If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Best Laid Plans...

Back in the summer I noticed that from time to time my back would ache somewhat.

I thought maybe it was because I was doing lots of manual labor that was different from my day-to-day routine.  Mike and I were spending hours on the mower cutting Mom's grass.  We were cleaning out Daddy's shop and getting ready for an auction.  Then, I got back into the routine of school work and it seemed that my back ache got worse and worse.  I also noticed that it seemed worse each morning and got better as the day went on.

So, I decided that it was due to our old, old mattress and springs.  We decided to invest in a new bedding set.

I researched to learn what might be the best kind.  I researched to learn which might be the best value.  I carefully scanned sale flyers and advertisements.  Then, on Labor Day I went to my local JC Penney to buy a bedding set.  It was advertised to be 60% off and I had a 10% off coupon as well.

When I arrived at the store, I was met by the nicest couple of sales representatives.  They informed me that despite the big Labor Day Sale, the store had no bedding sets in stock.  All those must be ordered online.  The sales rep offered to order for me.  I pulled out the cash I'd brought to purchase the set and learned that I must use a card.  I bought a couple of gift cards and we ordered the bedding set.  I was told I could expect an email, a call, and delivery in less than three weeks.

At the end of the first week, I used the information on my receipt and went online to check the status of my order.  I saw that it said my order had been cancelled.  So, I called the 800 number.  Asia in Ohio answered the phone and informed me that all was still on-go in the system.  She said that the bedding was being crafted and the order was listed as in-progress.

After getting no email or call, I checked in with the 800 number again the next week.  Caroline in Cincinatti informed me that the order was still listed as in-progress.  So, on the date that my receipt said I could expect delivery before, I called the 800 number again and learned from the customer service rep that their system was not processing the sets of mattress and box springs properly and my order got hung up in the system.  She transferred my call and the representative placed a new order using my gift cards.  I thought things were on-track at this point.

Then, several hours later I got an email telling me that there was a problem with my payment message.  I called customer service and Matthew in Ohio informed me that the funds had not been re-credited to my gift cards when my first order was cancelled.  He was sorry but I could expect a check in the mail.  I asked him if he could tell when my order had been cancelled and he said no.  I asked him if he could tell when the check was sent and he said no.  I asked him three or four questions and he had no answer.  I asked to speak to a supervisor.  The supervisor had left for the day.

The next morning I printed off all the information that I had documented in my communication with JC Penney.  Every bit of the info I mentioned here was bulleted and dated and I had my receipts, screenshots of where I had checked my order status, and the names of the customer service reps with whom I had spoken.  After work, I went to the local JC Penney store.

A young man approached me as I entered the store and asked if he could help.  I began my story...he interrupted and said, "Let me get my manager, Ms. Donna."  In a few moments, Donna Adair appeared and I began telling my story - again.  After I had related it to her, she led me to a customer service counter and picked up the phone.  She called Pam in Idaho and began recounting the story.  As she talked, I handed her page after page of documentation.  Pam in Idaho told me that she would personally see that my gift cards were credited within the hour.  I got a call within thirty minutes telling me that Pam was in a meeting but would call me shortly to let me know the status of my order and funds.  Twenty minutes later, Pam gave me a call and gave me a confirmation number.  Within seconds I got an email confirmation.  A couple of days later I got another email telling me that my bedding set was in transit to a local holding area.  A couple of days after that I got a call with a recording that a truck would be coming to my area I could expect delivery in four days between the hours of four o'clock and eight o'clock.

With my aching back getting worse day-by-day, I finally felt like I had made progress.  This past Monday, I spent most of the day preparing for delivery and set-up of my new bedding.  I started at 7 o'clock in the morning by stripping the bed in the back bedroom and dragging the oldest, tattered mattress and springs to the den and leaned them against the wall out of the way.  I vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the room thoroughly.  Then, stripped the bedding off the master bedroom bed, dragged the mattress and box springs to the back bedroom.  After washing the sheet set, I re-made the bed.

I cleaned the front guest bedroom, added a fitted sheet to cover the box springs and re-made the bed in there with freshly washed sheets.  I vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned the den and kitchen and progressed to the master bedroom.  With my aching back, I would clean for about twenty minutes and sit or lie down for about the same time frame.  I finally was ready for delivery at about four-fifteen in the afternoon and I waited.  Finally, at about seven-thirty, I was digging out my paperwork when I got a call from the delivery company telling me they would arrive in about twenty minutes.

In exactly twenty minutes they pulled in the driveway and called to confirm that they were at the correct house.  I went out the back door and met the young woman carrying a clipboard.  She wanted me to sign to confirm delivery.  I insisted that I wait until I inspected my bedding.  Two young men hauled the pieces in on their backs, removed the plastic, and set the mattriess and box springs onto the ready bed.  Then, as I was signing the paperwork, they went outside.  I let them know that I intended for them to take the old set away as they left.  So, the young woman shouted for the fellows to come back and they did.  I followed them out onto the porch and watched them begin loading the old pieces into the truck before I began putting sheets on my new bedding.

Then, the next morning, after a good night's sleep on our newly outfitted bed, I went out to go to work and saw this:

Yes, they got one last dig in.  The plastic covering off the bedding was left lying in my flower bed.

The people who tried to help me at JC Penney could not have been nicer.  They each tried to 'make it right' and were genuinely concerned with how I had been treated.  However, their 'system' is seriously flawed and problematic.  I feel like I got a great value for the money spent.  I even have about ten dollars credit left on my gift cards.  I will probably apply that toward something like socks or some other simplistic, unimportant purchase.  Yet, I know that I will try to NEVER do business with them EVER again if at all possible.  I relay this story so that anybody who might happen across it will know to keep thorough documentation and record every interaction when making a large purchase so that the odds are in your favor.  I could just as easily have lost my money if I had not been calm in my interaction and had all my paperwork to document my story.