When is a bargain not a bargain – my beloved Lidl disappoints

Saturday 2 July 1664 Pepys diary here

To say that I’m a fan of Lidl, or ‘Lidlers’ as we are collectively dubbed is an understatement. I cannot resist going along every Monday and Thursday to see what special offers pertain. The people who order must be mind readers because as soon as my old item wears out, lo! and behold there is a replacement.

Last week there was a particularly tempting ad. for those wonderful four in one garden tools that do everything except make tea. Strimmer, brush cutter, chainsaw, hedge cutter all for £129.  What’s a chap supposed to do? Anyway I bought it and I did notice that when I took it home it was very heavy. It took me about 20 min to assemble it. The problems came when I tried to lift it. It was almost impossible to lift. Admittedly you have shoulder straps and a leather protector which hangs down on the right side of the body by the hip but as I am left-handed and have very little power in my right arm that is well nigh useless. This morning Monday I have already started to pack it up again so what happened with the normally immaculate ordering process? No one thought about the weight.

The specifications are immaculate and the build of good quality as you would expect of the German importer even though it is basically Florabest which I think is Chinese. A chain is as strong as the weakest link so off I go to get a refund. Lidl are most reasonable with refunds so I do buy from them with confidence although I confess that I have bought one of two things I don’t really need because they look so tempting.

Later… went to return the item. The chap at the cash desk was a quiet intellectual type but wanted to know what the problem was not because he was questioning my refund but simply for his information. I told him that it didn’t work for left-handed people and that I was not built like an ox so could not actually lift it with comfort never mind raise the end of the  hedge cutter 2 1/2 m above my head.  I have put it on my scales to find the weight in use would be 86 kg. Hard to believe that that’s what it said.

Last night, I wrote a long letter to a Gardening customer of mine who works for a Christian charity that does wonderful work. She is in charge of fundraising. I saw the website and I knew that it had been designed by an amateur. Sometimes I cannot help myself and I went through the whole site point by point and indicated ways that the site could be more effective. The problem is that when people create sites they only show them to their friends, and sympathetic people, who will praise the site saying how wonderful it is. What you should really do it is to show the site to someone who doesn’t know one charity from another. Their input is much more valuable.  By the way, before sending her the report I did ask whether she wanted feedback on the site and she said yes. That is always a better idea than sending a bombshell out of the blue.

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