Well, our beds got delivered. Yup, a couple of professional, uniformed, well-groomed young men turned up in a Compagnie du Lit transporter – the one we’d heard so much about last time – and installed our beds without a hitch.
Heh. Only joking.
What happened was a couple of Algerians turned up in a rented Europcar van, one of whom was in a foul mood. Within 10 seconds of trying to get a giant mattress in the elevator, he started screaming that the elevator was shit, and the stubborn mattress corner that wouldn’t quite fit he tried to persuade in by booting it as hard as he could. This is the mattress I’d forked out about 800 Euros for. They appeared to be in a blinding rush, the grumpy one hurling bits of bed in the first room he found and then shouting at me for telling him it was in the wrong room. He then got upset because I said if he drags that dirty plastic mattress cover across my wallpaper again I’ll kick him out and refuse to sign for anything. The less grumpy one leapt in and said “Sorry, but my friend is very tired”.
Like I give a fuck.
No, they could not assemble the beds (as I’d been promised by the salesman) and no they couldn’t take away the packaging (as I’d been promised by the salesman) because they work for a different company and their boss had told them they could not and blah blah blah. Get the fuck out of my apartment, and tell your friend to have a shower some time in 2015.
So there you have it. If you go to the one of the largest, nationwide bed suppliers in France you pay a few thousand Euros up front, then they give you all kinds of reasons why they can’t deliver them at a time of your choosing making references to the “transporter”, only to discover they’ve awarded the delivery to a couple of angry Algerians who’d nipped down to Europcar the day before and hired a van.
The beds themselves are damned good, though.
(Oh, and before anyone leaps in and tells me how wonderful this sort of thing is in the UK, last month I ordered a small item from a British shop online. They sent it to my office address in France only neglected to put my actual name on it. My office building has about 3,000 people in it. So the mail room handed it back to the UPS driver and it was never seen again. It took several threats of disparaging reviews and blog posts to persuade the company that they were at fault for not putting my name on the delivery, and that they should send a replacement.
And I should also mention that Darty delivered a fridge and washing machine on the same day the beds arrived, and that went like clockwork.)