I had gone through a divorce and needed some quick, low-cost furniture to fill my new apartment, and I desperately needed a new couch; something that would last me a couple of years until I was back on my feet and able to purchase BETTER furniture down the road.
I picked out a cheaper couch, on sale, and arranged for delivery. To my pleasant surprise, delivery was FREE. I mentioned to the saleslady that I had a very old couch now and wanted to get it out of the apartment before the new one arrived. She said that the delivery guys would take the old one FREE OF CHARGE. I was quite surprised, and did say that I was more than ready to pay for the service. She happily said, "No..we do this once in a while and it is no charge to the customer." Upon completing the purchase contract (which I paid CASH), an addition was made to the contract that the delivery guys were to take the old couch away. This was NOT printed on in pen or pencil, but added on the finalized contract via ink jet printer. I left pleased with my purchase and happy that I would get hassle-free delivery and take away...and all for no charge. Even though I was and had been ready to pay for the service. "Lucky" me!
The delivery lunkheads arrived the next day, and upon opening the door to my apartment, the lead guy blurts out, "We don't do charity work", in a very gruff tone. When I asked what he was talking about, he pointed to the contract in his hand and referred me to the spot that had stated that they WOULD be taking the old couch away. When I explained that the saleslady had said that they do this regularily, he stated, "Well I guess she lied. We don't do that." He then said if I had a problem, then I would have to take that up with the salesperson.
I let them in and they brought the couch into the living room. They dropped the couch off, turned around, and left. I found it somewhat strange that they didn't even unwrap the couch (plastic and cardboard packaging) or bother to attach the metal legs. I looked over my contract again, and it CLEARLY STATED, that the delivery personal did INDEED unwrap the product, take away all wrapping and packaging, and install any legs or pieces as needed. The legs needed installing with a drill and here was was...with no drill! Therefore, I could not put the couch together!
I phoned the General Manager of the store the next day and explained the situation. I explained that the contract stated that the old couch was to be taken away - it wasn't. I also explained that the delivery drivers were extremely rude, didn't unwrap the couch or take away the packaging AS STATED IN THE CONTRACT, nor did they put the couch together AS STATED IN THE CONTRACT. I went on to explain to her that this situation could very well have a happy ending as all the drivers had to do, after they had finished their deliveries for this day, was come by my place, throw the old couch in the now empty truck and dump it in the company's very large waste bin. Problem solved. It may cost the Brick an extra hour in wages for the drivers to make the extra trip, BUT was it not worth it to make good on what they had AGREED TO IN THE CONTRACT? She re-iterated that the saleslady was wrong in including that stipulation in the contract. I concluded that that may be so, BUT she put it in the contract! She's your representative. The BRICK is obligated to abide by it. The GM couldn't understand this concept, and seemed confused. I went on to ask why the drivers didn't take away their garbage or construct the couch as STATED ON THE CONTRACT, but again, she had no answer and could only say, "I'm sorry you are not satisfied." I further said that I would be satisfied EVEN THE NEXT DAY if the drivers would return and do what they had been UNDER OBLIGATION BY CONTRACT to do. She didn't understand this concept either. I ended the conversation by explaining to her that I was also in the Sales and Marketing field and that I found it head-shaking that she wouldn't even consider spending a hours wage for 2 drivers ($20.00) to honour a contract that the BRICK had signed. Furthermore was losing a customer over $20.00 in wages worth it? Apparently so, as she could not grasp this concept either. I hung up frustrated, and amazed that a woman in the position of GM at a large retail store had no idea whatsoever about customer retention concepts and customer problem solving. I took Marketing in college and this was simple "Marketing 101". But here she was without a clue on what to do or how to satisfy a very simple problem, EVEN WHEN THE CUSTOMER HAD PROVIDED THE SOLUTION!
I ended up borrowing a screw gun off of a neighbor and putting the couch together with much problem. It seemed some of the makings underneath did not line up. I ended up having a carpenter friend come over and eleviate the problem. Seems the couch was put together wrong and needed some re-doing underneath. He was able to fix it, but not without effort. I also hired a local man to cart away the old couch. I happily paid him the money I had earlier set aside as a tip for the BRICK delivery guys. Needless to say they did NOT get the tip ($20.00).
I finalized my BRICK experience with an email to the top BRICK executive in Edmonton, Alberta, explaining everything rationally and calmly. I of course received no reply. It figures. Anybody who could put a GM in place that had absolutely NO concept of marketing, relationship building, or written contracts, probably wasn't very bright themselves. I finally came to the conclusion that there must be serious nepotism involved in the hiring of BRICK managers. What other explanation could there be for such doltish "decision-making"???
NEEDLESS TO SAY, I never again shopped at the BRICK and have often told the story to others to keep them from buying garbage furniture from a retailer who has garbage service and even worse management. Myself being in the business, that hasn't been hard. I'm sure I've cost the BRICK a few living room suites over the last while.