Saturday, October 13, 2012

You get what you pay for---generally.

I am sure many of us have been ‘guilty’ of grabbing a bargain when we can. There are lots of them out there and the big retail chains are very good at sucking us into their shops. You have all seen the signs---“50%-70% off.” Off we go with our credit cards warming in our wallets. We have forgotten the warnings from the various watchdogs (e.g. Consumer magazine) who tell us that some of these claims are spurious to say the least. What’s that you say? Give us an example.
OK, off I go to a nearby well-known house ware and goodies store. It has been in the news quite a bit for misleading advertising. I won’t name it in case they come and chase me. I was looking for a decent umbrella or shade device to protect me from the hot sun, especially in the summer.
The store was busy and as usual it was quite difficult to find anyone who could help with ‘expert’ advice. Perhaps the reason for the much reduced prices is that the store makes savings by having very few staff. Add on the fact that most of their merchandise is made in China and the mark-ups are actually huge, so there is a great deal of leeway when it comes to pricing.
There were a few umbrellas but what caught my eye was a one where it swung out and made for easy arrangement of deck furniture. Can’t you feel a Titanic statement coming on here? The price! Wow! --- $79 down from nearly $400. I just had to have it. I paid for delivery and shot off home. As it turned out a few days later it had still not arrived. They had stuffed up the order. Don’t go thinking that just because you have paid for it and you have seen them write down the facts as needed, that you will have a seamless business deal. Eventually it arrived.
I so wish that I had kept the receipt. As I often do, I lose it---- yip that’s my fault. It could have given me the facility to get a refund or a new umbrella. In barley a week it had come away from the top, meaning that it was more difficult to run out and I had to work my own little miracle just to make it sort of work.
Now looking back, I wish even more that I had done what I should have---taken the bloody thing back and throwing it on the floor in a fit of rage. Some ion my family could have manage that, albeit it in a ‘polite’ fashion. Looking back I have to say that this umbrella was the biggest piece of shite I have ever seen. If the wind was more than a gentle Zephyr, I had to quickly take kit down, because I could tell that it would disintegrate and [possibly end up in the next suburb. The said device now has pride of place, ripped and broken to shreds, on top of my shed, awaiting the next Council collection.
The moral of my little ditty---‘You usually do get what you pay for.’ I shall go out and seek a quality product and know that it will last more than a portion of one season. Any suggestions?