Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh, Karma, you devil

How long have been under this cloud of bad customer service karma? Since that time I didn't tip the curbside baggage guy at the Miami airport?

I've lived in this apartment for 3 weeks, and have spent most of my energy dealing with customer service desks, from Verizon, to Time Warner, to Amazon, to Fedex, to UPS. And now, icing on the cake: a piece of furniture I ordered from Pottery Barn, which was supposed to arrive via "white glove home delivery" (delivered, unpacked, and assembled in your home), was waiting for me in the foyer downstairs when I came home last night. All 150 pounds, in a large (7 feet tall) box. The very same item that I had already made an appointment to have delivered and assembled on a Saturday a few weeks from now.

I don't know what possessed me into thinking I could wrestle this thing up two flights of stairs. I wiggled it in through the inside door to the first floor hallway, stared at it lying on the floor at the bottom of the first step, and knew this was not happening. I pushed it over to the side wall, somewhat out of the way for neighbors and their dogs to pass, and ran upstairs to call yet another 800 number.

As you may expect, Pottery Barn customer service is much more pleasant than any I've dealt with. (Although Amazon was pretty great, too.) Not only were they horrified to find out what had happened, they never once tried to shirk responsibility, not even when they weren't quite sure what had happened. They understood that I was not going to be able to carry this thing upstairs myself (forget assembling it), and that keeping it in my building lobby was not only a security risk but a safety one. I was told that I shouldn't stay on hold while they straightened it out, given two direct lines (one a supervisor), and told I'd hear shortly. And, yes, within a half hour, a call that the delivery company is going to come today and take care of it for me. I didn't have to listen to the negotiations (I'd been told earlier that Wednesday looked like the soonest), just be told what's been done for me.

So, good, right? Not yet ready to celebrate, but hopeful.


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