When the whole baby story hit my reality, I thought, great, I will research everything online and buy it online, of course. The fancy instafamous stuff from Denmark and UK you can’t get in Austria. Ha, little did I know.
When facing the most challenging purchase, the stroller, I had to take a tiny elevator and narrow door opening in consideration. These very unfortunate circumstances left me with not that much choice, so I opted for the Mima Xari, which seemed to be a good decision. Black leather look, small appearance and a unique design. When ordering the stroller on babysachen.com in November my credit card got charged immediately, despite the circumstances that the stroller was not on stock. So I got the delivery dumped in front of my doorsteps about a month later. A few days after I got a message saying that a part of the stroller is not available until mid/end of jan. So basically when my child is due and I am in hospital.
When the first two big boxes arrived, we were sick in bed and it took my husband a week to reassemble the stroller. After minutes we discovered that this is not the quality you will expect for that price tag and that we really don’t want to keep the stroller. So I wrote the company an email saying that I would like to return the stroller, when they offered me 10% to keep it. I politely declined and said, I want somebody to pick it up when their customer service told me to send it back on my own costs. Which would be around 150€. Ha! Knowing a bit of ECommerce law I tend to read the return policy before buying stuff, so I knew that there was an option to return goods for 7€ from Austria. I started to discuss with the customer service when she finally sent me the return label for the two gigantic and heavy boxes. I asked my father to come by and schlep it to the mail office as I could not lift the boxes, not even think about dragging it there. When my father came by, I realized that they have sent me ONE label instead of TWO. Each box needs a separate tracking number, makes sense, in case it gets lost, right? Well, so I wrote them 5 emails, tried to call them 10 times. Hopeless. Nobody picked up the phone, and my father left after waiting around 5 hours with me and dropping the first box at the mail office. In the evening I got the second label, so my husband had to schlep the next box to the mail office before work ( in the rain) and the handles ripped, so carrying this heavy thing was no fun.
Once they receive both boxes, it takes another 30 days until the money will hit my credit card again. Which means that they basically blocked my money ( 1500€) for almost 4 months.
In the meantime we went to a physical shop, just minutes away from our house. We got a proper consultation for more than 3 hours. The store is called Dohnal, House of kids, and carries actually everything you need for a child. So we also bought the car seat and some other stuff. We opted for a black Stokke Xplory and were super happy with the consultation as, despite all the research, the things need to fit OUR lifestyle and we have no idea what this lifestyle really means.
The whole story shocked me a bit as I am in the lucky position to have family to support me and a husband to share the journey. But I have to confess I would rather go for a nice cup of tea with the mister instead of standing in line at the mail office. How should a person with no help handle a situation like that? Even Zarahome has a very convenient solution: you order the stuff, you call the hotline if you wish to return something, the guy comes the next day to pick up the parcels. You dont even need to fill out anything, you just mention on the phone what comes back. Super convenient.
My learning is that, when it comes to investment pieces, consultation is key. And you will hardly find it online. Even shops struggle these days with knowledgeable sales people, but at least you can touch and try the things you wish to purchase.