I've now got my bed finally delivered to my place. I had a problem with the company last week. Capt'n Snooze contracted to deliver a bed to me on Saturday for consideration of some money and a delivery charge already paid by credit card. On Friday, I received a call from someone at the mattress manufacturing company telling me that because they had run out of fabric, they could not finish the bed on time and therefore Capt'n Snooze could not deliver the bed on time.
Ringing up someone at Capt'n Snooze, I was told by the somewhat unhelpful woman answering the phone that the bed could only be delivered on the next Wednesday or Saturday (their delivery dates for my area). I protested quite rightly saying that I had already paid for the bed and that since they could not meet their end of the bargain, they ought to bend to accomodate me or make me an offer rather than forcing me to comply with their delivery schedule. I should add that I was not keen on accepting delivery on Wednesday because I would be working that day and they only deliver during working hours. Taking the bed the next Saturday would mean it was one whole week late.
Having had no success with their support over the phone, I went to their shop and complained. I told them that I had been sleeping on the sofa because I had no bed and, to make matters worse, I had, expecting a bed to be delivered on Saturday, agreed to allow a friend of mine to stay at my place over the weekend when he called me on Wednesday (I had ordered the bed the previous Sunday).
I went looking for a guy called Paul at the shop, being the guy who had sold me the bed. As it turns out he was the store manager but was not in that afternoon. Another guy also named Paul spoke to me and profusely apologized but though he personally could not do anything for me but instead suggested (at the end of a lengthy conversation) that he would get Paul (the manager) to call me in the morning. He did tell me that the company normally had a policy that cancellations attract a penalty fee of 20% of the price but that would likely be waived if I insisted on a refund in this case.
Come Saturday morning, there was no call so I went to the shop again on Saturday afternoon. This time, Paul the manager was there.
I started by introducing myself again and asking him if he had been told that he should call me in the morning.
"Trudy told me that you had already agreed to another delivery time so I thought it was not necessary."
"I made no such agreement. The last thing I said to the woman I talked to on Friday was 'I'll get back to you'".
After a few more lines, I got to the guts of my case.
"Normally, as I understand it in business deals, if one party cannot meet its contractual obligations, that is the side that must compromise and make another offer to the affected party. I am angry not because your supplier let you down - in fact, it is none of my business what your contractual dealings with your suppliers are - but because whoever answered that telephone yesterday told me unequivocally that *I* must compromise because you could not meet your side of the bargain through no fault of my own."
"So what do you want me to do?"
"Refund me my money or make me an offer."
"What kind of offer?"
"Deliver the bed to me after hours as soon as you get it ..." (I was about to suggest a better bed or some money back for my trouble next but he interrupted me)
"After hours delivery? Hold on a minute."
With that he got on the phone and got on the phone to someone and after some waiting, got to talk to the person he had in mind and promptly arranged for delivery to occur on Monday after 5pm. He even agreed that, if necessary, he would personally accompany the driver to carry the mattress. My bed could be personally delivered by the store manager!
Well, it ended like that. We shook hands and I left much happier than I had been towards that company than I had been in the last 24 hours.
Today is Monday, past 8pm and my bed has just been delivered. I got a phone call at 4:30pm saying my bed would arrive between 6 and 8pm and another call at 7:50pm saying that the bed would be another 20 minutes. It finally arrived, though without Paul, the manager but I was happy it finally got here. On Friday afternoon I was contemplating insisting on a refund and using it to buy another bed from another company. My confidence in this company has been restored. ... as long as the bed turns out to be fine ...
I guess the moral of the story is i) do not be bullied unnecessarily and ii) make sure your support staff are not clueless about customer satisfaction.