Friday, February 16, 2007

The One Where My Head Explodes

I had another go around with DEA Bath today. A week ago on Monday – that’s 12 days ago – I called to get a new flush valve for the high tank toilet. I had received the wrong flush valve about 3 weeks ago and just needed the only other valve they sell. They only sell two flush valves. That’s it – 2.

So, a week ago Monday I called to exchange the one I received and get the different one. My DEA Bath nemesis Tim answered the phone. Tim is the person who screwed me around last December when my odyssey with DEA Bath began. I had a bunch of vintage plumbing parts I was going to trade with DEA Bath for parts for the new bathroom. We also spoke about store credit for advertising on my blog.

I worked with the buyer at DEA Bath and we agreed on prices for my parts and I was then handed off to Tim to place an order for new parts and the whole thing fell apart because of his complete ineptness. After weeks of frustration of dealing with Tim I told them all to go to hell and I found some of the stuff I need in other places. The problem is, there are some things I just can’t get anyplace else. The flush valve I need, for instance, is custom made in-house by DEA Bath. If anyone else makes it they don’t have a web presence that I can find.

So fast forward to about a month ago and I called DEA Bath once more and placed an order for about $900 worth of parts. I spoke with Jim this time. For the most part Jim is a capable person and seems to know the inventory well – for the most part. One of these items that I ordered at that time was the flush valve. I won’t go in to WHY I got the wrong flush valve – remember, they only sell two – I just got the wrong one. So after I butchered my antique oak high-tank trying to install the wrong flush valve I called and found out that I got the wrong one.

At first I was so pissed about getting the wrong valve that I did nothing. I thought I might be able to make it work. After a few days though, I cooled down a bit and decided to order the correct valve and fix the tank, and after I fixed it, once again all would be right with the Universe. That was 2 weeks ago Monday.

I called DEA Bath and my nemesis Tim answered. I slammed down the phone out of instinct. A few minutes later I called back and Tim answered again. I figured all he had to do was put valve in a box and mail it to me. This is trained monkey territory we are in now. I had already made the order and this was an exchange. Tim had all my information on file. He didn’t need my address or credit card info. Just walk back to the storeroom, grab a valve, and put it in a box. How hard could that be. This is starting to sound like a poorly written sit-com, so you can probably guess ahead and figure that that was just too much for poor little feeble brained Tim to handle. You think I’m being cruel here, but I’m not.

I peppered Tim with a few questions about what shipper he was using. I didn’t want FedEx. I asked if it was OK that I wait to send back the wrong valve until after I get the new one. He said that would be fine. Finally I asked when it would ship and he said it would go out on Tuesday. I paused for a second and then asked, “Do you mean tomorrow”, and he said yes. Everything seemed a go for flush valve delivery. The only thing left for Tim to do was to actually put the valve in the box and address it.

A week went by and no flush valve showed. DEA Bath is about an 8 hour drive from my house. By Monday of this week I was getting a sinking feeling in my gut that something was not right. I dreaded calling DEA Bath. I didn’t want anymore excuses. Finally today I called and I got Jim this time. Jim is the one who seems to know what he’s doing. I asked Jim about the flush valve and he knew nothing. I asked he could confirm that a valve had been shipped to me and he couldn’t.

I told Jim that I had spoke to Tim two weeks ago and Tim assured me that the valve was shipping on Tuesday. Jim then told me that “Tim sometimes forgets things”. That’s right, “Tiiiiiimmmmm sometimes forgets things”. I went ballistic. I unloaded on Jim about all the weeks of crap I went through with Tim last December. Jim was quite on the other end of the phone. He assured me he would look into it and let me know why it didn’t ship.

When I got home from work there was a message from Jim. He said there was a note on my original order about a washer being too big and no slip nut. These were Jim’s own notes from when I called him the first time about getting the wrong flush valve. I was livid. I could feel the blood boiling in my veins. This just happened today.

I called back and got Tim the slacked jawed yokel. I asked if Jim was there and he said he was but he was on another call. I almost hung up but I decided I would venture once more in to the depths of Tim’s brain and try and find out what the hell happened to my flush valve. The conversation went something like this.

Greg: You said you were going to ship me a flush valve two weeks ago, what happened?

Tim: I don’t know. I don’t have any record of it. Do you still need a flush valve

Greg: Yes, I still need one. I need the 24-FV4.

Tim: OK I’ll send that out to you.

At this point I lost it. I went off on Tim for a good 3 minutes about the pointlessness of sending another valve if we don’t know what happened to the first one. If you’re still with me at this point you probably have half a brain and you can see what I’m talking about. Tim agreed to try and find out what happened with the other valve and he would get back to me.

He called me back about 15 minutes later and said he found the order but that he didn’t get the information for the return of the wrong valve and so the order was never shipped. I asked why he didn’t call when he realized the order was incomplete and he was unable to answer that.

He then asked if I still wanted the new valve and if so he would have to charge me for the new valve and then credit my account when I return the old valve. At this point my nerves are just on edge from having to deal with such incompetence. I’m half yelling in to the phone with a high pitched voice, “Yes, yes, just send me the stupid valve! I don’t care when you credit me for the other valve. I just want the right stupid flush valve!”

Finally, I asked when it would ship…..

wait for it…..

wait for it……

Tim: We don’t have any in stock right now ‘cause we have to make those up special. It might ship next week.

BOOOOOM!!!! My head exploded.


Jason & Heather said...

God, what complete morons! I dont mean to sound like a bad pun but customer service has gone down the crapper. There's nothing that gets me worse than sales people that are incompetent or dont care.

mike & rachel said...

I'm trying not to laugh, but good god man, it's amazing our society functions at all sometimes...

The worse part is, I need the same part from them to finish my installation and am waiting to see how this turns out - this way I can just order the "Greg Valve". Then wonder if Tim, Jim or inbred Jed can't send a valve 8 hrs. away, what chances do I have of getting one on the east coast??!

... but unfortunately they got us by the balls here. I will give them some credit, they did send me a toilet in one piece.

Jocelyn said...

What is IT about plumbing man? I mean everything is just a problem- even getting the right parts. We went through 2 faucets and multiple connections for our kitchen sink because the salesperson ordered the wrong things. sigh. That guy Tim though, he takes the cake. It makes for a good story though...

Mark said...

I'm sorry I am laughing out loud. I just wish it was with you.

Patricia W. said...

This reads like a skit from SNL or the Carol Burnett Show.

Welcome to our dumbed-down society. Too much TV and video games, not enough critical thinking.

StuccoHouse said...

Lol. Sorry. Lol. Seems like those idiots are getting more and more common.

I'm not sure why I didn't think of it before, but you should give Frank Plumbing a call. 612.338.7609. These guys carry a ton of antique parts or know where to get them. Their store is like a salavage shop, but only plumbing. They are hard core and not online.

Kristin said...

The incompetence is astounding. Eeek, and I was just thinking of ordering something from them.