You'll never believe me, but... my table arrived today... AND... was set up. WITH the chairs! I know, I was shocked too after all this time.
Don't worry though, there was cock-up n°3. The tele table was not in the van for some unknown reason. I was supposed to give the delivery guys a cheque for the final amount, but there was no way I was going to do that.
I called Authentica - the local branch where I bought the items. No answer. I tried again. No answer. Shut on a Monday? Could be, but they could have a message saying so. How tricky is that? It might prevent prospective customers from giving up and going to Bois et Chiffon instead...
So I tried to call Authentica HQ in Paris. A recorded voice told me that maybe I should call an 0800 number for customer services. I hung on to the direct number hoping to catch an actual person, but there was, wait for it... no answer. One of the delivery guys suggested they might all be on a coffee break. So I tried the 0800 number instead. I then pressed '2' as instructed, about an order in progress. Guess wot. Yep, no answer. I tried several times and each time got no answer.
A frustrating company to deal with as you can see!
The delivery guys suggested I write two cheques for half the amount each, but that they would check that this was okay with their supervisor. We hung about outside waiting for the call back and they regaled me with horror stories of delivering furniture. Authentica has problems with one customer out of two according to their experience. No hearsay, not rumour, just good old-fashioned 'been there, done it, got the tee-shirt' experience. My advice? Don't shop at Authentica.
Eventually, having not been called back, the delivery guy tries again. It transpires that the person who makes cheque-like decisions is... wait for it... not there. The guys are getting a little frustrated by now because it seems like there are an awful lot of people not working who should be who we need to contact. I asked him who he had spoken to, and he told me the guy I had 'incendié' during the first aborted attempt to deliver my stuff. I thought this was quite funny and was maybe why I was treated with a considerable degree of respect by the guys since.
Just goes to show that you try to be nice and accommodating and you get treated like shit. Be a bugger and the world trembles and behaves properly. Trouble is, I have to get really riled to be a bugger which is why, I suppose I've been treated a lot like shit.
Finally, the guys decided to take the executive decision of accepting two cheques one of which they would hold until Authentica got off its backside and delivered the tele table. Off they trotted with promises of coming back some time.
This evening I get a phone call from their office saying that Authentica had been in contact with them (not me) and said my tele table would be delivered at the end of May. They were having problems themselves with deliveries...
My advice? Shop anywhere you like, but if it's peace of mind and a smooth transaction you're worried about, avoid Authentica. They are totally crappy once the selling bit is finished. And don't expect an apology either.
The table does look lovely, you'll be relieved to hear!