Wednesday, June 06, 2007

If you won't GIVE me good customer sevice, I'll just have to TAKE IT!

Well, I am no fan on Linens N' Things, not anymore. And sorry, I'm not linking to their website because I'm mad at them. I ended up getting my way, but feeling like quite the vigilante in the process. Here's the long story:

I needed a new coffee maker. Old Krups one kicked the bucket...couldn't get the water filter out to replace it and in the process noticed that the whole thing looked so crusty I just couldn't think about drinking coffee from it anymore. Linens N' Things is the only home store near me (but Bed Bath & Beyond is on their way, so they'd BETTER WATCH OUT!) and I had a 20% off coupon, so I went there. I was feeling crunched to buy the coffee pot today, since tomorrow is my day off, and I found one that had a ripped box and when I asked the salesperson if it had been used and returned she said NO, they don't put used items back on the shelf. PLUS, she said I'd probably get a discount at the register. Sweet deal, I thought.

Well, when I got the register the girl said she needed to get the manager, who then came and quite RELUCTANTLY gave me 10% off. She said the box had probably just been torn when it was being stocked but it probably wasn't returned at all. At least I was still able to use the 20% off coupon, so all in all I got 30% off. Great, I thought.

When I got home, Baby J was sleeping so I thought, good time to set up the new maker so it'll be all ready to make a fresh brew in the morning. Upon taking it out of the box, I noticed the very clear instructions ON the box that I should review the manual for proper use. (Yeah, I know, just a CYA by the company but still, I like to check out the manual for neat tricks and to make sure I don't blow anything up.) Noticed that there was no manual. Hmmm.

Then I took the whole maker out of its plastic and noticed that the coffee carafe was also covered in plastic. Looked closer and noticed that it wasn't factory plastic, it was a WA-WA bag. And this wasn't used? Looked closer and saw that (because the maker was white -- yes I know we should move into the "black and stainless" age, but DH just bought a white microwave so I'm trying to maintain some semblance of matching in the kitchen) there were COFFEE STAINS on the pot. Plus there were water marks on the glass. Hmmmm.

Found the receipt and called the store to let the manager know that this was DEFINITELY used. As I was talking to her, I noticed that not only was the pot stained, but the handle was BROKEN! I asked the manager what I could do, and she said, "Well, we sell replacement carafes." Excuse me---SELL? I have to BUY a new one as if this is MY FAULT? I was feeling fighty, but said that I would come back in so she could see it and she said that she would tell the next shift manager I would be coming.

(By the way, I wish I had pictures, but I didn't think there was time for all that, and I kind of feel like if I would've taken pictures just to put here, I would really be nuts.)

On the way in, I was in full fight mode and ready for a big one at the store, complete with threats of "I'm never coming back" and "I'll be writing to corporate customer service about this one." Customer service is a big deal to me, I'm sorry.

Anyway, Old Manager was leaving just as I got there (thank goodness) and I was hoping that New Manager would be nicer. Well, yes and no.

She said she could either give me a big enough discount on the current product that I could buy a replacement carafe at no charge or that I could pick out another one and still use my 20% off coupon but not get the additional 10% off because it wouldn't be damaged. WELL, I was pissy about that because didn't I just make an extra 40-minute round-trip to return the problem merchandise? But I need it for tomorrow, remember, so I said I would go take a look at the other pots on sale and see if I could find something new to buy.

Tried to call DH to see if I should fight it, but I couldn't get him, so I just decided to suck it up and get the same one and just pay 10% more, but then write to Customer Service when I got home. Well, when I got back to the register, the manager wasn't there, and the cashier just said, "Oh, you're getting the same thing, well, then there's nothing we need to do." And I said, "are you sure?" "Yep." And she even had the other guy working help me carry the coffee pot to my car since I had Baby J in his carseat.

Did I steal my discount? I'm not sure...but I guess I got what I wanted...


Adventures In Babywearing said...

I worked in retail many years and think you shouldn't have had to go through all that trouble!! You did not steal a discount at all & honestly they should have given you more off! What an ordeal!


Sarah said...

Thanks! At least the coffee pot works...I don't want to ever have to go back and deal with those people again!

Laura said...

This is unreal. Thank heavens you're getting another housewares store in the area!

You might try going on to post about this experience. It's a new website where consumers can share their frustrations (or praises) about shops they frequent.