Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fun with Shelves

Where did I leave off with the broken shelf fiasco?  

Did I mention how we were billed $400 for “installation” even though we didn’t want it?  It was originally included in the proposal we got from the salesman, and we told him we didn’t need or want it, that we could manage installing 8 book shelves all on our own.  But, when they sent us a contract, the “installation” was still listed in the fine print, that Craig didn’t read close enough and signed off on.  Then, the “installation” guy came out that day, and his bad decision making lead to the shelf breaking in half.  Sure, the guy spoke on our behalf to get us a replacement at cost instead of full price.  However, it cost us $400 for him to do so, making the new shelf cost $600, where a replacement, had it still broken but he not have been here to witness it, would have been $350.  And, let me say, they “installation” guy spent more time sitting around waiting for the freight company to deliver the shelves than he did delivering them.  The shelves basically are a wood frame with small holes in them on the sides where pegs go in. These metal pegs hold the wooden shelving units that the books sit on.  The guy just threw the pegs and shelving units in, and didn’t even use a graphic novel to see how high or low to put them, so he was WAY off (a can of soup couldn’t even fit into the spaces he had between shelves) and we had to readjust them anyway.  Plus, we have almost a dozen extra shelf pieces now that we can’t use because of the height of the graphic novels (maybe we could return them for a refund?)

We paid the company what we thought our total was, but a few days later the bookkeeper there was calling to find out why it wasn’t paid in full.  Craig explained that he thought it was.  So, he and I looked over the bill and discovered this $400 installation charge.  It wasn’t like we were deliberately trying to withhold a big payment from this company.  And keep in mind that they deal with major stores like K-Mart and Sears, so an 8 shelf order is pretty small potatoes, and a $400 payment is even smaller potatoes.  But here she was, calling not even a week after the shelves were delivered, asking for the money.  We called her back and explained where the $400 error was.  She immediately faxed back the contract Craig signed, with a HUGE arrow pointing to the part of the contract that shows the line for “installation.”  Then our sales rep called a day or two after that, again asking for the money.  Well, we had just paid rent, and paid the big chunk for the shelves, and our back issue bins, which came from a different company.  So, we didn’t have the $400 free – not to mention I didn’t want to pay for anything until our replacement shelf was done.

So, now the replacement is done.  But, they want the $400 first.  We’re having a hard time writing that check because of the way the whole thing went down.  However everyone at the company is just refusing to cooperate and understand. Each person says they’re just doing their job and can’t make any changes, and then recommending we talk to someone else.  Well, today I had enough and asked for the owner’s name.  However, the guy’s out until Monday.  So, I can’t an answer until then.  Which means we won’t have our replacement shelf for our big in-store party this weekend.   To be honest, if we weren’t worried about a credit rating and possible law suit, we’d just tell them to keep the shelf and forget about the $400.

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