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A dream about a fireplace ends up as a nightmareI have been dreaming of my new fireplace since July, knowing that if it wasn’t ordered, delivered and installed by September that I probably wouldn’t get it until well after I needed it.
So at the beginning of August I chose one in Leroy Merlin. Why Leroy Merlin? Well I ‘d already had a few fairly good experiences there; buying floor tiles for example. The staff are friendly and even have a sense of humour, which is not often the case elsewhere. There is a large selection of stuff, well displayed and decently priced. Moreover having bought a fireplace two years ago and then all the bits and pieces and got someone to put all the stuff together, I decide on the luxury route this time of making a single order and having everything delivered and installed all in one fell swoop. At least that’s what I thought I had done.
The dream started most agreeably : I managed to get a fireplace with a reduction since it was a model d’expo and nobody else buys a fireplace in August. And they even managed to find a delivery date just a few days later. The installer was going to come almost immediately to check on the installation so it seemed reasonable as I wrote my cheque out for some 3,000 euros that I would have my fireplace safely installed well before the end of August.
But then things started to go badly wrong. A day later Leroy Merlin called and told me that I would have to go back to the shop to pay for the installation ( each visit slashes three hours from my day). Annoying to say the least since they had promised that I would be able to pay the installer directly in order to save a trip back to the shop. Two days later even worse news: they hadn’t realized that for the installation I needed to buy a whole lot of material. Bad news because it meant forking out an additional 1,000 euros which I hadn’t bargained for. Bad news also because I had to slash another three hours from another day. But even worse news when I got there: the additional material needed, had to be ordered ……..and would take three weeks to arrive, which took us well into September when the holidays were over and I would no longer be at the house.
Now that was already awful; But imagine when the 10th September arrives and there’s no news from Leroy Merlin. When I called them to see what had happened, they seem to have forgotten about it entirely. Strange when already so much had gone seriously wrong.
Finally they admitted at being at fault and apologised that the fireplace could now not be delivered and installed until the 10th October.
At this point I decided that thee only sensible course of action was to cancel. The possibility of ever getting the correct fireplace and material delivered and installed seemed to be close to zero if Leroy Merlin had anything to do with it. But sadly in (retrospect), when I told them I wanted to cancel the order, Leroy Merlin offered to pay for my Eurostar ticket to come over from London for the new date of installation. And I relented.
The 10th October arrived and after a very, very early start I go to the house at 8am in the morning. I was both surprised and relieved when someone turned up before nine to begin the installation.
But at 10am my initial suspicions were confirmed. The installer informed me that an essential part of the material for the installation was missing………and that he was leaving.
At that moment I didn’t know whether to scream or cry. And I ended up doing both. I had come all the way to France from the UK for nothing.
Leroy Merlin called me to aplogise and to inform me that they were looking for the part in question and that the installer would be back the same day to install the fireplace. My hopes rose again. Only to be dashed at three in the afternoon when Leroy Merlin called me to say that the vital part could be found nowhere, and would have to ordered. And that I would have to wait another THREE weeks.
There was a mild apology, but the man who was responsible for the installations refused to take the blame, saying it wasn’t him who was responsible but the store he worked for, and really that it was the salesman’s fault. He didn’t really understand that he had wasted an entire day of my life and that the fireplace, would be installed over two months after it should have been………that is if I am very lucky. Of course when the part does arrive the installer will probably be booked until next March, so I will end up with my fireplace once winter is over…….Watch this space and if you want to stay sane don’t rely on Leroy Merlin for anything more than something which you can buy and take right home with you there and then.