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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Customer Service?...NOT!


I so admire my husband.

He just bought an expensive planer at a major home improvement center. (I won't name it because we could get sued). But, it ryhmes with sews.

He bought it in February, and as you may recall (if you are a regular reader), we were gone for 3 weeks in February on a cross country trip to Florida. He has used it maybe for 3 or 4 different times since we got back.

Yesterday, he turned it on and it ran fine, but it would not feed the boards into the planer to be planed. He tried everything. He checked the manual. He cleaned it out. He let it rest and tried again. Nope, it would not feed the boards in.

Luckily, I keep receipts for all of our purchases for about a year (or the length of a warranty, at least). So, we are pretty confident that we can probably return the planer for a new one that works, since it is practically brand new.

So, he calls the HIC (home improvement center that rhymes with sews) and asks if he can return it. He gets someone who hims and haws and then puts him on hold to get someone ELSE to talk to him.

Let's stop right there for a moment, shall we?

Now, if it was ME, I would not call them! I would've shown up, sweaty, frustrated and with a wheelbarrow hauling ass with that contraption in it and I would have plopped in down in front of the return desk and handed them the receipt and opened my wallet for my return.

Oh. No.

He patiently and apologetically explains his dilemma to who answers the phone and asks for assistance as to whether or not (get this): they would consider repairing it. (Picture me, in the background, squirming in my seat, sighing loudly and waving my arms to say return it, damn it! It is NOT YOUR FAULT their crappy, cheaply made planer couldn't take 20 boards through it!).

So the HIC person tells him to call the manufacturer to see if THEY can tell us HOW TO FIX IT! (Are you frickin' kidding me?: I am thinking! Why can't we just return it and get a new one?)!!

So he THANKS the HIC person and dials the manufacturer and promptly gets a menu of choices on the phone. (You know the drill: push 1 if you are calling about your bill, push 2 if you are a distributer...etc. Push 114 if you are my mother-in-law...)

So he patiently wades his way through a zillion of these, and is told (as a last directory choice!), to leave his name and number and "someone will get back to you". He does it! And. Waits. And.
Waits.

After an hour or two, someone does call him, he relates to them a blow by blow description of how he tried this and that, and they tell him they can't help him, and to find "the closest repair place that accepts their product for repair." He asks them for a list of places near where we live.

The closest place listed is 55 miles away. He THANKS them and hangs up.

He then calls back the HIC and explains that after waiting for quite some time, he was told that the closest place to get it repaired is 55 miles away, and he doesn't think that is possible. The HIC person STILL hims and haws and says he will have someone call us back.

I. AM. NOT. KIDDING.

So he again waits. And waits. And waits.

By now, I am steaming. I am ranting about just loading the damn thing in our car and leaving it off at the HIC Manager's front yard.

Dont' get me wrong. I used to work in Quality Assurance at a hospital. I had calls all the time from angry patients or angry doctors about how they think they should have gotten better service while in the hospital. I was kind. I listened. But I always...ALWAYS tried to do everything in my power to make them satisfied. But I always did the leg work, the investigation and I always explained what I could do to help them. I always gave the best service possible.


Can you imagine this scenario in the healthcare system? I can hear it now:

Patient: Um, I am calling about this knee you replaced. It won't support my leg. I just got it put in during surgery 30 days ago, I have the medical bills to prove it.
Me: Here, I will give you the manufacturer of your prosthetic knee replacement, and you can call them to see if you can get it repaired at their factory.
Patient: I tried that from the last time you called, I only get foreign speaking people, who didn't call me back. When I recalled them, they said the nearest manufacturer of the knee replacement is in China. I don't think that is reasonable.
Me: Look. The Surgeon will have to call you back. You can't return it, you have stood on it for 30 days. You're outta luck, sorry.
Patient: Why can't I return and get a new one?
Me: I am sorry, I will have God call you back on that one. But, don't expect a call anytime soon...he is a little busy. Lotsa calls about heart transplants that are giving folks some problems.
************************************************************************************

Anyway, he FINALLY got a return call a few minutes after from the HIC Manager.

What did the HIC Manager say?:
He said HE was going to call the manufacturer to see a way for MY HUSBAND to fix the planer.

What did my husband say?:
Ok, just call me back when you hear from them.

By now, I am doing CARTWHEELS of anger.

I get so frustrated, I go and take a shower.

After over an hour, the HIC Manager FINALLY calls and says: "Gee, I was on hold for quite a while with the manufacturer before they finally got to me. I guess they don't know how to have you fix it. So, I GUESS you can bring it in tomorrow and we will replace it for you."

My husband? What did he say?:
He apologizes that he no longer has the original box, but says he does have the receipt, and asks: is that OK????

OH LORD!!!!!!!

When THE FORCE gave out patience to this family, I think my husband got it all.

Me, with this incident?:

Not so much...

26 comments:

lizzie said...

Wow! I don't have much patience and it is dwindling even more as I get older, but I have much more than my other half, which is just as well.....I think I might incriminate myself if I said more LOL

The Retired One said...

Lizzie: So, would you have been as patient as my hubby on this one?

Brittany said...

Wow...your hubby has amazing patience. I myself would have done the same thing as him LOL. I'm such a passive person at time! =)

mixednut555 said...

LOLOL, my husband is just like this too. But he goes one step further, he usually tells whoever what HE thinks is wrong. Like, if he knows what is wrong that will make a difference. I'm with you, TAKE it BACK, talk to NO ONE but the one giving replacements or money back.
Kat

Cathy Clementz said...

You are so much a woman after my own heart! I LOVE that you tell it like it is! AND that you don't mind expecting (and at times demanding) customer service! HILL-AIR-EE-US!!!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I can patiently wait in a doctor's office for what seems like forever, but my frustration level is nil. So when I had a problem with a service person on the phone, I immediately handed it over to my man. He patiently explained the problem and got it solved...while I was using some very choice language in the background. lol! Must be a 'man thing'.

The Retired One said...

Brittany: Yes, he is both passive and patient. I used to be both, too. ha

MixedNut555: yes, when he returned it, he went on and on with the guy at the return desk as to what he had tried to fix it and maybe what they can try. Sheesh! But they were nicer in person and got another one out to give to us. Hope this one works, now!!

Cathy: yes, assertive women unite!!! If that doesn't work, we can always cry. That helps get what you want. ha

JJ: Thank goodness we can have someone else do it so we don't "lose'it", right???

Gaston Studio said...

I'm totally with you on this one. Always load up the thing that doesn't work and take it back for a new one that does work!

Just joined your blog and am looking forward to visiting often.

Fran Hill said...

Mine once set up a stall to sell his pottery and then proceeded to tell customers why they wouldn't want to buy it. He didn't make much that day.

Insanity Kim said...

Wow that is an amazing example of patience, and considering he was wielding a large blade, in any condition, would make me want to help him out as much as possible if I worked at Sew's! Sheesh!

ovativer, is my word.

June Saville said...

I was inspecting a recliner chair at one of our furniture superstores yesterday and spoke to a salesman about delivery. He said he could sell me the one chair they had, and then I noticed it had a tear in a seam.

He had not mentioned it, and it seemed he expected me to buy the chair damaged. Only when I insisted did he agree to get it fixed before the purchase took place. There was nothing special about his price.

No wonder salesmen are down the list of respected professions.

The Retired One said...

Gaston: Thanks for joining on as a follower, you made my day! I stopped by your blog...loved it and added myself onto yours too! Loved the story about the outhouse and the bird in your office..I used to work in Admin. for a hospital too. When I get more time, I will go back and read some of your older posts, too.
BTW, I just visited Savannah last month, and it is a very beautiful city!

Fran: That is too funny! My husband has done the same thing at Flea Markets where we set up things to sell. Now, we are going to open an Antique Store in the next year. I told him he wasn't allowed to sell anything in there. haha

Insanity Kim: Yes, even if he wasn't carrying a blade, he would be patient. ha
Ovativer you say? Oh lord...that has to be what McGuyver does when he has PMS...he devises the Ovativer to get rid of it.

June: Lord! I hope you got a really good deal on it. I know the economy is bad, but then the customer service should be better to help sell things, but unfortunately, that is not the case, it seems!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I lost it then turned the phone over to my guy. lol!

Grannyann said...

I am with you - I would have hauled it back to the return desk!!!!

Ratty said...

I would have just returned it without a second thought. I had a broken treadmill that I made the mistake of calling about. They did almost exactly the same thing to me. They said they'd send a part out so I could fix it. I said okay, and then I immediately took it back to the store. I now have a better model treadmill. And the part I got a month later is around here somewhere.

VaBookworm said...

Hahahaha! Wow! I'd have been at the store right off telling them I want a new one lol

There's an award for you on my blog!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi! I came over from DVM's Wife..you are way too funny..love your definitions of the security words. I am going back to my blog, and pin you on my favorites and I will follow you also. I look forward to reading more! :)

The Retired One said...

JJ: Yes, I have done that too. ha

Grannyann: I probably would have done that IF I could've lifted it. ha

Ratty: Must be their company policy to only offer to have YOU fix things before they offer a return. I just know it will give me pause in considering buying anything else mechanical from them...We just hope THIS new planer works, because if it doesn't, here we go again!!!

VaBookworm: an AWARD???? Yippee! You are a sweetheart!

FarSide: Thanks SO much for joining on as a follower! I LOVE it when I get more followers...because I love to write. And a writer needs readers, right????
I will stop by your blog too!

The Retired One said...

Far Side: I stopped by your blog and joined on as a Follower. Also, read the devastation of Peace Garden Mama's blog. I feel so sorry for all of them in that area. I joined on to her blog too. Lets hope the water goes down there soon!

Lynn said...

Hey Retired Goddess,
Sounds like your hubby is the sweetest guy on earth. I hope he doesn't have any trouble returning the planer when he goes to "Sews."

Glad to see that the birdies are returning to your home!

Tweet,
Lynn from For Love or Funny

dreamwalker said...

Your husband's a keeper, but I guess you know that already. Maybe he can be my husband's mentor or something?

The Retired One said...

Lynn: I like that: Retired Goddess. I think I will use that! LOL Yes, he is a keeper. We went yesterday to return the planer and they were very nice. Of course my hubby apologized again to them for having to return it. Yes, the birdies are coming. Now we just need some sun and warmth.

Dreamwalker: Yes, he is a keeper. That's good because we have spent 36+ years married already. Too late to find and train another one, huh? Actually, I don't have to train him much anymore. We know each other pretty well.
Yes, we can give lessons to the other husbands, just name the subjects and we can write a tutorial. Now there is an idea for some more blogposts, right????

Hippo said...

Oh My God! Your ever so sweet husband remainds me of someone..............my husband!!!!

The Retired One said...

Hippo: Then you are a lucky woman, too!!

pehpot said...

Hands up for your hubby! enough said.

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The Retired One said...

Pehpot: You make a pretty cute cheerleader!!!

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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