April 18, 2015

A KITCHEN NIGHTMARE

kitchen floor

As soon as the kitchen floor was finished we moved back in amongst the dust and chaos to begin the next phase, which was to board over the remaining walls and fit plumbing, gas and an electricity supply, ready for the imminent arrival of the kitchen units from the UK. 

The day before the delivery was scheduled the manufacturers phoned to say they realised they had ordered two of the wall units in the wrong size.  How they managed to discover such an error several days after the kitchen had been despatched to the shippers was baffling and I was annoyed to think that we would have to wait several weeks longer for the kitchen to be finished.  Little did we know that much, much worse was to come.

kitchen damage1

At last the delivery arrived but when the lorry driver started unloading the pallets containing our beautiful brand new Magnet units I had a feeling that something was wrong and my heart sank.

kitchen damage3

After everything we have done to the house so far – a new fosse septique, a new drive, a new kitchen floor, new walls, new doorway and, not least of all the choosing, designing and paying for a lovely new Magnet kitchen – you would think that simply getting the units shipped over here would be the easiest part.  All they had to do was to secure them on pallets, put them onto a van and drive them here.

kitchen damage4 kitchen damage5

kitchen damage

Unfortunately whoever loaded the pallets did a thoroughly incompetent job which meant that several of the units arrived broken.  Cartons marked “fragile” and “this way up” had been laid on their side with other stuff piled on top of them.  Someone had clearly driven the forks of a fork lift into two of the base units, smashing them.  Then they rewrapped them in cling film so the damage was not apparent until the whole pallet was unpacked.  What kind of person would do that? 

Replacements were bought but I wouldn’t trust Europa Worldwide to arrange the delivery of anything I ever want to see in one piece again, so we decided to fetch them ourselves.  Which unfortunately meant yet another unscheduled and costly twelve hour each way journey across the channel (fourteen hours in fact with a trailer) that we really didn’t want to have to make.  Thank you, Europa Worldwide.

kitchen damage2

Our temporary new kitchen.  The gaps are where the damaged units should have gone, thanks to the idiot with the fork lift.

We have fitted the items salvaged from the wreckage of the delivery, added some temporary cheap worktops to perch the sink and hob on top of, so that at least we can function for a week or two until we can get the new units fitted.  Meanwhile we are claiming for the damage on Europa’s insurance.  In my opinion insurance should be against accidents, not negligence or incompetence, which is what caused the damage to our kitchen units.  No accident occurred other than being in the hands of some bonehead intent on wrecking our valuable property and then hiding the evidence.

C’est la vie.

Nick is back with a trailer and car full of the replacement units, and is pretty exhausted.  But we should be able to get on with building the rest of the kitchen in the next few days and, barring finishing the twiddly bits, should have it complete in another week or so.  I sincerely hope so anyway.

Bon Dimanche!

20 comments:

  1. I do hope they take responsibility for their incompetence, it really makes me appreciate it when someone takes pride in their work and responsibility when they mess things up.

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    1. Travel, it's a shame that these days few people seem to take pride in doing a good job and when they do, we notice it.
      People are more likely to do a mediocre job, which is the norm, but this is beyond mediocre, it's unforgiveable.

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  2. ...just in time for us to arrive to see it! Sorry that we weren't around to help in some way. Tim would have happily made the journey with Nick to share the driving etc.

    Bon courage..

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  3. It makes you wonder... did they think that you wouldn't notice the cover up? It's all looking good so far. Not long now.

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  4. I remember when our wood-burning stove was delivered all those years ago: it also had been damaged somewhere along the way. The delivery guys had to take it back and we had to wait for a second delivery. Luckily, the dealer where we bought the stove was just across the river in Noyers, so the wait was short. A few years later, we also had a kitchen stove delivered that had been damaged somewhere along the way. Stuff happens.

    The other day, Nick mentioned that you can't get French TV through your Orange Livebox. He said he thought something was wrong with the box. Thinking about that, I'm wondering whether you can get TV via ADSL at all, because the speed of your line is not up to the task. We never could get TV via ADSL here until a few months ago, when our line was boosted from 2mbits/sec. up to 10 by Orange. Might not be worth messing with the Livebox to try to configure or fix it until you find out if ADSL TV is even an option where you are located. Did it ever work?

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    1. We can't even get U-Bend videos here if more than just us are using the line out from the village!!
      And you are about the same distance from both GP and Paulmy...
      Tim

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    2. Tim, the internet is definitely slower here than in the village, although it seems to have perked up this last few weeks.
      We can sometimes view youtube, more often not.

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    3. Ken, I shall direct Nick to your question, he's the one that likes tinkering with stuff!

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    4. If you really want French TV, you'll probably need a satellite dish or an old-fashioned TV aerial to get it. Maybe you have an aerial. It will get TNT with 20 or 25 channels.

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    5. I meant to say, no amount of tinkering is going to speed up your internet connection...

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  5. Bleedin' 'eck, Jean....
    no wonder you said you were spitting nails!!
    I'd be loading them into a blunderbuss and aiming very carefully....
    Thoughts are with you... it must be so disheartening...
    Thinking on Craig's comment....
    I think that the cover up was done by the idiot forklift driver....
    to hide the damage from the people who were in charge at the warehouse it happened in!!
    Tim

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  6. I feel your pain!
    You will end up with a wonderful kitchen, and all will be forgotten :) (I hope ;) )

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  7. I so feel for you. Hope your dream house isn't turning into a nightmare. Bon courage ... hope that in a month or two you will be able to enjoy summer without all the troubles gone and forgotten. Hug, Martine

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  8. Arrgghh! Makes me glad we endangered the suspension of the very small campervan and ferried our kitchen units across ourselves. They were only B&Q's most basic kind, but I would still have been very annoyed to see the kind of damage yours have sustained. I love the look of what you have achieved so far and hope the replacements will arrive soon.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your 'Kitchen nightmares' (isn't that a TV prog?). I am sure you know that you can get UK TV with freeview SKY and a dish, works in Preuilly s/Claise. Good luck with the rest of the project Debs.

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  10. It would be so much better if they'd just been honest to start with. How stupid of them just to think that you wouldn't notice and complain! Far too many people going around thinking nothing is ever their fault. It'll all be worth it in the end, I'm sure. x

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  11. Oh Jean, this is terrible news but I hope by now you have got somewhere with sorting it all out and insurance. How can they just hide damage like that.

    Friends of ours have just had a jacuzzi delivered in the Dordogne ( I don't know who the transport company was) but one side and a corner was smashed. It was also not easy to see, and any problems had to be claimed in 3 days. It was a couple of weeks before they moved it into place and saw the damage. The company has agreed to cover costs though luckily! Good luck, Diane

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  12. I've been checking back in periodically, hoping to see a happy update :) I hope things are moving along well for you two.

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    1. Judy, thanks for the nudge!
      We lurch from one crisis to the next but things are definitely moving along. I promise to post soon!

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