Macy*s Mania

The chair that caused it all

You may remember that about a year ago, J.P. and I were working on finishing our living room. We installed crown moulding, painted, and got new furniture. Well, we completed all but one element of the living room before the baby shower that we held at the end of April. The chair pictured above didn’t arrive in time, and it turned into quite the little saga. Here’s a brief summary.

January 2, 2005
We order a couch and two chairs from the Macy’s furniture store in Cherry Hill, NJ. The sales person informs us that the furniture will arrive in 10-12 weeks.

Late March, 2005
I call Macy’s to see when our furniture will arrive. I’m told that one of the chairs and the couch are in, and they’ll deliver everything once the second chair arrives.

Early April, 2005
Still no furniture. After having several of my calls go unreturned, I happen to reach the store’s sales manager. I explain the problem, and while chair #2 still hasn’t arrived, she agrees to deliver the other two pieces so our baby shower guests have a place to sit.

April 20, 2005
The couch and chair #1 arrive. Chair #2 still MIA.

Mid-May, 2005
Macy’s still has not located chair #2. The manager thinks it may be lost in the warehouse. I think it may have been sold to someone else. She agrees to re-order the chair, and offers me a $60 Macy’s gift card for my trouble. Of course it will take another 10-12 weeks for the chair to arrive, and I’ll get my gift card after delivery. I’m not too happy with peace offering or the additional waiting, but the baby shower has already occurred, so it’s not that big a deal.

Mid-August, 2005
Macy’s calls to schedule delivery of our chair. Yeah! We’re almost there!

Early September, 2005
J.P. works from home so he can accept delivery of the chair. He calls me at the office to tell me of its arrival:

J.P.: Hey, honey, our chair is here! Do you want the good news or the bad news?
Me: Uh, oh. What’s the good news?
J.P.: Our chair is here!
Me: Um, okay . . . what’s the bad news?
J.P.: It’s the wrong one.
Me: &(*#^$@)!#!! Are you kidding me?!?

Yes, that’s right. They ordered the wrong chair. The delivery guys couldn’t believe it—it looked just like chair #1! Yep, it looked just like chair #1, but it wasn’t SUPPOSED to!

Macy’s reorders the chair (again!), and this time puts a rush on the order.

Mid-October, 2005
The chair arrives! The correct chair! Woohoo!

You might think the story ends here. Oh, how I wish it ended here. But remember that $60 gift card the manager offered me? Yeah, it was going to take more than that to make me happy.

I called Macy’s customer service number and explained the situation to the woman who answered the phone. Guess what she offered me? Yep, a $60 gift card. First of all, sixty bucks was NOWHERE NEAR enough compensation, and second of all, the LAST thing I wanted was to spend more money at Macy’s. I wanted cash on the barrelhead! There’s more to this part of the story, but in the end I got a 25% discount on the price of the chair.

Think that’s the end of it? Nope, not yet. When we placed the initial order, we put down a 25% deposit. When the couch and chair #1 were delivered, they prorated the deposit and applied a portion of it to our account. Cool. But guess what? When chair #2 was delivered, we didn’t get credit for the rest of the deposit. AND! When we paid what we owed on the chair, they applied it to the wrong portion of our account. So we had a credit balance on the regular revolving part of the account, and still owed them money on the major purchases part of the account.

While the late fees piled up, I struggled to explain (to no fewer than six different people) that the portion of the 25% deposit that they owed us was NOT the same as the 25% discount they gave me as compensation for screwing up so royally. I finally convinced them; the remaining deposit was applied, the late fees and interest were removed, and they got all of the numbers into the right columns.

In the end, they owed us about sixty bucks. And today, March 25, 2006—447 days after we placed the initial order—our refund check arrived in the mail.

The saga finally ends


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