Thursday, 30 May 2013

Blind rage




As you may've seen on some of the photos I've posted on here and on my instagram (@antoniaesque), our flat has beautiful big old Victorian sash windows, some of which even have the original mottled glass. Having massive windows means that even on the rainiest, darkest days our flat has been filled with natural light, which is lovely - to a point.

With our bedroom facing east, since we moved in Mr Flatzilla and I have been woken every day without fail at 5:30am or earlier. Well, I get woken and then I wake up Mr F with my huffing, puffing and duvet throwing about. You see, the sunlight pours straight through the window and hits me square in the face, like target practice. As such, I spent last Saturday in a hideous grump after the day dawned particularly bright and sunny, turning our bed into an oven.



Now, prior to moving in, we'd assessed this problem and duly, I added 'buy blinds before moving' to my endless list of flat-related activities. Except, buying blinds for a window that is 2 metres in height and 1.3 metres wide is not an easy task. This strikes me as odd seeing as there are plenty of Victorian houses in this country, many of which I'm sure have equally large windows. Systematically, I plowed through the options - B&Q, Homebase, John Lewis, IKEA and then a few more, until each had been crossed off my list. None had ready made blinds, so we'd have to have them made to order which is no cheap or easy feat.

Looking around at all of the options (and baulking at the prices), I settled on Web-Blinds.com. Not my first choice but they fell within our budget, had a decent range of styles that could be produced in the sizes we needed and had an express option that meant the blinds would be with us on the Saturday that we moved in. So, I ordered them in, paid the extra charge for a Saturday delivery and duly scuttled over to the flat at the crack of dawn to await the delivery.

And waited. And waited. And waited a little bit more.

While the boys lugged the furniture up the stairs and the men from the National Grid traipsed in and out of our flat to deal with the building's gas leak, I stood guard by the window, keeping an eye out for the City Link van.

When it got to 11:30am and nothing had appeared, I started getting antsy. Calling the company seemed to be the best option, only to be told that thanks to a human error, our blinds were not being delivered on the day that I'd requested and paid extra for, they would in fact be with us on Monday.

At this point, full-on BLIND RAGE kicked in. No explanation, other than someone at their end had messed up. No offer of compensation and when I asked to speak to a manager, they were unavailable. Double blind rage. So, the handyman who I'd booked was paid a half day rate and packed off, told to return on Monday as the blinds were now rebooked for a Monday pre-9am delivery.

But of course, they weren't. Somewhere between the two companies, Web-Blinds.com and City Link, they'd managed to once again mess up our request. Our blinds were not booked on a pre-9am but a pre-noon. Which is great if you don't mind hanging around all day, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for a non-existent delivery. Funnily though, Mr F and I both have jobs so we couldn't sit on the sofa, drinking tea and watching Jeremy Kyle. City Link were about as helpful as a broken wrist at an arm wrestling competition - noone could get hold of the depot, or the driver or apparently their own brain for long enough to figure out where the hell our blinds actually were.

At this point, I'd had to leave the house to actually go to work, all the while alternating between airing my grievances at Simon at Web-Blinds.com (who was actually very nice and helpful in the end, offering us a part-refund for the trauma) and City Link (who were neither, nice, helpful or even remotely apologetic for their incompetence).

So, third time lucky, right? I wish. Now, the sensible thing to do (at least in my book) if there's a pre-9am delivery booked and the driver is not going to make the delivery because of traffic is for the driver to call the intended recipient. Apparently not in City Link's books. More waiting, more rage and finally, a late delivery but I couldn't face another day of dealing with incompetence so I figured being late to work would be worth the hassle saved.

Anyway, the long and short of it, the blinds did eventually arrive but our handyman was now booked up, so we have fallen on the mercy of Mr F's Dad to come and fit them. I am very excited as by the time I get home tonight, the black out blind will be up in the bedroom and I will actually be able to get more than five hours of consecutive sleep, making me a far less grumpy version of myself.




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