Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Crib Drama

This might end up being a really long, boring blog, but I really feel the need to share my story so that I can hopefully spare others from going through the same thing. This is especially something that you do not want to go through if you are expecting a baby in a few weeks.

I will start off by saying that I did wait until I was almost 30 weeks pregnant to figure out what furniture I wanted for Will's room, so there was a little procrastination on my part. I had found some furniture on Walmart's website that I really liked and after doing some research on the brand, I found out that the exact same furniture was sold at Babies R Us under a different brand name but same manufacturer. However, just the crib would have been $150 more at Babies R Us, plus shipping. I had heard about a new program that Walmart has going called Site to Store shipping. On Walmart's website, this is advertised as free shipping that arrives at your store within 7 to 10 days. Perfect! I can order the furniture, not have to pay shipping, and I'll have it in 2 weeks. Too good to be true, right?

On May 17th, I placed my order for a crib and a matching dresser. I immediately received a confirmation email stating that my dresser would arrive between May 23rd and May 31st and my crib would arrive between May 25th and June 11th. What? What happened to "arrives at store in 7 to 10 days"?? I was disappointed, but I had already placed my order at this point and it was still probably going to arrive sooner than if I had to order it elsewhere.

On May 24th, I received another email from Walmart stating that there is a delay in the shipment of my crib. The thing that concerned me most about this email was this sentence: "Please note that if we do not hear from you and we cannot fulfill this order within 10 days, we will automatically cancel your order and you will be notified." Cancel my order? Why? I guess I should mention that both items I ordered said "In Stock" on Walmart's website. So if the crib is in stock, what could be so hard about getting it shipped? This makes me think that the crib wasn't actually in stock and they were having problems getting the crib from a supplier. Why else would they have to possibly cancel my order? So I decide to call Walmart's customer service line because if they don't actually have my crib in stock, I should probably think about ordering a different crib. I talked to Valerie and she said that there was no problem with the shipment of my crib except that there was a delay (sounds like a problem to me), but the crib was in stock and I would receive my crib. Later that night, the status of the crib had changed from "processing" to "shipped." Coincidence or did my call actually make a difference? Who knows.

I wait a week and the crib has still not arrived at the store, so I decide to call and check on it (this is on June 1st). By the way, the dresser had arrived at the store by this time, but I did not want to go pick it up because I thought it would be easier to get both the dresser and the crib at the same time and I wanted to make sure the crib was actually going to get there. I talked to Tina who tells me that the crib will arrive at the store by June 4th. Great! It's June 4th and guess what? The crib doesn't get there. So I call and speak with Matoya. Matoya tells me that she doesn't know why it hasn't gotten to the store and basically, the only thing she can do is escalate the matter to their fulfillment department. She said that the fulfillment department would the contact me and let me know the status of my order. I asked when I could expect to hear from them and she say Friday (this was on Monday). So of course, I balked at Friday and said I needed to hear something before then. She said she didn't work on Tuesday, but she would personally make sure that someone called me by Wednesday.

On Wednesday, June 6th, I get a call from Amy. Amy tells me that there is no way to track my order (which I have been told all along and didn't quite believe), but she assures me that my crib will arrive by its original expected delivery date, June 11th. I told her that I was not comfortable with that answer because I had been told so many different things and that I would be okay with it if she could at least find out where my crib was. I wanted to know what truck it was on and when that truck was expected to arrive at my store. She said that they did not have that capability and there was no possible way to do that. I mean we are talking about Walmart here - how could they not know where their inventory is? It just didn't make sense. I made her tell me over and over again that there was NO WAY to find my crib. So finally I just asked what else I could do at that point. She said the only thing I could do was wait until June 11th and if the crib didn't arrive, they could go ahead and give me a refund, but I would have to wait until June 11th to even get that far.

It's June 11th and the crib still doesn't arrive. I decided to go ahead and call the local Walmart store just to make sure that it wasn't there all along. They put me on hold and come back to say that my crib and my dresser are there! I couldn't believe it! How could it have been there all along? So I asked when they arrived and she tells me May 24th and May 27th. Unbelievable! So I begin to tell her how I just can't believe this because I have been talking to all these different people on the customer service line that have told me that my crib has not arrived. She then gets a little concerned and decides to double check. Whoops! That's someone else's crib and dresser. Ugh - what a let down! She apologizes and tells me that she will call me if she's it come in.

This is the point when I decide that I have to find another crib or I am going to be in trouble. It is too late to order something else, I have to just find something that I can buy and pick up later that night (with some help). So I go all over town and finally end up at Target, where I know that they have a crib that I like. There were not any cribs on the shelf where I had seen them before, so I ask an employee to check in the back. She comes back out with the last one on the cart, so I say I'll take it, but I have to pick it up later. She secures it for me in the customer service area. As soon as I got home, I called Walmart to let them know that my crib didn't arrive. I briefly explained the situation to Santrella and she tells me that she needs to put me on hold so that she can TRACK the package. Track it? Didn't Amy (and everyone else) tell me there was no possible way to do that? Santrella comes back and tells me that she was able to track it and the crib was LOST on May 29th. I told her that it was amazing that she was able to find out that information within 5 minutes when I have been talking to so many other people that told me they couldn't track the package at all. So basically, I could have known two weeks earlier that the crib was lost, but instead, I wasted hours on the phone with these people over the last couple of weeks and I could have been used that time to order another crib! Santrella then tells me that the only thing she can do at this point is refund me my money. I say fine and she says I will get the refund within 24 hours.

Later that night, I send Chris, my dad, and Lance to Target to pick up the crib and to Walmart to pick up the dresser. Target did not have any dressers in stock, so I was just hoping that the dresser I originally ordered from Walmart would match the Target crib. They get to Walmart and have all kinds of trouble picking up the dresser...I really don't know the details of this part of the story since I wasn't there, I just know that it took a long time. They get back to our house and bring in three boxes - one from Target and two from Walmart. I immediately think something isn't right, but it took me awhile to figure out that Walmart had actually loaded up someone else's dresser AND crib into my dad's car. It even had someone else's name on it. So now we have to go back to Walmart to return someone else's order and get our dresser.

I went with the boys this time because I wanted to make sure we ended up with the right dresser. We get to Walmart and we just stand there for 10 minutes because no one knows what to do and they can't find a manager. I finally did ask them to at least go look for my dresser while we are waiting on the manager. The manager finally comes out and he doesn't seem to care one bit. It turns out that he was the one that loaded the other crib and dresser into the car and all he says was, "Oh yeah, that was my fault." He didn't even bother to apologize. Even though I am so upset with Walmart at this point, I still wanted, more than anything, to have a crib and a dresser (that match) in Will's room. So I ask them to take out a piece of my dresser so that I can go match it with a crib they have in stock at Walmart (just in case the Target crib doesn't match). So we find a matching crib and buy it. Now we own three cribs! We get home, and it turns out that the Target crib matches too and I like it better, so Chris and my dad take the other crib back to Walmart.

I wish I could say we got the refund and the story ends there. However, I waited until Wednesday to see if the refund for the crib that was lost showed up and it didn't. So I call my friends at Walmart, explained my situation to Shelly, and she puts me on hold. She comes back to me and says that it will be just a few minutes longer because they are unloading a truck at my store right now and need to make sure the crib isn't on there. I told her that was not necessary because it had already been determined that my crib was lost (which I had already told her), and I was just waiting for a refund at this point. In fact, I had been told that a refund was already issued and it was just a matter of it showing up. She then tries to explain to me why they must make sure the crib is not on this truck and I tell her that she does not know what she is talking about because two nights ago Santrella told me that a refund was my only option. I tell her that I need to talk to a manager. She puts me on hold again and comes back to tell me that she has spoken with a manager and the manager said that I will need to get a refund from the store. Well, guess what? We asked about the refund when we were at the store two nights ago and that manager told me that since this was a ".com" order, we must call to get a refund (which does make more sense to me anyway). She continues to insist that I have to get a refund at the store and I finally decide that I cannot be nice anymore. So I told her that she did not know what she was talking about, she was lying, and I was done talking to her - I needed to talk to a manager. While I am on hold, I decide that the manager I talk to needs to know my full story in full detail, if for no other reason to somewhat feel the torture that I have been through (and that you are probably going through if you are still reading this). The manager is very nice and says that he is "appalled" but all he can offer me is an apology and he will go ahead and issue that refund right away (like that was a big favor he was doing for me). He assures me over and over again that the refund is issued and then asks me if there is anything else he can do for me. I tell him that yes, he could tell everyone there what poor service they have and that they really should do something about it. I don't think it sounded quite that nice, but don't worry - no bad language was involved.

So we did finally end up getting the refund and Will has furniture in his room! I am happy for that (even though none of it is a perfect match) and feel a lot better now that I have gotten my Walmart story out in the open....even if no one reads it. The moral of the story is - DO NOT order a crib from Walmart! It will only make you crazy. I do not even have the discipline myself to boycott a company, so I'm not asking anyone to that - but please please please think twice before ordering anything from Walmart - especially if it is important. I will also be writing a letter to Walmart, the only problem is I'm not quite sure who to send it to. Anyone have an idea?


Home of Harris said...

I am so sorry. That just is not right-and I will not place a dot com order. Thanks for the warning! I am so glad that Will has furniture. Jack's furniture did not all match and it was o.k. I don't think he is scarred for life. By the way, I read the whole thing-I love your blog.

T said...

OH MY WORD!!! That is just the most horrible story I have every heard. I read your whole story too and I really felt your pain! You were definately more patient than I would have been.

Sarah said...

Denae, Denae, Denae, Have I ever told you how much I despise walmart? And my reason is not as good as yours! But nothing can be that good, no one should be an expert in tire sales and bananas and womens clothing and school supplies. You know what I mean?

Kathy H. said...

Denae, if you haven't written your letter yet, do a little research and find out the name of THE specific person in Bentonville, AK that is the "buck stops here" person for customer service and send your letter to him/her. Whoever it goes to needs to be someone at the Corporate level in Bentonville, Arkansas. They are usually quite responsive and generally will handle things in a timely manner.

I bought a steam iron at my local Walmart in Frisco and the first time I used it, it POURED hot steamy water out of the BOTTOM of the iron, which landed on my bare legs and gave me a 2nd degree burn. I contacted the store, and all they offered was a refund/exchange - no care or concern at all about my 2nd degree burns! So I contacted the customer service people in Bentonville and within a couple of weeks, they refunded the cost of the iron by a multiple of 3 (i.e. I paid $25 for the iron, they refunded $75), and in addition to that, contacted the mfg. of the iron in CHINA, no less, who sent me a check for $200 and in addition to that, Walmart Corporate sent me a Walmart giftcard for another $200.

Always contact the corporate offices for any company you're dealing with - in particular large chains like Walmart, Target, etc. The people at Corporate are much better to deal with, generally are more concerned, and if you throw in a little threat or 2 about giving them some bad press, that seems to really snap them to attention!

Glad Will has furniture - and don't give 1 seconds thought to things not being a "perfect match". What matters is who is going in the crib, not the crib itself. And when you have Will and bring him home, I promise you, you will think his nursery is absolutely perfect!

Love, Kathy
(your MIL's cousin)

Denae said...

Thanks Kathy! I'll have to try to figure out who that person is in Bentonville.

whitney sue said...

wow, Denae. I actually read all of that and it was painful.

When i get extremely frustrated with something, I cry. I once spent over two hours on the phone with Sprint, and they STILL didn't fix my problem. It took almost a month, and several phone calls to resolve the problem. I was so angry by the time I spoke with the last person that I was crying and completely red in the face. Awesome.

Another place you should avoid ordering something over the internet: Hallmark Flowers. My mom has still not received her birthday/mother's day bouquet.

The Stanford Family said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. My walmart crib and dresser were in stock. (the new store on 82nd) Graham is 2 1/2 months old and has still not slept in his crib for the night, but I wanted it done and ready anyways.

Anonymous said...

i almost ordered madelyns play house from walmart that way... i am glad you saved me the trouble, i spent 10 extra bucks on it at toys r us, sounds like it was worth it :)