Earlier this week I was cold-called by a kitchen company offering a “Free Estimate”, and as I’ve been thinking about what I can do with my very tiny kitchen to make it more user friendly, I accepted. After all, they are the experts. Yesterday the kitchen salesman arrived.

I should have been more cautious when I saw the flashy Chevrolet sports car the middle-aged “consultant in a cardigan” was driving!

My kitchen is a galley kitchen, so small two people can’t work together in it and you can almost span the width with outstretched arms. Nevertheless he took two hours to assess it and come up with a design, developed from the issues about the kitchen that really get to me – like you can’t wash-up without the washing machine pressing unto your side. A further hour was spent on me “choosing finishes”.

When he said “Finished” I asked for the estimate in writing. “Can’t print it out – but here it is on the laptop, do you want to sign the order now?”.

No , I certainly did not, but it was made clear that the “estimate” was only available on paper,if I signed a contract there and then. He wasn’t happy when I said no and came up with a sob story about “giving me his commission in the price” and “not making any money on the deal”.

The big joke was the price – Original price: £11,000, discounted to just over £6,000, for their January Sales, for a kitchen that is 10′ x 4′, if you stripped everything back to the walls. (no gold fittings, no granite or slate work tops, no real wood – all laminates.

Moral of this story: Beware salesmen in expensive cars.

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