I was looking forward to an enjoyable weekend; I had stuff planned. Not a lot of stuff, not exciting stuff, but stuff none the less. I had one or two errands to run, then I was going to pop to the library to collect a book I had reserved, I was going to go to Bristol to look for nice books at the free-for-all at the Bristol Book Barn, where the owners of the building are allowing people to come and take the old stock (the lease having run out and the owners having not removed them). I was going to clear some junk out of the spare room, and perhaps bake a cake.
It didn’t start well. One of my errands was to go to Boots, to pick up my repeat prescription. I had mistakenly thought that I had another un-started inhaler, and it was only when I finished the one that I was using that I found out I was wrong, so this was at least mildly urgent. I got to Boots to find that it closed ½ an hour earlier than I had thought – they were pulling the shutters down when I got there. This was annoying, rather than anything else- it means I will have to pick it up on Monday morning, instead, which will mean I am late for work, and while I’m not on a clock, I don’t like to be late.
The trip to the library was fine too, except when I collected the book I realised I had made a mistake with the title and ordered the last-but-one in the series, instead of the most recent. Again, this isn’t one of those things which actually matter – the reservation fee is only 70p, and I can live with giving that to a library, but it was irritating. Especially as, since I used the online reservation service I have no-one but myself to blame for the mistake.
The bit which really annoyed me, however, was the shop which was supposed to be framing my Neverwear Neil Gaiman / Jouni Koponen Saucers print. They have had it for a month, and I got a phone call to come down. When I got there, they told me that they had not in fact framed it because the frame I had ordered wasn’t available. This was annoying (I mean, quite apart from anything else, you’d have thought that they would have known this, and could have told me this, at some point in the last month… For reasons best known to themselves, they had however, made up a different frame, on the off-chance that I might want that instead. (after all, it’s not as though I would have put any thought into choosing what I wanted, was it?)
I had a look at this, it was clearly no good.
The woman (I’m not going to call her a lady, that she certainly wasn’t) told me that they could get the correct frame in another 3-4 weeks. And then she suggested that if I wanted, I could take the print back home, in the wrong frame, until they got the correct one.
Well, I thought, that’s better than nothing, and would at least mean that my precious print was in my care, not theirs, which I would feel more comfortable with. OK, I said, and then hung around for around 15 mins while, with no apparent sense of urgency, they dug it out for me.
At which point, she turned round and wanted me to pay the full price of the (wrong) frame . . .
Now, quite apart from the fact that this was not what she had said when she suggested that I take the print back until they got the right frame back, it also ignored the fact that this would mean I was being charged the full cost of something I didn’t want and hadn’t ordered.
I pointed out to her (very politely) that that was not what she had offered, and also that I had already paid them a 50% deposit and that I wasn’t happy to pay the balance until they actually provided what I had ordered.
Her response ‘how would we know you’d bring it back?’
(Bear in mind that I’ve paid them ½ the cost, and that they have my name, address and credit card details and, and I think this is perhaps the most important, I had already made it 100% clear that I actually wanted the correct frame for it)
It rapidly became obvious that she had absolutely no intention of making any gesture whatsoever to acknowledge that her company had cocked up (did I mention that I had used them once before, and they had messed up, but I had given them the benefit of the doubt and that she know this?)
I ended up taking the frame and making them refund my deposit, because she was just so offensive and unpleasant that the thought of letting her have any of my business, and the thought of having to go back into the shop was just too unpleasant.
I’m not sure quite why I ended up quite so stressed about this – I think it was mainly her self-righteousness, and the fact that she seemed to think it was fine to be as offensive as she wanted. But I’m hoping that having vented my spleen (at excessive length) here I shall feel better about it.
And maybe tomorrow I will find another framer, one worthy of my beautiful print!