The Long March: Shanghai

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The boys have been having their routine back, their sleep time now is 8:30pm and they wake up at 6:30am, usually if they are home, they take a 1.5 hours of nap in mid-morning then another nap of 1 hour in the afternoon. So many people have told me how nice it is when children nap, and I finally had the time while they nap to organize our trip pictures and write about our move, I know if I don’t do it now, I wouldn’t be able to in the future.

Our journey started on August 23rd, when Santa Fe came and packed everything in the house, my parents came into town to help out. We checked in Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze Hotel at noon, they had a suite for us and it was nice, even though the last three days it turned into a nightmare. Thankfully Santa Fe did a great job, most people I talked to had a lot of problems with their moving services, but we were really happy. On the other hand Kuka, where we purchased most their furniture from, gave us a lot of problems. It started with delayed delivery, they didn’t deliver until the day before our move, Michael and I went to the Santa Fe warehouse, which was 45 minutes away from downtown, just to find out that there were a lot of damages mostly from the moving. They didn’t do a great job packaging the furniture, without even using cardboard boxes for the big couch so the corners rubbed into the leather surface and put a thumb nail sized white spot. The rest of the day we were trying to get their repair team to come out and fix the problems, eventually they made it but it was a struggle. The biggest disappointment was though, the foot rest of the main bedroom sofa was missing, I called up the sales rep and she said that should have been a separate order! I was astonished, Michael and I then went to their showroom in Pudong, which was on the other side of the town, I checked the tag and it clearly stated that it should be part of the furniture even though the sales rep there insisted it’s not (later on it turned out to be she was in kahoots with the other one). So I called the sales rep who sold us the furniture and she admitted it should be a set after I told her I had the pictures taken. Then the reason she said it was because she ordered it by mistake that it was made with 100% real leather, and I wanted the full leather (this is a total lie) so they decided to tell us that part of the order should be paid separately! Of course I was furious and then the store manager told me that I can order the foot rest with extra $200, we agreed because it wouldn’t look good with the missing piece, I accepted the offer even though we have to haul the foot rest on our next trip from Shanghai to Palmerston North since it takes 30 days to make it.

The bigger surprise came when we went to the store and make the payment, the store manager totally denied that she said it was $200, instead I have to pay for the full price of $400 for the foot rest! I couldn’t believe my ears when she said misunderstood what she said over the phone. I of course let her know she messed with the wrong person, an hour later, the VP of Kuka sales also “negotiated” a deal with me, raising the price to $250 to give me the customized foot rest, whatever the difference will be taken out of the store manager’s salary (which is crazy as well but at this point I don’t feel bad for the store manager since she wasted so much of our precious time).

Kuka is the biggest furniture firm in China that has the biggest export revenue, we purchased close to $12K USD from them, I was shocked to find out how they conduct business and service their customers. Even though we love the final products, it was such a big turn off for us and there’s no way I would recommend them to anyone. In a situation like this, the company should have communicated much earlier instead of lying to customers or just cut the loss, instead, they tried everything to get out of it. The sales rep and the store manager probably found out that they had to pay out of their own pockets so they came up with all these schemes, and I wonder how many people would question their initial explanation and investigated. I just don’t see how their business model and the systemic problems within the company could make them a successful business in a long run!

We did enjoyed seeing our friends, some of them came over and we had lunch at Dynasty, that was fabulous, they also lovephotographing Lin and Li! Ayi came over and watched the boys while we were on our Kuka crusade and taking care of other businesses.

With Renaissance Shanghai, Yangte Hotel is very outdated, there was ongoing renovation and the paint smell in the room was so strong we had to put up another fight to get a better room, finally they moved us to the Renaissance near Changfeng Park, it was new and lovely. The service overall is not on par with any other Renaissance properties we’ve stayed. Especially for platinum members, we never had to asked for the upgrade usually it was arranged ahead of time. We moved three times during the stay in Shanghai, which was really disappointing. Thankfully we had help from our ayi and my parents!



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