Saturday, 21 November 2015


I'm so rock and roll that my only two playlists on Youtube are called "Land Registration" and "Maintenance". Don't ask about the former but the latter is a collection of videos, mostly by Matt of eSpares showing me how to do things like ...

Reason I'm mentioning this is that, last year, we bought two venetian blinds from a British firm called for our new holiday rental (see here). They're made to measure by entering the required dimensions into their website and they post them out to you. 185,00€ including delivery (and a 20,00€ option so that, if when you when you receive them, you find you got your measurements wrong, you can get them to send a new set of the correct size gratis) seemed quite reasonable and we were very happy with the blinds we got (which did fit first time).

The degree of satisfaction evaporated somewhat a couple of weeks ago when the string that raises and lowers the blind (not the one which alters the angle of attack of the slats - if you're not sure what the difference is, think of the alpha floor protection algorithm on the horizontal stabilisers of an Airbus A320) snapped.

This was literally a matter of days after the one year warranty expired but I imagined that a reputable company like Web-Blinds would probably have a string replacement kit they would send out gratis. But when I wrote to them, the answer I got was:-

Dear Mr King

Thank you for your email

I do apologise but we are unable to send replacement cord to you.

This is because replacing the cord without perishing the blind is an extremely difficult task and often lead [sic] the blind falling apart.

With this being the case we do not advise this and have no instructions to assist.

Kind Regards

Ashley Richardson

Well FU2 Ashley, I was thinking, until it occurred that Matt at eSpares might have a more can-do attitude. I was half right because about 30 seconds googling brought me to a YouTube called "How to Restring a Horizontal Woodblind" by which did very much as it says on the tin:-

Next stop Ebay to order some venetian blind cord (£8.59/11,50€ inc. postage: here) and, this having duly arrived, yesterday I went up to the house to attempt the job. OK, it took about 45 times as long as the vid implies due to the fiddlyness of threading the cord through the roller mechanism but, despite the dire prognostications of Ashley at Web-Blinds, the job was ultimately entirely successful after remarkably little DIY Tourettes:-

The point here is that, if it weren't for YouTube (and by extension the fibre optic cable laid out to this island two years ago before which it wasn't possible to watch YTs), it would never have occurred to me that this was a repair I could have done myself and I'd have ended up paying 10 times as much as I did for a new blind.

Now I'm off to pen a carefully crafted reply to Ashley. It will involve telling her to:-