Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sale on Furniture at -- not such a deal after all

Not so much.

Now that House 2.0 is complete, I've been trying to fill it with furniture and make it a little more functional. I saw on Brad's Deals that was having a double coupon sale on furniture:

I decided to pickup a desk and a matching console table.

I ordered both on February 20th, 2006; the desk arrived on Thursday 2/22 and the console arrived yesterday 2/27. Even though the boxes were about the same size and the same weight (about 70lbs each), the desk was left on my porch while I had to schedule a delivery for the console table.

Both pieces arrived in about 100 pieces, and the instructions state clearly that you need to first inventory the contents of the box against the packing list; if any pieces are missing, you should box everything back up and return this 70 pound box to your nearest Target store for a refund.

With the desk, I inventoried the contents, everything was there, and I spent a little over an hour putting it together. For build-it-yourself furniture, it's some of the nicest that I've ever seen. They use a cam-lock system so that all the pieces fit together tightly and don't give over time (like the screw-together schwag you buy from a certain blue, Swedish, art-deco company).

When the console arrived, I again inventoried the contents before I started putting it together. Everything was going along fine, until...

both of these pieces are just like the other
both of these pieces go on the right
they're labeled different, which causes a problem
looks like there's going to be a fight...

Why a fight? Why should I return a 3/4 built console table to Target, and have to sit home another afternoon while they ship me a new one?

The front of the instructions have an email address (for the manufacturer) if you have questions, so I shot them a note:

Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 23:11:18 -0500
Subject: Problem: Style MDJ1825 DPCI 249-13-0063

I ordered both the console table (which this email is regarding) and the matching desk on 20-FEB-2007 (Target order #601-5865063-4028912). I had no trouble assembling the desk when it arrived last week.

The console table arrived today. Per the instructions, I did an inventory of all pieces before assembling. I realized when I got to step 5 that although the two sides were labeled 2A and 5A, that the 5A labeled piece is a second right side. I am attaching pictures -- since I have already assembled this and I did follow the instructions, I would like a replacement left side panel (should be 5A) sent to complete this.

Attached: [pictures you see above]

For good measure, I emailed and let them know of my plight. They were first to respond:

Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 20:42:59 -0800 (PST)
From: " Guest Services"
Subject: Your Order (#601-5865063-4028912)
X-AMAZON-CLIENT-SENDTIME: Tue Feb 27 20:42:59 PST 2007

Dear John,

Can you give us a call at (800) 591-3869? We'd like to help you out, and it would be easier to take care of this over the phone.

Thanks for writing. We look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards,

I decided to wait until today to call the 800 number. When I did, the rep I spoke to apologized and gave me two options: (1) return the half-built desk and he'll send me a new one, or (2) he'll send me a new one, take the part I need out of it, then return that to a Target store. He did also offer that if I took the latter choice, I could "have the delivery person wait, take the piece I needed out, repackage it, and let him take it back along with a preprinted return label".

What a nice thought, but it was hard not to laugh at him. They means that I need to sit home and wait for the replacement, but also that I need to remove 100 pieces from the styrofoam packing to get the one piece I needed off the bottom, then repack everything. It takes at least 20 minutes to unpack all the pieces from the box.

What I want is a replacement left side, which Target isn't able to do. I understand that the inventory process at the beginning is supposed to prevent all this, but I did that and I'm being penalized for not realizing that a part was mislabeled.

I did hear back from the email address on the instructions:

From: AIM S1B-SZ
Cc: AIM Ban-sz ,
Subject: re: Problem: Style MDJ1825 DPCI 249-13-0063 2.28
X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 6.5.1 January 21, 2004
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 14:35:30 +0800

thanks for your mail.
we already order the left side panel(5A) form the manufacturer at same time,
pls tell me your detail adress & tel# for following up.

customer care need all your pant today? All your pant not done.

Wowsers. I sent them my information, hopefully that means that they can send me the part I need and avoid having to return one of these monsters to a Target store. The rep I spoke to did remind me that I have 90 days to return this, so hopefully it all works out.

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