Friday, May 15, 2009

The Saga of the Bed

I was reading the Yarn Harlot's post about her experience at the airport and I wondered if perhaps there is a conspiracy against women named Stephanie with hyphenated last names. Let me tell you my tale of woe and you decide:

Soooooooo... some of you who know me in real life may recall that back in January Mr. Happy and I purchased a new bed. I can't remember if I blogged about this or not, but to recap, here is what happened over the course of two months:

January 24 or 25:
- select bed
- hand salesman credit card from department store
- card has not been used in 6 years. account is dead
- apply for new card, thus getting 10% off bed (yay!)
- all is well.

February 3rd, aka eve of delivery:
- remove old bed from room
- phone rings
- New bed is on back order
- put old bed back in room on floor

February 18:
- new bed is delivered by lovely delivery men who set up mattress.
- Delivery men wish me well with my own delivery (i.e. baby) and leave.
- Neighbour comes over. We both hop on new mattress.
- Discover it is not PLUSH as we ordered, but firm.
- immediately call 1-800 number
- wait on hold 5 minutes
- CSR tells me that I'll need to call local Dept Store for SKU
- Tell him he's not dealing with average Joe, read SKU from tag on mattress
- they have indeed delivered wrong mattress
- CSR promises to fix it (I am skeptical)

February 19:
- call salesman at Dept Store and explain situation
- salesman promises to look into it and call me back

Days go by
- no call from salesman, no word from any Dept Store CSR.
- I call local salesman again. AGAIN he promises to call back

Days go by
- no call from salesman
- I stop at Dept Store on way home and find salesman
- Ask him where it stands.
- find out that he has had to cancel and re-do transaction so that the correct mattress will be delivered
- does not explain his amnesia with regards to phone

March 12th:
- phone call from Dept Store delivery dept.
- plan to deliver next morning, will we be home? NO! I have staff meeting. Mr. Happy is looking in on his mom.
- Delivery Dept says that she can make a note that drivers must call one hour in advance of delivery
- hang up phone, relieved to settle issues and feeling good about getting correct mattress.

March 13th
- Neighbour hears delivery drivers banging on our door at 9am.
- Mr. Happy is at his mom's house (precisely 2.1km away) and has not received a call from the drivers.
- Neighbour calls Mr. Happy (thank goodness she has our cellphone numbers)
- Mr Happy says he can be home in 5 minutes
- Delivery drivers rudely respond to my neighbour, "They always say that. We can't wait."
- Neighbour, knowing saga, offers to sign for mattress.
- Idiotic drivers leave expensive mattress sitting on our front porch - Also leave the firm mattress, which was to be returned,in our house! - ALSO they were told to set up the mattress as I cannot lift NOR can my husband.
- Mr. Happy arrives - he and neighbour drag mattress into house. Neighbour is 60 year old woman with bad leg. Mr. Happy has a bad back that can go "out" from simplest tasks. Luckily, neither of them hurt themselves.
- I stop by Dept Store after work and talk to Manager.
- Explain situation to her, explain I understand delivery drivers are under contract but that I also understand that they are meant to represent Dept Store while on delivery. I am not upset with the Dept Store, BUT I think it is something she might want to address with delivery service.
- Tell her about their rude behaviour and failure to carry mattress into house and to pick up return item.
- Dept Store manager remains calm, but I can tell she is livid.
- Later that evening Mr. Happy and Brother-in-law manage to carry mattress upstairs.
- Sleep on and LOVE new mattress

Wednesday of next week:
- Delivery drivers arrive to pick up mattress - evening shift
- One is the very kind delivery driver from February delivery
- He asks what happened. I explain. He says, "oooooh, I heard about this." in an ominous tone.
- Firm mattress finally leaves premises.
- Breathe sigh of relief.

April rolls around.
- Mr. Happy makes payment on mattress at Dept Store - he doesn't have bill with him, so clerk looks up my account in computer system.
- Several days later, we get call from Dept store account company
- They inform us that we haven't paid.
- I inform them that we have and he says they have no record.
- Mr. Happy searches for receipt and decides it is best to call local Dept Store and speak to manager.
- Sharon, Dept Store Manager, discovers that, DESPITE the fact that my old Dept store credit card was deemed "non-active" back in January, the money we paid went on the old card.

This is where the story really upsets me. My philosophy in life has always been that you catch more bees with honey. I have worked customer service and understand that customers can be stupid. As a customer, I understand that customer service representatives have often had really crappy days and as such, I figure someone has to be nice to them, right? I usually pick myself to do that job. It makes them feel better AND it sometimes has the bonus of paying off for me (some day, I'll tell you how I got a flight home for two of us from Montreal, despite flights being oversold, an awful snowstorm, piles of stranded passengers and flight attendants who looked like they could use a good nap / a stiff drink.)

- I call Dept Store Credit Company (which is neither owned by nor managed by the Dept Store - seriously, they need to reconsider some of these contracts)
- After typing in my account #, Arsehat on phone tells me that he needs me to tell him my account number. I give him the new account number.
- Arsehat asks for name and address. All is well.
- Arsehat asks for my birthdate. I spout off my birthdate.
- Arsehat responds "That's not what we have here."
- I respond, "WHAT?"
- Arsehat responds, "That's not the birthdate we have for you. I can't prove that you are Stephanie ______-____."
- This is when my emotions get the better of me. I explain that the birthdate is wrong. That I am the ONLY Stephanie ______-____ in the world. That if you search my name online, you get 6 hits - ALL ME! and that I am 8 months pregnant, this bed has been nothing but trouble from day one and that I really just want to tell him why it looks like we haven't paid.
- Arsehat says, "I'm just trying to protect your privacy!"
- I can't help but think that it is ironic that he's protecting MY privacy when he can't agree that the account is mine. I tell him that I understand privacy legislation (part of my job requires it) and ask him to understand that I just want to tell him where the payment has gone.
- Arsehat tells me I'm yelling.
- I explain that I'm not yelling, but that I am quite frustrated. (I am not yelling, trust me. Arsehat hasn't heard yelling. I was CRYING!)
- Arsehat tells me that he can't continue the call and hangs up.
- Seriously, I wasn't yelling. I was crying. I may have yelled an expletive at the phone when he hung up.

- Mr. Happy, in the meantime, is extremely upset and would have strangled Arsehat with his bare hands if possible.
- Mr. Happy calls our new BFF, Sharon, Dept Store manager back and lets her know that credit company doesn't have the right birthdate for me and that they won't talk to me and asks if there is anything she can do. Sharon agrees to send email to head of Credit Company to explain situation.
- In the meantime, frustration and my pregnancy-induced looniness have me pacing the living room sobbing and saying, "Fine, if I'm not me then they can't have my money. GOOD LUCK finding another Stephanie ______ -____in the world!"
- Mr. Happy worries that I'm going to go into labour and encourages me to calm down.

- Once both of us are calm, he encourages me to call Credit Company back and maintain my composure.
- I do so, getting Miss Put You On Hold.
- We go through the initial "greeting".
- I tell her account, name, address, etc and then as she asks for birthdate, I say, "Ok, I've just spoken with one of your coworkers who has informed me that my birthdate is not correct on your system. Can I please explain the situation to you and you can decide what to do from there?"
- She agrees to listen.
- I explain that the $ was paid on my old account. That the Dept Store had the number in their computer system. That I just want them to get their $. I give her all the information that I have and I am hopeful.
- Miss Put You On Hold says, "Can I put you on hold and talk to my manager."
- I wait on hold for an eternity.
- She comes back, "Ok, I'm going to transfer you to my manager and she's going to call you back, is your number XXX-XXX-XXXX?"
- I confirm number but wonder why she would be transferring me if the manager was going to call me back.
- I decide that logic is not the Credit Company's strong suit and wait on hold for what seems like another eternity.
- Finally, I have enough and hang up the phone.

- While waiting for the Credit Company manager to call back, Sharon calls to inform me that she has sent an email to Francine at the Credit Company. Francine, it seems, is good at her job and won't let this go on.
- I thank Sharon with complete sincerity and say, "you know Sharon, this whole situation has been a disaster right from the start..." and I explain the wrong mattress delivered, correct mattress delivered to my front step, rude delivery drivers etc.
- Sharon gasps and says, "OH NO! I remember you! OH NO! I don't want this to be your experience with our Dept Store."
- I say, "Oh Sharon, I don't want it to be my experience either!"

- Two days later, Mr. Happy checks phone messages. There is a very, very apologetic message from the Credit Company thanking us for our payment and apologizing for the troubles.

So, whaddaya think? Does someone have it in for Stephanies with hyphenated last names or what?

(Those of you who know the name of the Department store, please don't mention it in the comments.)



  2. Well...shit.

    You were much better behaved than I would have been.

  3. why the heck not - mention the freaking dept store - they are ass hats who need to have better customer service and contracts!!!!

  4. I have an idea which dept store we are talking about...I have actually boycotted it for a very long time--okay, last summer I needed summer stuff, walked in and both t-shirts for DH,and swimsuits for kids, but nothing for ME!

    Good help is getting really hard to find!

  5. Anonymous2:22 p.m.

    I'm with lulubelle. I would have gone completely bananas.

  6. Holy crow. That's effed in the A. You should get your mattress for free.

  7. I think they owe you some free sheets at the very least! Oh, and a new 8 slice toaster.

    How about a watch? Do you need a watch?