Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Story of the Carpet Salesman and the Cranky German

On Friday night at 1830 the carpet salesman knocked on our door.

A lovely young man we shall call Johnathon ('cause that's actually his real name) took the time to visit us after hours so that Mr Hausfrau could be home.

He measured the whole house and then we got down to business selecting carpets and laminate flooring.

We settled on some top quality German (of course) laminate that should be feral kid dog resistant then set to work picking matching carpets.

It was after 9pm when we were done and Johnathon set to work calculating the cost.

I've got nothing to hide so I'll even share that with you as it's a major part of the story.


We were budgeting $10k but considering we decided on better carpet in the kids bedrooms and top quality laminate flooring that we decided to put in the kids playroom too instead of carpet I didn't have too much of a heart attack.

We said "round it down to $11k and it's a deal!"

Johnathon needed to call his manager who we shall call Aaron ('cause that's actually his real name. His real chosen English name 'cause no one can pronounce his real Asian name apparently)

Aaron agreed on the price.

Then came the talk of the deposit and the beginning of the cranky German part of the story.

None of this "this quote is valid for 14 days" type of crap with these people. They wanted 30% deposit right there and then to secure the flooring which may or may not be available next week if we waited.

Did you do the math? 30% of $11k? It's $3300!

We kindly explained to Jonathon that we only had $500 available to secure the order until the bank deposited the money into our account sometime this week.

Johnathon being the lovely man he is totally understood but he had to ring Aaron to confirm.

Aaron said no.

Mr Hausfrau requested to speak to Aaron. Mr Hausfrau explained to him that we are not planning to shop around - we want their flooring and we are willing to pay the total amount within a week.

Aaron said he would need to speak to his state manager.

Aaron calls back. The state manager said 10% deposit (apparently this was just a ploy - the state manager wasn't actually called)

Johnathon again explained to Aaron that we only have $500 available until next week.

It was around this stage that I suggested to Johnathon that since we need to wait 2 months for the laminate that maybe we could just order the carpet now with the $500 deposit and we'll order the laminate next week once the money is in.

Johnathon suggests this to Aaron.

Aaron says..... "Ok but with a $800 deposit"


Mr Hausfrau puts his hand out to Johnathon to give him the phone. He now means business. I can tell as his German accent always gets thicker when he's angry.

The conversation goes something like this. (You need to imagine it in a scary German voice)

"Aaron. What part of "we have $500 to give you today and we will pay the entire $10500 next week don't you understand?"

I work in the car industry and if someone wants a $60,000 car that is months away from delivery they only need to pay $100 deposit and you're asking $3300 right here and now at 9pm at night??

We are not going to shop around. We are not screwing with you. We are willing to pay the entire amount in full next week even though the laminate will not available to us until August.

You either want our business or you don't. Do you want it? Yes or no? Do you want our business - YES OR NO???????"

At this stage I was cowering in the kitchen mouthing to Johnathon "I. Am. So. Sorry"

Mr Hausfrau hands the phone back to Johnathon. He's done it. Aaron accepted our $500 deposit and the contracts are signed.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for rules and procedures. I just think that not everything in this world is black or white. There needs to be room for change and tweaking of the rules. Even Johnathon realised this.

In the end it all worked out - even if I had to email them today to remind them to take the money from the account. Couldn't have been too eager to take our money after all!

This isn't a positive or negative against the company. We thought Johnathon was GREAT - put in a lot of effort, got here at 1830, didn't leave until 2230 and still had another client to go and see on the way home!

I won't name the company - let's just say that if you need carpet you can call them - just make sure you have 30% on you there and then.

What do you think? 30% deposit too much or just the fact that they expect it at the time of the quote with no "thinking about it" period?
The security screen people need 30% too but gave us 14 days to get back to them.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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  1. Wow, that's insane! I'm really glad you were able to sort something out, 30% deposit immediately sounds pretty unreasonable to me.

  2. Ill be honest and say that I thought by law there had to be at least a 14 day cooling-off period. Are you allowed to change your mind and cancel the order with no more to pay if you do? Mate it's different in different states. I totally agree though that there is no reason why as good business practice you wouldn't take the $500 deposit, especially when you have a wait on delivery for some of the goods. Good in Mr. Hausfrau for not backing down.

  3. Hmmm in our business (electronic security installation) we charge 30% on large jobs upon acceptance of proposal. Your experience is very weird I'd be going to the consumer affairs about it.

  4. Oh man what a nightmare and so late at night too! I think that is VERY unreasonable and glad they saw sense. I mean they'd be stupid not to considering the size of the sale - go Mr Hausfrau for standing his ground :) Love the meme BTW :)


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