I've had a dishwasher for my entire life, with the exception of the 2 months after we got married when I lived in R's apartment. And for the past year. We've held off on buying a dishwasher until we got the floor ordered. We picked out a dishwasher a year ago when we picked out our other appliances. My mom offered to buy us the dishwasher (for a couple reasons... one, she knew how much I really wanted one, and two, it was my "payment" for designing and doing construction administration for her kitchen/family room renovation/addition). This is the one we chose:
Dishwasher with a Stainless-Steel Tub (Model #1329). My two requirements were stainless steel and concealed controls. The handle on this model matches the handles on my stove and microwave, so that was a big factor in my decision.
A month or two ago we got a coupon in the mail (probably because we have a Sears rewards card). 25% off Kenmore appliances and 10% off all other appliances. The week where we would be ready to order it (according to the schedule) coincided with the Sears Columbus Day sale. Unfortunately for us, the coupon states that it's 25% off the original price, not the sale price. That's fine. Original price is $799.99. Sale price is $719.99. Coupon price is $599.99. Here's where the nightmare begins..
As soon as R got home from work, I jumped in the car and we drove to the closest Sears. We parked right next to the door to the appliance department. We walked immediately to the dishwashers. I showed R the two I had been comparing and asked which one was his favorite. He took a minute (no more) to look at the two.. pointed to the one that was my favorite and I said "Good. Let's buy it!". Almost immediately, a sales associate (Laurie) walks over.
Laurie: Can I help you? Here to take advantage of the last day of our Columbus Day sale?
S: Yes. Actually, we'd like to buy this dishwasher... and we have this coupon.
Laurie: Oh! Great! I don't have to sell you on one! Makes my job easier!
S: :) Yup! I did my research! ::hands Laurie the coupon::
Laurie: ::examines coupon intently:: Ok... let's see here... where did you get this? 25% off? Ok... that's off the original price... ok.... ::walks over to dishwasher R is standing in front of and takes a notepad out of her pocket. She starts to write down the dishwasher's information, but is having a very hard time, so I helped her by holding the tag up so she can read and write at the same time (I'm just so helpful). When she's done she walks off, supposedly to her register::
S (to R): Hold on. I just want to look at it a little bit.. we were a little rushed.
We compare the two dishwashers, making sure this is the one we want. Once we're satisfied we've made the correct decision, we go to find Laurie. We find her standing next to a register with a tiny calculator smaller than my Blackberry.
Laurie: This calculator is so small.. I wish we had a larger calculator! I need to find another calculator. ::scurries off::
S and R give each other questionable looks... ok.... so we just look around a bit, at the pretty induction cooktop, at the washing machines..
Laurie: I can't believe we don't have a larger calculator! You don't have a calculator do you?!?!
S: Uhh... no.... I have a cell phone, but it's no bigger than your calculator...
Laurie: Yes!! Perfect!! Ok... type in $799.99 and tell me what 25% is.
S: ::uuhh... what?:: Ok... uh, it's $199.9975, so $200.
Laurie: ::writing this down on her piece of paper:: $799.99 minus $199.99 is.. hmm... let's see... carry the 1.. minus $719.99... ok, I need to take off $119.99.
At this point, I look over at R, who is just standing there with a confused look on his face. And it was well-deserved. I mean, we've both worked retail. When you have a coupon, these new-fangled things (computers) will do all of this automatically for you when you scan in the coupon. It's dummy proof.
Laurie: ::now typing things into the register, which is an operating system and program straight out of 1983:: Let's see.... dishwasher model 1329... price over-ride to $600.00... hmm.. well, this is weird. Why don't any of the price over-ride options apply (options such as, damaged floor model, price match to another store, price match to error in ad, customer satisfaction).. this is weird!! ::just starts randomly hitting keys::
She now gets on the phone intercom system calling someone over to help her because she isn't sure which price over-ride to use (uhh.. none of them?!?). Someone comes over after a couple minutes, undo's everything she has done, scans the coupon and it magically works!
Laurie: Alright. Here we go. It will be here for you to pick up on the 17th. Now, I need your information. Phone number first?
Laurie: Ok. ::hits the wrong key and erases it:: Oops. I need that again.
Laurie: Ok. Here's your information. ::computer shows someone else's name and address::
R: No, that's not us. We recently moved, so this is probably whoever had the phone number before us. It's not even the correct village (yes, our state is weird and there are villages within each town).
Laurie: ::with a huge look of confusion on her face:: Oh. Well. Um. What's your first name?
Laurie: ::types:: Ok, middle initial I guess.
Laurie: ::scrunches up her face in disgust:: WHAT?! E?!? Uh.. alright, whatever.
Ok, R's middle name is Edward. It's not an uncommon name. It's not like he said his middle initial was Z, or X, or 2!
Laurie: Alright, last name?
And you get the point.. all the way down to our zip code.
Laurie: ::staring at screen:: Well, I guess you aren't going to give me your email address are you?
S: ::starting to get annoyed by now:: No, I'm not.
I would have, but now she was giving me attitude so now I'm getting angry..
Laurie: Alright... let's see. This is a very sensitive machine. Very sensitive, small electronic parts in it. IT WILL BREAK. You need to buy this warranty program. It's going to break so you need it.
S and R simultaneously: No thank you.
We have a lot of handymen in the family... we can fix it if it breaks.
Laurie: Well. It's very sensitive. You're already saving money with the coupon so it's not like it will cost you a lot of money. And you need it. It's going to break!
So basically, Laurie, what you're saying is that we're about to buy a piece of crap that will break even before we take it out of the box? Yay.
R: No thank you. We don't need or want it.
Laurie: Alright.. you're making a mistake. I'm adding in the installation kit as well, for $20.
S: What's in the installation kit? I think I already have it.
R: Is it the power cord?
We had to buy the power cord for our range separately. Stupid.
Laurie: No, it's the installation kit. It has tubes and stuff.
S: But what's in it? I want to know if it's what I already have.
Laurie: ::confused look::
S: Ok... well, is it something I can return if it is what I already have at home?
Laurie: ::confused look:: Well, it has tubes and stuff.....
S: Fine.. I'll just return it if I have it.
Just to get her to shut up and move on! Meanwhile.... another sales associate has approached a man, who didn't know what he wanted to buy, has sold him a dishwasher, done all of the computer information, set up FREE delivery for tomorrow (and I don't get it for another week, AND I have to pick it up myself), got it all paid for and set up, and he is gone and out of the store... and we aren't even close to done!
I go in my purse, grab my credit card and Sears rewards card... trying to speed things up!
Laurie: ::half under her breath:: We have .... program.... card.... ::faces the complete opposite direction as us:: sign up.... no... ::faces the computer again:: ok then. ::starts hitting buttons like crazy::
S: Umm.. do you mean the Sears rewards card? Is that what you're talking about? I have one right here. ::I've had it in my hands for the past 5 minutes::
Laurie: ::there's that confused look again:: Oh. You have one? Well... it's too late now. I can't do it. I hit no.
S: Well, I was standing here holding it and you never asked me if I had one.
Laurie: Well, give me your phone number again.
There's that other person's info again.
Laurie: And that's you?
R: No. That's not us. ::seriously?!? She just took our information, twice!:: That's the other guy.
Laurie: Well, that's the information that comes up with the phone number...????
S: Well, we moved. We got the card before we had this phone number... we didn't have a phone at the time.
Laurie: Oh, well.... hmm... ::takes the card:: Let's see then. ::starts hitting random buttons:: I don't think I can use it now. It's too late. I'd have to re-start all over again. You will just have to sign up for a new card.
S: Uhh.. I'm not getting a second rewards card. That's stupid, plus I have a lot of points on this card. We bought our stove on this card.
Laurie: Well, they can transfer the points between the two cards.
R: We're not getting another rewards card. That's stupid. Use this one.
Laurie: Can I have the card? ::stares at it really hard:: Ok. How are you going to be paying? Maybe I need to enter that in first.
S: ::doubting it, but appeases her:: Credit.
Laurie: Ok... let's see.
Here's the best part (or at least one of them... Is anyone still reading?). SHE SWIPES THE TINY KEYCHAIN REWARDS CARD LIKE IT'S A CREDIT CARD! And then doesn't understand why it says this is not a valid form of payment!!!!!!! This is about when I start looking around for the hidden cameras and the host of Candid Camera.
Obviously this doesn't work...
Laurie: Well, it isn't working. You will either have to sign up for another card or just not use it. Or sign up for a Sears credit card.
R: No. We will get our points (we're not even sure what the points get us... at this point we just want them!) on this card. Call a manager to fix it.
Laurie: ::sigh:: Fine. ::reluctantly gets on phone intercom again::
Steve: What's the problem?
Laurie: They want to use their rewards card, but it won't let me use it.
Steve: ::pushes a couple buttons, scans rewards card:: Ok, here you go. Anything else?
S: No. Thank you very much!
Laurie: Ok, so you're paying by credit?
S: Yes. ::hands her the card::
Laurie: ::swipes card:: It's not working.
Which is odd, because I checked the balance before we left and we had more than enough money on there. To speed things up...
R: ::hands her a different card:: Here, try this one.
Now I'm sad because the first card was our rewards card and the points from this purchase would have gotten me another Lowe's gift card :( But I didn't say anything.. I just wanted to go home! We'd been in the store for over about 45 minutes now.
Laurie: Ok. ::swipes, and it goes through. Receipt prints. She puts it on the counter next to her and leans down, staring at it. I look too:: Ok.. let's see here.. dishwasher... sale price... see! There's your rewards card number... hmm....
5 minutes later
Laurie: Oh. I put in "installer pick up" instead of "customer pick up". ::runs away, saying:: I need to make a copy of this.
R and S: uuhh.. where did she just go? We need our receipt!
10 minutes later, Laurie comes back.
Laurie: Ok, we need to void this because I put the wrong pick up option.
R: ::starts to interrupt to say, that's ok.. we'll just figure it out when we pick it up..::
Over comes another sales associate (maybe assistant manager?), running.
Shelley: No! Laurie! Don't hit void!! Because it's the same day you don't do void. You can go back and edit it (wow, modern technology!) and it erases it, so it's like it never happens. ::turns to us:: This way it won't tie up your credit card. If you void it, it still gets submitted to them and they hold the money for 7-10 days. This way it'll be like it never happened and we can just re-do it.
S: ::relieved:: Thank you Shelley!!!
Shelley: Ok, Laurie, watch. See you do this, this, then this here... Then put the old receipt in here and it'll print void all over it. Now, we just re-ring the order again.
S: ::sigh. To R,:: Hey, I'm going to run over to the food court. We've been here for an hour and we haven't eaten, so I'll go get food while she's re-ringing it and then we'll be ready to go as soon as she's done.
So I go to the food court, which is right next to Sears. I went to one of the first places, got the food immediately and was back, in less than 5 minutes.
As I turned the corner toward the appliance department, I saw Laurie and Shelley talking next to the TVs. Now, I've worked in retail for a long time. I know what a discussion about a problem customer looks like. And that is EXACTLY what I was looking at right now. I kept walking, turning by the washers, and I see R. Standing with his arms crossed and a very angry look on his face.
S: Ut oh. What happened? I saw Laurie and Shelley over there and they did not look happy with us.
R: Well, let's see. Where to start. Laurie just basically called me an idiot and said that this was all my fault and then stormed off!
So... while I was gone obtaining delicious food, Laurie and Shelley started to re-ring the order. Laurie seemed to have the hang of it, so Shelley left. It all went fine. Until Laurie got to the part with the rewards card again. She asked R for the card. Which I had put in my purse when we finished the first transaction and taken with me when I went to the food court. R said that, and Laurie asked for our phone number again. R gave it to her, but said that it wouldn't be under there because we didn't have that number at the time, unless it updated itself when we made the first transaction. Of course, it didn't come up. R was about to give her my cell phone number, which is what is most likely on there, when Laurie just flipped on him. She started going on and on about how this is all R's fault that we have to re-do this and how dare his wife run off to the food court with the card. If we had just gotten a new rewards card and not completely screwed up the first order, she wouldn't have to be re-doing it right now. R said, I have another number it's most likely under.. let's try that. But she had had enough with our insane requests, shoved the coupon and old receipt into R's hand and stormed off. As she walked off, R said that he wanted to speak with the manager.
A couple minutes after I got back and R had finished the story, Laurie walks back over with Shelley. Steve follows right behind them.
Steve: What's the problem?
R: Well, she has been giving us attitude for a little while now, for no reason, and now she's blaming me for her mistake. I came in here knowing exactly what I wanted and we've now been in here for over an hour because she doesn't know how to work the register.
Steve: Ok, let's get this settled. ::turns to the register and starts entering in our dishwasher information::
Laurie: ::leans in to Steve and says very quietly:: We talked about that. They want it.
S: Excuse me? Was that the warranty? Yes, we did talk about it and we told you multiple times we did NOT want it.
Steve: ::looks at us, then Laurie:: Ok.. ..... ::types stuff in:: Do you have your rewards card? Thank you.
S: Is there anything you can do, take off, for all of our trouble? We've been in here for over an hour?
Steve: I was planning on giving you $25 off.
S: Oh, thank you. (Wow... $25... oohhh! Lucky us! The tax was more than $25.)
Steve: Ok, Laurie. I think you're all set now.
Laurie: ::says something with attitude, horrible about us.. unfortunately I can't remember what she said::
R: Ok, we're not dealing with her anymore. We've taken enough of this attitude. Please have someone else ring us out.
So Shelley goes to the register and Laurie goes stomping off. R hands Shelley the credit card.
Shelley: Hmm.. it says it was declined.
R: Yea, because the other order just went through probably.
Note: We never use our credit cards. We don't have very high limits on them for this reason. Running a $600 credit through twice would go over our limit.. that's how low it is.
Shelley: Oh. Well, it shouldn't have though. It wasn't voided. It should be like it never happened. ::grabs the phone and calls the credit card company:: Hi, I'm Shelley, I'm a retailer and I'm trying to swipe a customer's card and it isn't working. We had to void the transaction and re-do it, but it should have been like it never happened. ::pause:: No, I don't want to sign up for a credit card. I'm a retailer, trying to use a customer's card to pay for their order. What? No. I don't want a card. I can't understand you. ::hangs up and calls back and goes through spiel again, hands phone to R, who talks to them:: Ok, it looks like it did go through. Do you have another card we could try?
S: Well, I guess we can try this one again. There's no reason why it shouldn't have gone through the first time.
Shelley: ::swipes:: Nope. Same thing. ::picks up the phone and calls Bank of America:: They say that they won't permit the purchase to go through.
Now I'm mad and confused because there is no reason the BoA card shouldn't go through...
Shelley: Do you have any other cards?
R: No. We don't have a lot of cards. Only those two.
Shelley: Well, you can sign up for a Sears card.
R: No. We're not getting another credit card. These two are two more than we'd like to have (we had to get them because we had no credit according to our credit score.. so we needed them in order to buy our house.. it's stupid how it works).
Shelley: Well, what would you like to do?
R: You tell me my options. I came in here to buy a dishwasher and you guys messed it up. It's not my fault the card is messed up now.
My phone vibrates. I have a new email. From Bank of America saying there has been suspicious activity on my credit card and now all of our BoA accounts are frozen. Great.
Shelley: Well, your options are to either pay with another card...
R: We can't. Even our debit card is frozen now thanks to you guys...
Shelley: ...or, sign up for a Sears card, or layaway. Layaway would be good because you pay like $25 now and you could pay the rest when you pick it up if you want.
S: But are there fees or an interest amount associated with the layaway?
Shelley: Well, yea, $35 or somethi...
S: No thank you. I'm not paying an extra $35 because of something you messed up.
R: So what should we do? We'd walk out right now if not for this coupon ($200 is a lot of money!)... we came in here to get a dishwasher that we had already picked out. We just want to buy it. You tell me what needs to happen for us to get our dishwasher. Can it be ordered now and we'll pay for it when we pick it up, once our accounts aren't frozen anymore?
Shelley: No, it can't be ordered and sent to the store until a payment has been made.
R: And you can't make an exception for this situation?
Shelley: No, I'm sorry.
R: So what are we suppose to do? This coupon expires today!
Shelley: I can write you a note saying that you are allowed to use the coupon for the next week, so you'll just have to come back another day.
Then she hand writes a note on a piece of printer paper for us.... it totally felt like one of those situations where when we go back with this paper now they'll be like Whhhaaa?? This isn't valid!
But, our food was freezing cold by now, it was after 8:30 and we just wanted to go home! So we took the paper and left. As we were walking out, R saw Laurie sulking by the dishwashers and she glared at him. No apology Just a glare.
R plans on calling Sears corporate tomorrow morning to discuss this with them and see if they will be willing to give us some more money off because of all of this. I'm so angry.. I would totally go buy at a different store but my stupid designer brain just has to have stuff that matches. GRRRRRR
I wasn't kidding when I said this was long, was I? :)