Get Everything Written Down Beforehand!

وَلَا تَسْأَمُوا أَنْ تَكْتُبُوهُ صَغِيرًا أَوْ كَبِيرًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَأَقْوَمُ لِلشَّهَادَةِ وَأَدْنَىٰ أَلَّا تَرْتَابُوا ۖ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً حَاضِرَةً تُدِيرُونَهَا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَلَّا تَكْتُبُوهَا ۗ

[2:282] And do not be [too] weary to write it [contract], whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it.

One of the lessons I learned (perhaps a bit too late) when getting things like large house items moved to your place is to get the cost of delivery + helping move it to your place written down on the receipt. When you purchase large items like fridges, wardrobes, sofas etc. the sale will be done at the store and you will get a receipt. However once the item is delivered and moved to your house, the men will ask for money to cover the cost of delivery and also for any help that they provide moving the items to your house. Particularly if you are living on floors where they have to take items up staircases.

The first incident when I bought a fridge, I asked how much the cost for delivery and moving the item up to my place would be. The seller just mentioned a few thousand Tomans – however, when the items were delivered and moved to my place, the 2 individuals asked for an insane amount and knowing barely any legit conversational Farsi back then, I had no other option but to pay them. Second time around, I had to buy a mattress and after the sale, I verbally confirmed the price with the seller for delivery & helping out. I clarified with him that I live on the second floor (i.e it will require going up the stairs). He quoted an amount and said if you help the driver take it up it will be this certain amount. When the driver came, he left the mattress at the building’s entrance staircase and when I told him I live upstairs he started going on and on about how he isn’t being paid for it and he was never told to take it upstairs. I had to use a guilt-trip on him in order to get him to at least help me, saying that do you want me to just leave this mattress out here or are you implying that I carry this all the way upstairs myself? He changed his mind when he realized he’s being impossible, and helped out. The mattress was probably the most easiest thing to bring up to date anyways. At the end I gave him some money myself as a thank-you gesture.

The third incident is to do with my wardrobe. Before buying a wardrobe, I paid the amount for it and asked the seller what the cost of delivery + moving it up will be. He said that the delivery will be a certain amount and that the 2 people helping will be a certain amount each. I said, I don’t need 2 people, I just need one as I can help out from the other end – which will subsequently save me some money. He agreed, but this time I made him write it down on the receipt the cost of delivery and also for helping. Lo and behold when the wardrobe comes, I see two people who had put the wardrobe out of the vehicle. I thought they were being nice and that they would both help me take it up for the price that was quoted, but that was just my wishful thinking. I told them I live upstairs and the first thing they mentioned was whether I knew that would be additional cost. I told them, I already got it clarified and written on the receipt how much I will be paying for it. One of the younger guys quickly called up the manager or whoever (the same individual who I spoke to) and told him the situation (that I am not paying them more). They passed the phone to me, and the manager said “remember I said that for 2 people it will be this-amount” and I simply replied back saying, yeah and that is why I asked for 1 person and not 2 people, as I will be the “second” person helping out. The guy got upset and went and sat in the vehicle while the other man kept asking him to forget about it and just help out. Anyways, he didn’t so we both carried the wardrobe up (it was missions, since the wardrobe is wide and the staircases are pretty steep).

That 2nd individual, perhaps helped out during one instance when he had to turn around the staircase and that was literally it. 2 of them were on one side for that, while I was on the other end doing most of the lifting and pushing. After me and the one older individual put the wardrobe in the bedroom, the compensation conversation started again. I showed them the receipt, they tried long and hard (probably a good 5-7 minute conversation) trying to get me to pay them more, but I really wasn’t planning on budging this time; 1) because the other guy didn’t exactly help out 2) I was jokingly asking them to pay me money for doing more than half the work 3) him saying that the other person is only 24 years old and has a family didn’t help either since I am also 24 with a family and on top of that, a student and most importantly 4) I got it written out on the receipt for this very reason so we don’t have to argue about it!

Hopefully, this makes them realize that they should be a bit more attentive to what they are being told and not take everything lightly. In all 3 incidents, not even one driver/helper knew that he had to take the items upstairs even though I had told each of the sellers at their respective stores. So there is obviously some negligence on the manager’s part in not telling the drivers/movers the complete situation. Unfortunately, some of the businesses really need to learn some business-ethics here. It’s just the way things are and the Iranians themselves are accustomed to dealing with it, and they probably don’t even see anything wrong with it. However, if you are coming from the West or another part of the world, all this may feel very odd and annoying. All I know is that I’m always going to try and ask them to write things down especially when it comes to paying money or anything along those lines.

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