Saturday, June 02, 2007

Consumer Hell

The lawnmower we've had for years was officially pronounced dead last night.

This morning Tom and I decided that we 'd quickly research the cost of a new one online, but that we wouldn't spend more than an hour or so actually buying one. There was much to be done in the yard, so there simply wasn't time. We knew that the best mower, the best deal and the best customer support would most likely come from Costco anyway, and that we'd probably end up buying one there -- which we did.

But geeeeeze, what a process! Instead of a one hour process, buying the damn lawnmower took us close to seven hours! Here's a play-by-play of our day in consumer hell:

  1. We drive to Costco in the truck and head straight for the gardening department. Well, we head straight for the gardening department, but on the way Tom quickly dips into the electronic isle to check the price of the plasma TV we bought two weeks ago.
  2. He returns , telling me that the price of the TV had dropped by $200.
  3. We talk to a supervisor about the TV. He sends us to a different supervisor... who sends us to a third. The final verdict regarding getting our money back is a distinct maybe. Turns out we need to go home and get the receipt which is in an envelope taped to the back of the TV. OK, fine.
  4. Thirty minutes had passed, but we finally moved on to the lawnmower. They have one model, but not the one we want. (We need the self-propelled model. Heaven forbid we get exercise by actually pushing the thing over our almost acre of new lawn!)
  5. We ask Customer Service whether the model we want is at another Costco nearby. The Kirkland Costco (which is where Costco's "Kirkland" brand gets its name) has 11 in stock. Cool.
  6. We head home to get the receipt for the TV. Our alloted "one hour" had long since passed.
  7. At home, we grab the receipt, something to eat, and I call the Kirkland Costco with receipt in-hand to make sure we can get a price adjustment. No problem.
  8. We head out again.
  9. At the Kirkland Costco, Tom grabs a lawnmower while I stand in line for the $200 price adjustment. We grab a few other things (including a hammock!), then head home. About four hours had passed by this time.
  10. At home, Tom unpacks the lawnmower, Kat puts together the hammock, and I finally have a chance to lie down. (I had gotten about two hours' sleep last night... different story.)
  11. A half hour later, Tom comes in the bedroom just as I was dozing off to tell me that the lawnmower has a dent in it and he needs my help to bring it back. I look at the "dent" and say that it looks to me like it's just part of the construction. But he's sure it's a dent. So off we go. A good six hours had passed at this point.
  12. We head back to Costco (30 minutes each direction) and stand in the "return" line. I get cash back and Tom heads back to get another lawnmower. They're sold out.
  13. He looks at the display model and notices that it has the same dent as the one we bought. Hmmmmm, what a coincidence. Or...
  14. The sales woman and I have a good-natured chuckle about "boys and their toys" and the satisfaction of an "I told you so."
  15. We buy back our lawnmower back, load it back onto the truck and head home. Tom unpacks the lawnmower, our lawnmower, our new household friend. @@
  16. Seven hours or so after our consumer ordeal began, Tom mows the lawn, Kat relaxes on the new hammock and I shake my head about our "one hour purchase."
Now it's my turn for a nap in the hammock -- or a good night's sleep!

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4 comments:

Adam said...

haha funny, my parents just went through the same ordeal. They went to costco to get the self propelled unit (which they DID have instock thank god) and when they got it home my dad saw the dent and of course (without looking at the old one) takes it back because he thought it was a defect. Goes over to the displays and finds out they are all like that, and heads home. I think the dent stands out even more because the body is stainless steal, rather then painted black like alot of them are.

Adam said...

haha funny, my parents just went through the same ordeal. They went to costco to get the self propelled unit (which they DID have instock thank god) and when they got it home my dad saw the dent and of course (without looking at the old one) takes it back because he thought it was a defect. Goes over to the displays and finds out they are all like that, and heads home. I think the dent stands out even more because the body is stainless steal, rather then painted black like alot of them are.

Adam said...

haha funny, my parents just went through the same ordeal. They went to costco to get the self propelled unit (which they DID have instock thank god) and when they got it home my dad saw the dent and of course (without looking at the old one) takes it back because he thought it was a defect. Goes over to the displays and finds out they are all like that, and heads home. I think the dent stands out even more because the body is stainless steal, rather then painted black like alot of them are.

Adam said...

wow this blog is messed, posted my comment 3 times?

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