So it seems that I am starting the new year on a sour note. Perhaps this should bother me since, like everyone else, I too have been looking forward to 2012. I do however feel that far too few of us actually stand up for ourselves when it comes to the things that bother us and I figure that if I have to be a victim of circumstance I am most certainly not going to suffer in silence.
It’s hard to know where to even start with a complaint such as the one I would like to put forward. I keep thinking that I should just leave it alone and “get over it” because that’s just the way it is, but I do also feel that apathy could play quite a huge part in the downfall of this country. And so I feel I should speak up.
My problem is this: Recently I bought a bed from the Greenacres, Port Elizabeth branch of Joshua Doore. After searching for beds on the internet for a bit and being rather appalled at the seven to seventeen grand pricetags on the brand that I wanted I had sort of put the thought aside for a while, but an impromptu visit to Joshua Doore one morning changed my mind. They had a bed for four thousand rand, and it was exactly what I wanted. Feeling rather desperate to change beds (the one I had was hurting my back) I decided that I should just get the thing on terms and pay it off as quickly as possible. I figured once the holiday season was over it wouldn’t be such a big deal.
My experience was as follows:
1. I asked if delivery would be about R250 and the big boss sitting at the desk answered “yes”. Delivery charges were R410.
2. Apparently working for yourself is something akin to the plague in these institutions. Why is this? Nevermind that I can’t get fired, I imagine that I make more money than your average employee. Apparently my domestic worker can take her measly payslip into Joshua Doore and get immediate service (a service which exploits her completely considering how likely it is that she doesn’t fully understand what she is signing herself up for) but if I want to get something I have to sit with the JD employee while she goes through my bank records. After finally realizing that the woman had no idea what she was looking for I finally took the records from her and helped her find all the credits and debits that she needed (that was fun by the way). After that she could STILL not help me because the system was offline.
3. After making a trip back especially the next day I still seemed to be met with more blankness. She handed me a contract which was for three years. The end payment amount would be R12555.10. When I questioned her about it you could tell that she had never been questioned about this kind of thing before. I made her change it to a year. After I year I pay R7173 for a R4000 bed. After three years you pay R12555.10 for a R4000 bed. Seems fair, right?
4. I then discovered that even though the poster advertising the bed I bought said that the terms were 10%, I was actually being charged 22% – again the employee had no answers for this.
5. I was automatically charged for insurance on the bed. No one asked if I had my own insurance. I had to bring it up myself. THEN – I had to give them proof of insurance. But they can’t receive outside emails so it had to be faxed. Their fax machine didn’t work. Finally someone fixed it. *please note that with every step I kept thinking I should walk away because it was not worth it, but then deciding that nothing more could possibly go wrong and pushing forward*
6. I was not offered Masterguard, neither did I ask for it. Four bottles were added to my bill. They cost R149 each. They only used one on the bed. I was not offered the remaining Masterguard that I had paid for.
7. I was told that delivery time would be within three days. It took over a week. Bed was finally delivered after 8pm on a Monday evening. What was really funny is that I kept getting friendly phone calls asking me if I was happy with my bed that had not yet been delivered.
8. I got my bill from them a few days ago. Apparently the 12 month agreement that I signed is of no consequence to these people. My bill states that our agreement is for 36 months. It also states that my immediate settlement payment is R6490. I have very quickly come to conclusion that Joshua Doore does not make their money selling furniture….
And would you like to know what my REAL problem is? The bed I bought has some sort of mite infestation. I have no idea what to do about this. There is certainly no reason for me to think that anyone at Joshua Doore is actually going to care that they have sold me a bed that has something weird in it. I can’t even identify what these things are because they are so small but we can feel them biting us and both of us wake up with welts all over our bodies in the morning. And no…they are not mosquito bites…
So please…apart from never supporting this company ever again…what do I do? Fumigate? Doom foggers? Fumitabs? What gets rid of tiny microscopic bugs that feed on human flesh? Because as I said… I somehow don’t think that our Uncle in the furniture business is going to heartily offer to do anything about it. I must just happily burn all my bedding and pay them three times the cost of the bed I stupidly bought a month ago.