Thursday, 6 December 2007

Beary unhappy

Sometimes being a journo is great - interviewing fascinating people and learning new stuff everyday, not to mention press trips, samples and other freebies.

At other times, it's not so great. In fact, today I feel like a squashed cabbage leaf.

My colleague and I were invited to a media event at a local shopping city, where we could create our own Christmas teddy bear. Thinking that it would be a nice excuse to escape the office December doldrums for an hour or two and do something fun, we went along. What wasn't stated in the invitation was the fact that the basic empty soft toy shell was the only bit that was free - all (ridiculously overpriced) accessories were for our own account.

After choosing a soundchip for our bears, and having them stuffed and fluffed, we were taken to the accessories shelves by over-enthusiastic helpers who urged us to pick shoes, sunglasses, cutesy outfits and any other bear-sized item we desired. "Oh no - you must take the raincoat too!" they'd gush, marvelling at our precious creations. "And what about a little backpack? It doesn't look complete without it."

It was only when we were directed to the front counter to pick up our bear's birth certificate that we found out we would be paying for these. My little bear, wearing a cricket uniform and sunglasses, plus the can't-do-without-them shoes, came to just over R400. For those of you who aren't from my part of the world, that's about US$60-odd, 40-something euros or 1,770,505 Zimbabwean dollars. In my books, that's an expensive outing!

And I'm not the only idiot that fell for it. We all left vowing not to ever write about the place (except bitching about it on our bogs, of course) and not to recommend it, which, I imagine, is not exactly the press impression a store wants, is it?


Caz* said...

And they probably swear by their great customer service!! yeah right - servicing our pockets. i know exactly which place you are talking about!!! just came frm that shopping City.

the whole thing is overkill anyway!

why did you not claim your money back for "not-telling-you-it's-gonna-COST-MONEY"!!!

KreativeMix said...

hmmm.......... i hope you guys didn't pay for those overpriced "bears"!!! how's your weekend going? no vacumming, i hope!!

Tamara said...

We felt too embarrassed to make a scene - there were TV cameras and stuff. They also had the Reach For A Dream (charity for children with terminal illnesses) kids there... I hope they at least got their bears free.

Caz... I prob won't see you before you head off to Mauritius, so have fun. Off to the US embassy tomorrow for Visa applications. Say a little prayer for us!

KreativeMix... am staying at my folks' place to brother sit for a few days, so no vacuuming neighbours for me :) Yay!

CAZ* said...

I logged on this morning and to my disappointment you have not yet updated your blog?? :-(

yess, this week is my last before i head off to a (i think) well deserved holiday!!

although i have sooo much to get done before this weekend - i cannot wait.

what would you like frm Mauritius?? you into pearls?

have a fabulous holiday and a very Merry Christmas.

drive safely!!!

lots of love!


Tamara said...

Hi Caz,

You're becoming quite a regular. Yay! Sorry... was at the US Embassy this am to get visas, so haven't been online yet. Will update now, I promise.

Visas approved, btw. So excited. You don't have to get me anything from Mauritius! But if you're going to, what do you want from Disney? Mickey Mouse ears? Only kidding :)

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