As many of you know, I work for the Y. This is an organization that people pay to be a part of. They take their hard-earned money and purchase a membership. And when they do, it is extremely important that we take care of them. If they have a problem, we fix it. We go to great lengths – even going against policy at times – to make sure our members feel they are being taken care of.
Because I go to such great lengths to make sure our members are satisfied, I am always taken aback when I get really bad customer service. And this week, I received bad customer service. In fact, it was so bad, that I have this incredible urge to tell you about it.
First, this summer, the wife and I decided that we needed to purchase some adult-like furniture for our “play room” – which is actually our formal living room. You can tell because it has a fireplace. For some crazy reason we actually thought that if we bought storage that looked less red and blue molded plastic and more wood and metal, that the room could serve a dual purpose of entertaining kids and adults alike.
But where to buy this furniture? We then decided to turn to one of the thousands of catalogs that find their way to our mailbox each and every day. We settled on Home Decorators. Right off the bat, things went bad. We had to wait over two months for one of the pieces to arrive as it was on “back order” – which is code for “We don’t know what we’re doing and did not anticipate anyone actually wanting to purchase that item.”
But that’s not what upset me the most. You see, we have two toddlers running around. Toddlers do wild things. Toddlers decide that a door should open one way when it was really meant to open the other way. Before you know it, a door to your credenza thingy has become separated in a way that was not meant to be separated. In short, TheMonk ripped the door off the hinge.
To further complicate matters, these “hinges” are specifically made for this piece. They are plastic, springy things that hold the door in place from the top and bottom of the door. These were probably made by some third-world child making 10 cents an hour and looked like you could purchase a couple of these thing straight from the little toy dispensers at the front of the grocery store.
After inspecting the damage, I decided to see if I could get replacement parts via the Home Decorators website. After poking around, I found that if you were missing parts you could email them and they would send you replacement parts. The problem is, I wasn’t missing parts. Mine were broken. And it was way past that little 90-day warranty thing. But that didn’t stop me from emailing them to see if I could get replacement parts. I fully expected them to send me an email saying something like, “Sure! We can send you the parts. We’ll just need $X for shipping and handling.” Which I would have gladly paid.
Instead I got an email from a woman named Shayla saying that while she was sorry I needed parts, it was their policy not to give them to me. As she put it, “Please note, we do not sell parts.”
So, I fired off an email back telling her how surprised I was that she was offering such crappy customer service and that I would happily shop elsewhere in the future. Oh, and I won’t mind telling all my friends not to shop there too – including the hundreds of people who read my blog on a daily basis.
Well, this not-so-veiled threat was apparently passed along because I got another email from someone named Eileen today apologizing at least twice for causing me inconvenience while reiterating their customer killing policy of me being out of luck once we’re beyond that 90 days. She finished her “you’re outta luck and we really don’t care” email with a “We appreciate your business.” It’s at that time that the water I was drinking while reading my email shot out of my nose.
Uh, no. If you really appreciated my business, Eileen, you’d find a way to get me those two little plastic hinges so I’d be more likely to purchase my next home furnishing item from your company. But now, since you screwed up, that won’t happen.
So, my Internet friends, please do me (and yourself) a favor and DO NOT SHOP AT HOME DECORATORS. Do not shop at the Home Decorators website: www.homedecorators.com.
Trust me, you’ll be much better off finding a company that actually values its customers. And if you know of a good home furnishing website, I’d be happy to know what it is.
The title of this post is from an 80′s song. Can you name the song?”