Thursday, August 23, 2007

I've made my big, giant bed I must lie in it. Que sera, sera.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

cranky update

My Dear Jon letter just came back from the Post Office marked Undeliverable: No Mail Receptacle. I mailed it to the store address. I cannot find another.

It must be stated for the record that it says clearly on the bill that "Generally, it is not our policy to refund or exchange purchases. However, in the event that a refund or exchange is approved, a 15% restocking fee will apply."

It is our contention that an exchange was approved. Unfortunately, I started yelling at the "customer service rep" as soon as the words "We never agreed to exchange the platform free of charge, but I can give you a discounted price of $150 on one..." were out his mouth.

"Well, now you're just lying!" I sputtered, adding "this is outrageous!" and, "I can no longer deal with you!" at a very unladylike volume before handing the phone to my husband, who listened silently and closed with, "I'm going to contact Consumer Affairs and get back to you."

Now I find that dear Jon hasn't even read of my righteous, if sputtering anger, and I cannot be trusted to get back on the phone without flying off the handle. Turk refuses to place a call, saying that they have already made their decision clear and, as they are not legally obligated to make good on their offer of a fair exchange there is nothing more we can do.

He is right, of course.

Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
1 Ashley WayArcadia, WI 54612WI
Tel. 608-323-3377

Ron Wanek, Chairman

August 19, 2007

Dear Mr. Wanek,

I am writing to you regarding a recent negative experience we had in making a purchase at your [southern California] location.

We had occasion to buy a full-sized mattress and box spring for our guest room bedroom on August 2, 2007. Soon after receiving the delivery, it was clear we had made a mistake; not only was the mattress (a Simmons Sleeper’s Choice, Wyden Plush model) not two-sided , as we had thought, but the box spring caused the bed to sit too high on the headboard, which is a vintage mid-century design and considerably lower to the floor than contemporary styles. The headboard simply disappeared behind the mattress.

Knowing that the height issue was the result of our mistake, we fully expected to have to pay a 15% ‘restocking’ charge and lose the cost of delivery. The mattress set is in the guest room, and as yet unused. What we did not expect was to be treated with such contempt by the customer service department.

Not only were we consistently lied to by the salesman, the ‘co-owner’ Jon and his ‘customer service’ representative regarding a lot of nonsense about state law forbidding such returns, but we were told that an offer made by Jon to substitute a lower platform for the mattress at no additional charge never happened. In my experience, it is not good business to call your customers liars and cheats.

I understand that each store is individually owned and operated. I am writing to you because we were unable to get satisfaction from the individuals with whom we were dealing, and because as founder and chairman you may have interest in the public face of the company you founded. It benefits no one when customers are insulted, and complaints allowed to go unresolved.

Enclosed is a copy of the letter sent to the local owner, to which there has been no reply.


Monday, August 20, 2007

on becoming a crank

It has been said that while one satisfied customer will tell 2 or 3 people, a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 or 12. A dissatisfied customer with a blog will tell....OK, in my case I'm still just telling 10. But it feels good anyway.

open letter to Jon, co-owner - Ashley Furniture Homestore

August 16, 2007

Dear Jon,

As I have been unable to reach you by phone, I wanted you to know that I have contacted the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Home Furnishings regarding the law cited by you, your salesman and your 'customer service' representative that you cannot accept returns on mattresses and/or box springs; I believe the words your rep used were that he "cannot even have them in the warehouse, legally."

This is patently untrue. There is no such law in the state of California. The law does require that you sanitize and relabel such returns before re sale, but there is unequivocally no law that states that you cannot take them back. Frankly, when asked about the validity of your claims the Department of Consumer Affairs representative laughed out loud. While I understand that you do not wish to lose any profits from a sale, presumably the restocking fee is designed to be at least partial compensation for such a return. But the premise that you can't accept a return by law is one thing; the fact that you do not wish to is quite another.

I find your business practices slick and misleading. What we were asking for is fair and reasonable. Furthermore, to be told by your representative that you never offered to exchange the platform without further charge is, as we all know, untrue.

Needless to say, my husband and I are very displeased with your company, your service, and your level of commitment to your customers. I hope that this meager sale was worth the considerable ill will it has created. Having been in business myself for over 30 years, I somehow doubt it very much.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

once upon a mattress

Mom's furniture arrived a few weeks ago, and although I have not yet had much time to deal with it I am glad it's here. It is beautiful. It is Mom. I'm happy that it is in my home.

A couple of weeks ago, expecting dinner (not overnight) guests but still wanting the room to have some semblance of presentablity, my husband and I went to the Ashley Furniture HomeStore in our area and selected a full size Simmons mattress set to be delivered the following week; too late for our guests but no one, we were assured, would have been able to deliver earlier.

When the mattress set arrived, the delivery guys tossed the box spring and the mattress onto the bed frame. And my lovely Heywood Wakefield headboard, polished over a half a century to a glossy amber hue, promptly disappeared.
It seems that the sleek, low-slung furniture of the 20th century was not designed to accommodate the over-sized, plumped-up lushness of the 21st. My husband came back after the deliverymen left to find me staring at 23" of bedding looming, in all it's glorious plushness astride a 21" frame. We burst out laughing.
We're not laughing anymore.
When we tried to return the set, we were told by the salesman that they could exchange the box for a lower platform, which would reduce the height by a possible 3". No mention of additional charges were made. It was a reasonable solution to a problem, which after all, had been our mistake.

Then the salesman said, "We can't take it back. It isn't store policy. It's the law."

I should have kept my mouth shut. I could have kept my mouth shut. But something happens when people lie to me. I have little control over it; I swear it's physiological ~ the hairs on my neck stand on end, the blood rushes to my face, my heart starts pounding and my breath gets shallow. It has nothing to do with the nature of the lie, it's relative importance to me, my life or the person telling it ~ I don't even have to know for sure that it's a lie, just a vague suspicion that it is. Something in my brain clicks off and I see red. And then I don't have the sense to leave it alone.

"Well, that's not true," I said. Mildly, I thought. It was just a statement of fact.

The salesman, Ron, who had seemed so congenial a few days ago, immediately went on the offensive.
"So now you just want to return it? Now you just want your money back?"

"Well, now...yeah. All of a sudden I feel like I have no other options. O.K. I guess that is what I want." I looked at Turk. He nodded. From a safe distance.

"Well, we can't do that. I told you. It's against the law. You don't believe me? I'll let you talk to one of the owners." He strode angrily to the front of the store. "Wait here," he said.

The co-owner, who seemed affable enough, introduced himself as Jon and listened politely to our story. We told him that we understood store policy (printed on the receipt) indicated that there was a 15% restocking fee charged for returns and that we knew we would lose the delivery charge, but that we didn't want the set and that we didn't understand how this had gone so far as to be confrontational. He said that his customer service person, who was not on site, would call us the next day with a list of options. He was friendly but firm.

"We can't take it back," he said. "I can't even have it on the premises. It's against the law. It's not worth my losing my business license over."
We left the store.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

just changin' the profile

There'll be a change in the weather,

a change in the sea.

Before long there'll be a change in me.

My walk will be diff'rent,

my talk and my name,

Ain't nothin' about me is gonna to be the same.

I'm goin' to change my way of livin', boys,

(if) that ain't enough,

Well then I'll change the way I strut my stuff,

Nobody wants you when you're old and gray.

There'll be some changes made to-day.

There'll be some changes made.

~ Words Billy Higgins and Music by W.B. Overstreet

Always loved that song. Time again to live it.

* 3:35 update ~ oops. Now I lost both profile pics. D'oh!

* 4:46 update ~ finally got it. Now I don't like it. Looks like the wrong size. Now I must change back.

What a Homer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

everybody knows your name

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge, dweeby, recite-entire-episodes from memory, stalker-quality fan of the The Simpsons. Naturally, like all rabid Simpson lovers I have always harbored a secret desire to be Simpsonized ~ what's good enough for Liz Taylor, Tony Blair and Thomas Pynchon et al is certainly good enough for me.

And now, thanks to Burger King and the very clever
Cynthia, I have!

I am over the moon.

Now, see how easy that was? So hop on over to Springfield. I'll meet you down at Moe's ~ the d'ohs and the Duffs are on me.

Monday, August 06, 2007

dropping in to say hey

I'm not sure that graphic will be big enough to see so here's a link. I can never seem to get anything large enough in here. Don't know why. But I love The Woman Who's Easily Peeved ~ why, it's practically like looking in the mirror. Nicole Hollander is my hero. She draws all my rants so I don't have to ~ what a time saver! And gives me a bigger laugh than I deserve in the process. Brilliant.

A few months ago I had an idea that it might be fun to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I could discipline myself enough to write a post everyday.

It didn't have to be big, or good, or illustrated. Just a wee poor thing, if that be all, but at least a nod. A nod to the blog.

Regardless of how busy or how rushed I was. Without consideration of form, subject, punctuation or prose.

No matter how inane or trivial the topic. Heedless of how clever or dull-witted I felt ~ drunk or sober, I would write. Something. Anything.

I think it's going well so far.