Encore: Tile me up, tile me down

Encore: Tile me up, tile me down

I was helping Gary’s dad with a letter the other night. The letter was being sent to a big floor tile retailer after their product was found to be faulty.
The reason the issue became interesting is that the letter didn’t explain the reasons why his dad wanted compensation for the faulty tiles (not to be confused with Faulty Towers that were recently in the city), but rather that they had already done all the complaining, had an “inspector” come and “inspect” the already-laid tiles.

The result was that they agreed the tiles need to be replaced but refunding him for that, he believes is not enough. By the way, we are not talking about a little bathroom here; we are talking about a 120 square meter lounge and dining area.
The point is, when one is unhappy with a product after one had used it – in this case, the tiles had to be laid first, and only after the grouting and all adhesive had been used, does one realize the tile is not an “A” Grade tile which the consumer thought he had bought and as the manufacturer marked on the boxes.

Thing is, everyone’s talking about a recession – which is another way of saying money is scarce and that many people are not able to afford the “luxuries” that adverts are dangling in front of us all the time. The least retailers should be doing is to ensure that their products are of a standard that satisfies, that exceed expectations even! Surely?

Like the other day I was disgusted with Woolworths – Woolworths, the people we trusted all our lives as the store to give the best quality because, remember, they used to charge (and in many cases still charge) more than your Pick ‘n Pays and your Shoprites. I bought some lamb that was “on special”. Beautiful chops – thick and fresh.

Thing is, there were two layers of them in the pre-packed punnet. Get home, remove the chops, and there, below, on the bottom row, is nothing but hideous-looking fatty and boney pieces of lamb. So is this what the recession does? We must fool the consumer into believing you are buying a certain product, most certainly charge the high price for it, but give them sh!t?
Is that what we have become? And this is not the first time this has happened to me in the meat department. This is the reason I have a butcher – one that I can call up and order meat from, and know I will not be robbed and lied to!

Same thing happened to a friend who bought meat at Fruit & Veg City. And the consumer needs some form of compensation that is reasonable…not just a refund!
However, when one brings this to managers’ attention at these shops, all they say is: Would you like your money back, and they are very willing to refund you. And yes, I certainly would like my money back, but I would also like to be compensated for my inconvenience.

For my petrol that I drove out to come to your store, for not being able to cook the rubbish you sold me. For spoiling the night, possibly my evening and that of my guests that I invited to dinner…what about all of that? This is actually what happened to my friend who bought her meat from Fruit & Veg City.

I guess she had it coming – buying meat at a place called Fruit & Veg City!
And this is what Gary’s dad is on about. He is saying that after blatantly lying about the “A” versus “B” grade tiles, the retailer should also compensate him for the lifting of the tiles, for the re-laying of the new tiles, and (something that retailers conveniently forget) for the inconvenience that this will cause the family once again…what about the rubble that must be removed?

What about all the dust it will cause again? What about all the furniture that must be removed and stored again? What about the unlivable area that it causes for yet another two weeks? What about the fact that they wanted it done before their family arrives from Italy and Singapore that now will not happen? Who takes that into consideration? Just a thought…

rafiek@mweb.co.za