Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Customer Service

I'm not one to brag, usually, but if there is one thing I do exceptionally well, it's customer service. So, it really pisses me off to get bad customer service. And when that bad customer service bleeds over into abuse, well. I'm left speechless.

Or at least that's what the jackass was probably hoping for.

Back story: April 19, Friday. Steve and I decided enough is enough. Our bedroom is filled with boxes of clothes and whatnot, the floor is covered in clothes, and I can't find 3/4 of my stuff. When we moved from New Zealand, we sold off our bedroom furniture. The houses we had been looking at on the market here all had amazing storage and closet space. So how did we wind up in the one that doesn't? The point is, we desperately need a dresser, and bedside tables would really come in handy, too.

So, April 19, we head out. The first place we stopped was Basset Furniture. Have you ever been there? Because they have gorgeous things. Oh I want all the things! And the lady that walked around with us was really nice. But, you pay a lot for gorgeous things, and it's just not in the budget right now. <Heavy sigh.>

The next place we went into was a budget furniture place. I didn't like any of the things in there. Probably because we had just come from the land of gorgeous furniture. But, again, the lady was nice and showed us the catalogues  of the furniture they have available "in the warehouse." Low and behold, we found a dresser and bedside tables that, while I didn't love them, they were serviceable. Still a bit more than I wanted to pay, but close enough that we could swing it.

We were informed that they would receive the items the next Friday, and we could pick them up on Saturday. She would call us Friday to let us know all was well.

Now, I keep debating whether I should name the store, but the fact is, if you get really good service somewhere, you don't hesitate to name that place. For instance, Cash n Carry in El Cajon? Great place! I wish there was one up here because I'd be in there every week! But if it's a bad place, you might tell your close friends and family, but to publicly denounce the place? Someone might get offended! So, I've been arguing with myself all day about it. I figure it's a bit like ripping a band aid off:

Furniture and Beyond on Winchester Road in Temecula, California is a very bad place. Avoid 

That's better. Back to my story.

April 26, Friday: the day they were supposed to call. Yeah, you guessed it. No call.

April 27, Saturday: We called them. And by "we" I mean I made Steve call. The woman who answered the phone remembered Steve from the week before, and thought it was strange no one had told her the items had come in. She'd "check into it" and call right back. Checking into it took 2 hours. When she finally called back, we didn't hear the phone, so she left a message saying the items would be delivered to the store on Tuesday, and she didn't know why.


April 30, Tuesday: Again, no phone call. So Steve called, again. Different woman this time, but same reaction: No idea,check into it, call back. This time, though, "checking into it" took 4 hours. When she called back, finally, she told Steve that the items we had ordered were out of stock in the warehouse, and that it would take 3-4 weeks from the time the order was placed for the items to be delivered to the store. Did we want to place the order?

I forgot to mention that on the 19th, a week and a half ago, when we placed the order, we paid in full. That's right. They took the entire payment, and now wanted to know if we wanted to place the order.

As it turns out, it was a deceptively easy question. The answer: No. No, we do not want to place the order, we want a refund. Easy peasy.

May 1, Wednesday: This is where it got fun. I was already upset at the service, or lack thereof, and upset that we still don't have any drawers, and I've been having a rough week anyway. So, I was very grateful that Steve came with me to the store to get the refund. Sometimes I just need his strength.

And oh how I needed it today!

We walked in, and the woman who had taken our order that first day was standing around. "Are you looking for George?" she asks.

"Anyone," replies Steve. I kept my mouth closed because I wouldn't be nearly so nice. Yeah, anyone who can see daylight out their rear, is along the lines of my thoughts.

George, a short, late middle aged, Israeli immigrant is standing by the counter with his plastic smile. Dude should be selling used cars.

Steve tries to explain the situation. Tries being the optimum word here because during his explanation, George is talking over him, interrupting (have I ever told you how much I loathe interruptions), and then. THEN! He makes a call to the warehouse, WHILE STEVE IS STILL TALKING! And I'm thinking, it just doesn't get anymore rude than this.

How wrong I was.

He gets off the phone and says, as though we were naughty children, "It be here next Friday." Um, fine, maybe someone else will want to buy your crap. Steve, showing a herculean amount of patience, starts to explain, once again, that we are walking away from this fiasco, and just want the refund.

I'm not nearly so patient. "It was supposed to be delivered LAST Friday!" Now, I admit, I raised my voice slightly. I wasn't yelling, Steve can certainly attest to that. I'm loud by nature, and sometimes I have a hard time hearing people. I figured maybe George was having that problem since he certainly wasn't listening.

"Zip it." Seriously. He told me to "ZIP IT" and made that motion like he was zipping his lips shut.

My eyes went really wide, and Steve started moving in between George and I. George is so lucky Steve was there.

It went on from there. Honestly, I was so angry I don't remember exact words. He did suggest that women are second class citizens. I wasn't allowed to talk. At one point I thought Steve was going to deck him, and it takes a LOT to get Steve's feathers ruffled. Hell, he lives with me!

Eventually, Steve sent me out to the car before I did something we'd...well, I can't say I'd regret it. But court dates can be rather inconvenient.

Apparently, George kept getting more obnoxious. He couldn't work the point of sale machine, so had to call that company. Steve said George was screaming at the person on the other end of the line and slamming his hand on the table. The word of the day on George's calendar was "stupid." "Stupid machine," and "stupid California," "stupid Temecula," "stupid customer."

The thing is, in addition to being the world's worst customer service person, George is giving a horrible name to Israelis and immigrants. I've known Israelis. Granted, not a lot, but a few. I've always found them to be very nice.

I also pay attention to the current public opinion of immigrants, being married to one, it's a personal issue. Let's face it, the general feeling towards immigrants in America is not positive. And a lot of it has to do with people like George. George didn't come here for a better life. He didn't come here so that his children could have opportunities that he didn't. Some immigrants have come to America for those reasons, and they work hard for the right to be here. People like George come here because the people in his own country can't stand him either.

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