Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Pulling The Rug Out From Under The Man

[Note: This was actually written before The Weekend]

The crown is in as of yesterday [7/21], and was a remarkably painless affair. In fact, the cleaning I had before hand was far more discomfiting and time consuming, even considering how much in the way of tweaking the thing required before it was actually permanently affixed into my mouth. Dr. Eugene Steeb, Jr. DDS of Oakland is, above all else, a perfectionist. It is a tad more noticeable than I thought it would be, but I don't mind... I consider it a form of oral bling-bling.

I call out his name and location any chance as it is, but now I have yet ANOTHER reason. Remember I was bitterly complaining here about how MetLife's sucky coverage would only pay for half the crown? Well, in all fairness, Michele's point made part of that moot: Dentists of Gene's caliber don't need no stinkin' plan membership. However, when I went to pay for my half, without complaint or surliness (it's not his fault, after all!), I was told that he had waived whatever the insurance company hadn't paid. That's right, he had essentially erased a 400 buck bill.

If you live, work, or fly to Northern California, and need a good dentist, tell him John Halbig sent you... Yohannon isn't a name he knows.

As amazing as that is, it isn't the highest financial good karma for the week.

About 10 days ago Roni and I went on a bit of a rug buying binge on-line. I know, it's tricky picking a good rug from a web site, the colors on a screen being so variable and all, but the prices were good enough we figured it was worth a shot, especially since we found what looked to be the best price for a rug large enough to be worthy of the Zen Room (can you just spot Rocky Horror fans from a mile off?). It was a lovely 8 X 10 foot based on Andy Warhol's "Sunrise", listed for an unbelievable 99 dollars. We were pretty sure that had to be a mistake, but there were several other rugs that size offered at the same price, so we chalked it up to some sort of sale.

Worst case, it was worthy of a shot, and that shot having missed we could just shrug it off. I honestly expected to see an apologetic e-mail from the company (which will remain nameless), perhaps offering a discount or some other consoling bribe. What I did NOT expect was a shipment confirmation showing the same style, order number, and price, but a drastically reduced SIZE: 2.5 x 4 feet.

We had wisely kept the order confirmation as a web archive, and began the process of trying to get the company to admit a goof. That turned out to be easy enough -- turns out there had been a major data entry foul-up across the board. Which is what I had figured in the first place. What ticked me and Roni off, however, was the assumption that they could just tweak the order and ship it without consulting us, almost a more egregious sin than Ikea canceling an entire order without asking just because they didn't have one item in stock.

Roni was handling most of the correspondence and phone calling, so I was surprised when they called me to explain things. Turns out that styles doesn't even come in an 8 x 10, and the nearest size to that, 7'10" by 11', was $673.00. Remember that number, you'll need it later). I politely thanked her, and said that if I couldn't have the order as I had placed it, that I would like to cancel the entire order. Suddenly she "would get back" to me later.

If she thought Roni would be easier to deal with, she was sadly mistaken - if anything, Roni is less tolerant than I am about bad customer service. In fact, when they actually had the nerve to suggest that we would be liable for the shipping charges for the other rugs "as they were exactly as we ordered", Roni made it clear we would dispute the credit card charges so fast their head would spin. For some reason they had a hard time grasping that we wouldn't do business with a company with it's head so far up it's collective ass it would even allow the APPEARANCE of a bait and switch. When they protested that they would risk a "20 year business" (big fucking deal) pulling a stunt like that, she made it clear that she doubted the FTC would see it the same way. That earned us another step up the chain of command, apparently, but that person wouldn't be in until next Monday.

Then, after a lovely evening and day at the movies with penguin_goddess (The Bourne Supremacy... Great show, kick-ass chase sequence toward the end. I think Matt Damon may have a franchise to rival Bond), we returned home to find several rugs, which we had expected. What wasn't was that one of them was taller than I was.

Looking at each other incredulously, I pulled the tall one upstairs and partially un-rolled it... and began to laugh. It was the 7'10" x 11' "Sunrise" rug.

No, they hadn't done the right thing (or at least a very NICE thing) and sent it... I realized what had happened, even if only hypothetically.

First, we ordered the 8 x 10. Before the mistake could be fixed, the order was sent to the manufacturer to ship directly... as an 8 by 10. That was close enough to the actual size that the manufacturer assumed they REALLY meant 7'10" x 11... and that's what they shipped, ignoring the ostensibly "correct" part number. Meanwhile, the web store caught their mistake, tried to fix it after the fact (going so far as to add a new line to their terms and conditions page with a vague line about "correcting typographical mistakes"), which started our quest to fix a situation that, apparently, never needed fixing.

I am not so high minded as to let the matter drop... in fact, I couldn't at this point. However, we have decided that it would be too much trouble to ship these rugs back, and will graciously accept their offer of 25% off of the entire order. After that is taken off, this particularly large, absolutely stunning carpet comes to approximately... free. Quite generous, especially since we were more than willing to pay the 99 bucks they advertised it for in the first place.

Ask me if I'm guilty.
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