Saturday, 31 January 2009

The seriously silly search for a new settee

Today started off as a bit of a nonsense really, and continued in the same vein. Dave said he'd seen another warehouse place selling settees /sofa's (whichever) so we headed towards it this aft.

It all started off “well” as usual, and descended from there. First of all we went down the wrong road to get to the car park. Then, after turning round through another store's car park, we re-emerged onto the main road next to a roundabout. So we did a big U-turn, went back and STILL couldn't find the entrance. "This had better be worth it" I muttered.

Then we found a side road with no sign but never mind. It even had a barrier to the car park and looked legit. There was this little guy sat in a box (you could only see his head). Parking was free, and it was quite obvious he was bored to death just pressing a button every time a car came in or out.

I mean you could understand “the personal touch” if entering a high security area. Various risk assessments being made on both car and passengers. So I failed to see the point of him being there at all,, so did he by the look on his face.

Anyway we got the feeling (pointless barrier or not) that it must be a place that needs some protection due to the high value and quality of the goods inside. [Hey we're onto something here].


Next door appeared to be a massive charity warehouse, it was only when we walked inside bells started ringing that it was in fact all one place... Now I'm all in favour of charity warehouses, in fact charities everywhere. But it came as a big shock to the system to see a few leather chairs and the odd settee, all of which were in a worse state than our own.

Then there was the neon orange one and a fetching olive green jobby, both of which managed to refract the light in a touching shade of puce. While we were stood there pulling strange faces at each other and tittering loudly. An old guy came over and said "Can I help you?" Oops. "No thanks," we both headed for the door at breakneck speed. I didn't half give Dave some stick – he’d prattled on about how promising it looked from the road, (that's the one that didn't have a turn off). Yet another place to cross off the list then...

Next was a trip to Preston Docklands, and amidst a mix of reluctance sprinkled with a dash of hope, we trudged into DFS {Dodgy F*****g Sofa's} with half open minds. But after 35 minutes of being stalked by a sales assistant (desperate to pounce), we eventually slipped under the radar and left. Both of us disappointed with the lack of choice and (still) inflated prices, oh dear and they’re going under.

BUT we knew there was another "settee place" round there somewhere, we thought it was "CSL" but it turned out to be "SCS.” Amazingly the prices were right, and there were about four we liked. The mandatory sales assistant was following us around again. But at least this one kept his distance, and pretended to be fiddling with his clipboard every time we turned round.

After giving several different designs a “test drive” with Dave getting tangled up in his tape measure every time, (both of us instantly forgetting the measurements). He eventually spotted the one.


"What about this H?" I would've walked right past it because by that time they were all starting to look the same. Differentiated by colour alone – besides I thought he was having a laugh. There'd been a fair few ugly articles we'd noticed and joked about "that’s the one” (when it wasn't).

Eventually we narrowed it down to two, and whichever was comfiest won. The sales guy hovered, by this time he was totally tuned in to our ramblings, and moving in on his target fast...

It didn't take long for us to decide, the cheeks of the bottom laid it all bare, and one was infinitely supreme. Next decision was colour, the one in the shop was dark blue. Even though we both liked it colour co-ordination inside the boat dictated otherwise. However, it would've looked stunning placed on the roof of the boat, matching the blue paintwork that gleams all over the outside.
[
Note: Going back a few months for a moment, when we made the decision about getting a new settee. We've said all along that it would have to be cream, or perhaps a shade darker, end of.]

Back in the shop we didn't like the shade of cream on the flip chart, there wasn't a "shade darker" option. But the next colour was burnt orange (no thanks). Hmmm, what about BLACK then? We both liked the dark blue, but hey BLACK goes with anything right? We were happy with that change of mind so who cares.

Summary: After months of going with (definitely) no other option but CREAM we settled on the exact opposite of BLACK.

Then followed a rather bizarre conversation with the sales guy as follows:

Dave: Don’t suppose you can you do me some sort of deal here?
Salesman: No, sorry...
Dave: We want it delivered to a boat, will that be ok?
Salesman: Yes, no problem, we've delivered to boats before...

Me: You're not about to go bust are you?
Salesman: (Laughing) No, we've just been taken over by a huge corporation called (blah, blah), so we're pretty secure right now. DFS is trying to join the same consortium, but with their massive debts it's not looking good for them. (Smug)...
Dave: Ah, that explains why it was empty in there then...
Me: Are you sure you're not going bust???

Salesman: Ha, Ha, Yes I'm sure, now would you like to take out our Guardsman Warranty for leather goods?
Dave and Me: Well yeh, no, yeh,,,
Dave: How much is it?
Salesman: £40 for 5 years...
Dave: Oh that's alright then, yes...
Salesman: It's per chair...
Dave: But it's a settee...
Salesman: Yes but it's two recliners that have a mechanism so they join together...
Dave: So can we just pay a warranty for one half then?
Me: Well no, because if we damage one side, you can bet it's the half that isn't covered. (Bear in mind that if one side was favoured in such a nonsense contract, there'd be recliner failure in the other half within a week anyway).
Salesman: [Not letting go] Well for example there's a lady got her new settee the other week. After 2 days she sat down, caught her keys on it and ripped a hole in the arm, so we took it back and replaced it... Oh and it covers any pet damage as well...
Dave and Me: No pets, no problems there... (Pause)


At this point the conversation in a furniture store turned truly bizarre:
Dave: But we used to have a snake though. (TRUE, but where's the relevance dear?)
Salesman: OOO I once came across a snake in India, it was massive, I just ran, they frighten me...


We could both see that we were onto a loser trying to persuade him that some snakes are friendly including ours, till she popped her clogs after 13 years…
We could also see we were onto a loser with the Guardsman warranty for the snake proof settee. Well it's only another £80, might as well eh?Then just when we thought this bizarre conversation was over, we were were informed it could take up to 13 WEEKS for delivery, woah! But we had no choice, they said they'd give us a week's notice beforehand.

PHEW, sorted at last – I think...
So, remember the charity warehouse where we started off today? Well they collect used furniture free of charge, so guess where our present chairs will be going...?

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