This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beth vs. Bob

New house. New floor plan. New room sizes. New furniture, right? So off we went to look for a chair to "fill up" the Great Room. We looked in at least 5 different furniture stores before we found Bob's. Bob's was a little different as furniture showrooms go: huge fish pond in the middle of the store, ice cream parlor in the back, great furniture, and really laid back salespeople who worked on commission but didn't hover. It was like heaven. We didn't stop with just one chair, no sirree, we bought 2 chairs, a chaise, 3 counter stools and matching desk chair, a desk for Steve with matching Barrister bookcase, 2 end tables, a coffee table, and 2 bean bag style chairs for the basement!

Bob's hit the jackpot with us that day. The prices were good, the salespeople were helpful, and the delivery would take place in 3 days. So far, so good.

For the record I was a little worried about the delivery because the movers we had hired had not been all that great and they took a "bang and toss" approach to getting our furniture in the house and I wasn't sure my nerves could take another crew with a bad attitude. My nerves need not have worried because Bob's delivery guys were great. They came in a Bob's truck (as opposed to the mysterious unmarked van in which other furniture stores have delivered furniture) wearing a uniform with name tags and they carefully unwrapped each item, helped us to inspect the item, and then gently loaded it into our home. I was so amazed I actually called the store to compliment them on their delivery personnel. It was during the inspection of one of the chairs that the damage was noticed: the fabric on the arm of one chair was pretty unravelled. "No problem" said the wonderful delivery guys "we'll take it back with us now and you can either arrange to have a new one delivered or be credited for the return."

We decided that the room would be too crowded with the 2nd chair and to simply have our AmEx card credited.

That was when the trouble began.

We called Bob's and they were extremely pleasant: sure we'll credit your AmEx card, no problem, so sorry that happened. I check AmEx, no credit. I wait 3 business days. No credit. I wait 5 business days. No credit. I call Bob's: sure we'll credit your AmEx card, no problem, so sorry that happened. I wait 3 business days. No credit. I wait 5 business days. No credit. I call Bob's: my goodness we don't know what went wrong ma'am, we'll credit your card immediately. The next day I receive a credit card receipt in the mail showing they have credited an AmEx card with the correct amount. Unfortunately the card number is wrong. I call Bob's: sure we'll correct the error, no problem, so sorry that happened. I wait 3 business days. No credit. I call Bob's: the office manager is out today but we'll take care of it tomorrow and call you back. Tomorrow comes, no call. I call Bob's: the office manager is working diligently to correct the error ma'am. No, she isn't in the office right now but I'll have her call you back with the status of your account in an hour. I wait all day, no call.

Now for those of you keeping count I have called Bob's a total of 6 times so far regarding the same issue and it still isn't resolved. Nearly 3 weeks has elapsed. I spend about 10 minutes of time each day checking my AmEx statement online for the credit then calling Bob's to find out why they haven't made the credit. The time is adding up and soon the amount of time and energy I have put into getting the credit will exceed the price of the chair! So I ask you, why? Why can a store charge money to an account within minutes of the purchase but it takes 3 weeks (and counting) to get a refund for merchandise that never even entered my home? Why is it that the salespeople and delivery guys can be so great but the business office so inept?

It's the Battle of Beth versus Bob and right now Bob is winning. He's wearing me down. I find myself becoming more and more reluctant to call Bob's yet again. I feel the drag of apathy and I am fighting against it, I mean this is real money folks! I can see why this tactic works: it is draining to battle the polite-and-helpful-and-apologetic forces of evil. I have actually wondered a few times if I am somehow to blame for all this. Tomorrow will be Round 7. I'm down, but not out. My fingers are bloody from dialing their number again and again and my head aches from their chipper-yet-completely-ineffective-apologies but I feel confident I will prevail. Truth and justice are on my side.

I may not be a big franchise or have a cute bobble head doll representing me but with my Rocky theme song playing in the background I will win! I will get my AmEx card credited!

But just in case, maybe the next time I call them I should wear a cape?

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