There is one window in the snug that leads to the lane-way behind the terrace of houses. In Oz we called it a ROW, or right of way, and that is what it is here too. I have felt for a while that it is a weak point in the security of the house and when a brochure came in the door for Hillary's blinds and shutters with up to 50% off, I thought "what a good idea!" and phoned them up.
No-one in the chain of events that eventuated ever admitted any responsibility. The female who answered the first call told me that a salesman would contact me and make an appointment to come round and measure up. She couldn't tell me if the discounts applied in my area or for the items I wished to consider.
A few days later Mr D made an appointment and turned up on 23rd March as arranged to measure up.
Mr. D was charming and assured me that all could be done and showed me fine samples of the types of fittings I could choose from. He was reluctant to suggest even a ball park figure until I had gone through the rather lengthy selection procedure. When at last I reached a final decision he recoiled in horror and exclaimed " Had no-one from the office told me that the minimum purchase was at least twice what I wanted and shouldn't I have some shutters on the kitchen as well or the deal could not be done".
He then offered to make a call to his boss to ask for a special favour for me to order just one shutter at £220.
I said fine or I didn't want one. He went outside to make a lengthy call to someone and came back to tell me how lucky I was that he had been able to secure such a wonderful deal for me.
I replied that I wasn't lucky, he was. I only wanted one shutter and if he couldn't do it it didn't really matter.
He had spent quite a while "price conditioning" me and trying to make me feel that he had done me a big favour. I paid him half in cash and waited for the next guy to make an appointment.
On the 26th March Mr. H came round and measured up. He would also return to install the shutters. As he left he said, Hadn't someone from the office told me that the delivery on these shutters was up to ten weeks.
I worked out that they would be installed before we went away on holiday and agreed to an instalment date of early June.
Early in June I got a call from Mr. H to tell me that my shutters hadn't made it on the ship from China. There was nothing he could do about it and I should ring the office at Hillary's. I then researched Hillary's on the internet and decided not to waste my time. We went and bought a piece of ply and screwed it to the inside of the window before we went away.
They don't do themselves any favours by misrepresenting offers and leaving out the small print till the job's ordered and hand-balling all the responsibility down a line of communication that doesn't work.
Last of all, as we were admiring the nearly completed job we were told by Mr. H that Hillary's don't supply the filler for the sides in the right colour for our blinds and he could only do it in white and we would have to paint it over, and the screw covers only came in cream in a tacky plastic.
We weren't surprised in the least and pleaded with him to go and assured him we could do a better job of finishing it all ourselves.
I can't do much about Hillary's but you all can.
LEAVE THEM ALONE