Why do we have to go through life! While things could be a lot simpler and well no, I try by all means to entangle myself with words that the best cooks completely ignore, this is indeed one of my great faults. To be clearer, I could have said “why complicate my life”, well no, I went for the word tarabiscoté which is a word from Italian. It’s a tool used by carpenters in the renaissance era, it was intended to make complex moldings along curved edges, it is certainly not used today for the manufacture of a built-in kitchen. However, I use this word not to entangle you, but rather to tell you my story.
Hello, well yes, I’m still here and if I haven’t written a single article in 6 months, it’s because I bought a kitchen at Basto! Without naming it specifically, however if you replace the first letter with the third of the alphabet, you’ll understand who I’m talking about. You’re going to tell me ho, hey, eh man, but what a connection! Wait a minute, butterfly, I’ll tell you. If you don’t live in France, of course you don’t know what Basto is, it’s a chain of stores, which sell gardening equipment, tools and DIY, but they’ve also been selling built-in kitchens and bathrooms for a few years now. From time to time I go to buy some screws, a plant, or glue, which I need either for DIY, gardening, or fixing a painting. I also stop to look for some original ideas, the ones I never thought I would have without first surveying the gondolas and cantonades of this store. Every time I pass in front of the kitchen department, I get stuck in front of these pretty kitchen pieces and there I start to imagine myself cooking at home, I open and close these drawers that close by themselves when pushed gently as if by magic and without any spring, or these revolving cupboards that make you take out all the kitchen utensils and all you have to do is help yourself. As a general rule, you have to flirt with all those in front of you so that you can finally woo those at the back. My kitchen is 25 years old, that’s a good life span, it’s not in a bad state considering the use we make of it, but I like to change, especially because I think it could make my life easier and because I like to cook. Certainly, when I saw that he was offering -20% off promotions and a zero interest rate credit for the purchase of a kitchen installed and assembled by a specialist, I went for it, it was last December. Me, I love the idea of change in my home it’s a need, as usual my wife is opposed to it, she doesn’t like change maybe she’s right, why bother with life and do unnecessary work, then nowadays, we almost rarely use the kitchen, except to heat a pizza in the microwave, or to reheat fries in the oven. It’s true that from time to time, I make a little recipe or a little snack, because it’s good for our health and socially, it’s nice to get together as a family, to get busy to make a meal in which everyone participates in their own way and in turn to do their part in the cooking, it’s a real joy, and a joy of living. So I asked for an appointment with a salesman that I got quickly, a very nice person and good advice, this one finishes the project, comes out with a plan of all the elements in the form of a 3 D drawing, a reasonable price, except for the price of the installation which represents approximately 40% of the total price. He mandates a craftsman partner of store to make a per-visit. The latter comes to my home and gives us advice and makes additional modifications to finalize the project. The contract with the store is signed, but to get an appointment for an installation, I had to wait almost four months, normally I would say you, it is work that takes time and you have to wait your turn.
The first day of installation! The installer contacts me one month before the date of the initial appointment, during the first-visit to bring it forward by one week, and although the kitchen furniture arrived one month after the contract was signed, I decided to leave it at Basto because at home I had no room to store it. I gladly accept that the appointment be brought forward, because I was a little afraid of finding my furniture in poor condition after a long period of storage. Two months in a damp warehouse where the pieces are moved regularly, there is a possible risk of finding them scattered. In short, the first day of the installation was a Wednesday, the installer shows up at the agreed time, but he tells me he only works half the day because he had an appointment with his accountant to finish his balance sheet. Okay no problem, I bought a complete kitchen service plus installation, it’s up to him to arrange to finish the installation by Friday as promised. I go home at noon to check on the progress of the work, which obviously seemed to be progressing well, unpacking of the boxes was in full swing, loose furniture everywhere that you can barely make your way through all the rooms stored in the house. So I ask the craftsman if everything is OK, and he says no, there is nothing ok, there are two missing worktops, there is white furniture whereas I ordered a grey kitchen, there is some extra furniture not ordered but delivered by mistake, and other furniture missing. Wahoo, that alone is a bit of a mess, since I had already cleared out the old kitchen, and I didn’t plan to live in a construction site for more than seven days. I was also scared because it takes time to order new furniture, not to mention the appointment with the craftsman partner of Basto. So to avoid repetition, I tell you the rest through this letter I wrote to Basto:
Sir, I’m telling you about our situation after buying a kitchen in one of your BASTO stores, one of the biggest French brands. A little licking is only hurtful and it can help, it’s my wife’s idea. Our kitchen on plan was bought in December 2017 in your store Basto BJ, the person who took charge of our project was Mrs V.G. We ordered a complete kitchen and installation service. The installation of our kitchen was scheduled for Wednesday, March 28th, your craftsman SARL IRAI… contacted us at the end of February to ask us to advance the appointment by one week and we accepted. So far everything went well, we went to pick up the kitchen furniture on Saturday 17 March 2018 to be ready to receive your partner craftsman on Wednesday 21 March. We dismantled our old kitchen and cleaned and painted the walls to receive the new one. The installation was scheduled over three days, March 21, 22 and 23. As agreed your installer came to our house at 8:00 am on Wednesday morning, our 20 year old son was present during the installation. In the middle of the morning my son contacts me to tell me that your craftsman has noticed several anomalies, so I leave my work to go to my home to discuss with him and understand what is wrong. Arrived at my home, he announces to me:
- There was white furniture while our kitchen is gray.
- That a part of the worktop was missing even though it was on the order form but that it would not have been ordered because the order form would not have been validated at the checkout.
- That there was additional furniture delivered but not ordered and not paid for.
After this inventory of fixtures, he tells me that he won’t work more than half a day since he had an appointment with his accountant to finish his balance sheet. Moreover, since he was missing the work plan to install the hob, he was willing to install it for us but on a small temporary board. He also decided to install the dishwasher on the left side of the sink that according to him “it’s better that way,” and he told me that he would come back the next day to get on with his work and that he had warned the Basto store of all the problems he had encountered in the morning. Finally he tells me that the wire coming out of the floor to feed the hob was going to remain visible because he couldn’t do otherwise but that he could eventually tie it up so that we wouldn’t trip over it. For your information this wire was well hidden in the old kitchen. I tell him that the furniture was ordered and checked by Basto and that it was not possible to order a built-in kitchen without all the worktops, that there must have been a mistake. He then tells me that I have to contact Basto to solve the problem because he is not responsible for other people’s mistakes. I tell him that for the location of the dishwasher, I have to see with my wife to see if she agrees to place it on the left side of the sink instead of the right side as planned on the plan. On that note, it goes. Dumbfounded by this observation, I contact Basto, Mrs M.C. tells me that she is aware of the problems we have, I ask her if she agreed that your craftsman installs the hob temporarily on a small board, she tells me that she offered to deliver him a temporary work plan and that he had refused. I ask her why, she answers that she doesn’t know but that she will deliver a temporary work plan on Thursday morning and that she will see with him. I tell her about the dishwasher and that it should be put back as planned on the plan, and that the installer had broken a leg when he moved it and put a piece of wood in it so that it would not be wobbly. In the evening, the craftsman calls me back to tell me that on Friday I have to sign off on the completion of the work for him to get his money because he is not responsible and I can trust him. I tell him that he won’t do it as long as there are some things missing to finish the kitchen. He tells me that Basto’s problems are not his own. I remind him that I didn’t know him when we started our kitchen project and that we had signed a contract with Basto and that for us he represented Basto. On Thursday morning, he shows up at our house again, he tells my son that he cannot install the dishwasher as shown on the plan, without us doing plumbing work, that the tiles on the wall hinder the installation of the oven and that the wires of the hood are off-center so he goes home. As a reminder, when he came to do the metric visit he did not express any reservations. I leave my work again on Thursday to go to your shop; Mrs S. of the service contacts the SARL I. and your craftsman tells him that he will not come back to us for the same facts that he had announced to my son the same morning. She also announces to me that the craftsman of the store is not obliged to carry out the installation of the household appliances which are not bought at Basto. I tell her that this condition had been agreed to when we bought our kitchen, and it is clearly indicated on our order form. Given the state of stress and nervousness, at that time I was ready to drop off the entire kitchen in front of your store and ask for the cancellation of the credit contract. On Saturday morning my wife contacted Mrs M.C. to check the situation and we agreed on an appointment in the afternoon at 3 pm in the presence of Mrs S. from the installation service.
We indicate to Mrs. M.C. that we find this situation unacceptable, very professional she indicates to us that she ordered the missing worktop and furniture so that this can happen as soon as possible. We discuss together the solutions we could envisage to get out of this chaos, because since Wednesday, the pleasure of changing our kitchen had turned into a nightmare. She acknowledges that all this is not as planned and as a commercial proposition, she offers to give us the missing furniture and worktop to compensate us. She also told us that another craftsman was going to contact us again to see what he could do, possibly connect the sink and hob while waiting to receive the furniture and worktop. She made it clear to us that this is a temporary solution as he is not available to install the kitchen for us until mid-June. We have been living for 8 days in a worksite organisation, since Wednesday we have been under tension as we realise that the pleasure of having a new kitchen has turned into a nightmare. Not to mention all the calls to the store and the absences from our work to solve all the problems. We were supposed to party this weekend, our kitchen is the main living room in our house, for the last 8 days we have been living in a yard, and we don’t know when all this is going to end. For this, we ask for a really significant compensation because this general disorganization in your services not only causes a disorganization of our family life but also of some personal projects that we are forced to cancel and this is detrimental to us. We thank you for the physical and nervous fatigue caused by this deplorable situation.
The kitchen has just been installed, 6 months after signing the contract, we have obtained from the Basto store, the free installation, free of charge of the missing furniture as compensation. Now, we have got used to living in camping mode inside our house, our habits and our way of working have changed, will we find our old habits again, maybe, in the meantime, I find my computer that I broke during the works, the kitchen utensils start to leave my office which has become a storage place, to find their places and I find my office again. The question is if tomorrow you feel like changing your kitchen, and if living in a construction site for 6 months leaves you indifferent, all this without dying of a fit of irritation when you meet a craftsman partner Basto, or his girlfriend from the service poses. You then have to buy your kitchen from Basto, because half of the furniture is free, as well as the installation. Personally, after this very bad experience, I would think ten times before taking the step.
I leave you with a big kiss.