I have fallen out with Tesco this week. I don’t think their CEO is losing sleep over this, but he should if he realised just how much Louise is capable of spending in one of his shops once she gets going. When they have to announce a profits warning in the coming months he will rue the day he fell out with me I’m sure.
The back story here concerns Rebecca’s bed, which we bought only in March, and around four weeks ago it broke. One of the metal sides just buckled one morning as Rebecca got out of bed. Being so new, we wrongly made the assumption that our friendly Tesco folks would arrange a replacement or credit for what was quite obviously a faulty item.
Well, after weeks of faff, involving them having to send someone out to come and look at it, and say “Yep, that metal bit has buckled” and submit his report, it eventually turns out that one side of the bed totally collapsing does not a broken bed make. No, as none of the screws or fittings had broken, his report said that obviously a child had been jumping up and down on the bed.
Now, at 14, Rebecca is well past jumping up and down on the bed. So I challenged this theory several times, only to be told that basically I was obviously lying and that they were not prepared to do anything about it. I was vexed, and henceforth, Tesco shall not receive one penny of my meagre earnings. The weekly shop has transferred to Asda, the DVD club has been cancelled and the car insurance about to renew will now be “Go Compared” to find a different supplier.
So for the refusal to swap out a product that broke six weeks into its active life, they have lost a fair bit of cash, and of course I am now broadcasting the episode to the hordes of folk who come to read this stuff. I hope both of you take heed too, and follow my one man crusade against the retail giant!! I know I could take this further, but as Tesco know all too well, for the sake of a couple of hundred quid, not many folk are going to take on Tesco’s lawyers in court. So I am putting the whole episode to bed, if you can pardon the pun!
Anyway, enough of that, I have calmed down now, after unleashing my contempt in the form of several emails to anyone at Tesco who dared have an email address on a website somewhere, even the CEO himself.
I had a full weekend planned. Full of lots of tasks that had been building up on my to do list. The first of which of course was to throw away the broken bed, and move the one from the spare room into Rebecca’s room. That took most of Friday evening, and a lovely moist glimmer of sweat. On Saturday, I had an appointment with the Rug Doctor. No, I have not lost my mind in some sort of middle aged madness, and resorted to cover my shiny dome with a wig. I had resolved to cleanse our carpets, which had been hammered by too many animals and teenagers and were looking decidedly worse for wear.
After a little internet research on these things in the week (strictly in my own time), I had selected B&Q as my retailer of choice, as –
a) they were cheap
b) I knew where it was
My plan to be there for opening at 7am on Saturday drifted away as I lazed in bed till at least 8.30!! Anywho, after a pit stop at the tip to deposit the broken bed (I had taken great delight, and some revenge when dismantling it, so it was in a fair few bits), I arrived at B&Q at around 9.15. I needed a few bits for other random DIY tasks to be tackled this weekend (more of this later), so I wandered, lost, around the twelve acre expanse of the warehouse before somehow stumbling across what I needed eventually.
With that purchased I went to the “Service Desk” to be, well, served. I stood watching a chap do stuff with his till, tap at his keyboard, and generally avoid eye contact with me for as long as possible for about ten minutes. Slightly miffed, I stopped a passing member of staff to ask if I was at the right place to actually get served, and she said yes. Sensing my disdain, she went behind the desk and said she would serve me. “Oh good” said I.
After quite some time, she found the key to the Rug Doctor cupboard, then a bit more searching located the pad she needed to fill in, and once she’d found a pen, we were off. As she was wrestling with the form, the phone started ringing. “Oh shut up” she said, several times. Several colleagues came and went as this went on, and she took the chance to moan to every single one about something or someone.
About forty minutes after arriving, I did eventually leave with the Rug Doctor, and headed home. I would recommend one of these things, but be warned, you will feel like you have lived in squalor for months when you pour away the black water that it collects during the cleaning process. It would appear we have been rubbing soil into our carpets on a regular basis.
Three hours of huff and puff and a lot of sweating, and our house is full of lovely looking rugs and carpets. Satisfied and sweaty, I load the Rug Doctor back in the car (well Louise’s car as she had taken mine to go shopping, which is always a concern that she thinks she needs the bigger boot space!!) and headed back to B&Q.
I was relieved to see some actual staff on the desk this time, and I was served almost immediately. Again, another search is undertaken for pens, the pad and the key to the cupboard. Again, the same insular staff discussion was taking place between the staff, to my exclusion, mostly about how lazy such a colleague was, and what an idiot the manager was. Nice! After more endless faff, I get to sign the form that confirms I have given it back, and my lovely assistant says, “You know this should have been back a lot earlier”. She was referring to the 10am time at the top of the form.
“No, you’ll find that is tomorrow’s date, I only picked this up earlier today”.
“Right” she says snatching the form away from me and turning her back. I assume we are done, and I leave glowing from the exceptional retail experience I have just endured.
So that’s two major retailers who have covered themselves in all sorts of glory this week. Still, I have clean carpets.
From my list of other tasks, the lawn remains untackled, as things are still just too moist out there. I may get to it next May!! However, to end on a high note, the other DIY task I alluded to earlier was the repair of a broken kitchen cupboard. The screws holding the hinges in place had become loose, and the door was hanging off a little. So, I procured some wood filler, filled the now too large holes, waited for that to dry, and acquired some suitable new screws to use.
I had intended to return to B&Q to get these, but –
a) I forgot to call in on our shopping outing today
b) I resent giving the buggers any more of my hard earned
So I did what all sons do. We called in to my Dad’s to give him his Father’s Day gifts, and I nipped down to the cellar to raid the thirty year old Nescafe coffee jar which is full of every size screw ever produced. Ten minutes of rummaging and I had enough likely sized screws to complete my task.
On my return home, the task was completed with zero expletives, and relative ease. I emerged from the kitchen, hands aloft, with a self-satisfied glow. Unfortunately no-one was there to see it, so I had to walk upstairs and tell Rebecca, who you can imagine was massively impressed, and replied with a confused “Oh…right”.
I am not a DIY kind of guy, and most of my attempts end in disaster, swearing and getting my Dad or neighbour in to sort it. I was happy with myself anyway.
So, I mentioned a shopping trip earlier. This is another sign of our impending jaunt over the Atlantic. We were clothes shopping for the girls. They are total opposites on a clothes shopping trip, with Emily reluctant to look, try on or unplug the iPod from her head, whereas Rebecca is a whirling dervish of clothes being ripped from the rails and tried on. It is safe to say, Rebecca came home with more, but only down to the fact that she could be bothered to look. Emily only “does” clothes shopping proper, in Hot Topic, and the fact that we start our holiday the day after her birthday means she will be investing most of her gifts in that retail outlet once we get there!!
So having conquered the carpets, clothes shopping and a cupboard this weekend, I hope to spend the rest of Father’s Day watching the golf, dreaming of sunnier weather and decent customer service in a far away land. Tomorrow, the diet starts in earnest. A pound or two has been shed over the last few weeks, despite the criminal excesses at the cinema on some occasions, but now I need to make a serious dent in the flab so that I can replace it whilst away. Those with any sort of knowledge of me will know that refraining from food is not my forte. Wish me luck!!
Till the next time…..