Friday, May 28, 2010

The Party Is Definitely Nowhere Near Our Crib

Warning: This is quite possibly the longest post in the history of posts. You might want to grab a snack. Clearly I do not ascribe to the blogging rules about short posts. Because…details…I must share the details.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out Caedmon’s crib had been recalled. I was not a happy camper. I complained about it on Twitter and Facebook all day. I thought that by getting a stationary-side crib, we would avoid the recalls. Not so. Apparently the bottom falls out of our particular crib. That might’ve been nice to know before I crawled in with Caedmon one night.

Ya’ll know I’m not a worrier. But I got a bit weirded out and went after this whole crib thing like a badger. (I’ve never met a badger. I would just imagine that they are quite persistent little fellows.) The CPSC’s website said something like, “REMOVE YOUR CHILD FROM THE CRIB!” “DO NOT USE IT ANY MORE AND REPLACE IT IMMEDIATELY!” and things like that. You know, the calming voice of reason I needed to hear at the moment. The only problem is that they didn’t have any suggestions as to where my son was to sleep until a new crib could be ordered. And I didn’t think any of them were going to volunteer to stay up with him all night (which is what would happen if I took him out of his crib), so I decided that since he’d been sleeping in this bed for 2 1/2 years, another week or so wouldn’t hurt him.

As much as I was hoping for some hardware kit or an easy fix, the “fix” for our crib was to return it to the store where it was purchased. Seeing as how I purchased it online, this was a slight problem. So I emailed Customer Service. And while I got tired of waiting on them to respond, I called. I was told that I needed to return the crib to the nearest store in the chain (which is 2 hours away from us) and if I still had my receipt, I would receive a refund (otherwise, I could have store credit). Seriously? There was a reason I had it delivered to my door in the first place. Maybe because I didn’t want to drive 2 hours to get it. And I certainly didn’t want to drive the 4-hour round-trip with a 2 year-old to take it back. So I kept pushing and was told I could return it to an affiliated store (10 minutes from my house…woot!) and receive my refund there. I was told the same thing when the Online Customer Service lady called me back. Take it to the store with my receipt = refund. Just for kicks and giggles, I called the stores – the one 2 hours away and the one 10 minutes away – to verify. They affirmed what I’d been told. Ya’ll know my Type A self wrote everything down in a nice, neat little timeline, included with the names of the people I spoke with.

So, knowing that I could get a refund, I found a new crib (at a different store, cheaper, with free shipping), got Husband’s approval, and ordered it the same day.

(Let me just say that replacing a crib was infinitely easier than choosing one for the first time. I agonized for weeks over which crib to buy before Caedmon was born. This replacement decision took about 10 minutes. Maybe because the one I bought is almost identical to the first one. Only with a bottom that doesn’t fall out. Hopefully.)

(And that living in a not-exactly-metropolitan area once again bites me in the butt because the items I want aren’t carried in the stores around here – they have to be ordered.)

The crib came in at the end of last week. Husband wasn’t able to pick it up until Tuesday. It sat in the garage, where Caedmon greeted it with a hug. He’s already bonding with his new bed.


The new crib made it into the house on Wednesday. And on Thursday, it was finally time to make the switch.

(This is the new crib, ironically, with the bottom not completely attached yet.)


(The old crib, ready to be sent off to the crib graveyard.)


(And the new crib, finished and ready for the first naptime.)


I’d planned on taking the old crib back to the store another time, but since Husband was so efficient, I had plenty of time to do it before KDO ended. (The last KDO of the year.) So I loaded the old crib pieces into the Xterra and went to the store, receipt in hand, ready for my refund.

Except that when I got to the store, I was told I could only receive store credit.

Oh no, they didn’t.

Yes, yes they did.

At first, it was no big deal. Recalled crib? Sure! That’s no problem. Someone would even unload it for me. And then the guy who was helping me reached for a gift card. “Um, wait a second,” I said. “I was told I could receive a refund since I have my receipt.” Poor guy. He had no idea what he was getting into when he offered to help me. He called his manager.

The manager came over and proceeded to tell me that they could only issue store credit to me because my printed online receipt doesn’t actually constitute a receipt. And online orders can only receive store credit anyway and she didn’t know who had told me I could get a refund.

That’s when I flipped my sheet of paper over and showed her everyone I had spoken to, including the girl at her store, and what they had each told me…which was that I could receive a refund. Manager Lady wasn’t happy.

At this point, I was very calm, but I was angry. And the poor guy helping me was caught in the middle. I probably turned about 87 shades of red during the time I was there. A lady behind me in line asked if I had a recalled crib, and when I told her I did, she looked at the manager and said, “You should give her a refund. I don’t care what the circumstances are.” Wow. Someone was on my side. She wished me luck as she left the store.

Manager Lady called Blondie (name changed to protect the innocent idiot) over (whom I had spoken to on the phone, and she had told me I could receive a refund with my online receipt), and asked her if she’d talked to me and told me I could get a refund. She looked at me and said, “No.”

I have never wanted to reach over a counter and strangle someone so badly in my entire life. That probably caused me to turn three or four of those shades of red I mentioned earlier. But I stayed calm. Red, but calm.

So then, Manager Lady comes up with a bright idea. She asks why I don’t just use the store credit to buy another crib. (Sheer genius.) I tell her I’d had to order another one already to have it here before I could take this one down so my son would have a place to sleep. Apparently, like the CPSC, the idea of the kid not having a place to sleep never occurred to her. Then she has another idea. Manager Lady says I can get a refund for the crib I just got (provided, of course, I have the receipt), then they can use the store credit to pay for the new crib.

Are you following her logic here? Because I certainly was not.

I had to explain to her that first, I’d ordered the new crib from a different store – not theirs. And second, even if I had, I’d ordered it online, and apparently my online receipt is not an actual receipt, so there would be nothing they could do anyway.

That’s right. Caught on her own throne of lies. Smelling like beef and cheese.

I’d had enough. I was tired of monkeying around with these people in the store who were determined to make this whole thing as impossibly ridiculous as it could be. So I called Customer Service. That’s right. Standing right there in the store, at the register. Manager Lady walked away. The guy helping me squirmed, but knew he couldn’t really leave. After speaking to the regular Customer Service lady, then the Corporate Guest Relations lady, I finally got to speak with an Online Orders guy. This guy knew what he was talking about.

Sam (his real name because he’s not an idiot) had been filled in on the details by the Corporate lady, and was very eager to help. I calmly explained that all I wanted was a refund since that’s what had been promised to me by every single person I’d spoken to, and I’d made it clear each time that I’d purchased the crib online. Basically, he apologized for each one of them being morons because they didn’t know their own policies (that an online receipt isn’t a receipt?) and told me that he could refund my money (including tax and shipping), but that I’d have to ship the crib back to them – at their expense, of course.

It’s a good thing I have a crib box sitting in my guest room, I thought.

Sam told me they’d just have to refund that money back to the credit card I used to purchase the crib.

Aaaaaand there’s where we hit another snag. Because that card is no longer valid. The credit card company issued a fraud alert on it last year and changed our account number. Sam told me to just call the card company and they could still make sure I got my money. Sigh. Another customer service nightmare to endure.

Finally I was able to tell my buddy who was looking for any excuse to bail that it was all worked out and that the online department would be issuing my refund. I could see the relief on his face. He called Manager Lady over to void the gift card transaction and explained to her what was up. She said nothing. To him or to me. I thanked him for his help and he went for a well-deserved break.

As I was walking out to my car, Sam asked what else he could do for me. I said, “Sam, here’s what you can do for me. You can make sure that no one else has to deal with this junk. That when they call, they are told the correct information and don’t have to have their day turned into a crappy mess because they were misinformed and have expectations that will not be met. Also, so they don’t have to waste the last hour and a half of their son’s last KDO of the year trying to get someone else’s mess straightened out.”

Sam told me that he wished he had been the one who had helped me in the beginning and this could’ve all been avoided.

Me too, Sam. Me too.

I left the store. And came home and unloaded a collapsing, chewed-up crib from my Xterra. But it’s not over yet. I’m still waiting on that return shipping label to hit my email inbox. I’m really hoping Sam comes thru for me. If he doesn’t, it would probably cause me to lose all hope in ever receiving any sort of adequate (much less excellent) customer service again.

But I still had to call the credit card company. I spoke to a guy named Chris. (I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his real name because his accent was waaaay too thick for his name to have been Chris.) I told him I’d been through the ringer and I needed his help. I explained that I’d be receiving a refund on the old account number and needed to somehow actually get my money. You know what he said? He told me it was no problem. Any refunds would automatically transfer to my new account. I asked if I really didn’t have to jump through 43 hoops to get it done, and he assured me I had to do nothing.

I can only hope he’s the “Sam” of the credit card company.

Meanwhile, I’m tired. I’d planned on painting my toenails tonight, but as I’ve spent the evening trying to put the day’s an hour and a half’s worth of events into cohesive sentences, I doubt that’s going to happen. At least I can rest easy knowing the bottom of Caedmon’s bed won’t fall out while he sleeps. But I’ve decided that if this crib gets recalled for anything less than spontaneous combustion, I’m keeping it. It’s not worth the hassle.

*UPDATE at 3:21pm* I just got my return label via email. Sam's the man.

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1 comment:

  1. How frustrating! Hopefully it works out for you and Sam comes through!