going to make contact, so we had to abandon the mission, which means I’ll have to take the damn thing back.

Buying it was complicated and time-consuming enough, I’m dreading the thought of the hurdles I’ll have to jump to get a refund.

So, the weekend’s shop in summary: impossible to buy a decent coffee table on the spot, and parasols do not come in standard sizes for all garden tables.

I cannot understand people who love shopping. I find it a nightmarish experience full of frustrated expectations. Frankly, the less I do it, the better for my blood pressure (and purse).

Good luck - you’re gonna need it!

My mission today is to take back the parasol and get a refund, not an avoir. Wish me luck!

I feel your pain- in France the customer is always wrong and because of this I try never to take anything back, unless it’s Ikea, their service seems to be the same :slight_smile:

Well am I glad that somebody asked the question about TWDB LOL

LOL Alastair, although there was a hint in the use of ‘his’ - his des res. Still it’s fun to let one’s imagination run wild for a bit. He’s also known as The General as I call him Franco, being shorter and less of a mouthful than François.

What gets me is that there are petty rules and jobsworths but if you know the Right People you can commit fraud and get away with just about anything.

Erika, I lived in Dallas for a year, and I noticed that salespeople would take the piss before they made a sale - misleading as to price and options (never mentioning the cheapest one for example), but once the sale was made, the sales service was much better.

Certainly the French system drives me nuts and ever more so as the customer is expected to do ever more for ever less, and still pay the price.

It was quite frustrating. They made us wait around all evening while it had been their mistake in the first place. An honest mistake, but still theirs. I swear, I’ve had jobs where I’ve had to jump through hoops for FAR less, and been drug out of the break room on my unpaid lunch break (the guy we needed was on his coffee break and they told us we had to wait) to help someone get $5 back, when this sale was around 200 euros…sorry I would’ve volunteered to get up and fix it, break or not, if that were the case.

I don’t think I’ll ever complain about American customer service again…

ah!!! thanks for clearing that up, we had guessed Tunbridge Wells Dumb Blond, as we werent sure of your prefererences, glad we have that sorted out now.

I spose in its place, I could use
TWC:- the war cabinet
TLHG:- the long haired general
CS :- Chief Spender

Customer Service is non existant. Someone drove a delievry van on my newly seeded lawn, I phoned la poste who had sub contravted it, and the guy asked me if there was a sign saying dont drive on the grass, I told him in haltering french, that now there ruddy well ( see that Caroline?) wasnt. but then neither was there a sign saying " dont set fire to my house and kill my children"

Recently I went to the bank manager and asked if he would sign a copy of my passport to verify it was a genuine copy. He refused, saying it wasnt his job!. I am in the process of removing the funds from his bank.

You can see why teh war wasnt won by the French, picture the scene, an army fuel depot in France. A squadron of tanks pulls up…

Tank Commander: Can weh ave some diesel?

Fuel depot flunky: You are early, you are not due till tommorrow.
TC: well, the germans are right behind us, we need filling up now
FDF: Sorry not till tommorrow
TC:- Thats no good, we will all be dead then, can I speak to your boss?
FDF: Do you have an appointment?
TC:- No, just give me his name.
FDC, Sorry he is at lunch, can you come back at the end of the day?

Alastair- he’s my dearly beloved :slight_smile: (totally wonderful db)

Erika - don’t they spend their time taking the piss? Unbelievable, I do wonder how many of these places stay in business. I’m striking them off my list with every frustration!

sorry, I now need to know what twdb is please?

Sounds like a similar experience I had with a friend buying a mattress except we were told it was in stock (5) and when we went to pick it up, they had none. Proceed to wait 2 more hours, and they hadn’t even looked up the one we picked instead,

Unfortunately not, the plastic is very tough. It’s actually a good quality table that I was given as a hand-me-down, as it were, by my dearly beloved.

I can’t understand shop-a-holics either and genetically I should love it as both my parents do - Dad even gets all quivery at the thought of a morning in Intermarché!
Best of luck with the return voyage, is there no way to enlarge the hole as it may be the least painful option?