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Saturday, 21 January 2012

There is something strange going on here . . .

. . . it is Saturday and I am blogging.

To be honest, there cannot be much more for me to say after the two, yes count them, two blogs yesterday.  I should probably be doing some Root Cause Analysis.  For those not familiar with this particular technique, simply consider the similarity of the phrase to "root canal surgery" and you should at least get close to the buttock-clenching aspect of it.

The only other news of note, and when I say "of note" that may be open to debate, is that after work yesterday we made a painless purchase and some serious decision-making.

The painless purchase was a tumble dryer.  Ours has packed up, and you may recall another "of note" moment a month ago when our dishwasher did likewise.  That model was an AEG, a pretty good make I hear you cry, yet it still went wrong, and in a break from tradition*, we have decided to buy at the bottom end of the market, a Beko if you are interested.

So, having done some research in Which? I had a list of the best.  This list starts, as usual, with all the German makes, in the £600-1000 range.  I was looking more in the £0-200 range, and found that way down the list, but at least on the list and seen as pretty good for the money.
I had then been online to see what the Internet had to offer, and as usual it had lots, however the best cheap models in Which? were not available at any retailers, and the next ones down were available at certain retailers which we trust, but not at the right price, or with 5 days delivery. i.e. I was unable to find the combination of:

  • a model on the Which? list
  • in my price range
  • from a retailer I trusted
  • with a delivery time soon enough.  
To be honest, the whole thing was driving me bonkers.

We therefore nipped out at the end of the day yesterday to a local independent shop.  This is well-known to us only because E often buys his stuff from there, his policy being to "try and spend his money with the little guy".  We walked in, found a dryer that ticked all the boxes and, get this, could be delivered an hour later.  Sold to the man in the hat.  Now that is what I can service.  Not quite the cheapest we could have got it, but not far off, and to be honest him being a "little man" and able to deliver that evening, we did not even have the heart to haggle.  Result.

The "serious decision making" was about the tiles for our downstairs shower room.  This has so far been a victim of the lack of budget, and neither of us were looking forward to the mental contortions that would be needed to choose "not too expensive but not cheap that looks good and is in-keeping with the overall scheme and a bit funky".

We strolled in the the local tile shop where we bought our floor slates, an establishment that we had previously discounted as "a bit cheap" but one we now know is full of good quality at a reasonable price** and have found what we need.  An "accent tile" that is glassy and silver - which satisfies "funky" and "in keeping" - and a large white tile, good value but not too cheap and large so minimising grout lines - which satisfies practical and on budget.  The guy who helped us was the guy who had delivered the slates previously, a long back-breaking job for both of us, and he made mention of a discount, which is good.  When I suggested I might be back tomorrow he said "don't come in tomorrow, Wendy is on and she is as tight as ar##holes".  I shall be returning Monday to make the order.

* As a rule, we live the adage "buy right, buy once" and look to buy the best quality that we can afford.  indeed, in support of this strategy we have a subscription to Which? and I always use that as a guide for any major purchase.
** unlike our previous favourite joint where the price was never the price.  On one hand this means there is always a deal to be done, but on the other hand it also means that they seem to just make up the price and you always feel like that, whatever the discount, they are ripping you off a bit.

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