Friday, March 1, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Lessons Learned from Re-Upholstery Gone Wrong.

Happy Friday everyone!! I really wanted to call this post "Morals and Business (should) go hand-in-hand", but as long as you get the point that's all that matters. It drives me nuts when I have to do business with shady people. People from America, UAE, ALL over the world can be such liars! It's even more annoying when these people claim to be God fearing. Pa-LEASE! One of the most serious sins God warns us about in Islam is shady business dealings (cheating), and yet I still find so many people who don't give a care in the world about honesty.

Let me share a little experience with you. When I moved to Dubai I almost immediately got my two blended leather tub chairs reupholstered. They were too difficult to do my self so I hired help. They looked like this...

...except one of the two was swivel. 

One day I got an advertisement for Ressco Furniture, (remember that name if you live in the UAE) and I say to myself:" oh, they do reupholstery. I'll give 'em a try." They come and present me with books of fabric. YAY. Door-to-door service? Can't get better than this. 
The infamous flyer. BOO!
Followed by the meaningless business card. 
I pick my fabric and after a week or so I get my chairs. They were actually delivered the night before I was going out of town. After being mesmerized by their new facelift, I quickly said thank you and didn't fully examine the chairs.

I used this cream diamond for the chair. 
For the pillows I picked the same fabric in salmon. 
 After my 10 day vacation,  I start to notice some defects in the fabric and the entire upholstery is just bad. Basically, (with out the boring details) I tried to contact them and they gave me the run around of a life time. A week or so after finding defects in the fabric itself and the quality of the reupholstery, we all realized the swivel tub chair kept tipping over and I personally almost fell over while siting/turning in it. 
The swivel tub chair.
Notice the crapy cover on the cushion? They sewed the velcro that keeps the cushion in place in the wrong spot so there is a constant pull on that appears at the front. If you look at the top back of the chair you will also notice the wrinkly fabric. Basically, BAD JOB!
The swivel mechanism was replaced misaligned. They tried to blame my kids for breaking it, but really? It wasn't broken, but it was clear as day that all it needed was to be repositioned and I'm sure it would work just fine.
The stationary tub chair.
Again, there is a tug or pull at the front of the fusion from sewing the velcro in the wrong spot. The fabric is not pulled tight and the upholstery is obviously an amateur job. 
Top view of swivel chair. 
Notice how crinkled the cushion is? The cushion cover was bigger than the cushion itself causing an unclean and sloppy look. Same with the other chair...
Top view of stationary chair. HORRIBLE!!!
After pleading with Resco to come out again just to look at the chairs, they eventually ignored me and I had to get SERIOUS with them. I called the Department of Economic Development aka DED (this is the UAE version of the BBB of the USA). Only then did they finally start responding to me, but it was too late. I realized at that point they were a company that couldn't be trusted and would not be welcomed in my home again. 

We had a meeting with Resco and two reps from the DED. The meeting mainly consisted of Resco denying everything, making false accusations against me instead of listening to my point, and the two DED reps yelling at the Resco Rep's because they were so disrespectful and wouldn't stop talking. The icing on the cake came when they tried to be-little the damage by saying my chairs were from Ikea, as if they were so cheap I could buy another two. WHAT THE WHAT!?!?! First of all Ikea isn't cheap. Second, how is the solution "ME buying two replacement chairs" instead of them fixing what they ruined? That comment from Rescoe truly pissed-off the DED reps and they awarded me! YAY!

I got majority of my money back, but how do you compensate wasted time, false accusations that "boiled the blood" as the Egyptians say, and having two damaged chairs? Easy. Whether you believe in God or not, people (in business dealings or everyday relationships) will be judged according to their actions. I'm not upset because God knew I was right and I was awarded accordingly, and it was an important learning experience for me. While sometimes liars get away with their bad actions, there is always (believe it or not) judgement day, karma, what goes around ALWAYS comes around. Mean people, liars, those who are only out to get a quick buck never make it in life. Even Bernie Madoff got caught lying and cheating. Granted after more than 30 years, but the result? 150 years in prison. 

Some things I've learned from my experience in the UAE that can be applied all over the world:

1. In the UAE, don't trust people just because they passed out advertisements. In the UAE, it's illegal to pass them out in the first place. I never called companies off a flyer in LA so don't know what to expect, but I'm sure caution never fails.

2. In the UAE, you can only have work done by companies based in the same Emirate you live in. Resco is located in Sharjah, but they will tell you they are located in Dubai. I asked them several times where they were located and they claimed it was on the famous Shaikh Zayed rd. but too complicated for me to get to by myself.

3. Ask to see samples of their previous work. A LOT, not just a couple photos.

4. If you do go with a specific company, make sure to FULLY examine your furniture when you receive them. Also don't pay the entire amount upfront. I paid a deposit (less than half the total) up front and the rest upon delivery. 

If I see other great tips online I'll happily update this post. In the end I "made do" with them, but am currently looking to have the swivel mechanism fixed. With a bit of smoothing out they chairs can look somewhat decent, but sitting on them day-in and day-out really brings out the sloppy work. 
LIke that table? You can find it here.
Have you ever had a bad reupholstery experience or bad business dealing? How do you deal with people who have wronged you? Do you forgive and forget, forgive, but take action, or never forget and  take action lol. (o: We live, we learn and we continue to sit on badly upholstered chairs :o)))) Have a great FRIDAY and thanks for stopping by!


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