I Have a Shopping Curse
Recently, the spare room in the house has finished getting decorated which means I can set up my home office. All I need is a desk, a simple desk to work from. Not looking for anything fancy, I have plenty of storage already. I just need a spacious desk for a reasonable price. Apparently, that is too much to ask in life...
First off, apologies to my status update (Twitter, Jaiku, etc) followers for the many ranting updates. I hope yesterday's post, Twitter and Homes of the Future, will appease you all.
It all started with IKEA. IKEA offers some really nice desks at good prices, well designed and a decent size. After many recommendations I decided I would start my desk hunt there and it wasn't long before I found a desk I wanted (a MIKAEL in fact) at £36. bargain! Unfortunately, the nearest IKEA store to me is in London, so ordering online was my only option. Delivery information says items below 25kg will only be £7.50 delivery, the desk was 21.4kg. Not bad! I made sure I had the funds available on my credit card and went through the online checkout.
The screen before I enter my billing details, it provides finally cost information. £36 for the test, £10 for VAT....35 bloody quid for delivery? WON'T BE DELIVERED UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH?. Not wanting to pay the cost of the desk in delivery AND wait that long, I took my business elsewhere.
Except...where else is a good place to get desks in the UK? I asked Sasha's parents for local stores so that I have the option of picking it up to save on delivery. I get a short list and begin looking up their online outlets. After cutting out the way too expensive ones and the ones that don't have anything worth buying I am left with three options: Homebase, B&Q and Argos. All three frustrated me.
I should note at this point that Homebase and Argos are owned by the same parent company. I first noticed this when browsing the Homebase site and the title of the page contained "argos.co.uk":
First I looked at homebase since it had the closest store. After cutting down my options, I started checking which was available in store - none of them were. In fact, only one crappy desk was available to buy in any store, the rest had to be ordered online. Ridiculous, but I decided I was keep the online offers in mind while I checked the other two stores.
Next up, B&Q and I managed to get down to one desk that I really liked, a good size and price too. Then I was afflicted by the curse again:
Problem 1: The desk was not available to order online. I thought that was a bit strange, but then again maybe it is best to pick it up in store. But...
Problem 2: After using their store checker, it turns out the desk is not in stock at any of the shops near by. The tool advises me to travel close to London where it will be available. No chance.
Pissed off, I look for solace in Argos. Not the best selection of desks here, but I find one that is good enough. Unfortunately, the desk would not be available in store until next week and I am increasingly impatient. I opt for ordering online, get told I can have it delivered today (Thursday 13th March, this ordering was done a couple of days ago) and checkout goes smoothly. I double check my details and place my order. The usual online ordering end screen states I will receive an e-mail to confirm my order soon, though it may take up to 2 hours if the site is busy. This was about 12am (midnight), so I head to bed.
Fast forward 15 hours later and there is no e-mail. Now I am extremely annoyed and panicky. I fill out a support form asking about the order, stating it was scheduled to get delivered the following day. No response for the rest of the day. However, I wake up this morning to an e-mail. Oh joy!
I have checked your details with our order database and no orders match. Feel free to fill out your order again.
Furious, I decide to spend a bit extra and see if I can push a Saturday delivery on the same desk.
OUT OF STOCK!?!!? ARG!!!!
But wait! Homebase had the same desk didn't they? Maybe they will have...
OUT OF STOCK!?!!? *tear hair out and cry*
I cannot believe it. Buying a desk has been the most ridiculously unlucky experience in my life and I am still absolutely livid. I have no idea what I am going to do about this desk issue. I guess I'll have to order one for next week, which throws off my plans but at least I'll have a bit extra cash to spend on it, should I find something better.
If this is how difficult it is to buy a simple desk then I cannot imagine how much of a pain it will be to furnish a whole house.
Bottom line: retail sucks