When we bought our house we knew it would take some time to modernise. It’s not been kept in the greatest of care, and we are slowly working our way through the required work. The next big job is a new kitchen, which is getting installed in March, and as we had a little money left over (getting a very good deal on the kitchen) we thought we’d see if we could afford updating the bathroom (the mushroom coloured suite has always been a bugbear).
I’ve phoned 4 or 5 different bathroom places, asking each to come out, have a look and a discussion about what is possible. Two of them never showed up, and didn’t phone to say they wouldn’t make it, so they are struck off the list. Two more have yet to call me back to confirm when they are visiting, which left one company who arranged to send a salesman out yesterday.
Lo and behold he turned up!
I just wish he hadn’t.
Maybe we were spoilt by the guy that sold us our new kitchen (as much as ANY salesman can ever spoil you), but this guy was just… I dunno, BAD.
It started out fine, he turned up, was pleasant enough and asked some good questions when I was showing him the bathroom and talking about what we would like. Now, I made it quite clear that I wasn’t sure what we could afford what we really wanted and that we were looking for some help with the pricing and were more than willing to alter our ideas a little. Basically I was trying to get say that we wanted X, when in reality we expected to be getting Y, and letting him ‘manage’ to get us a good deal for Y.
So he seemed to be playing along and suggested we price up the most expensive layout option (new shower unit, moving the sink, boxing in under the window and the WC) first and work from there.
He spent some time measuring up, talked through the usual brochures and choices and then he jotted down some notes on a pad, totalled up and gave us his quote.
It was about £1k over our budget (we were keeping a few hundred back for negotiation). I told him this and he started humming and hawwing, rapping his pen on his notepad, tapping more figures into his calculator, scratching his head, writing more figures down, and eventually said that (ohh it’s a miracle!) he could come quite close to our budget. It was right at the top of the budget we had told him, and I made some general “not sure” noises to see if he would sweeten the deal.
Now, at one point he had asked us to pick floor tiles to which I said that we weren’t going with tiles so to leave that out of the budget, I’d handle that later.
So when his deal sweetener was to throw in a set of floor tiles for only £100… well I said no.
He then spent a further couple of minutes tapping away whilst Louise and I sat quietly, letting him break the silence first. No, he couldn’t get us a better deal, he was cutting this and this, ohh and this. I asked him to remove the shower option, and his reply was “well yeah, but you want to get it done properly”. My response of “but there is a perfectly good shower there already” was, seemingly, ignored.
He again pointed out that this was a great deal, and that his craftsmen were the best.
And to be fair, it was a pretty good deal so I told him that yes, I thought it was a good deal. To which he replied:
“Ohh ok, so when do you want to get things moving?”
Ummmm. Hello? I asked for a quote.
He looked a little befuddled at this point, and I wonder how many other people he has bullied into taking things they don’t want. I was quite firm, saying we had other people still to come in, but if he left the figures with us we’d call him this week. At that, he all but ran out of the door, leaving no figures behind. He will not be getting a call from us.
Why are good tradesmen so hard to find?