Folks, not sure if I bypassed any norms to post here, but i write to put across my sad experience in getting my sofa designed by Sofa studio- Bangalore.
Most of us AV enthusiasts think that a good sofa really completes the viewing experience. And this was why i wanted a custom sofa for our new house.
It all started when my wife called up this guy based on an advert in TOI sometime early May, as we wanted to get our custom sofa upholstered.
Since this was going to be our primary seating, i was okay to up my budget as long as the quality was right and the process was hasslefree.
The owner Dayanand and his wife Jyotsna promptly came over to the apartment, took some measurements- promised us the sky- and quoted an astronomical amount. They said that they would take care of everything and all i had to do was to pay them (50% in the beginning and 50% after the work completes)
I was already exhausted in life trying to run around people (most notably my apartment builder) to even get small things done and my exhaustion was taking a toll.
I didnt care if i ended up paying a premium.. All I wanted was a good looking and a durable sofa done hassle free.
So, the very next day, this guy took a cheque from me for 50% of the amount. Within 30 minutes he called me and said the cheque had bounced and that he wanted cash. I was very surprised as none of my cheques ever bounced and my bank had renough balance to encash this cheque.
I asked him to send someone over to my office in the evening so that i could withdraw money and pay him cash.
But that someone turned up in a hour at my office gate for cash. To cut a long story short, i paid this money to the guy- but was surprised as to why this seemingly reputed " custom sofa wallah with a lot of corporate orders" was running behind my money as if there is no tomorrow. A thought even crossed to me that maybe this guy wanted cash so that he could evade all proof of payment.
All said, this guy told me that he would complete the job in two-three days and he would use the best of his design skills.
That was his last verbal statement for the next one month. The guy didnt pick up phones and neither did he return calls. After weeks of suspense i got his assistant and literally pleaded with him to get the job done " somehow"
After many days of cajoling, this assistant guy finally turned up with a tailor who had no clue about what to be done. Me and my wife had to literally go through the entire design process with the tailor... That afternoon, Dayanand suddenly got his memory back and calls me. He asks me-- "now that the work is complete, please give me my balance 50%"
I told him that since he made me literally cry for a month, i am going to give his balance money only after ensuring that it was all okay after testing it for a week.
To which, in lightening speed he sent his goon people to my house (wife was alone) and gheraoed her demanding money.
I had strong arguments and even wanted to go to the police- but didnt. It was close to midnight by then and i was still in office meeting some crucial project deadlines. I managed to get my apartment security guys to pull these people out of my apartment (my apartment security guys were no match for these beefy villians but somehow they were able to pull them out)
I ended up coughing that money overnight as i had no strength nor inclination to stage a fight.
I want to put this back and enjoy my movies and family time.. but each time i sit on the sofa i get dreadful memories. As soon as i get some cash, i am going to tear it up and replace it with something which is less painful.
This episode reminds me how vulnerable we all are- eeverything in india needs connections- and for people like me who have connections but hate to use them- simple transactions become hauntingly painful.
Now for some comedy:
The pros of dealing with this guy:
1. You can Learn and become masters of sofa design and creation.
2. Improve your patience levels- treat this as a booster dosage to the lessons on "virtues of patience" given by Brigade.
3. The art of persuading assistants whom you never imagined would take so much of your time
1. Give him money and forget sleep.
2. relive your worst nightmares
If we have your permission, we can start forwarding the post as a chain mail too. If you want it formatted in a certain way, please do so and post again. We can use it.
@Square_wave and All, Thanks for your thoughts and wonderful support! I am overwhelmed. Please feel free to forward my case to friends thro email and word of mouth..
Well, i have decided to fight it out by going to the consumer court firstly and then by posting it out in newspapers.
I agree with all you have said "No point venting my frustration on the sofa by tearing it up- it is just an object"- and the creation was our baby.In the absence of directions from the seller, me and my wife painstakingly designed the whole thing.
I just remember a scene from Spiderman- where the hero aids in the escape of a convict only to see the convict kill his uncle. Today I let him go, just like somebody earlier would have let him off the hook- and tomorrow this guy is going to prey on some other hapless customer. With all your support and wishes, I shall file a case with all the available evidence in the consumer court by this weekend.
Money was not a big thing- but the priceless loss has been the many precious moments trying to fight him out and to brood over the incident-something which i would have spent more fruitfuilly preparing to welcome my child.
I am determined to not let this happen to someone else and I will fight it out to the best of my ability.
I will keep posting on this thread as things move.
Once again, i thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind words.