Brookstone - Good Point of Sale - Lousy Customer Service
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- This is a long and winding tale of a purchase and delivery done awry. Please bear with me and read through the entire series of events. I pray that this does not happen to anyone else.
I recently purchased a Tempur Pedic Mattress and Foundation from one of Brookstone's retail stores. When making the purchase, I stressed to both the store manager and the salesman that the time frame of the delivery was extremely important due to fact that the my family was relocating from a rental home to a condo at the end of the month and we did not have a mattress in the new condo. I made the purchase on Monday, March 22, 2010. I was assured by the manager that the delivery would occur between 5 to 7 business days. I was agreeable to the time frame because the seventh business day (figuring the day I placed the order would not count) would be on March 31, the final day my family would be permitted to remain in our rental home prior to the move. I paid the approximately $1800 and placed the order. The store manager mentioned to me that he would follow-up on the progress of the order with the delivery company because sometimes that helps expedite the delivery process.
I placed a call to the store manager four days later, Friday, March 26, 2010, to ask about the status of the order. He checked on the order and then told he would need to call me back. Never a good sign. I received a call from the salesman, informing me that there had been a mix-up with the order and they had accidentally shipped only the foundation without the mattress. I was told the best thing to do at this point would be to cancel the original order and process and entirely new order. This was Friday afternoon and the order would not officially be processed until Monday, March 29, 2010. Obviously, I was not going to get the mattress in time for my move. I was very frustrated and annoyed. The salesman was very apologetic and offered me a gift card for $200. I accepted the gift card, but knew in the back of my mind, that if necessary a hotel is going to end up costing me a lot more than that. As I previously mentioned, my family did not have any alternate mattress to sleep on in the new condo. The mattress we were using in the rental home belonged to the landlord. At this point, after March 31, I was left with no choice but to place my wife and four year old son in a hotel until the new mattress arrived.
The next day, I received a phone call from a delivery company wanting to schedule a delivery date for the mattress. We scheduled the date of Tuesday, April 6, 2010. The catch was, they did not actually have the mattress at that point and they could not guaranty they would definitely be able to make the scheduled date. To say the least, I was not filled with confidence.
On Friday, April 2, I called the store manager to once again check the status of the bed. Once again they needed to call me back. Never good. I received a call from the salesman stating that according to the delivery company, the mattress was delivered on March 26 and signed for by some named Colin. My name is not Colin, nor do I know anyone named Colin. Plus, my new order was not even reprocessed until after that date. The delivery was an impossibility. I then decided to make a return trip to the retail store to speak directly to the store manager to find out what was going on. My frustration was mounting. I was incurring costs associated with the hotel, I was in the process of moving and I was sleeping on the couch in the condo while my wife and son were in a hotel.
By the time I retrieved my order number, the customer service phone number as well as the phone number for the delivery company, it was to late in the day to place any calls. On Monday, April 5, I started to call all of the numbers. The delivery company number was a dead end. No one ever picked up the phone, always to voicemail. When I contacted customer service, I was told they were not authorized to call the delivery company, they could only provide me with a Way Bill number. It was turning into a vicious circle of phone calls and dead ends, still with no concrete answers. At this point, I was unsure when and if I would be receiving the mattress. I had the tentative date of April 6, but no one at Brookstone could confirm the delivery.
The next day, Tuesday, April 6, I began my round of calls to the delivery company and customer service. It turns out the retail store provided me with the wrong delivery company and phone number. After countless calls to the delivery company, since Brookstone was not "authorized" to make the calls on my behalf, I was finally able to speak with someone who confirmed the delivery and the mattress and foundation were in fact delivered.
After everything that happened, I was left angry at the amount of effort I needed to put forth in order to get the mattress. It should not have been that way and that was the sentiment of every customers service person as well as the store manager and salesman. A kind customer service representative offered to escalate the complaint to someone who would try to compensate me for the issues that took place. The fact of the matter was, as a direct result of the delivery error, my family was now out-of-pocket just over $1100 for the required hotel stay.
After the complaint was escalated, I received a phone call from Linda Wolf, the assistant to the Vice President at Brookstone. She wanted to know what had happened and assured me she would look into the matter. Over the next week and a half, I exchanged emails with Linda providing details when required. I let her know I was only looking for compensation for the hotel stay. I would accept half in store credit and a check for the other half. I provided both a credit card statement and a copy of the receipt from the hotel. After about ten days, I received a formal email from Linda that "Upon further review we are not able to offer any other compensation for the time frame of the bed delivery nor are we able to reimburse for any other expenses while waiting for the delivery of your bed." She mentioned that the bed was delivered only four business after originally promised. Basically she was saying, what is the big deal, take the $200 gift card and go away. She completely ignored the fact that I had to make countless phone calls and received either incomplete or inaccurate information from the Brookstone employees.
It is my opinion that you just do not treat customers this way. Customers should be able to make a purchase and then enjoy the purchase. They should not have to put forth any effort once the payment has been made. I feel I should at least be compensated for the money my family needed to spend as a direct result of the delivery error. I will no longer shop at Brookstone. This latest purchase was not my first, but it will definitely be my last. Buyer beware. I will be telling anyone who will listen to not shop at Brookstone. They do not respect or value their customers. I promise, as a result of this incident, it is going to cost Brookstone a lot more in lost sales than if they would have simply done the right thing and reimbursed me for the cost of the hotel.