When I moved here, I had a “mother and child” lamp, which I’ve used as the main illumination in my living room since.

Sadly, both bulbs in the lamp were halogens, so it’s been a bit of an energy hog – which I realised more once I’d bought my OWL energy monitor and saw the way the usage figures went up when I turned the lights on.

As a result, I said that when the bulb(s) finally blew, I’d replace the lamp with one that was more energy-efficient (or at least was able to use more energy-efficient bulbs) and that finally happened today.

So – a new lamp has now been purchased, assembled, and installed. It’s a similar style of ‘mother and child’, but both bulbs are non-halogen and standard-fitting, with eco-bulbs in.

The drop in power-usage is pretty noticable already, and it should result in a noticeable drop in the electricity bill.

All told, I see that as a success all round.

Kitchen Doors

You’d think we’d have learned after the last farce with B&Q about kitchen doors, but no – Herself found the ones we liked, and ordered them from Ballsup and Quit. And the delivery was due today…

Oh dear, oh lord, oh what a to-do. I don’t know quite how to break it to you, gentle reader – so brace yourself.

B&Q delivered everything. On time. And it all appears to be correct – even the kitchen worktops. My gob has never been so smacked.

It looks like (in fairness to them) B&Q have sorted themselves out in the intervening time, and now everything is bar-coded, and checked in a hand-held terminal before it comes off the truck. If there’s stuff missing, the terminal won’t let them make the delivery.

It makes the delivery a lot slower – they were sodding about on the truck for a good twenty minutes before anything came off it at all – but it means we’ve got everything, and it’s all ready to go.

So fair’s fair. In this case, B&Q has definitely improved, and upped it’s game. Despite myself, I’m impressed.

B&Q Fuckwitticus Commentiara

Last night, I got another comment on one of my B&Q posts, obviously by someone who doesn’t really understand the entire concept of “read the post, then comment on it”.

This time the comment was

this place is full of shit! did your mum and daddy not teach you fucking manners? try being in our shoes for a day then you’ll know.

Which, considering it was related to the post where I was very polite to the fuckwit chimp “manager” when we were trying to get a sample tile in order to buy 125m² of them. (And yeah, B&Q did lose the sale because of the attitude, but I was still polite to the cretin)

Still, it all adds to the amusement, I guess.

B&Q – Another Attempt

I forgot to say at the time, (although I did mention it in the summary of the week) but when we were checking out quotes and costs for getting floor tiles for the house – a large task, but one that makes a lot of sense in the long run- we decided to brave B&Q again. After all, I’ve slagged off their home delivery service and website, and the comments from various B&Q employees on there have all made out that the people in the store are a lot better.
Now bear in mind I didn’t go in with the attitude “B&Q are shit” or any preconceptions – and also bear in mind that we’ll be going back later for some of the things we do want, which we’ve seen there for decent prices.
Anyway, we’re looking for (at the time – the specs changed slightly later on) roughly 126m² of floor tiles. That equates to One Fuck Of A Lot of tiles. About a thousand tiles, depending on the tile size (obviously) and when you take into account the amunt of tile adhesive and grout we want as well, we’re talking somewhere around the £2-2,500 mark.
We see a tile type we like, and (when we eventually find one) ask a member of the staff team whether it’s possible to buy one tile to take home to check we like the things when they’re in situ.
“Oh, I dunno, snomydeparmen. I’llgoantryanfinesommunwhoknows” Roughly translated, this works out as “Oh, I don’t know. Sorry, it’s not my department. Wait here, and I’ll go and try to find someone who does know, and may be able to help you“. I think.
We wait.
Eventually he comes back with someone else.
“We don’t do sample tiles. It’s not policy”
“We’re not wanting to just take one, we’re quite happy to pay for it”
“We don’t do sample tiles. It’s not policy. You can buy a complete box, and bring it back for a refund”
“We don’t want a box. We just want one tile so we can see how it looks. Look, here’s one that’s seperate, so you don’t even need to break open a pack
“We don’t do sample tiles. It’s not policy.You can buy a complete box, and then bring it back for a refund”
“Look, we’re going to be buying a hundred and twenty five square metres of these tiles. We would like to buy this one seperate tile, so we can see how it looks in the place before buying two grands worth of tiles, plus adhesive and grout”
You guessed it.
“We don’t do sample tiles. You can buy a full box, then return it if you don’t like them”
“OK, so for want of this one seperate tile, you’re prepared to lose a sale of about two thousand pounds?”
“We don’t do sample tiles”
“Can I speak to your manager please? I’d just like them to know why they’re going to lose this amount of business
“I am the manager” (Aye, right)
“OK, then. You’ve just lost our business, because you won’t let us buy this one tile, because it’s ‘not policy’. That’s two grand (roughly) plus all the adhesive, tile grout and so on. Nice work.

He did let us have the tile in the end, once we’d started walking away. Amazing what that’ll do, just demonstrating that actually yes, you can find other places, and that B&Q aren’t the be-all and end-all of the business. I’m not quite sure what the ‘policy’ is that he was quoting, but I suspect it’s “B&Q have a policy of not wanting large dollops of business. Piss off to a proper place instead”

Unsurprisingly, we won’t be going with them for the tiles. And yet again it gives the lie to all those commenters who say that the staff in-store at B&Q are really helpful and do their best to help anyone who asks.

In my store (replicated across the entire network) we give 200% effort into giving every single customer excelent customer service.

Aye, right. 200% of fuck-all is still fuck-all.

Dancing On

As someone called Chris pointed out, it really is quite surprising in some ways that I haven’t yet mentioned about B&Q’s Norwich store, and their bizarre interview techniques. (Except of course, I now have – and was planning to anyway)

Mind you, I think it’s actually pretty apt that they’d ask prospective employees to dance and pull funny faces. After all, B&Q have always appeared to have a preference for employing clowns…

B&Q – Comments and Feedback

Back in February 2005, I wrote a very snarky post about B&Q‘s general inefficiency, incompetence, and piss-poor attitude.

It’s had a fair number of comments along the way, but yesterday, some charming person from B&Q dropped by to leave his thoughts.



No, not another set of events with that bunch of cunts, but having just looked through my referrers, and checked back, I’m pleased to confirm that I’m now in the top 10 on Google for the search “B&Q customer services“.

Told you I’d manage it…