Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Deck that never happened...

Many many years ago we thought that a deck on the side of our house would be a good thing - the boys were little and it would have been a great outdoor play area for them as well as somewhere for us to entertain. But when we got a few quotes it was just out of our price range at that stage. 
So it was forgotten for a long time. 

Come October 2016 we were at the shops and hubby noticed a stand for Australian Outdoor Living and he asked if they did decks, Yes was the answer and so he asked if someone could come and give us a quote. My hubby likes to do things on the spur of the moment so I was quite surprised he was thinking of the deck again. By now the boys were all grown up and the use of the deck would be more for parties and adult entertainment. We were excited this was happening again.

So we waited and waited and eventually got a call to say a rep could come that week to talk to us. 
Richard turned up one afternoon and we explained what we wanted and he did measurements and drew a plan and we listed everything we wanted. He stayed for hours and gave us a price which was then reduced time and time again with calls to his boss (who he couldnt get onto) if we would promote the company online and do reviews and have photos put on their website of the before and after - etc etc etc - finally we got a final price which was very suitable to us. So we signed up then and there and couldnt believe it was finally happening. 

By then it was Oct 31st 2016 - we paid the deposit and the council fees/insurance to start things off and we were told that nothing would probably happen till the new year as council approval can take some time. 

In January 2017 we hoped we would hear something - we didnt

In February we got back to the company and were told that there were lots of jobs and backlog due to the Christmas break but things were happening and we would hear soon. 

In March we got on to them again - yes the plans have been sent in and should be approved soon but not sure when, they would get onto us as soon as they had them. Finally the plans arrived on a Friday - we did a quick look and were relieved we were on the home run but something didnt seem quite right, we looked at the plans again and noticed the measurements didnt seem correct and when we looked closer - we realised why. The whole back section of the deck was missing - they had only drawn up the size of the patio roof not the deck which was larger and not completely covered by the roof. 
So we had to get back to the company on the Monday and explain the problem. They checked the original plan drawn up by the rep and admitted they had made a mistake and would correct the plans and resubmit at their cost to council. Of course this meant more delay. 

In early April we contacted them again and they said - not long now - just waiting for the plans to come back. In the mean time they had sent a builder to do another measure and check to see things were correct. We were then told that the part of the quote saying they would replace the end gutter before doing the roof of the deck, was incorrect and we would have to organise that ourselves. So thinking that the deck would be started soon we had to organise to get the gutters replaced quickly - we did get a small reduction in the price of the deck due to the gutter not being replaced on that end of the house when it had been included in the original quote. 

So we got the gutters replaced and waited some more - a few more emails and its now May 2017 - it had been 6 months since we signed on for this deck. The people at the company seemed to have changed and we were now dealing with different ones to the original ones. 

So early May we get an email saying its all on - could he (the person in charge of decks) ring me to chat about the plans and sort out things. Spoke to him on the Friday (5-5-17) he had a builder who he trusted and wanted to call by with the builder when he did the check measure so he could meet us and apologise in person for the delays and he couldnt believe how patient we had been. He said he would organise with the builder to come on a day suitable and would either phone or email with the time/date. 
On the Monday (8-5-17) still hadnt heard from him - but got a call about 6pm saying he was in the area and could he call by to chat to us in person. Seemed strange but things were moving and we just wanted to get this started. 

About 7.30pm he arrived - all chatty and apologetic, chatted about the deck and the plans, he seemed surprised we had all the paperwork from the beginning all in a folder (Im organised like that) - then eventually he started hinting that the price we had been quoted was very low and that was the reason why the job was taking so long, no builder would take it on as they wouldnt be paid enough, so it was passed from one to another. The rep who gave us the quote had been sacked, his boss, the one he had been trying ring when giving us discounts, had been sacked, most of the office staff had been sacked. The draftsman had been sacked and we were told there was all new staff in the Qld office as well as new builders. The problems were so bad that the CEO of the company based in Adelaide had flown to Brisbane to sort out all the problems and there were 17 jobs like ours that had been underquoted. 
Then the final blow - as the quote was at least $15,000 under the price it should have been, the CEO said it was to be cancelled and our deposit etc money refunded in full. The job would not go ahead (unless we wanted to be re-quoted and pay the higher amount) 

We were shocked and to say the least - disappointed - we were told we didnt have to make a decision then, to think about it and get back to him in a day or so. 

We were upset and angry that we had waited for so long only to be told it was all off. 

A few days later we sent an email to the company to say we would get our money back and this was refunded in record time - they obviously wanted to clear the slate as soon as they could. 

So our dreams of a lovely entertaining deck has been dashed. Thanks so much Australian Outdoor Living for nothing! 
I think the CEO should have been the one telling the bad news seeing he was the one cancelling the low quoted jobs - and we know they would have still made a small profit even if it wasnt what they wanted so you would think, to keep the good name of the company, you would do those jobs and end up with good reviews and thankful customers instead of extremely pissed off people who will tell everyone they can to keep away from this bastard of a company. 

So make sure you get at least 3 quotes and also ask around to see who has had a good job done, check the review sites like this one 
and keep at them - dont let any company treat you like this one did to us. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Jamberry saga continues to another year...

Well its a new year and I have to say my nails are TERRIBLE! The worst they have ever been - soft and breaking ALL the time - I have never had such soft nails before. I have never had any problems in growing them to a good length but since having the wraps on them constantly for a month before Christmas, I have to say they have damaged my nails very badly!
So I left the wraps off for over a month hoping that my nails would grow back a little better. Finally they have grown a tiny bit but are still very short and I will only use the wraps for very short term wearing now - a few days and then remove and leave the nails to breathe and grow. 
I put some wraps on last night (Friday) as I was going out today and on Monday but I will take them off on Tuesday I think. Perhaps putting on a new set for the following Friday as I have a market that night. 

So here are the latest ones - Jamberry "Sunday Brunch" which are ok but not as pretty as I thought they would be. I might start selling off the spare ones I have that I wont wear again as its silly keeping them if Im not going to ever wear them again.
I have quite a few in stock at the moment and also got a great buy from my favourite seller on ebay who has a bigger range now - these are "Fabulous Nail Wraps" and lovely quality. Have a look if you are interested in a more budget priced range and dont mind more plainer designs though she is getting in more designs now. madmaxamus
Here are some of her designs - arent they cute? Less than $10 each too!

(photos belong to Madmaxamus)
 I got a bulk pack of hers just before Christmas so I have heaps to use up but Im checking her designs every week to see what new ones she is introducing. Support an Aussie business!
Oh and my toenails are also ruined at the moment due to leaving the Christmas wraps on for a couple of weeks. 
So that is the latest in the nail wrap saga!

Monday, 28 December 2015

well it seems Im not the only one with problems with the Jamberry wraps - I just found this blog with comparisons and she had the same problems I had with them - but she did show some other wraps that worked better so I might have to try some of these.

I also found another blog with Jamberry testing and again the same problems as I have had so I am not alone -

I will leave those to you to read and make your own conclusions!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Christmas nail wraps and toes this time too!

I bought some nice Christmas wraps and have been waiting to use them - I bought the Jamberry Pointsettia ones - they were Christmassy without being over the top or too kiddy - I ama bit worried these ones will peel off to a glittery layer like the Catch Fire ones but will have to wait and see. At least I can wear them after Christmas if they stay on and not look strange.

So I did my nails the other day after having my nails naked for a few days - after having wraps on for the last 6 weeks off and on- my nails were ok but a bit soft so Im thinking its good to let them have a break - and of course as soon as I took them off my nails all broke and I am down to very short nails now.

Luckily the poinsettia ones look ok on short nails - some designs and colours look best on long nails but these look nice on any length.  
I think they look great esp with the alternate design each fingernail.

Then I thought I would bite the bullet and do my toes as well. 

Now usually I can wear nail polish on my toes and it lasts well so I wasnt going to bother but as I had the wraps left over I thought I would try them - it was fiddly I have to say, the big toe has its own wrap but for the other nails you have to cut up one of the largest wraps to size and its a pain. I had to use my curved nail scissors to round the ends and I do have weird shaped toenails so some were a bit strange to do. But at least no one will be looking too closely as they are too far away! Maybe next time I would do the big toe with a wrap and paint the smaller ones with polish to match. 
But worth trying to see how it goes. So far I have had the wraps on my fingers for a few days and they are peeling up at the edges as per usual - the toenail ones I didnt even bother to heat when I applied them as it was too hard to try and use the heater on them. Will see how they last...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Chix Nail Wraps

I bought some UK made wraps to try out and compare to the Jamberry ones - they are Chix brand and come with the same instructions as Jamberry but much less in cost - even with postage from the UK to Australia. I bought 3 sets and it only cost me around $34 total. Worth trying out (though you only get one manicure from one set unless you want to cut up the toe ones). 

They took just over 2 weeks to arrive and I had to try them out when they did - I put on the Pink Gold Shimmer ones - I noticed that they are a more stretchy vinyl than the Jams so easier to put on and almost shrink into shape on the nail too. I will see how they last - fitted on 10-12-15.

I have 2 other designs to try in this brand too. Will keep you up to date with these ones!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Nail wraps - a different brand

Ok so seeing Im not having much luck with the Jamberry wraps I thought it couldnt hurt to try another type - found a seller on eBay - near the Gold Coast who had wraps they say are made in Australia. Not a huge range and I would love to find out if they are really made in Oz or not but thought I would try them - bought the Silver Starlight ones - nice glittery and for the price of $9 with postage included, I figured I couldnt really lose - even if they only lasted a few days like the Jamberry ones - it was worth trying.

Well I put them on 1-12-15 so far so good - still a bit of peeling at the edges but not as bad as some of the Jams! This seller has quite a few glittery coloured ones so if these work I might even get some more - I will do a comparison with the glittery Jamberry ones I bought too - I got the purple Stargazing wraps and have yet to try them. One thing I did do with these cheaper ones - as it was in the instructions (and Jamberry dont say to do this) is to coat the wraps with clear nail polish and do the edge as well. 

Perhaps this is the secret? I have also been told by a Jamberry rep that the double layer type wraps - Gatsby for example - should be applied cold and then a quick heat on the edges to seal. Completely different instructions to the usual ones on the pack though. I think Jamberry are a bit like Microsoft "here is a good idea, lets release it and let people pay money for it and work out the bugs as people find them - that way people pay us and we use them as our testers - *evil laugh*" 
One thing that annoyed me though - after I had  removed my useless Gatsby wraps, my very longest nail split and broke and now is not as nice looking. I have to say the wraps do protect my nails from splitting and breaking and are making them very nice looking - they certainly help them rather than hinder the growing process. 
I will also be testing some UK wraps called Chix - will see how they go when they eventually get here - they dont seem to be in Australia at all so have to wait for the slow post from the UK to get them - will post here when I test them out. 

I still have heaps of Jams to try out so will keep going and eventually might even get them to stay on for more than a few days too!
Toes might be tested too as I have quite a range of larger wraps left that I need to do something with, its summer and I wear sandals so might as well I guess!

Update 9-12-15, quite happy with the Aussie made wraps - the silver glitter ones - they lasted well and due to the colour, any wear was not noticable so I kept them on for about 8 days before I took them off. I have ordered a new gold and a red glitter in the same brand to try as well.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Jamberry wraps - the story continues

Well Im not having much luck with these wraps - I put on some lovely Christmassy red ones - called Catch Fire - loved the look of these - put them on, on the Friday (20-11-15) as I had a market on the Saturday and wanted my nails to look nice - which they did - for about 2 days...                                                                                                                                                     
Then they started to lift on the edges and got so annoying I peeled them off but instead of the whole thing coming off - most left a nice silver glittery wrap on my nails - I didnt mind this - it looked quite good but it wasnt the red and gold that I had applied! 

So I left these on for a few days till one started to come off and I peeled them all off and decided for the next weekend I would try Gatsby. 

These are lovely but do look like you have painted your nails with Liquid Paper!
Now I have to say - I am applying the wraps correctly - I have the Jamberry heater (I found the hairdryer too hard to use) - I wash my hands and nails well before hand, I use alcohol to clean each nail after making sure the cuticle is pushed back. I heat and apply as per the instructions and I have watched heaps of Jamberry videos and looked at all the tips and tricks for applying them - I bought a rubber ended cuticle pusher to seal around the edges and I do everything as its supposed to be done - I have even stopped picking my teeth with my nails to avoid damaging them!

BUT they still peel off on me!!!!!
This is after less than 24 hours! I am not rough on my nails - if I was I wouldnt be able to grow them to any length - these were applied as per Jamberry instructions but are still peeling on the edges after numerous heating and sealing to start with to try and avoid this! The first one started to peel after I scratched my face with my nail - hardly a rough thing to do that would cause a quality item to lift?

So in the end I have to peel them off - but they dont come off completely - they leave a pale layer of shimmer with a  hint of the gold stripping - nice but not what I paid for!

So what will I try next weekend - so far I am only getting a couple of days from these wraps! Not really impressed still but I have a stash to try so maybe I will find one type that stays on longer than others?