Usually I am not motivated to write reviews about companies I have had bad experiences with. Recent events have prompted me to come online and write this article. Though my blog is about technology, my recent frustrations with Bob’s were so high that whenever I sat down to write about technology, all I could think about was my horrible experience with Bob’s discount furniture so I decided to put it all down as a catharsis of sorts.
In this post, I will try to be fair to Bob’s and I will do my level best to not lay any unfair criticism on them. I will go over some background of my story and some of the good, the bad and the ugly experience I had with Bob’s. Here is what happened.
My wife and I gave away an old table we had (not purchased from Bob’s) and we were in the market for a new table. We decided to go to our local Bob’s discount furniture store in Waldorf MD as we have purchased from them in the past and they usually have good furniture and they are reasonably priced. Over the year we have purchased thousands of dollars worth of furniture from Bob’s and we decided to purchase one of their tables with four chairs.
The sales woman was very nice and she was very knowledgeable. She explained to us all our purchasing and delivery options and she told us her story of recent recovery from cancer. It felt like I was purchasing from a warm neighborly person instead of a rushed sales woman and I really appreciated the experience. Also, all the furniture I have purchased from Bob’s (including the table we would eventually come to regret purchasing) is always good quality. This is where the good ends.
The sales woman told us that she would put in a suggested time slot but the delivery team would call to confirm a time 2 days before the actual delivery date. I told her to put in the earliest time as the delivery time and she did (6:30 am to 9:30 am). I received a call two days prior. The automated call told me that I would be receiving my delivery between 6:30 and 9:30 am. I told my supervisor that I would coming in a little late that day and I waited. Around 9 am I checked the web site to see where my delivery was and I saw that the delivery time had been changed from 8 am to 11 am without notice. Annoying for me but I had already told my boss that I would be late that day so not a huge deal.
The delivery team shows up around 10 am and proceeds to put the furniture together. As I always do, I inspect the furniture for problems and three of the four chairs are damaged. One of them looks like a hammer has been taken to the sides. I tell the gentleman who assembled the furniture that I cannot accept delivery of damaged furniture and that he needs to take the three chairs back. This is where the problems began
He immediately became really irate and started explaining how damage to furniture can be repaired and that I should sign for it and how the furniture comes from China and how it can be damages for REASONS etc. I remained firm and told him that I would not be signing for damaged furniture and that I will take the table and the one chair that is not damaged and they need to bring me new undamaged chairs since I paid for new and undamaged chairs. This is when this guy truly lost it and practically started yelling at saying “YOU WANT ME TO TAKE EVERYTHING BACK?” again and again. I said no and that I only want to send back the damaged furniture. He huffed and puffed a little more and took the three damaged chairs from my house (yes I got yelled at inside my own house). Also, when he was leaving, he neglected to have me sign for the undamaged table and one chair he left in the house (this will be important later).
We received a call to schedule a pickup time for later. Now this part I did not deal with so the details are a little fuzzy but from what my wife told me, there were three attempts at getting a delivery scheduled and all failed. Each time, the delivery was late and my wife had to leave to care for clients (she is a realtor and she has appointments she has to keep). On the third and and final attempt (fourth total if you count my first), my wife was coming back from a conference in Texas and landing at Baltimore. I had to go pick her up at BWI and she had received a call about a potential delivery time two days earlier. She thought that they will be late as usual, that would give us plenty of time to get back in time to take the delivery. Guess who shows up early? We ask them to stay there so we can come take delivery and we are told that they have other deliveries and they cannot stay. My wife has had it at this point and she tells them they either the deliver today or they can take the merchandise back. Well, they did not deliver that day and instead of taking more grief, we decided to return the one table and the one lonely chair that has been sitting in our house for a month now.
We call customer service to ask for a return and refund and we are told that since we signed for the one chair and table that is in our house, we would not be able to get a refund for those but that Bob’s would be happy to refund us the money for the three undelivered chairs. Remember the important point from above? Customer service told us that we had signed for something that I DID NOT SIGN FOR. I would have signed for it had the delivery person asked me to but he was too busy huffing, puffing and yelling so he nelected to take my signature. So we are looking at a possible forgery.
We explained to them and tell them about our experience with the first delivery and they finally agreed to give a full refund but do you think we are finished? NO. The customer service rep told us that the delivery fee would not be refunded. Yes, the reason for the whole mess was they delivery and we would have to PAY FOR DELIVERY.
After some more headaches and yelling with customer service, they finally agreed to give us a full refund. Incidentally, my wife did not have the card with which we paid on her at time of this call so they told us to call back with the card to the store and they would process our refund. So we call back the store to give them our card number. The person who answered the phone had me hold for a manager and when the manager came online, we were told that the transaction could not be refunded because REASONS. My wife is almost to a breaking point now and so am I.
All in all, my wife and I must have wasted 4 hours of our life staying on hold, talking to customer service and different managers at the store. Bob’s has agreed to a full refund and they will be picking up the furniture on Friday. This time, there is not chance of missing the time since my mom is visiting and she will be home all day.
Though this blog is about technology, this post was necessary as a slight off topic once in a while post. It is also necessary to give corporations like Bob’s a wake up call and to fix thier delivery system and train thier delivery personnel on some basic courtesy.
Though I tried my level best to be fair, now that I reading over this post, I think I seem to come off as a complete angel which I am not. I yelled and cussed at many a customer service rep and for that I feel ashamed. It could not have been easy to be on the receiving end of some of my phone calls so to my Bob’s customer service reps, I am sorry. However, this entire experience has taught why some customer become irate at corporations. I don’t approve of yelling and screaming but I understand.