Welcome back to the furniture saga. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin:
Having tried and failed last night to get any more information about the approaching delivery of our suite, I rang the delivery people this morning to be told that, yes it would be delivered tomorrow (Thursday) between 11.30 and 3.30! You see! If I'd put money on it I'd be quids in now! "No, sorry, I have informed the company several times that delivery needs to be in the morning. There will be no-one here in the afternoon." (In how many languages do I need to say this???)
"Well, that's the slot we have for you," was the reply, whereupon I told her to cancel it as I was now about to cancel the order. My impression was that she was severely underwhelmed by this news.
The shop doesn't deign to open its doors till 10am so I contained my impatience till 10.05 and then rang and was finally put in touch with someone in the furniture department. She told me she needed to refer to her manager on the question of a refund but that there would be no problem and she would ring back. After 40 minutes, I decided they had had long enough to confer and rang back. The man who spoke to me was impressive in his indignation on my behalf. "It is Head Office who have to refund you" he said. "I have explained everything and told them someone has to get back to you within the day." Just in case, I asked him for the contact name and number, as the trend has been increasingly for them not to get back to me.
After a few hours, I rang this number and asked for the person named. After 2 tries, I got to speak to a girl who told me I was actually through to the Customer Services dept; the named person was only a clerk who had no authority to deal with my refund and, furthermore, it was my local store who would have to do that. (True! - I wouldn't have the imagination to make all this up!)
By now, I was beginning to see red and rang my local store back. In touch once more with 'he of the vain promises', I asked him why he had given me a contact number for Customer Services instead of Head Office, as he had led me to believe and why he had told me that he could not deal with my refund.
"They have misinformed you," he replied, when he could get a word in.
By now, red was turning to full-blood scarlet and I let him have it, both barrels in my best Deputy-Head-dealing-with-recalcitrant-pupils mode and 'suggested' that he might care to get things sorted and get someone to speak to me about it before the end of the afternoon - only I didn't quite put it like that!
An hour later, someone else rang and informed me that my refund had been authorised and I would get it by cheque but it would take 10 days. "I have arranged it because we couldn't guarantee a morning delivery for you," he said.
"Not only that," I said, "Are you aware of the full story?"
"Oh, there's no point going through all that again," was the answer.
OK, so...wait a minute.... I can tell you are waiting for something else. Oh yes, an apology? Dream on!
I would also have liked to know why it takes 10 days for me to get the cheque but I was feeling too battle weary by then to bother.
However, the large store in Boughton, outside Chester, whose name begins with A will definitely not be on the receiving end of our custom ever again!