This is a wall in the girls room, before things were moved in. If you don't absolutely adore this princess castle, you can just stop reading now. Also, this is a sample of Mr. Wonderful's prized wood floors. They used to be covered in 80 year old carpet, with the disgusting carpet pad melted into the floor. I prepped this floor for finishing myself. (Applause)
One sunny November day, Mr. Wonderful and I decide to browse our local Crate and Barrel. We had some gift cards for the store, and thought we would surely find a million things we wanted. Decorating is freaking exciting! We walked in, and within 10 seconds, I saw what I wanted. Right on the first display was a trunk designed to be a coffee table. It opened up to have a ton of storage inside, and it was basically amazing. Perfect for our living room. Mr. Wonderful adored it too, and we decided just to walk right up and buy it, because we also had a 20% off coupon. Luck was on our side.
The Hunter Trunk. It would have made my living room look like something out of a magazine. You know, if magazine living rooms have playpens and Cheetos rubbed into the carpet.
I walk right up to the counter and say, we would like to buy the trunk in the very front of the store. The sheer terror and panic that fell over the face of the associate made me realize instantly that this would not be a normal day. Just like everything else that ever seems to happen, this will be some sort of ridiculous nightmare that could only possibly happen to me. I wasn't disappointed. She stammered that she had to get the manager, and then high tailed it into the back of the store. The manager came over, with her super fake retail manager smile, and told us that the trunk is not for sale. The trunk is not for sale, because they made a new model with slight changes and now the price is $100 more. Also, the new trunk is not for sale until FEBRUARY. She looked all over the country, and there are no more of this model of the Hunter Trunk available for sale. She would be willing to sell me the slightly damaged floor model at a 15% discount, but I would need to leave it on the sales floor until February, possibly getting damaged further; I also could not use my 20% discount in addition to the 15% discount for selling me a damaged trunk.
Now clearly, I blacked out. I *calmly* explained to her the following:
"This trunk is not for sale; it is in the absolute front of this home goods store , but it's not for sale. It's there in order to tell people that the exact same trunk with minor changes will be for sale three months from now, and it will cost $100 more. You will sell me a damaged trunk, but expect me to leave it on this sales floor for three months in order to give people the chance to scuff it up and break it further; you will not give me a new trunk at the old trunk's price, and you will not allow me to use my discount on this damaged floor model. You are also telling me that you are the absolute highest manager at this store, there is no one else I can speak with, and there is nothing else you are willing to do for me. Right?"
The manager said, "Yes. You're right."
LATER ASSHOLES. I mean really. I also contacted Crate and Barrel customer service to tell them that I have never experienced such terrible customer service in my entire life, and they offered me 20% off the new trunk, without the ability to use my own 20% coupon on top of that.
Fast forward to now, and I am just to the point where I can even consider going to the Crate and Barrel website without my blood boiling. We still have these gift cards, and we just got a fancy schmancy new grill that needs all kinds of accessories. I also scored a 10% off your whole purchase, so I'm thinking finally I will get some new stuff and be done with this store. No such luck. After loading up the online cart, I come to find that the shipping is almost $100. Now, I live in 2012, not sure about you. I haven't paid for shipping on anything in at least three years; all major retailers either offer great deals on shipping, or free shipping after you spend a certain amount. Once again, not Crate and Barrel, the company that is completely not concerned with customer service in any way. I couldn't even ship the items to the store for free, which many other retailers will do. Of the 11 brand new spring items that I wanted to order, 3 of them were available in the store.
I am exhausted, Crate and Barrel. I have tried twice to make major purchases for The Money Pit with you, and twice I have failed. I really have never had such a hard time spending money in my life. This has been a one-sided relationship, and I can tell you just aren't that in to me. So here I leave you, just another rant on my blog, and hopefully at some point enough dissatisfied customers will give you the bright idea to revamp your customer service policies, instead of revamping a product as an excuse to increase the price.