Tag Archives: couch throw

Doing a Tom

I was saddened to hear that Tom Petty had died recently, at the very early age of 66.  Linne’s last post on A Random Harvest included a clip of Tom Petty singing I won’t back down, and I ended up downloading the Freemake YouTube to MP3 boom app so I could convert the YouTube clip to an mp3 file, copy it onto a memory stick and listen to it in the car. There’s Bruce and Janis and Little Richard and BB King and Credence Clearwater Revival and loads of other stuff that Rob uploaded for me, but right now I’m letting Tom inspire me. He’s on constant replay.

What am I getting around to here? Well, you may recall that I have a problem with a customer who has been ducking and diving in order to get out of paying for a couch throw he commissioned me to make. The more I read your comments on that post, the more I realised that I do not wish to let this go. It doesn’t suit me financially or psychologically! I was talking about it to Karen last week, who suggested I try to get the matter sorted via the Small Claims Court. I don’t if you have anything like this wherever in the world you live, but in South Africa each of our nine provincial municipalities offers this service, free of charge. I should have thought of this myself, having used them twice before (once when a huge truck bashed into my little Mini Cooper and the owner refused to pay for damages, and once when a man I’d bought a property from reneged on certain things – both times I was successful and got my money back. Despite knowing I was in the right and fair is fair, it is still massively satisfying to win a case and have the defendant be instructed to cough up.)

There are a list of steps to follow. This is Step 1: Contact the other party: 
Contact the opposing party (the person against whom you are instituting legal proceedings) either in person, in writing or telephonically and request them to satisfy your claim.

So, I wrote a very polite but explicit letter and popped it into the postbox of the block of flats Mr No-Show lives in (about 3 kms from my house). I stopped on the way home to buy fresh ciabatta, and fifteen minutes later I was in the kitchen making a cup of coffee to go with my morning snack. My cell phone rang. Guess who? Yes, Mr NS, very apologetic that he hadn’t got back to me yet and offering to draw the cash instead of doing an eft!! We have arranged to meet tomorrow for the exchange.

Drinks are on me!

some you win, some you lose

Here’s a lose: a perfectly pleasant man commissioned me to make a throw for his couch, which he said was old and shabby but otherwise very comfortable, back in August. We talked about the colours in his lounge, including the curtains and the Persian carpet, and I assembled a collection of fabric for him to approve via email. Which he did. He also confirmed the size he wanted: 400 by 380cm. Not small at all!

Richard 2 I quoted him R2,580. This includes the backing fabric, top quality local and imported upholstery fabrics, and my labour. Considering it took me nearly a week to complete, this is a bargain. He accepted the price and asked me to go ahead. Here is the finished item:

Long story short – he ignores my emails and smses, and when he did once make the mistake of answering his phone, pretended to be out of the country. I tried again last week, and he informed me that he was terribly worried about his water bill, which was over R3,000, and he’d have to sort that out before anything else. At which point he put the phone down on me.

Hopefully someone else will love it and buy it, but it’s not an easy size to sell – it’s for a really really big 3-seater couch or an enormous bed. But my disappointment is great, partly because I have never been let down by a customer like this before (most of my customers are just the opposite!) and partly because I neglected to ask for a deposit before starting the job. Lesson learned :(