Mrs Fix-It to the rescue!

10:52 AM

And yes, I'm seriously considering acknowledging this identity as my not-so-secret one.

A year or so ago, a new concept of store opened in Bangalore. The place is called "Home Town" and brag about being a one stop solution for anything home related. Be it buying plumbing and the service of a plumber or  purchasing that cute little candle stand to add some colour to your interior or anything furniture and light solution.
The different services are named : "Mr Carpenter" "Mr Plumber" "Mister Electrician" and I even think there is a "Mr Painter" as well.

The names made me laugh because it brings back the good old Mel Brooks classic "Spaceballs" to my mind with the bad guys having a "Mr Coffee", "Mr Radar" and "Mr Video Rental" in the control room of their mighty spaceship.

But let's go back to the store shall we? It opened quite outside the city most probably in an effort to save on rent and being able to offer competitive prices. DH and I never really gave it a thought until last August when we went looking for bedside table lamps that would look cute without putting a dent in our budget as well as a few table top CD racks.
A 5 storeys of home solution all in all! And while still pretty messy it is a first in India to have one store to find it all, trust me.

So, we roamed around, bought some lamps and CD racks in the "to go section" and found a neat shoe rack with solid doors (essential when you have a dog). Needless to say thatwe bought it.
It  however comes at no big surprise that once again, when you buy something that "big" it just can't be delivered the day itself. The delay in this case? 15 days!
However, we don't really care and sign on the handwritten slip. We put DH's mobile as primary, then mine as secondary realising that DH will more likely be in Switzerland at the time.
The lady then take us to what I now refer as "Mr Cashier" who process the purchase order inside "Mr Computer" and give us a printed receipt courtesy of "Mr Printer" after we paid the total amount. DH notice immediately that the phone number printed on the receipt is totally wrong and tell Mr Cashier about it.
Mr Cashier who is quick to say: "Don't worry sir, we have both your correct numbers on the handwritten slip". We are forced to leave with a made up phone number on the receipt as they refused to change it. I smelled a rat and told DH that I will make sure to call first time on Tuesday September 2 to make sure the thing comes as promised.

Fast forwarding to the present:

September 2 comes, and I set myself to call Home Town and spent a solid 3 hours before someone picked up the phone. YES 3 BLOODY HOURS!

I told them to change the phone number to my current one and asked them tell me what the status on my delivery was. The guy promised to call in 15 minutes but never did.
So I spent another couple of hours trying to get a hold of them on the phone before getting "Mr customer service #2" on the phone who inform me that the delivery truck driver has not been able to reach me on the new phone number so the parcel went back to the warehouse.
I yelled and asked them to confirm my new number. It turned out they were  calling the old one. I DEMANDED a delivery to be done right away.

"Mr customer service" said he could not arrange that. So I barked at him to get me the manager on the phone. Which surprisingly he does.
"Mr Manager" apologised after I explained the whole phone number thing. Which is appalling. Mr Manager promised to have a delivery the next day which is a holiday and I therefore decided to play it hard as I hate being taken for granted.
Heck I have a life and they should deliver when it suits me, not when it suits them! So we reschedule for Thursday, I re-confirm the phone number to make sure they DO have the correct one. And then let the manager know about the cashier's boo boo since he is the one who was in fault initially.

Comes Thursday. I again called several times before getting someone on the phone. To finally be informed that once more my delivery has been bounced due to a no reply on the phone!
Furious, I asked "Ms Customer Service" to tell me what number they have. It turned out that this time it's my own phone number but with the two last digit inverted! Yes, you are not hallucinating! They did manage to get my phone number wrong depsite me making them confirm it a bazzilion time the previous day!

So, I asked to have "Mr Manager" back on the phone, who again seemed to come promptly and apologised again for the delay and promise the delivery will be done before night fall. But then inform me at 8pm that they fell behind schedule on many deliveries and that mine will be done the next morning!

At this point he gave me his personal mobile number and instructed me to call at 11.30am the next day to get things set and make sure a shoe rack will stand in my living room before sunset (ain't that nice!).

Friday, I called Mr Manager. He got pronto on tracking my shoe rack and told me that it will be there at around noon. Which amazingly it does! "Mr Delivery" dumps the box in my living room made me sign the slip and left informing me that the assembly will be done later today by a technician.

I snorted but still asked "When today" and got "4-5pm" as an answer. Me used to India, rolled my eyes and thought "Yeah right".
The evening comes, Home Town is not picking up the phone, and Mr Carpenter or who ever is supposed to build the unit is not coming. At this point I simply gave up. Because I already spent way too much on phone calls and nerves to get the box to come.

Plus it's time to share my little secret here : I'm a trained interior decorator specialised in soft furnishing, upholstery and light carpentr. Building a pre-made piece of furniture is a piece of cake, and I knew I might have to resort to that in the end. I just work better at night and needed my dog to be pooped out before setting to it.

After a few beers with friends, I took my tools at 10.30pm to start the assembly, 30-40 minutes later the thing was built and the shoes stored nicely in it. No fuss, no mess, no proble. All I needed was my trusty screwdriver and a hammer. And of course an ability to decipher weird instruction leaflets which after building dozens of pre-made furniture both in my own flat back in Geneva and in my mom's house hold absolutely no secret.

I'm still waiting for Mr carpenter to show up to tell him "Oh I built it myself", but then he probably have one of the many wrong number Home Town assigned to me.

Mrs Fix-It did it again!


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