Okay, two love letters is enough. This is a hate letter. Terrible customer service deserves a shout out just as much as good customer service.
Bought some new counter stools from Overstock.com. Usually I love Overstock. Today… well, not today.
These are prefect for our new kitchen. They come in a pair so I bought two pairs as we need at least three, sometimes four if we’re having people over. I put together the first pair with no issue (and gotta say, was pretty proud of that. Let’s just say there is no “I” in Ikea. Well, okay, there is but not– you know what I mean.) Each chair involved just four tiny screws. I did think they scratched a little easy for my taste, but oh well. That just goes with their “industrial rustic look.” Also, I have a two year-old so you know. No more nice things anyway.
Moving on to the second pair, I was feeling pretty confident. Just four tiny screws. I put the first three screws in with ease but when I got to the fourth screw I ran into an issue. The damn thing wouldn’t go into the hole. As it turns out the side of the chair was bent just enough rendering the screw too short to do the job. Bart, crafty little fox and diffuser of wife who melts down in the presence of obtuse furniture design, got a screw and washer from our toolbox and fixed it, but it doesn’t match and I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life staring at that incompatible screw. But we decided we’d deal so long as the other chair in the pair was perfect. Guess what. It wasn’t. That one had a screw that just can’t figure out its lot in life. It’s lost. It’s rudderless. It lacks ambition. As painful as returning anything is, like a set of bulky counter stools, they’d have to go back. Our kitchen is Pinterest-worthy. We can’t accept shoddy counter stools.
I logged onto Overstock to see what my options were and was immediately invited to a live chat. I love chatting with customer service people! A guy named Victor jumped on, eager to help me. I told him the issue. He asked if I wanted a refund or exchange. I said exchange. He then informed me that the counters stools were out of stock. What?! I just ordered them!
I tried to explain to Victor that this was a problem. I need all four. If I return this pair, I have to return the other pair and that sucks for a number of reasons:
A. They are already put together
B. We won’t have any seating and it’s Thanksgiving
C. They go perfectly with our brand, new kitchen
D. I already threw out the packaging for the first two thinking everything was just fine.
I could hear Victor sigh across the interwebs.
I asked him for a discount if I kept the chairs. If we were in a store, this would be a very normal business practice.
So Victor, having never been in a store, responds with, “Can you take a picture of the defective merchandise?”
Hmm, I think. That’s not going to be very telling. I kindly remind Victor we’re talking about a screw. A tiny, little unassuming, ambition-lacking screw. But, I said. I’ll try. And then this happened:
Victor? Do me a favor and punch yourself in the throat.
In case you can’t read it, like Victor apparently, I said I was going to try to take some pics and asked him to hold on. He responds with, (granted, I’m paraphrasing here. Slightly.) “Oh, oh, oh, I can’t see you! It’s dark in here! Did someone turn off the lights? You’re gone! You must have solved your own issue!”
When I returned I saw that the little asshole was disconnecting our chat because HE DID NOT HEAR FROM ME!
But why didn’t he hear from me?
Because I WAS TAKING THE PICTURES HE ASKED ME TO TAKE!
I’m sorry, Victor. Were you surprised that I actually had to leave my computer, go get my phone, take some pictures of a defective screw, email them to myself, download them and then attach them to your little shitball chat screen? Did you think I keep pictures of defective merchandise on my phone or on my laptop? I’m sorry, Victor. The defective screws are not my children. They will not be appearing in any Shutterfly calendars this holiday season. I DO NOT HAVE PHOTOS HANDY! I TOLD YOU THAT!
So yeah, Victor, didn’t want to help me. Victor wanted to go on break. Victor wanted to be a shitbag and douche out on Facebook and update his status to say something like “Just made a middle-aged lady freaking out about broken counter stools go take a picture of a screw and email it to me. hahahahahaha, Customer Service rocks!” Well, eff you, Victor. Screw you.
Oh man, I was livid. Jumped on chat again and get this– I was immediately connected with an agent named VICTOR!
“ARE YOU THE SAME “VICTOR” WHO JUST HUNG UP ON ME?” I asked.
Wide-eyed, dopey deer stare.
NOTHING! For two whole minutes! Just got the Victor is listening tell. No he’s freakin’ not, Overstock! “Victor” is not a listener! He never thought he’d have to deal with me again. Well, Victor, I got news for you. We may not come across the Overstock channels again but we’ll see each other one day. Maybe I’ll be in the airplane seat you really want or maybe you’ll see me checking out with the last box of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s of the season. Or maybe I’ll be the last drop of your type of blood in a 2,300 mile radius. And I’ll be thumping my juicy, plump veins like, “Hey, you’re that guy who hung up on our chat thirty-two years ago! You still working for Overstock? What’s that? You need this here precious elixir, Victor?” And you won’t be able to answer with your voice because you’re withering away at my feet and I’ll be like, “What? SORRY I DIDN’T HEAR YOU, YOU MUST HAVE SOLVED YOUR OWN ISSUE, BYE!”
See how that works, Victor? Except it doesn’t work like that because I would probably give you my blood because that’s the kind of person I am. But I would find another way to make your life miserable.
So Victor #2 never answered so I hung up on him. That felt good. I connected with Karl who sadly had to bear the brunt of my wrath towards Victor and Overstock. I went through the whole deal again. The damn chairs, out of stock, screw won’t work, pictures. Karl was more helpful and offered me $20 off my next purchase.
“No way, Karl,” I said. “I may never be back to use that $20. I need a fix for this here purchase if I’m keeping the shitty chairs.”
So Karl comes back with this, bless his heart:
Karl: Okay, maximum I can help you with $30. if you are okay, then I will right away go ahead issue as in-store credit.
Umm…why tell you what happened? I copied the transcript of our conversation. Go ahead and act out “Shelly vs. Overstock” at your Thanksgiving dinner. (Obviously I’m the “visitor” which is totally the name of the horror movie Victor and Karl are going to pen after dealing with my wrath.)
Visitor: As I JUST said, I don’t want a store credit! I want the discount off THIS purchase. No guarantee I’m going to shop with you again.
Visitor: You have to make it right on THIS purchase, please. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you but it is to me. I want a discount off this purchase. No future purchases. Make it right with this one.
Karl: Okay, since you are our valued customer I will issue $30 back to your payment method.
Fine. Dammit, fine. I’ll keep the stupid chairs. Bart will find a way to fix them and we’ll deal. But all is not right. And the first time one of my friends falls off these stools because the defective screw gave out (and not because they are drunk-ass lushes with the balance of a teenage shop-a-holic’s first checking account) I will shake my fist in the air and curse his name:
I know there’s a really good pun here about getting screwed but I’m too tired to come up with it. If you do, feel free to leave it in the comments. In the meantime, I have some chairs to fix.