Monday, July 13, 2009

Will the third time be the Charm?

Growing up in the 60's and 70's provided me with a work ethic that serves me well even today. I always worked hard, volunteered to work longer hours, knew from an early age that the customer was king and that being knowledgeable about whatever product or service I was selling was the key to being a valuable employee. Running my own business for the last 10 years has further ingrained these same qualities as I know that in order to compete, clients need to trust you to give them the results they expect and a little extra. So, it always infuriates me when I don't receive the same kind of service when I am the client. Case in point: (I sense a wee rant coming) Allow me to fill you in on the continuing appliance saga. In an earlier blog, I told you I was getting new appliances for my kitchen. Seems like a simple thing. Or so one would think. I bought the new fridge, stove and dishwasher on June 27. Today is July 13. More than two weeks have passed since I spent the money, but I still do not have a fridge in my kitchen. Noooo - what would lead me to believe that paying for the damn thing would mean I actually have it in my possession? As we had to tear the kitchen apart in order to accommodate the new larger units, not only do I still not have a fridge, I still have complete disorder in the kitchen. Let me make it clear - I have not renovated my kitchen - had I done this, I would have been mentally prepared for the upheaval. No, the cabinets just had to be moved slightly to make way for the new fridge, meaning the emptying of cupboards to the dining room (I love the sight of canned tomatoes on my china cabinet) and then the counter tops needed to be shaved off slightly as well. The first fridge arrived with a large dent in the freezer door. "Not to worry, ma'am, you'll have a new one within 5-7 working days." I lived with that, begrudgingly. So, last Friday I was looking forward to the second new fridge to arrive and getting the place back in order. The truck pulled up and I was ready. I walked to the end of the driveway to greet the delivery guys. Gave them the quick tour of the moving route and explained how the first one had arrived damaged. One look at the guy's face and I knew something was up. "I'm a bit worried about the fridge we loaded on at the warehouse," he told me. "The box is all banged up at the bottom and I made a note of it on the paperwork and told them I didn't think it was a good one." " You have got to be bloody kidding me," I said. "Well, let's have a look, maybe it's nothing." At first it looked OK, but upon closer inspection a crease and pretty severe indentation on the back of the fridge indicated there might be some damage to the motor and inner workings. When we opened the door, the plastic bits that covered the ice maker and water dispenser were ill-fitting and could not be pushed back into place. In addition to that, the seals around the door were all chewed up like someone had taken a knife along the edge. "Don't bother bringing it in boys, I paid for a perfect fridge and that is what I expect." Two down, the third is to arrive on Wednesday. What are the f__king chances that it will be a charm? All I know is that whoever hauls these things around in the warehouse never grew up with my work ethic because if they did, they would not load a damaged box onto a truck, they would be more careful and they would care about the job they did. For the record for anyone who cares to know - it doesn't surprise me that GE stocks are in the tank and this may be the one buying decision Warren Buffet made that may come back and kick him in the ass. If every GE fridge sitting in the warehouse is treated like a piece of luggage at the airport, he may want his people to address the issues the company has at this level. For some reason, these guys don't give a rat's ass about customer satisfaction and that always works against any business. I sincerely hope this is the last time I need to blog about this. But I'm not holding my breath.

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