Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day #5: Dania Furniture Store Manager Conversation. It Was Terrible. (2/21)

This is the fifth 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
Chapter IIIDay #2: I'll Show you What $75 Can Do (2/17)
Chapter IVDay #3: The Birth of the Anti-Dania Furniture Revolution (2/18)

I spent the majority of the weekend launching this very blog, scheduling content posts, and general brainstorming for how aggressive this revolution should be handled.  Oh, and I also spent the weekend lamenting my couchless living and crying a bunch.  Everyone within a 5 mile radius of me could easily tell how emotionally unstable I had become, as a consequence of this terrible consumer experience. There was only one solution for me to overcome this, which was to single-handedly attempt to break down the entire Dania Furniture Corporation, one block of crumbling stone at a time.

It was clear that the state of of my relations with Dania Furniture was at an all-time low.  The more I pleaded with them, the more resistant they became.  Regardless, I knew that the power of my logic, the persistence pursuit of The Truth, and the whiny-ness of my tone would lead me to the land of milk and honey, as long as I read the angles correctly and positioned my arguments accordingly.  Dania, while incredibly stupid, was a powerful force to be reckoned with, but little did they know, I am The Reckoner.

Although I was aggressive in expressing what I wanted, I made the active decision to hold the situation firmly and force Dania Furniture to do as I demanded.  Yes, I was doing a little trick called "turning the tables," and I wasn't going to let anyone get in my way from completing this 180 degree turn of events.  I had made up my mind, and I had two specific desires I wanted them to fulfill:

      1. Completely refund me all furniture and delivery expenses. Frankly, they're lucky I wasn't charging them my Alleve bill, from all the near-aneurysms and panic attacks I had suffered through ever since shopping there.
      2. Have them pick it up that terrible Dania chair I bought from my apartment on a day of my choosing, so I wouldn't have to take time off of work anymore to deal with this furniture debacle.

On Monday morning (2/21), the Dania Furniture store manager at the downtown Seattle Western Ave location called me.  Yes, the actual store manager that is the only one capable of moving mountains of problems and then some.  Although she had heard about the events from her other sales/customer disservice associates, I gave her a breakdown of my experience and my frustrations with the sales associates. 

I also informed her that I was not driving to Tukwila, which is a terribly unimpressive city outside of Seattle, to return my furniture.  I shared with her a conversation I had with one of their sales associates that occurred a couple of days prior.  On Friday late-afternoon (2/18), said sales associate called to inform me that I needed to return the terrible Dania chair I purchased to their terrible warehouse, which was located in terrible Tukwila.  Immediately, I lost all control of my emotions, and in a George Costanza-esque manner of crying/whining...I told/whined at her, "I don't want to go to Tukwila!  Tukwila is so far...I'm not going! I'm not going! I don't wanna go!  Why can't you guys come pick it up??? Why are you guys doing this to me???"

While she understood my reasons for not wanting to go to Tukwila to return that terrible chair, the store manager informed me that it was my job to return the chair, if I wanted to receive a refund for it.  I expressed to her that it was indeed not my job, since I paid $75 for delivery of both my chair and couch, but only received that terrible chair, which I could have easily picked up from the Tukwila warehouse by myself and carry it on foot to my apartment in Seattle.  I told her it was absolutely absurd to think I would bare anymore expense (time, gas, emotional energy, etc.) to rid myself of this hexed furniture.

As the store manager, however, she resisted providing any customer service and stood her ground without breaking a sweat or giving a single care.  I then threatened her and the company she represented.  I gave her a little insight as to what the future holds for her and Dania.  Like Nostradamus, I peered into my glass ball  and foretold a world without Dania. I told her I would use every bone in my body to put Dania Furniture out of business through the internet. She laughed off my threat and said, "Go for it.  We've been in 'The Business' for over 26 years.  I think we have staying power."  I was instantly annoyed because she didn't give my words any regard, and because she referred to her industry as 'the business.'  I mean, c'mon...does anyone need to ever talk like that?  Ridiculous.

Without going into too much detail or revealing much of my business plan, I told her that I was going to create my own chain of furniture stores that would be conveniently placed across the street of each terrible Dania Furniture store.  The name of my brand of furniture stores would be called Better Than Dania.  Sure, it would be a few years for me to get the venture capital and development planned out, but I told her I was determined to do it.  Presumably flustered by the reality of this very true threat, she responded without words, but gigantic laughter, mostly to cover up the fear and insecurity she felt inside, one can only assume.

Sensing that I was losing her, I resorted to more dramatic language and shared with her the unending pain I felt inside and tied this to the two objectives, discussed above.  I needed all my money back and I needed them to pick up the chair.  I knew I was making progress when she grew tired of what she perceived to be my over-the-top manner of speaking.  I informed her that the reason I was unable to make it to Tukwila were for two reasons:

1. I don't go to Tukwila.
2. Dealing with Dania Furniture was taking up my entire life.  In fact, I had to quit my 4th and 5th jobs I took on to afford Dania Furniture in the first place and that I would not be able to get time off.

Upon hearing my third reason, she immediately replied with "If you're going to talk like that, then I'm going to hang up, because this isn't productive."  Which was exactly my point, and she got that.  The truth is that I only have one job; I was using a complex hyperbole and sarcasm, which she got, after I explained to her how much of my time terrible Dania Furniture has occupied.  I informed her that I understood that this may appear to be a waste of time, but the terrible company she works for, Dania, not only wasted my time, but my money.  I went into detail by telling her that I had to spend my personal time at work to make the money I spent at her store, take the time to go into her store and purchase the terrible furniture I did, take time out of work to go to my apartment and deal with the faux-delivery service, and follow-up with all this phone time with her and her staff to fight for my delivery rights.

She finally got it, but not all of it.  She defended the anti-customer policy Dania has regarding furniture purchases and deliveries, informing me that the purchases could be refunded, but not delivery.  Because this is outsourced to Suntrax Logistics. It was "their fault" I didn't receive my couch, and that it was out of Dania's jurisdiction.

I retorted by calling her on the impossibility of refunding my delivery.  I paid for delivery at the Dania Furniture store on Western Ave in Seattle Washington with the same credit card swipe that I did for the payment of my terrible furniture.  How could a furniture store that handles the financial transaction have such a difficult time retrieving my money back?  Furthermore, it is likely that since Dania does business with Suntrax Logistics, they likely have a business relationship with Suntrax.  In fact, because they are the exclusive furniture delivery service Dania subscribes to, clearly there is a way to communicate with them.  Isn't it fair to assume that bids were submitted by delivery service companies, when Dania was deciding which company to pick to exclusively deliver all of their terrible furniture?  They wouldn't just hand over that business without some sort of incentive and/or business relationship to maintain, right?

Finally, she got all of it.  She responded to my ingenious response with, "Okay, I understand what you're saying.  I'll talk to the district manager to see what can be done about this situation, and I will call you tomorrow."

What's odd is that it took 2.5+ hours of phone time with 4 members of her sales staff, spanning 5 days.  Regardless, I considered it a win.  I felt accomplished that I had convinced everyone I had spoken with that I was indeed right, and they and their terrible company was indeed wrong.  Ahh...satisfaction...but not yet as a customer...I wasn't about to count all my chickens yet...