Here’s a copy of an email I just sent (on Feb 11, 2012) to the customer service email address and my salesperson at Bedroom Furniture Discounts, from whom my wife and I recently purchased new bedroom furniture. They were fantastic to work with on the sales side, but I think they may be using the wrong company to fulfill their “White Glove Delivery” service.
I’ll update this thread once I get a reply.
Email #1 – Feb 11, 2012
Hi, Nataly & Dominick.
The purpose of this email is to give you an update on the AICO bedroom set we ordered from you. Of course, I realize that once the order is placed, that the delivery and setup of the items are somewhat out of your hands, but I nonetheless wanted to share feedback with you on the process so that you are aware of what’s happened so far, and evaluate whether the company currently fulfilling your orders is the best choice for your “White Glove” delivery.
I’ll explain what happened chronologically.
1) I was contacted in January by Exel Direct (the delivery company) to schedule delivery of all three pieces of furniture I ordered: canopy bed, curio, and dresser. We scheduled the delivery for Saturday 1/28.
2) Once I knew the delivery schedule, I hired movers to disassemble and move all our current bedroom furniture into a storage unit for Thursday 1/26, and carpet cleaners to clean the bedroom carpet on the morning of Friday 1/27. That way, the room would be empty and cleaned for all the new furniture.
3) My movers showed up on Thursday 1/26 and emptied the bedroom as planned.
4) On the afternoon of Thursday 1/26, I received another phone call from Exel. They informed me that because there were so many parts for this order, they were unable to bring them for delivery on Saturday, since they’d need a whole truck to bring them. I informed them that was unacceptable, since the number of items should be no surprise to them, as they’d been sitting in their warehouse for at least a week, and also that I’d already removed all our bedroom furniture in anticipation of the delivery. After a few more phone exchanges, they informed me there were unable to bring all the furniture, but agreed to bring just the bed on Saturday and reschedule delivery of the rest of the furniture for the following Saturday 2/4.
5) On Saturday 1/28, the delivery truck arrived with the bed. However, only part of the bed had been loaded on the truck. The canopy was missing. The delivery men assembled the part of the bed they had (which thankfully was enough to sleep on), and left.
6) The following Saturday 2/4, the Exel delivery truck showed up again as scheduled. This time, the two drivers stated they had all the remaining furniture. However, after partially unloading the truck into my driveway, the drivers informed me that because they were unable to remove the drawers from the dresser, that the dresser was too heavy to carry upstairs by themselves, and that they would need four people instead of two. They installed the canopy on our bed (albeit with some rather large dings in the canopy pillars), and wanted to put the furniture back in the truck to take back to the warehouse, and re-schedule delivery for another day. I told them I didn’t want the furniture reloaded on the truck, since I’m sure it would have been unloaded in the warehouse and then reloaded again later, and I had already noted a number of nicks and dings on the furniture from the amount it had already been transported and handled. I called the Exel dispatcher, but she was unable to send another crew to help carry the furniture up the stairs. So I had the delivery drivers stack the curio and dresser pieces in my house’s foyer. The dispatcher assured me that she’d be able to schedule four people to come within the next few days.
7) I expected to hear back from Exel on Monday morning, but heard nothing. On Wednesday 2/8, I contacted Exel myself and scheduled delivery for Saturday 2/11 (which is today), and verified that they were indeed sending FOUR people this time.
8) At 7:30am this morning (Saturday 2/11), I received a phone call from the delivery driver who informed me he was 15 minutes away. I asked him if there were four people in his truck. He informed me no, there were only two. I told him that he needed to contact his dispatcher immediately to verify that four people were coming.
9) At 7:45am today, the delivery driver rang at our front gate. I buzzed him in. When he got to the front door, he informed me that another truck was on the way to meet them.
10) At 8:25am today, the other truck arrived with one other person, named Patrick (who had been one of the people that helped assemble our bed on 1/28). Patrick was able to figure out how to remove the drawers from the dresser, making it relatively easy for the two other drivers to bring the dresser upstairs. And while I was grateful to have the furniture out of my foyer, I was frustrated that it had sat there unnecessarily for a week.
11) Patrick and the other two delivery personnel carried all the remaining pieces upstairs into our bedroom and began to assemble them. I noted that one of the provided cords for powering the light fixture atop the curio was too short to connect. In the process of trying to stretch an electrical cable to power the light fixture on top of the curio, they pulled the end off of the electrical cord, making it impossible to light the top of the curio. I need to arrange to have a longer cord, or two of the shorter cords, shipped to me as soon as possible. In fact, I’d prefer to verify on the phone with someone at AICO who is familiar with this set with to make sure the correct cord(s) are sent.
12) Patrick also noted that the hardware necessary to secure the mirror assembly to the dresser was missing, as was the hardware necessary to attach the top trim pieces to both the curio and mirror assembly. Patrick informed me that he would look at the warehouse for the hardware, or look through their available bolts for ones that might work. However, I would prefer to have the correct hardware as supplied by AICO for this purpose. And, at this point, I’d rather just install it myself. Can you please put me in touch with someone at AICO who can supply that as soon as possible, since both pieces are in the middle of our bedroom partially assembled, rather than up against the wall and out of the way.
13) I also noted that one of the light bulbs in the mirror assembly would not light up. After removing the bulb and testing it, the bulb is defective. I plan on purchasing a new one at a hardware store today.
14) And the most humorous part of this entire “White Glove Delivery” tragedy? While I was in the middle writing this email to you this morning, at exactly 10:01AM Pacific Time, my cell phone rang. It was a computer call from Exel Direct… asking if I’d be willing to “take a short six-question survey about their service.” I laughed so hard I almost dropped my phone. The computer also said that at any time during the call, I could press 0 to talk to a customer service agent instead. So I pressed 0. I was then greeted by another computer prompt apologizing that nobody was available to take my call, that I had reached them during non business hours, and that their normal Saturday business hours were 10:00AM Eastern to sometime later in the evening. I’m rather certain that 10:00AM Pacific (when the phone rang) is well after 10:00AM Eastern (when they claim to be open on Saturdays), but pressing 0 again had no effect. So I simply hung up.
Again, I realize that once the order is processed, the execution of that order is somewhat out of your hands. However, while I believe that authority can be delegated, responsibility cannot. And since your company collected payment for the products and their delivery, the responsibility for the entire purchase and delivery experience remains yours. How you address the issue is certainly up to you, but I wanted to provide my feedback that the term “white glove delivery” may be an overly generous term for my experience.
I would appreciate someone contacting me via telephone at xxx-xxx-xxxx at your earliest convenience so that I can arrange to get the missing electrical cords and hardware to finalize the installation of my bedroom set. I plan on getting a replacement light bulb and some wood stain at the hardware store today to try and ameliorate some of the nicks and dings on the furniture myself.
Email #2 – Feb 11, 2012
Hi, Nataly & Dominick.
As a follow-up to my prior email, I no longer need the requested bolts and washers for securing the mirror to the dresser, or for the decorative tops that mount on top of the lighted cabinets on the curio and mirror. I visited the hardware store today and purchased all the necessary hardware, and just finished installing them.
However, while installing the decorative top to the curio, I noticed a problem with the right curio hutch door. While the left door closes completely flush, the upper section of the right door leaves an approximately half-inch gap in the “closed” position, so much so that the magnet on the inside of the hutch does not make contact with the corresponding metal catch on the inside of the door. After opening the right door to investigate, I noticed the holes shown in the attached image “curio_magnet.jpg.”
The existence of these holes leads me to conclude that in all likelihood, this door-closing issue was likely known at the point of assembly of this curio, and that these holes represent adjustment attempts by the assembler. Unfortunately, his or her adjustment attempts were unsuccessful, yielding a curio hutch with a door that is still unable to close properly – with the addition to a few uninvited holes in an otherwise beautiful cabinet. My preferred course of action would be to replace this curio hutch with a new one. Please let me know if this is not an option.
Additionally, I figured it might also be helpful to attach a photo of the broken electrical cable mentioned in my previous email.
It’s a black, 18 gauge, 2-conductor wire, approximately 24 inches long. One end is a female connector with one square and one circle connection, and the other end has the a corresponding male connector. The replacement cable should be at least 36 inches long in order to span the distance between the end of the wire that is connected to the curio and the lighting fixture hidden inside the top of the curio hutch (which lights the alabaster fascia). Alternatively, two of these 24 inch cables could be connected in series and solve the issue.
At your earliest convenience, please let me know if you’re able to swap the hutch and supply the proper length electrical cable(s).
Update Feb 13, 2012
I called BedroomFurnitureDiscounts this morning, and they informed me that Nataly (whom I had been emailing) no longer worked at the company, and that Dominick (my salesperson) was off today. However, the customer service representative who handled my call was very friendly, and asked if there was anything she could help with. She checked the general customer service email queue and found my emails there. I suggested that rather than keeping her on the phone, she may want to just read them and give me a call back. She did, because she left the following message on my Google Voice:
I’m not sure how their technician “repairing the hutch” is going to work out, but I’m open to giving them an opportunity to make it work before I press the issue on replacing it. Of course, as I always do with every online purchase, I paid for this item with my American Express Centurion card, so in a worst case scenario (and I see no indications that this situation is headed there), I know AMEX will intercede on my behalf.
Update #2 Feb 13, 2012
I also received a voicemail from Patrick, today – who was one of the delivery personnel. He was following up to see if he could bring by some hardware to secure all the necessary pieces. I thanked him, and told him that I’d already taken care of it. I have to admit that in the entire fiasco that was Exel Direct’s “White Glove Delivery” service, Patrick was the welcome exception to the rule. Every time something actually got done by Exel, Patrick was the one who made sure it got done. I’d post his friendly and professional voice message here as well, but it includes what I believe to be his personal cell phone number, so I won’t post it.
Update #3 Mar 2, 2012
Received a voicemail from Matthew at Bedroom Furniture Discounts, which said:
Hi Steve Jenkins, This is Matthew calling from Bedroom Furniture Discounts. I’m just calling to give you an update. Your cable should come today, and I believe I spoke with the the tech yesterday, he’s scheduled to come to your house sometime next week. Please give me a call back At (212) xxx-xxxx extension xxx. Thank you.
Alright! It’s nice to see progress!
Update #4 Mar 1, 2012
Well, the good news is that two new electric cables arrived today. The bad news is that each of them is exactly half the length of the original cable, meaning that they still aren’t long enough to connect the lights atop the curio to the power supply. They were shipped directly from AICO, so I called the number on the packing slip to see if they could ship me either one more shorter one, or two of the longer ones that I originally requested. The receptionist informed me that it would be “easier” if I called the store instead of calling them. Yeah… easier for her.
I called Matthew back and he apologized and said he’d call AICO today and have them fix the error. The furniture repair technician is supposed to be here in a few minutes to look at fixing the curio door, so I’m crossing my fingers. 🙂