Saturday, October 14, 2006

The object of my WRATH (this week...)

I should have written this up last night when I was still spitting nails. It would have saved B from having to deal with fullblown Hurricane Nicole the minute he walked through the door, straight through til the end of dinner. The reason I was so mad? As part of the kitchen renovation project I went to look at kitchen cupboards yesterday afternoon and got KICKED OUT OF A STORE. I am not even kidding. Some stupid punkass kid doing his sales training on alternance (I assume because there is no way that he was actually hired as a salesman) actually told me he couldn't sell me a kitchen because he didn't think it was in my budget. I still want to rip his pimply little head off his spindly neck and shove it up his ass.

God, I am far too worked up over this, but mad is better than humiliated, which is what I felt when I walked out of the store. Worst part? This is not the first time something like this has happened to me (in France, I should specify. As if salespeople are this awful anywhere else in the known universe.)

Let me just back up and give you the full story (and also, in case anyone is googling Création Saint-Mandé 42-44, Bd du Temple 75011 to find out about the Linea Quattro line of kitchens). Basically, I went up to Blvd du Temple yesterday to visit the Schmidt store, which I had heard was a good brand. I liked what I saw on the internet and I had a few questions so I took Ella with me after her nap. I wasn't dressed up, but I wasn't looking like a hobo either. When I first went in the Schmidt shop, no one talked to me. One of the sales people sort of shouted at me across the store and to ask my question, I had to climb through about three displays, while trying to keep Ella in sight. Finally, she got up and came over to talk, which was nice of her. I explained that I was having a look and getting some general info of the brand. I asked if she had any brochures or litterature that I could look through. She said that they didn't have anything like that (which is totally false, since you can have 5 books plus a CD-Rom sent to you after leaving an address on their website. Liar) She seemed to know what she was talking about when answering my questions, but she didn't offer any info on her own. I have no idea why anyone would choose Schmidt over another brand. I saw a sign up mentioning their unique points and started asking about it and then she added a bit. In the end, not much of a salesperson but atleast she was nice.

There were a few other kitchen stores right nearby so, since I had the time, I decided to look in the windows to see if anything caught my eye. A few doors down, there was a shop for Linea Quattro and Leicht. I didn't really know much about these two brands but the model kitchens in the window were great so I went in. There were no other customers in the store but no one said bonjour when I walked in. I sort of hung around the first kitchen looking in drawers and cabinets until finally the woman in the back, who was the responsable of the magasin (I saw her pic on the website), shouted at me and asked if I had any questions. I said yes and started to try to talk to her but she waved this guy over to me.

So, he was clearly the junior but I didn't want any special info so I figured it was fine. I explained that I didn't know this brand of kitchen but I loved the look. He just nodded yes. Obviously I wasn't going to get any other info about this brand so I started in with my general questions. I said I sort of liked the model without handles. He didn't explain if there were other models like that or if I could have handles put on the model I liked. He could only answer about every other question I had anyways then he would have to go ask a collegue for the info. I saw a brochure lying out with all sorts of color samples on it and only after I asked did he explain that I could get any color I wanted for the kitchen I chose. I then asked about a lacquer finish on the doors while I happened to be touching a door with a flat finish. He took the matte door to his collegue to ask about the finish. Then he very condescendingly came back and told me that I had been looking at a door with a matte finish, and laquer is shiny. As if I had no idea. It was ridiculous how incompetent he was and I was ready to just leave, as he inspired no interest in the product. But I had one more question, so I asked what the delay for delivery was; he told me three weeks. All of a sudden I was incredibly interested. Often, there is an 8 to 10 week delay and since we will probably have the renovation work done in December, I need the kitchen to be delivered about the same time so it is finished before Ella and I come back from the States. This would be perfect and would definitely offset the downside of a higher price. But then he asked if he could check that info with his collegue. For the umpteenth time he left to talk to the responsable.

Here's where it gets interesting. He comes back and says "Sorry, I can't sell you a kitchen. We don't sell 'au detail' (retail/seperately)" I didn't think I understood. I asked if they only sold to professionals? No, he told me, it wasn't that. They only sold integrated kitchens. But still I didn't understand. I said that I was trying to re-do my entire kitchen. Surely that is what they sold, kitchens? He finally said, "I don't think that these kitchens are in your budget." And he sort of tilted his head to one side and gave me a squinchy, sad look. I looked him in the eye and said "I don't think I mentioned what my budget was." So he said, "What is your budget then. Our kitchens, on average are 15,000 euros." Frankly, I didn't have a budget. B is a bit funny about stuff like that. He has me pick out what I like and then afterwards he starts getting interested in what it costs. I hate that, but I know that if the quality is really good and he loves the look, he'll pay whatever it costs. If he hates how it looks, it doesn't matter if it is 5,000 or 50,000. I can't convince him to buy it. Besides that, we are looking at the total budget with carpentry, electrics, the marble, etc. The cabinets are only one part of this and if we spend a lot of money on them, we will probably adjust some of the other plans to compensate, atleast in part.

But that is not even the point. This jerk acted like I was wasting his time (did I mention that there was no other client in the store while I was there, the telephone didn't ring once, nothing. I was the only client for the three employees that I saw) with my silly questions. It was 5 o'clock and the store didn't close until 7, so that wasn't the issue either. I hate to be a bitch about this, but the purse I was carrying probably cost more than his monthly salary and that little shit was pushing me out of the store because he thought I was a bit too downmarket to be part of their target demographic? I did try to give him another chance. I said, "Maybe I didn't explain well, maybe it's my French. I think that this is exactly the type of thing that I am likely to buy." He just kept telling me that I should probably just find myself an artisan and that he really couldn't help me.

I went on the internet site for the store afterwards, and they say that they will sell an entire kitchen or just a few doors, if that is what is needed. They also said that, since this shop is part of a group, they have a special promotion right now and they are selling all the display kitchens for 60% off. If the guy thought that I was poor, he should have atleast mentioned that I could purchase the actual kitchen that I had been looking at. I mean, he was absolutely useless, on top of being rude. But on their website, I noticed that the woman he had been conferring with was the responsable of the magasin. I was totally ready to call the boss and complain about him, but then I saw that his boss saw everything that happened, and probably told him to just get rid of me.

If you know me, you know that this is not over. I also found the location of the headquarters for the group that owns the store. Not only am I sending them a letter, but I am visiting the shop on the premises this afternoon to have a proper discussion with a salesperson (and most likely I will mention what happened. I want EVERYONE to know about this). I will be posting about this on every site that I can find relating to the cuisinistes in Paris where people want advice (DO NOT visit CREATION ST MANDE PARIS 11EME.!!!) And I am telling everyone reading this. I hope that little shit gets canned. And then I hope he cries. And has to go home and live in his mother's basement.

1 comment:

PutYourFlareOn said...

Why am I not surprised this happened in France? Customer service sucks here. Wow. That's so frustrating, I would have lost my cool and probably insulted the guy. I love what you said about him crying in the end and going home to his mommy. He probably still lives at home. :)

Looking forward to hearing the next chapter in the cabinet saga.