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Why I Now Hate B&Q and Toto

lummerlaoshi (130 posts) • 0

Dear Fellow Kunmingers,

This is a rant so please ignore if not applicable to you. I usually try to keep my China troubles to myself, but this is also a general warning to stay way from B&Q (and DIY construction store) and Toto (a brand name for toilets, bathtubs, and the like). Here are the many strikes against them:

1. I went to buy paint for remodeling. The first day I went, there was a lady who gave me advice on the differences in paint. When I went back the following day to actually buy the paint, none of the employees had any clue about the paint and couldn't be bothered. They said only one employee had any knowledge and she wasn't working that day. They also convinced me to buy adhesive tape to cover door frames for painting, but the painter told me they sold me rubbish. Strike one.

2. Before I knew the nightmare of B&Q, I decided to buy a bathtub. Finally decided on one and tried to buy it. Wait, you need to pay extra for the drain and any attachments. That's nice. Oh wait, we don't have that model available. Well, which models do you have available? None. All need to be ordered from Timbuktu. So you are selling bathtubs that aren't really available? Yes. Strike two.

3. I should've left then, but I just wanted to finish with this one part of my remodeling before moving on so I bought the bathtub from B&Q that they could deliver it within 20 days. 20 days later, no bathtub, no communication. Eventually I call B&Q and ask where the bathtub is. The B&Q staff says she will look into it and call me later. 1 day later, still no communication, no call back. What's wrong with these people? Strike three.

4. I call again and ask about the bathtub. The staff says he will look into it and call back. I tell him that's exactly what happened before and then the staff never called back. He does eventually call back to tell me that the bathtub isn't ready yet. This is 25 days after purchase. He says he will call me when it's ready. Heads up, he doesn't call back. Strike four.

5. Later on, I call and call and call until finally the bathtub is ready to be delivered. We set a time and a date. Right before it's suppose to be delivered, the expensive drain and decorations that cost extra cannot be delivered because, oops, they haven't been made yet. Strike five.

6. The guys are set to deliver the tub at 9am. They arrive at 11am. They know my address so they know that the apartment is the top floor. Yet, they refuse to send it to the apartment because it's too high. Then, they argue that they need four people to lift the bathtub. So I argue, why do you only send three people if you need four people to lift the bathtub? They say they will leave the bathtub and not deliver it if I don't help them. WTF? Eventually, I just want everything to be over, so I help them up the stairs with the bathtub. Admittedly, it's pretty heavy, but WTF couldn't they arrange another person? Strike six.

7. The bathtub is delivered (with a scratch), but without the drain. Wait a minute, the person who I hired to install the bathtub says he cannot install without the drain. So I contact the Toto manufacture guy to ask about the drain. Oh, we haven't started making it yet. Wait, I ordered this 30+ days ago and you don't have it? Strike seven.

8. Eventually, the Toto guy says that he doesn't know when the drain will be made and he suggest I go back to B&Q to refund the drain and buy a new one. This is 40 days after purchase!!! Why the heck would I buy an expensive, stupid drain that will never be made and then go buy another one!!! Strike eight.

In general, stay way from B&Q and stay away from buying Toto. The after purchase service is horrible. There is no coordination between the store, the factories, and the delivery service. Now some of you may say "this is China" or "this is Kunming", but I've been working with a number of people for this apartment renovation and though everyone is late, things do eventually get done and they try to do things right. B&Q and Toto have shown complete incompetence throughout the process and an attitude of just not caring as long as they get your money. I will complain to the management of B&Q, but I know it will fall on deaf ears.

That's my rant for today. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

2 women were recently divorced. One woman hates all men and never remarries. The other woman knows her first husband was not a good man and eventually remarries and is very happy.

blobbles (957 posts) • 0

Excellent rant! Is there a B&Q listing on GoKM? I did a search which came back blank (possibly the search is down?). Would be a better place for your rant probably!

atomic (156 posts) • 0

Thanks for the warning.

Have to admit that I have given up trying to get work done.

I think it would be a good addition to the site if we had a list of workmen who have done satisfactory work for members in the past.

I had someone lay some tile floors a few years back. The work was done competently for a reasonable sum of money. I could try and dig up the guys particulars.

Liumingke1234 (3138 posts) • 0

Thanks for the heads up! @atomic; excellent suggestion but it won't happen. The staff at Gokuming still haven't put a 'spam' button after repeated request so I doubt they'll follow your suggestion.

atomic (156 posts) • 0

What if I where to start a new thread headed 'Recommended Kunming Trades and Services'?

Granted it would be a second best option, but better than nothing.

Yereth (74 posts) • 0

The listing for B&Q has been added:
gokunming.com/en/listings/item/bq0_33154/bq

Feel free to post your reviews of the company there.

The next version of GoKunming will include a "Report" button for all user-generated content and will also include a Service Directory, replacing the current "Services Offered" in the Classifieds section.

laotou (1715 posts) • 0

@lummer
1. If the guys know nothing about paint, why would you expect them to know anything about masking (best PROFESSIONAL brand is 3m blue masking tape, but I digress). NEVER believe chinese staff - they're just drones pushing garbage. ALWAYS do your own due diligence.
2. I've done the B&Q bathtub thing. To get things done right - you have to use their decoration/implementation service AND I've heard not pleasant things from wealthy patrons on B&Q design & decoration services. As for Toto - it's an excellent brand - I suggest you complain (nicely, but pointedly) to the Toto China rep and cc the Toto Japan complaint office, with copies to the B&Q head office wherever they are. B&Q has damaged Toto's brand and Toto will want to know this. Personally - as soon as the B&Q staff told me MOST of the Toto brands on display must be ordered (probably a communication error but I don't care - their problem won't become my problem) - I immediately dropped any thought about "ordering" a tub from B&Q. You have no financial hold over this firm if they don't deliver the tub as promised. If you paid with a cash card - they'll take roughly 2 weeks to refund your money although it's debited immediately. That stinks of fraudulent practices.
3. No delivery, no call back. Fraud and crap service. You can also expect crap service on the warranty. You should have stopped there - gotten your refund, and told B&Q to go die as they put the FU in fun.
4. At this point - you're merely banging your own head against a wall. Should've cancelled the order and gotten your money back at whatever fraudulently lethargic rate they'll lie to you about. I'm positive B&Q would've tried to pull a "restocking fee" of about 15% for "restocking something they never ordered and don't have in stock. This probably would've sent you into a homicidal rage. Just tell the police you thought B&Q was a Japanese brand and you got caught up in the nationalistic sentiment. Make some comment about indirectly related to the flying tigers...
5. You paid for a system. B&Q is delivering in parts - but they've already demonstrated they have intolerable crap service and you've already demonstrated you'll rant and rave but tolerate their intolerable crap service. You should've gone straight to the management at the first whiff of manure, but now B&Q knows they can abuse you and you'll just take it.
6. You paid for delivery. It's their responsibility. If they're not gonna move it upstairs as per the delivery address - you should've just told them to F-off and rejected the shipment because it was never delivered. But of course - the B&Q staff probably never bothered to tell the delivery team it's on the (what? 7th floor?) top floor and figured they could nickel and dime you for a few more bucks. You should have rejected the delivery but instead you once again let B&Q make their crappy service your problem.
7. They scratched the tub on delivery. Since you helped them move it upstairs - you're now liable for the scratch. You're screwed and now whenever you look at your beautiful high quality Toto bathtub - a place that's supposed to be a haven, refuge, and place of relaxation - it'll just irritate you. You've been victimized by B&Q and you let it happen by being too nice.

I used to try to buy things from local vendors and stores to support the Kunming community - but the general culture is "screw the foreigner", so I'd rather pay the extra bucks for taobao or 365buy vendors who fear for their reputations than B&Q and their local ilk who couldn't care less. I even buy cereal online (dry goods) these days - although Metro is INFINITELY more professional (usually) than B&Q. But the online stores depend on positive reviews - so they'll bend over backwards to deliver what they promised, when they promised.

Bite the bullet - figure out how to use taobao.com - get it working with your bank card (and the dongle, depending on the bank) and do some trial purchases - you'll NEVER go back to those fraudulent sniveling domestic bandits again...although for something as large as a tub - you'd have to hire your own shipping company (once it arrives at a kunming shipping hub) AND moving thugs to lug it up the stairs - so your back to dealing with gorillas at that point.

For moving heavy objects (cabinets, bathtubs, washing machines, refrigerators, etc) you should have your OWN moving blankets (hello taobao) to try to accommodate the fact that you'll be using poorly trained gorillas to drag stuff up your stairs. Watch them otherwise they'll go into gorilla mode - dragging, scraping, banging, bouncing your product. Jim Carey couldn't mimic something this evil and irresponsible.

For the record - I don't do B&Q anymore. Taobao (if you know how - taobao is also rife with thieves and frauds - but they're pretty easy to pick out & spot...ask a tabao expert how to do this) taobao taobao taobao...and no - I'm not a paid or even remotely compensated mouthpiece. Good services justify word of mouth praise.

Chingis (242 posts) • 0

I concur with laotou on the Taobao thing. Just be careful, talk to "experts" and know what questions to ask.
In the last 3 years I have made over 300 separate purchases on taobao and have basically never been disappointed, except perhaps for the inept and lazy local delivery companies- though there are even ways to mitigate their ineptitude.

As for "carpenters", talk to friends who have recently decorated to get recommendations, and when you do the work take a chair and sit there watching them for however long it takes to get the job finished- anywhere from 5 minutes to 6 months.....but this is what parents- in law are for.

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