Monday, January 10, 2011

Blue is way better than orange.

In true Hungarican Chick style, my first post for 2011 is a grumpy rant, because that’s how I roll ee’yo. This weekend, hubby and I budgeted in a few bucks for some home improvements. So we hitched up the trailer on the Jeep and set out on Sunday to do our errandy things. We went to our local hardware store (love them) to BS with the owners and staff, and to buy some more lumber for our backyard fencing project (to contain our two wild Russell Terriers). We had breakfast at the Maison de Angioplasty (also known as the Barlow Trail Roadhouse). I spent the rest of the day with hellacious heartburn despite my being on heartburn medication every day. It’s *that* bad---yet it’s *that* good and SO (not) worth it.

Anyway, after bogging ourselves down with enough carbs to fuel a marathon, we headed to see the horse, where we made sure we were sufficiently covered in barn-dust, wood shavings and Eau-de-Horse-A-Scent-By-Taggius-McStompington before set off to Home Depot in Gresham.

Our dishwasher has been doing some insanely stupid things this past six months. The door switch was faulty, and whenever we ran a wash cycle, it would stop mid-wash and beep as if the door had been opened. We’d open and close it again and again until it finally stuck for a while... only to trip again a while later. Every blue moon it would run a cycle uninterrupted, but it was just getting worse and worse. And on top of that, it stopped cleaning well. The dishes would come out with all sorts of residue, no matter what products we used. Only 4 years old and it was a piece of junk. We bought it four years back at Home Depot. It was the low-end type, and we sort of got what we paid for. Having it repaired was simply not worth the time needed to wait around for high-lobour-cost repair-folk to come (“We can be there sometime between 8 and 5” – Err No—I am not taking a whole day off to wait for you and using up vacation time); not to mention the prohibitive cost for low-quality plastic replacement parts. It would probably cost more than we paid for it to fix it. So we decided to put that old machine on Craigslist with a FREE sign and a disclaimer about its stupid behaviour (hubby has gotten at least ten enthusiastic emails since he posted it about three hours ago... people are weird).

We went to Home Depot to find a replacement machine, and we were determined not to buy one made of wobbly plastic or put together by toddlers in some third-world country. We found very little selection to begin with as we walked into HD’s appliance area. The staff was in Sunday mode, there were several of them sitting in the kitchen design area being entertained by an employee who was making calls on the radio with a ‘helium’ voice. They were getting a big kick out of that while we and other customers stood there staring at them in utter disbelief.

Now, if you know me even a little bit, you know I don’t really hold back on the bitch when I feel it necessary. Hubby often will point out that I have ‘that look’ on my face when he knows I’m about to go medieval on someone. He informed me that I had ‘that look’. I bit back my punches... barely. I think my statement to start with, when one of the employees, a young lady, finally looked up and asked if we were okay; wasn’t too obnoxious. “Sorry, we didn’t mean to interrupt you guys, but we’d really like to buy an appliance today.” It wasn’t too snide... but I was just warming up. With hubby on patrol against my going medieval on stupid people, it was just a fraction of the evil she would have gotten if Hubby wasn't there to rein me in.

I asked about a particular machine, and she went to look in a catalog to see if it came in a taller version (this one was 32” inches rather than the standard 34”)... while she was looking, hubby found another machine that was just as nice and a reasonable price. She came back to tell me we’d have to special-order the taller machine, and I asked her about the one hubby was looking at, and she said she’d have to special order that one. So I asked her: “Which ones do you have in stock?”

“Only the low-end machines are in stock,” she told me. “You have to order the others.”

“How long will it take to get them?”

“About seven days.”

“What if we can’t come to pick it up if it’s on a weekday? You guys deliver obviously... What’s the latest delivery time?”

“Five o’clock.” Urgh! We aren't even home by then.

“What about weekends?”

“Weekends are limited.”

“Wow, that’s *super* convenient for people who work for a living,” I say just oozing sarcasm and throwing out two sardonic thumbs-up. Hubby clears his throat to me in warning. I’m starting to simmer at this point. One of the things we noticed when we were looking around during the fun-time-helium-voice party, was that there was a sign up on the wall that said: We now deliver to Welches! Welches is a town that is less than a mile up the highway from where we live. We were stoked. The Home Depot is in Gresham, and it’s at least a half-hour drive; about twenty eight miles. We already had our trailer because we thought we’d be going home with a machine that day. Suffice it to say, I was pretty pissed that they didn’t have anything in stock except product that absentee landlords and house flippers would buy. We didn’t want a repeat with our last machine and to buy low-end crap. So I was resigning myself to having to wait seven more days of crusty glasses and interrupted wash-cycles--but at least they'd drop it off, even if someon had to stay home ALL DAY to wait for it (it was another of those 'anytime between 8-5' deals).

“We noticed the sign to Welches... we live near Welches.”

“Yes, though delivery to Welches is pretty limited. Let me have your zip code,” she replies, “we deliver by zip code.” I proceed to give it to her. She then says from her computer; “I’m sorry, we don’t deliver there.” Hubby and I share a look of incredulity.

“We live about a mile before Welches. It’s right on the way there...”

“Yeah, but it’s based on zip code. So we can’t deliver to your home.”

“You’re serious? It’s right before Welches and you wouldn’t deliver there? That's ridiculous.”

Speaks for itself, I think. SO terribly inconvient for them...
“No ma’am.” ‘That Look’ must have been glaring holes into her because before I could open my mouth and let my hatred for conglomos pour out on the idiot employee, hubby said:

“Maybe we should just keep looking...” and I got up from the chair I was sitting in and said:

“Yeah. Let’s go to Lowes,” I pronounced loudly.

At Lowes, they had at least 85% of what they had on display in stock; high and low end items alike. A lady working there was attentive as soon as she was freed from an old lady asking questions. She went up and pulled the machine down for us, we bought it, and they wheeled it out to our trailer and loaded it. She also told me if I hadn’t been able to take my machine home that day that delivery was free to anyone within a 75-mile radius. Then, with heartburn and grumpitis, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to add to my gastric misery. I had the medium heat wings. We cooled off our binge of unhealthy crap with my super-favourite-only-seasonally available hazelnut shake from Burgerville. When I got home, I promptly wrote a scathing email and tried to send it through Home Depot’s customer contact page. It looked like it wasn’t working upon submit, giving me an error page. So I doggedly kept trying, using different browsers, etc, and then finally gave up. This morning I discovered a pile of confirmations of receipt in my email inbox... woops. So they got a billion emails from me bitching at them about poor customer service, about lack of product availability, disregard for customer convenience, and sagely advising that location to change their sign from “We now deliver to Welches” to “We now deliver to Welches but not anyplace in between here and there.”

Ugh. At least our new machine works. We ran the last load we’d done again in the new machine, and all the gritty coatings and grainy exteriors came out squeaky clean. And we didn’t have to monkey with the faulty door to keep the machine going once. :::YAY::::. My recommendation? Go to Lowes. Home Depot only got appliances to compete with Lowes. Otherwise, their customer service prefers to serve contractors rather than just Jim-Bob and Sally-May who smell like horse and look like they were rolling in a stall. Blue is prettier than orange anyway.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Yes, indeed, Blue is definitely prettier than Orange. My hubby had bought something from Home Depot awhile back when we were doing some remodeling. We didn't need the item so he took it back with his receipt. They told him they didn't sell the item, even though he had his receipt in his hand. He told them that he wanted to see a manager and that he was going to stay there until he got his money. They threatened to call the police and he said "Call them. I have a receipt. They can't do anything to me." They finally gave him his money back. It was just unreal. I avoid Home Depot like the plague.


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