Friday, April 11, 2008

The laptop fiasco

My wife's internet business is slowly picking up. She is a reseller of murals and DIY mural kits for kids rooms.
Magic Mural Factory
She also has some of her own work on the site.
It means that the internet, and the PC are crucial for her work, and she saved up her profits to buy herself a laptop. No more fighting for for the PC, no more fears that the kids will download some virus and wipe out all her work.

We researched on the net, and in the shops, to figure out which would be the best laptop to get, and via a french site chose a Toshiba Satellite.
CDiscount also offered payment over 3 monts, interest free, so she chose a spec more expensive than she could afford, reasoning that she will earn the difference during the 3 months of payment.

CDiscount, being a french site, is all in French. No problem, for us, we're fluent aren't we?

Laptop chosen, along with keyboard and mouse, because those touchpad things are fiddly, we get past the payment stage and onto the delivery page. they offered a range of delivery options from rapid, to your door, expensive down to 1 week cheap.
On the cheap option it said "for our customers in the Bordelais, you can choose to have your goods delivered to our store in Bordeaux". Didn't bother me, because I'm not Borderlais, I'm Charentais, so I won't choose that.
When the order was finalised the screen said "Thank you for your order. Your goods will be delivered to our store in Bordeaux"
So I phoned their customer support. (This was about 7:00pm on a Friday) Amazingly I get a reply, although at 30 centimes per hour I should hope so. I wanted to get them to change the delivery details and debit my card accordingly. The ever so friendly lady told me that that couldn't be done.
I was so stunned that I said thanks and hung up.
This is madness! So I called them back. Same nice lady. Could I cancel the order and redo it? Certainly she said, she will cancel the order, but could I please wait until I get an e-mail confirming the cancellation before I re-order? Otherwise I might get debited twice.
No problem. A bit annoying because it means we'll only get the laptop in a couple of weeks, but hey, it's better than driving into Bordeaux.
So, I waited for the email, and sure enough, a few days later a mail arrived from CDiscount.
"We are pleased to inform you that your goods have arrived for collection at our Bordeaux store"
So, I had no choice but to drive the two and a half hours to Bordeaux. To avoid cock-ups I checked the CDiscount website for the requirements when collecting. I was armed with driver's license, passport and a letter from Fiona authorising me to collect on her behalf. I printed out an itenerary from PagesJaunes (Yellow Pages). I follwed CDiscounts advice and checked my order online to make sure everything had arrived.
I managed to find their store (after getting lost on the motorway and backwardsing and forwadsing on various exits) and presented my paperwork. The nice man went off and came back with a big boxed laptop. Super.
And the mouse and keyboard? He went off for another look.
They haven't arrived yet.
Was I in Bordeaux for they day, he asked, could I wait? No I couldn't.
Could they forward them to me when they arrive I asked? No they couldn't.
How long will the mouse & keyboard stay in their store before they get returned to wherever the came from?
1 year!
Great. So I left without them, bought a mouse & keyboard at a hypermarket on the way home, and sometime, in the next year, if ever I'm in Bordeaux, I'll collect my mouse and keyboard.
All the money saved by buying on line burned up out of the exhuast pipe of my Peugeot 106



At 9:54 pm, Blogger The Lehners in France said...

Go on Stew lad, have a rant. I can relate to money saving Diasters. "Go for the all in one package with FT" You'll need a cle wifi €30. I buy one, live box arrives, not poss to use wifi and no internet. Engineer called out ! Charged! What for ? A saving of €10 per month!

At 10:52 pm, Blogger dND said...

France and computer/Internet don't go together, full stop

And as for customer service.....

But it does have its advantages, wine, occasional sunny periods and lovely countryside.

I'll be going to Bordeaux at the beginning of May and don't mind a drive an hour or so north of here (a bit south of Bergerac) for a day out, if that's of any use.


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