Friday 3 February 2017

Me vs The Vacuous Ineptitude of Major Companies Poorly Leveraging the Power of the Internet

My baby is growing up. He's quite happy, in fact, to inform you that he's now a grown up. At 3 years old, he feels it's time to get out there into the workforce and become a dump truck. Or a crane. Basically he would like to be a piece of construction equipment. And he also wants his big boy bed.

So, like any good shopper who lives on the fringes of civilization, the internet has become my ally. A plethora of deals at my fingertips, just waiting for me to click send. But this doesn't always work. Sometimes it crashes and burns with the incendiary power of a thousand suns.

After comparing prices, delivery options, and other reasonable shit you compare when looking for big ticket items, I landed on a mattress set sold by a company which we'll call "Sires" in order to protect the guilty.

After spending almost an hour on the phone with their customer service, I rage-cancelled my rather large order with them. Apparently, it's a totally legit Sires business practice to sell you something online, bill you for it, and then simply never send it to you. Ever.

After waiting the better part of a week past the selected delivery date, I finally got through to a real person and asked (very nicely at this point) where my mattress was, given that I had a confirmation email, a delivery date, and a charge on my credit card. Well, as "Edmond" so kindly informed me, it was out of stock, and not getting restocked. I was....unhappy.

Me: Edmond, I'm not really happy about this. I feel like at the time of purchase, your website should have flagged that as an out of stock item so, you know, I didn't buy it.

Ed: Um, well that was the old system, we're on the new system now.

Me: That seems like something of a bug in your system that you all may want to address. When will it be in?

Ed: It looks like it's permanently out of stock.

***I actually put Ed on hold for a minute while I gathered myself so I didn't say something I would later regret***

Me: Ed, you mean to tell me your company charged me for a product you no longer even carry?

Ed: Well it's complicated

Me: No, it really isn't

Ed: Well, big items are held in the warehouse and then if a large order for them comes in, it's not updated on the system...*bla bla bla*

*** I put him on hold again so I could practice some calming breath techniques***

Me: So, by taking my money, you're telling me that it doesn't actually guarantee I'll ever see my item. That's perfect. Good job. Again, your business practices are looking just a hair shady from my perspective.

Basically, it appears that this stellar company took my money, never sent me the mattress, and then just fucking hoped I wouldn't notice?!?!?!? The only reason I had any idea that I was roughly never getting this product was because I called them and gave up an hour of my life to a call centre.

So then they offered me a $50 gift card for my troubles.

Me: Ok fine, send me a different mattress, preferably one that's in stock this time, and take the $50 off it.

Ed: We can't do that. But you can use it on your next purchase!

Me: God help me.

At about this point, I'd given up and with great restraint explained to Ed the finer points of why I would not be shopping with them again, and he could go ahead and refund me for the order I'd otherwise never get.

To his credit, Ed (which is probably not his name, but he felt like an Ed to me) did a formidable job trying to make things work, but unfortunately, it didn't really help. <<they just weren't going to be able to sell me a mattress>>

And so there I was, without a mattress again and surfing the internet for another mattress deal. And I found another store with a website, which for the sake of anonymity we'll call "The Block". They had a special on, they delivered, and they even appeared to have the set in stock.

Sign me up and take my money.

I picked a delivery date and waited.

Then this afternoon (six days later), the day before the mattress was supposed to arrive, I got a call.

Snarky Block Lady: Hi, this is The Block, we've noticed you bought a mattress, but we don't deliver to your area. Oops. You can come pick it up in store.

Me: Oh sweet mother of God, you have got to be kidding me....

SBL: Um, I've refunded you the delivery fee.

Me: Why, oh why, did your website not indicate that delivery to this address wasn't possible. And, for fun, why did it take you over a week to figure that shit out? It was supposed to come TOMORROW!

SBL: Um, I don't really know.

Me: Well, I'm out. Cancel it. I'm done. My kid is sleeping on the floor. Also, you should look into why your website sucks. Because it does.

SBL: Fine. It will take up to a month to refund your money.

Me: *strangled noises* Manager. Find me one.

SBL's Manager: Hi, can I help you. (<-- notice that's not phrased as a question)

Me: Yes. I want my money back, as mattresses are inherently unattainable, and I would like it to take less that a month for that to happen.

SBL's Manager: Oh, she didn't say 30 days, she said 3.

Me: Nope, she said a month.

SBL's Manager: Um, no she said 3 days, you probably misheard.

Me: Yes, I often mistake the words "up to a month" for the words "3 days". Very similar, I can see how that would happen. I remember playing the Telephone game in elementary school. History is replete with alternative facts. Just refund me my money and send me a confirmation email please, and we can all hurry up and never speak to each other again.

SBL's Manager: Sure. But it's a form we send to upper management to void the order, so I'm not sure if I can email it to you.

I took 2 minutes to explain the concept of a scanner and hung up. *Table flip*

So hours of my life and 2 purchases later, I was still mattress-less.

And then I got a hold of a local company called L&B Luxury Beds, recommended by my coworker. They are not a big box store, and yet they apparently have stock, people who answer the phones, and customer service standards. I called them shortly after my blood pressure settled, and within minutes had confirmed that the bed I wanted was in stock and ready for pick up this weekend, and for less than either other company. 

So here's a big plug for the little guys, and a serious shake-your-fucking-heads to the big stores who basically take your money and make you suffer for it. Maybe now my 3 year old will finally get his big boy bed!

While the train bed is cool, he tells me he's a
grown up now, so he needs a big bed...
Putting the old bed inside the new bed helps. 

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