Sunday 22 September 2013

Not A Leg to Stand On

It was time for a new couch.  Our old one had collapsed a year and a half ago.  But rather than buy a new couch, we chose to go to New York City for our 20th wedding anniversary last summer.  So it was high time.

We stopped at The Brick.  Outside the tent, signs screamed "90%" OFF!  When we got closer we realized they said "up to 90% off".  We looked over the contents of the ten but nothing caught our eye.  Inside the store, we discovered a bluish gray couch and matching love seat -- perfect for our gray-carpetted living room.  

Thie salesman offered us a deal:  $900 for the $1600 set.  How could we resist?  However, Rob noticed a crack in the front left leg.  U asjed the salesman if we could get a discount.  How about $800 rather than $900?  No.  How about $850?  No.  How about free delivery.  No.  I can't take a cent off the price.  It's already discounted (but this was due to it being a clearance item since the store is closing).  Instead, the salesman switched the cracked front leg to the back, a bandaid solution.  Reluctantly, Rob and I agreed to the purchase because we liked the look of the two couches.

The next day, the delivery men arrived at our door.  They man-handled the couch; they man-handled the love seat.  There was one catch:  Now the front leg was broken, as well as a cracked back leg.  "But you knew about this damage when you bought it!" they said.  Yes, we knew about the cracked leg, but not the broken leg.

Rob was about to have a "scheize fit", when I intervened.  I immediately hopped into the van with the broken leg and drove straight to the Brick.  I was on a mission.

At the store, the assistant manager stared blankly at me.  All she offered me was one new leg.  "I need two new legs and free delivery since this happened during delivery," I explained.  "That's not delivery, she responded, "maybe it happened when they loaded it on the truck."  "It's the same thing," I said.  However, she refused to rectify the situation.  "Well, I will tell everyone I know what shoddy service you give here at The Brick," I said.  

All of a sudden, the manager appeared.  He told me he didn't want me telling everyone that his store gave shoddy service.  Notice he didn't say he didn't want an unhappy customer.  Reluctantly, he agreed to give me my money back for delivery.  He intended on ordering me two new legs when he had a better idea.  I followed him out to the tent where he took two legs off of what appeared to be the same couch.  Now the couch is legless.  But I am happy because I have two new legs and my refund.  Victory!

I drive home and proudly present the legs to Rob.  But the problem wasn't fixed so easily.  After spending an hour trying to put the legs on, Rob still has had no success.  He makes a trip to Canadian Tire searching for longer screws, but to no avail.  Upon returning, Rob gets desperate.  HE THREATENS TO TAKE THE SAW TO THE COUCH!  Now we treading on thin ice.  Under no circumstances do you put a straw in a professor's hands!  

I phone our neighbours Emer and Gary for back up.  They helped us the last time we had a couch problem, when we got our new sofa bed stuck in the door.  Gary sets to work trying to diagnose the problem.  He goes home and finds screws which do fit the one leg.  However, we still have the other leg to deal with.  Upon further scrutiny, Rob realizes the legs the manager gave us the wrong legs!  They are completely different than the originals.  

Gary wonders at this point what else is wrong with the couch.  He examines the love seat which has a strange wrinkle in it.  He pulls out the cushion -- the zipper is broken with the stuffing pouring out of it.  He pulls out the second cushion -- same thing!  I burst out laughing (otherwise I would cry).

The next day Rob returns to the store with the cushions.  Incredulous, the manager says:  "I Dont' know how htat happened.  Did you do it?" pointing at Rob.  Yes, we buy couches and then have cushion parties where we tear the stuffing out of them.  Rob kept his cool.  He followed the manager to the tent where he took the cushions out of what appeared to be the same love seat and gave them to Rob.  Then he put the damaged cushions, which should have been in the dumpster, in the same couch (still for sale at regular price).  Rob shook his head.  Who would be the sucker to purchase that couch?

Back at home Rob puts the cushions in the love seat -- they are a different pattern!  Rob and I discuss what to do.  Should we tretun it?  But the bill said FINAL SALE -- NO REFUNDS.  Although Rob had said that the manager finally broke down and said we could return it if I was not happy with the different cushions.  We are happy with the colour of the couches and the comfort level.  So, we decide we will keep them, but only at a substantial discount.  In the car, we discuss figures:  we agree on $200.  In my head, I think $300; heck, why not $500?

At the store, we ask for a $400 discount.  Okay, but no returns, says the manager.  Rob points to the sign above the customer service desk:  THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST.  

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