09 December 2008

Frustration: The Saga of the Gliding Rocker

After a great deal of searching, visits to multiple stores and paying 5 times the cost we should have paid for a relatively low-quality product, we finally have a gliding rocking chair. We ordered it through a local baby store from Hauck, a furniture company based in Germany. It is sitting in pieces in the living room. 

The unassembled chair is mocking me while I walk back and forth in front of it, holding a baby who routinely resists sleep. (Perhaps because he is concerned about what he might miss while he is asleep?)

And reminding me, once again, that customer service here does not exist.

We ordered the rocker on Saturday, November 8th and were told it would arrive in about 2 weeks. It eventually arrived on Wednesday, November 26th. However, when GLH opened the box to put it together we discovered that none of the hardware we needed, specifically 6 30-mm screws and 2 50-mm, four washers, some wooden plugs and an allen wrench, was included.

GLH contacted the manufacturer via their customer service link on their website to explain the situation and tell them exactly what hardware we needed. They replied that they would do nothing with a customer and we would need to go through the store from which we had ordered the chair. (Question - so why do they bother having a customer service link on their website?)

So we contacted the store on Thursday, November 27th and spoke with the owner, who was extremely apologetic. She contacted the company then called back to say the hardware would be sent immediately and would come through priority mail so it would arrive faster.

And I mustn't forget to mention that the company actually questioned our honesty regarding the situation. Because obviously customers routinely go to great lengths to get extra screws for furniture all the time. Because obviously the customer is always wrong.

And it was to arrive faster? Hmm. It finally arrived today. Nearly two weeks later. Alright, I guess it arrived marginally faster than the regular delivery shipment. But c'mon? Is that really how long it takes to send something through priority mail? The place it is coming from is a 4 hour drive away! Interesting, even though they told the store owner they would ship it immediately, the postmark is from December 4th. A full week after they said they would ship it "right away."

But finally, we had the hardware, right?

Nope. See, they sent the wrong screws. Instead of what we were supposed to receive, 6 45-mm screws, 2 50-mm screws of the wrong type, 4 washers and no wooden plugs or allen wrench.

Unfortunately, the correct screws are custom-made for this rocker and cannot just be purchased at a hardware store. Otherwise we would have done that a few weeks ago.

So the parts of the rocker continue sitting in the corner of the room.

At this rate, I might have a working rocker about the time Global Baby starts kindergarten. Meanwhile, I continue to walk the floor every day instead of being able to sit in comfort and rock.

And I cannot help but compare it to the likely experience I would have had in the United States where I could have gone to any number of stores, had a large selection of options for gliding rockers and likely had it delivered to my home (at no extra charge) the same day.



Yelli said...

The grass is not always greener on the other side! When we ordered a rocker (in the US) the first time, they said it would come in 2-4 weeks. Well, 4 weeks went by and no sign of the rocker. When we called back, they explained that they didn't have anymore! (Luckily this was done before the baby was born) They couldn't have told us this earlier?

We had to pick another one but we went to a different store. It still took 2 weeks to get here but everything was fine once it arrived.

However, I will admit that customer service is by far worse here!

Good luck and hopefully happy rocking soon!

Expat Traveler said...

Good luck getting the rocker. I know it's been waaay too long. But on the other hand, I have grown to appreciate how things work in Europe. It does take planning ahead and it is frustrating at times, but the rewards of festivals and markets and great food make up for that stuff!

Marcy said...

That was probably my biggest frustration about having a baby overseas-- knowing how easy and inexpensive so much baby stuff would be if we'd been in the US, compared to how expensive, if available at all, it was over there. You shoulda seen me the day I was trying to find BPA-free baby bottles over there.