Tuesday, December 18, 2007

European Customer Service (or Why I still don't have a couch)

I often say how much I am glad I came back to Europe and how the lifestyle here is more to my liking. While this is still the case, there are moments where I dearly miss Canada. Most of these relate to the outdoors, the Dutch nature in particular is quite lame compared to Canada's. However there are other moments too.

One of these moments arose after I spoke with customer service of the place I bought my couch, Sanders http://www.sanders-meubelstad.nl/ (I hope they rot in hell). I had been waiting a good 5 months for the couch as this is how long it normally takes to get a couch in Holland. I guess they have to wait for the cows to grow before they can shoot them for the leather.... I finally got a phone call recently saying the delivery guys would show up with my couch. I was rather looking forward to getting this thing, so I took the morning off work and waited. They showed up, did some head-shaking, some measuring and told me there was no way they could get the couch into my apartment through the front door or through the balcony (using the dutch rope moving system). So they apologized and left. I have a standard size door btw, those who have visited my place can vouch for this. Back to the store I went since I had already paid them €300 as a deposit. The store told me to go to hell in words a bit more polite than that. I got a phone number for customer service. I called these folks three times and they never really knew what could be done and promised that a supervisor would call me back - guess how that turned out. So today I call back one final time and am told (after much fruitless arguing) that my options are as follows:

1) Schedule another appointment where the delivery guys will do their best to 'shove' the couch into my apartment. If any damage occurs this will be my problem. Lovely
2) Pay only half the price of the couch as a restocking fee. WTF?? €600 restocking fee?

Safe to say this is not over yet. All I know is that they are not seeing another penny from me. Time to seek out the BBB equivalent here in the Netherlands and see what can be done. If I do end up not getting my money back, I will start a business selling people false promises and see how far I can get.

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