Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Saga of the Wardrobe



Back at the beginning of May, I bought a wardrobe cabinet to replace my old wardrobe cabinet. I bought it from a popular furniture chain that promises you real wood at reasonable prices; you order it in the showroom in your choice of colors and finishes, and a few weeks later, they deliver it.

When they delivered it three weeks later, there was a crack in the middle of the right-hand door. The delivery guys took the door off the hinges and brought it back to the factory for replacement.

Three weeks later, the delivery guys returned with the new door. But the hinges on the door did not line up with the hinges on the cabinet. To remedy this, the delivery guys drove a very large screw through the hinge on the door, and then through the front of the door. To top it off, the varnish looked as if someone had applied it to the middle of the door by the handful, using their hand.

I called the store and said that this, too, was unacceptable. The delivery guys took the door off the hinges and brought it back to the factory for replacement.

So three weeks after that, a guy from the factory, an installer, comes over with two brand-new matching doors. I stayed home from work for the day because the installers do not work on the weekends. I cleared my calendar intentionally so that I would have the honor of welcoming into my home an actual, real-live installer.

This time, the varnish was perfect, the hinges were perfect...and the left-hand door was competely warped and bulged in the middle.

I called the store, who called the customer service guy at the factory, who called me.

"This is the third door I do for you!" he complained. "You want a professional-type job!"

Well, yeah, since I had been paying professional-type money.

"Look, I've given up on you guys getting this right. Just take it back and give me my money back."

Unfortunately, they don't give refunds. Just store credit, minus ten percent. This made no sense to me at first, because the last thing I wanted to do was order another piece of their crappy furniture. But they do have showroom and floor models on sale occasionally, which would eliminate the factory screw-ups. Some of the pieces are small enough to take home by cab, which would avoid delivery guys and installers. And most of all, I wanted the thing out. So I took the store credit.

They took the cabinet this morning, three months of headaches resolved in three minutes. I went over to the store to pick up the credit slip. The owner was on the phone apologizing to someone else. "I'll talk to Jesus about it." Except he wasn't saying it like "Hay-soos." He was saying "Jee-sus," as in, well, Jesus. Which means he really has some 'splainin' to do.

And now I begin the search for a suitable replacement. Ikea has some attractive stuff, but it's made out of particleboard, and I want something that will last. And why do all of Ikea's pieces say "Must be mounted to the wall"? Where are they going? Doesn't sound safe to me.

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