Tuesday, January 4, 2011

IDdesign After Sale Horror

Have you been to the IDdesign store in Maadi yet? If not, then don’t bother. Don’t get me wrong, the Scandinavian franchise has some lovely pieces especially if you like contemporary, clean, straight lines in your home. The problem is their after sales service, or rather the lack of.
2 months ago I bought a ceiling lamp which I absolutely loved. It is a simple rectangular black fabric ceiling chandelier that perfectly matched my dining room. I got lots of compliments on it too. Sadly, after a month I looked at it and then I saw them. Two horrible burnt stains in the lamp’s interior. How have I not noticed them before? They were very obvious and made my lamp look worn, and cheap. And it was anything but cheap. The prices at IDdesign are at the higher end.  I was devastated so I called them up and explained the situation. They asked me to bring it over so they can get it fixed.
Till this day the lamp is lying in my car trunk. I took the heavy piece of useless thing there twice and both times I was met with an equally annoying employee who insisted he could do nothing for me and “why don’t you just take it to your electrician?”
The last time I went there I asked to meet a supervisor. They wouldn’t receive the damaged lamp from me and instead asked me to call in a couple of weeks and speak to the store manager. My contact information would be at his desk when he returns from his vacation. The supervisor is yet to be found. And I never received that call from the store manager.
 What was a real deal-breaker for me was how every single employee I met insisted to know the name of the salesperson who sold me the lamp! Why? Did he do something wrong? Why does that even matter?  Just fix my lamp or give me my money back or apologize for your crappy product at least!
I am very disappointed and no matter how beautiful and inviting the store’s window looks, I shall not be returning ever again.

Dina Naji

Goal Café

Location: Abul Feda St., El Zamalek
MC: LE 25.00
Atmosphere: there are two places available for guests; air-conditioned inside the café, and outside in Abul Feda street. It’s noisy inside the café and there’s not enough space between the tables. Since it’s crowded with shisha and cigarette smokers, within 10 minutes, you’ll realize that you should find a source of fresh air, even if you’re a smoker yourself. So, when I was there in winter, I managed to open the windows, an option I didn’t have in summer as the ACs were on. Bottom line; don’t go for an inside table if you’re a non-smoker or simply not a fan of secondhand smoking, like me. Outside tables are much better, quieter, and the lighting is cool.
TV: multiple large TVs inside the café. You can watch Al Jazeera Sports whenever there’s a football match, and Mazzika channel elsewhen.
Internet access: free WiFi connection with average speed. It’s been disconnected once or twice in one hour. There’re power sockets inside the café for your laptop.
Your car: it’s so hard to find a parking spot – typical Zamalek. You have to drive around Abul Feda and surrounding streets to find a spot. When you give up (you will), you might leave your car in a second row in front of the café and ask a waiter to notify you when it should be moved.
Food and beverages: menu is of average variety. Beverages are good, food isn’t that good – it isn’t a restaurant after all, is it?
Service: good, fast service (most of the time)
WC: not as clean as it should be. There was a shortage of soap. No hand dryer.
Remarks: there’s a couple of stores for men clothing at the street corner that you might want to pass by on your way to the café, or when you become less interested in staying with your companions :)
My rating: 3/5

Mohamed Shaaban

My Non-toxic Eyes

So one of my main New Year’s resolutions is to use fewer toxins and be kinder to the environment. Now believe me, it is not easy being green in Egypt. There aren’t that many stores or products around that are completely natural and toxin free. A major challenge is to find natural makeup. It is quite impossible actually as there isn’t any made in Egypt. Except for Nefertari’s all natural handmade eye kohl.
I found it at their booth in Maadi City Centre. I asked the more than helpful seller if it was a good product or not and he assured me that he never got any complaints. So I decided to spare the LE45 and give it a try.
So here’s the verdict:
The beautiful, natural wood packaging made me feel like I was Cleopatra. My first attempt though went horribly bad! Toxin free eyeliner is messy! And it is quite difficult to apply because its texture is like loose powder. An hour after applying the kohl I looked like a raccoon that hadn’t slept in years. Not pretty. It did get wiped off pretty easily though. A huge advantage if you’re trying to avoid wrinkles. And it did not sting or feel heavy. It did have a natural feel to it.
I was determined to get my money’s worth so I gave it a try the next day. I took out the applicator and blew off the excess powder. The trick was to use a light hand, so I applied the kohl and went to sleep. It is all natural and has no lead and it is chemical free so I wasn’t too scared to sleep in it. The next day I had perfect black eye lined eyes all day. In fact, if I had left it, it would have kept for another day. That stuff is long-living.
I do miss my easy to apply pencil eyeliners, and will continue to use them on really busy days but I will use my Nefertari kohl whenever I have the luxury of time.

Dina Naji