Monday, October 06, 2008

That was then....

Only four years ago large retail DIY stores were unknown around here, recently our choice has been expanded. In those earlier days there were many ‘designer’ or ‘boutique’ style suppliers of bathroom and kitchen fittings, keen prices however were much rarer.

It was whilst pricing materials for one our earliest projects that I set out on a quest to find sanitary ware and shower fittings. I had already selected the Roca Giralda model toilet I wanted from a brochure and knew that it would be widely available. The shower mixer I wanted was not so common, that was a ‘Grohe’ mixer unit with a thermostat control and one of their higher priced models.

On entering one particular establishment the guy on the first counter took me to a display of the items I wanted to purchase, none were priced. Quite reasonably I thought, I asked Counter Guy for the price of the unlabelled products and which, quite unreasonably I thought, he was unable to tell me. Instead he instructed me I should go to a first floor office and speak to a Technician. Counter man placed the products back on the shelf and pointed me towards an industrial style stairway which allowed me to climb to Technician world. The Technician operated a computer and had a catalogue of products with their specifications. Not particularly technical I thought but maybe I was just nit picking. El Technico printed off an electronic version of the catalogue pages he referred too, and then used his yellow highlighter to highlight the product price including a 25% discount. This I considered was only marginally more technical, though he in fairness seemed quite pleased with his own work. Having then agreed a price for two of the ‘Grohe’ shower mixers, I pulled out my wallet to pay them, but I was again thwarted in my quest because El Technico was unable to take payment for them. Instead I was directed to Cashier world in an office down the corridor. If you are still with me you will not be surprised to read that La Chica – Cashier Girl could not accept credit card payment so my remaining cash was handed over, in return for a receipt which I had to take back to El Technico who in turn sanctioned Counterman, down in the warehouse below, to supply me with my goods.

Now we have modern retail units with longer opening hours, extensive displays, transparent pricing and self selection of merchandise, and far greater customer choice. I know where I’ll be shopping.

1 comment:

Maureen Dolan said...

I love this and think you remained very reasonable throughout!