Monday, 4 February 2013

Oh, and things don't get better with the mattress fiasco

Warning: This is a rage-induced RANT!

So just after my last post about the master bedroom and the tragic mattress delivery, I get a call back from the delivery people. The boss-man I spoke to wanted them to come back to get a photo of the damage "I claim they did". I told them I would be happy to take a photo and send it to them or whoever wants it, but NO, they must take it themselves. Of course I didn't want them to come back in, but they were outside the house not 2 minutes later! They come in, I ask them to take their shoes off and the eye-rolls and groans?! Yup, that's how they feel about the shoe thing. They follow me upstairs and I show them the damage and "asshole number one" we will call him proceeds to rant about how IF they were the ones who did it (which they know they were NOT) that it was my fault for not having a door stop, but they know there is no way they did it and it was likely I did it myself and wanted to pin it on someone! I explained that I had JUST finished painting the room (in fact I am still doing touch ups today!) but they were pretty nasty and adamant that it was not them and it was me. I said I stood to gain nothing by blaming them (I have to fix the hole regardless), but they had no more to say to me. "Asshole number two" called their boss right then and there and told them about the "no door stop" and that there is no proof it was them. They then marched out of my house saying not one word to me. Awesome. Fucking. Day.

There were more phone calls after this point, but I won't go into any more detail than I already have. Needless to say today has not been a good day!

Hole in my newly painted wall! I knew it was too good to be true, my work is never done!

Over the past 8-ish months I have had a lot of dealings with shops and contract workers in the name of working on this home. I have dealt with big chain stores and independent shops and contractors. From this I have learned quite a bit - but no matter what I have experienced, there is sometimes no amount of foresight that will prevent issues from arising. Some of the most major problems I have had recently have been with small businesses or "the little guy". I want to support small, local businesses, but to be honest I have been put off. It is not to say all small businesses are bad to deal with, I have just had some bad luck - don't boycott the little guy, just try to learn who you are dealing with first! Small businesses often have strict policies to protect themselves and you can forget about it, they won't budge from those policies for a customer! They are the first to complain that big box stores are taking their customers, but they need to open their eyes and realize it is their attitude and policies that are putting customers off - as a consumer I have to look out for my money just as much as they do!

My first trouble was with a sofa shop this past summer (a small-ish shop with just a handful of locations around the Toronto area) which was not easily or pleasantly resolved. The sofa shop was new to me and had I been smarter, I would have looked up some reviews before making such a major purchase from them! And now the mattress fiasco - I was surprised in this case because I had dealt with this company in the past in fact my brother just bought a mattress from them in the fall and everything went well. On the flip side I have had the pleasure of working with an independent electrician who was A-MAZE-BALLS! He came out less than a week before Christmas to help me with a lighting/wiring crisis and thanks to him, we had light over our dining table for Christmas (eve) dinner! He worked fast, was neat and tidy and did not charge me an arm and a leg - he certainly did not have to take such a small job and so close to Christmas. I also hired a plumber who saved the day back in September, it was a small family run operation and I know exactly who I will go back to for future plumbing issues (fingers crossed I won't need to though!). As for the big box/chain stores?! I have had both good and bad experience with places like Home Depot (it depends on the day and time you go, who is available to help you), but overall they have helped pull me through some tough spots! Canadian Tire? Big store, been around FOREVER, but lately this place has let me down. Customer service is non-existent. I have actually had the same cashier twice recently, and each time she has not looked at me or said two words as she is ringing in my purchases (not even hello! She just mumbles the total and holds out the receipt for me to catch when she's done). This girl looked straight through me and never broke her conversation with a fellow cashier. And good luck finding help at Canadian Tire, there is never an employee to be found on the store floor - you stand a better chance of spotting Bigfoot. And everyone's favorite Ikea! I am sure everyone has had frustrations here, the place is so damn big and there are not many of them, so people come from near and far on a Saturday and pack the showroom maze and self-serve warehouse. Regardless of how busy and nightmarish the crowds can be, I have always been treated well by cashiers and customer service representatives. In fact, when we moved to this home I lost the key to my Ikea PS cabinet (they are the best you know!). I stayed up nights looking for that key - it could not be found and I could not get into that cabinet without it (or without breaking the lock!). I emailed Ikea and within a week I had two new sets of keys and two new locks (in case I had decided to break into the cabinet in a fit of rage). They were my heroes!!! And their meatballs and mashed potatoes aren't bad either!

So there you have it, big business or the little guy, you can have a great experience or be treated like crap. Just remember, when it is a little shop or business that wrongs you, you often don't have anywhere to turn in getting your issue resolved. Sometimes all you can do is write about your experience to vent your anger, sadness and disappointment.

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