Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day #2: I'll Show you What $75 Can Do (2/17)

This is the third installment in the dramatic series of my negative review of shopping at Dania Furniture.

Preceding Posts:
Chapter I. Day #1 Dania Furniture Debacle: Dania Fails to Deliver (2/16) Pt. 1
Chapter II. Day #1 Dania Furniture Debacle: Dania Fails to Deliver (2/16) Pt. 2

When tomorrow arrived, I gave him a call to check in on things.  I reasoned that yesterday's conversation made some headway at the end. At the very least, I felt we had come to the same conclusion: since the delivery was not executed, it needed to be, at no additional cost.

Within seconds of placing my phone call, we were back to square negative one.  He was unable to help me.  Unable/unwilling to escalate this issue to anyone outside of the store. Nothing changed.

It should also be noted that according to what he had heard from the Dania warehouse, the "feet" on the couch were off!  Yes, the very feet that did not allow passage of the couch into my building's elevator in the first place.  My first thought was "Is someone playing a practical joke on me?"

When the hell did they come off on the way back to the warehouse?  If they were so easy to remove, why weren't they removed?  It was moot at this point, however, although I did express my discontentment when I heard that.  I was still irate about the additional delivery fee that loomed above my head.

I was still shocked there wasn't a single soul in the Dania Furniture Universe that could help me with my situation. Sure, the store manager was out of town, but could it really be utterly impossible to help me with my problem?  I couldn't get over the fact that I had to pay to have it redelivered or select a different couch and pay for the potential delivery of it.

I immediately questioned the sales associate with a barrage of inquiries that were met with no answers...
  • How come these sales associates are not equipped with the ability to mitigate customer issues such as mine? 
  • What is the fear in empowering these sales associates to have more autonomy to ensure the customers have a positive experience from start to finish?
  • How come this issue does not have a reasonable solution that does not charge the customer additional funds?
  • If this company has been in business for 20+ years, then how come they have not already invested the effort or energy in having a solution in place for this specific problem?
In an effort to appeal to him, I relied on three tactics that have proven to be successful for me in the past, when negotiating with terrorists.

I. Intensifying the Original Demand
I pleaded for him to call corporate or the district manager, but he stonewalled me yet again.  It was clear that my frustrations grew when I asked him to call the CEO of the Evil Dania Furniture Empire.  I demanded that he/she arrive at my apartment in his/her Suburban with the sofa I purchased, and that if he/she didn't have said automobile - to buy it. It may be argued that this was a ridiculous request, but considering that I had to pay an additional $75 for non-guaranteed service in order to get what I purchased, I felt/feel 100% justified.

II. Emotional Appeal
I also shared with him an emotional recount of the night before when I had some friends over.  Due to the limited seating in my living room, I offered up my only two seating opportunities to my guests.  I took the floor, and within minutes of this occurring, I was nearly laughed out of my apartment for being a plebeian.  Unfortunately, he extended zero sympathy to my social debacle. I saw this new furniture purchase as an opportunity, to impress my friends and earn major social points. That didn't happen though.  For the first time, purchasing expensive, desirous items to boost my self-esteem and my social standing failed me.  It blew up in my face.  The way my friends exited my apartment, giggling at me, in such haste, will never leave my memory.  I fear I've lost them forever, or at the very least, there isn't any way in hell they'll ever come back to my apartment.  My eyes began to well up as I recounted the traumatic memories that still stung, like freshly exposed stab wounds, and my voice was weak at times.  I had a few faint sniffles and took a few unintended dramatic pauses, but like a Grenadier Guard, he didn't bare any emotion at all.

"This guy is good," I remember thinking to myself, so I had to proceed to more aggressive means. At the very least, it provided me with a segue, where I could express how much emotional damage this shopping experience has inflicted upon me.

III. Legal Threats
Due to the emotional detriment I experienced and was experiencing, I told him that I would be seeing a psychiatrist soon to deal with these issues.  I then told him I was going to sue them and send all my "crazy bills" to the company.  If my memory serves me right, I expressed to him that these said expenses would likely be in the millions of dollars, in addition to the punitive damages I would be due for what feels like life-threatening pain and suffering.

He expressed minimal concern to my mental health issues, and batted them away effortlessly, like Godzilla swatting down helicopters.  I couldn't do anything to shake this guy.  He had the tenacity of an unruly Roman warrior slaying the opposition and reducing them to a pile of blood and limbs.  He was just getting warmed up, and I was losing steam.  Towards the end of this 30+ minute conversation, I grew tired, light-headed and weary.  He had the energy to keep up with me and then some, which is part of their rigorous anti-customer service regimen, I'm sure.  I bet he does 60 minutes of cardio a day, so he can build the stamina to fend off all reasonable customer service inquiries, as per Dania Corporate's training policy.  Anyway, I told him that he had made himself clear and that I respected him as a formidable opponent.  I also articulated that I didn't blame him, per se`.  It's all Dania Furniture's fault, but since I was unable to speak with someone with the mystical powers of getting me my furniture that I already bought, he was the only one I could express my frustrations to.  I also said I wouldn't be calling again, and asked him to call me if he had any news to share.

Our conversation ended as cordially as it could, and the solution to this problem would have to wait for yet another day, at least.  I left him with a final, thought, however.  I said, "$75 is a lot of money.  I'll show you what that is capable of producing...I'll show you what $75 can do."

More on that to come, and the continuation of the saga that is the terrible shopping experience at Dania Furniture.