Friday, June 23, 2006

"Pro" Source

So we are finally getting rid of the nasty carpet in the main part of our house. It was pretty pukey when we moved in four years ago, and with chicken's vomit, two babies vomit, two babies hurling food whereever they can, and lots of foot traffic it hasn't really gotten much better. We had it cleaned a couple times, other than vacuuming, but it never looked good. We decided to go with laminate (fake wood) instead of carpet (since our kids still throw food and chicken still vomits pretty frequently).
So we fished around a bit for someone to do the install and find the right kind. We found an installer we like, and got quotes from him, compared them around. So far so good. He gives us his credentials to shop at a warehouse (non-retail store). The kid, and I use that term with the mild disgust that only one of my wizened 38 years can really muster, who was our sales person was 'super' helpful.
1. We asked to see mid-range laminate, we were hoping to spend around $2.00/sq foot or less. He led us to the Pergo (which is top of the line). And when I say 'led us', I mean 'pointed to'. 80% of Pergo runs around $5.00/sq ft.
2. When we showed signs of sticker shock, he disappeared. We found some reasonable looking other brands for closer to $3.00/sq ft. Eventually he retuend. We mentioned that our Installer said he had a special rate that we would pay, not the retail cost (true). He looked non-plussed but went to talk with a manager. He returned saying they'd give us 20% off, but had no clue whether that was our guy's rate or not.
3. So we kept looking, calculating in our minds the costs -20%. Then he comes back and reminds us that the next day was their BIG SALE, everything would be discounted. How much we asked. He said 5%, then 10%, then 15%. But he looked confused. So we asked about how that combined with the 20% off. They all add up he said. So 35% off we asked? Yes 35% off.
4. We found some we liked (mentally claculating 35% off, and brought then home, made our pick) and Carly went back today. He wasn't there, and nobody could make sense of his claim that we'd get 15%+20% off.. Sigh.. We got a total of 25%. Which is fine, we ended picking a fairly inexpensive laminate anyway, so that is fine. But, it was annoying to have a couple hundred dollars suddenly appear on the quote.

I don't think he was a car salesman dicking us around trying to squeeze a sale from us, I truly believe he was just ignorant of the prices and discounts. Which by itself it frustrating when you go a place that is totally foreign (like a wholesale place as a consumer)

What is particularly irksome about this, is the whole BIG SALE thing. When we were there, there were a handful of people sitting around, no one doing much work. The place was empty.
Now they were going to have this big sale. There were already lots of signs. They invited us back for hotdogs, beer and margheritas. Sounds like a swell time.
So I don't know, maybe during a planning meeting for this event, the four of them could have gotten together and said. Hey, here is the discount we are offering during this SALE. If a customer buys something, they get 5% off. Was that 15% off sir? No, 5%.

Is that really asking too much?


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