My Misadventures with Bob Kaufman's Bob's Discount Furniture Store.
The following is an open letter to Bob of Bob's Discount Furniture stores. While I hope against hope to have my issue resolved quickly, my recent experience has left a vile taste in my mouth and a feeling to never shop there again. I recommend to anyone reading this to avoid Bob's and find another store to shop at, even at twice the price
~ Since I wrote this letter, the issue has been resolved- still, it took more work than I feel it should have to correct what was a relatively simple issue. While I respect that the Bob's HQ team worked to help me- (only after this blog post caught fire) -the process was a bit tortured, unnecessarily so. I wish them luck in turning things ar0und. ~
I am very disappointed with the experience I have just had with the non- delivery of a Colorado bed set and I feel l that as a result it may very well be last purchase I make with your store. I am told that ‘Bob’ reads each letter and comment- in hopes that this reaches him- my story.
On May 1. 2011 we purchased the bed and two mattresses for a grand total of $1,200. While this is not an extraordinary amount of money it was/is for my family as I had only just previously lost my job due to cut backs. The plan is to move my four and six year old sons into the one room they tended to share and sleep in anyway, a prospect they were very excited to have happen, so that we could build an office and establish area for my freelance consulting work.
The Bed was scheduled to be delivered on Saturday June 4th and we received the requisite automated phone confirmations. Because of this we disassembled the bedrooms, started to build the office and ready the, now, joint bedroom for the delivery of the bed. The boys were hopping with excitement and were already making plans to personalize their beds and what pirate ship they would pretend it to be.
Our appointed window was to be between 10:49 and 1:49, to insure someone would be home I moved my weekend meetings to Monday night, which took some wrangling. This is where the real fun begins and, I think, shows some serious faults in your customer care.
At 9:30 am, Saturday, we received a call informing us that the installers found both the head and foot boards to be damaged - therefore the delivery could not take place. My wife was a bit distraught at this as the boys had talked about nothing else for two solid days. It was a rough discussion as the representative on the other end of the line could offer no other advise or a new date other to tell us that we were out of luck.
I called your customer support line only after finding that you have not a single presence in social - something that make me uncomfortable as a company with no social avenue is presumed to have no desire for real contact with its clients.
I spoke with Tina who assured me that she was just as disappointed that we had been given such short notice and that the representative was not helpful. Tina also offered, after listening to my rant, to reschedule the delivery during the coming week. As the next available day was Tuesday, we agreed to schedule this with the understanding that it may need to change based on confirming my work schedule. Unfortunately I nor my wife could make this work, so I called in again to schedule a time on Saturday. I reached Angela who again was very accommodating but informed me that rails for my bed were now on back order and would not be available for delivery until June 28th! This would mean that I will be taking delivery of a stock item a full two (x2) months after purchase!
Wait, what?! first I was told that the head/foot boards were damaged and could not be used but that we could reschedule a time to deliver and install later the same week. NOW I am told the rails are not available and would have to wait a full month to take delivery. The Question is whether the intent was to deliver the item without the rails- only telling me upon arrival - or was I just hoodwinked? Was there actual damage to the unit? why was it only discovered the day of delivery? Was this just a ruse to cover up a shortfall in parts? As you will see from the customer support records I made numerous attempts to find a solution and shorten the delivery time. Each time I was told how sorry folks were but that, in effect, I had hit a six foot deep brick wall.
If this was a case of having to wait a week my frustration would diminish and most likely I would not speak ill of you or your company. Now I am not only angry and frustrated but if find it difficult to describe the company and experience in anything other than vitriolic tones.
In Short Bob, What the heck ?! Your supply chain and quality assurance is evidently in shambles as you expand the chain, insuring that stocking your new showrooms take precedent over you customers. This apparent disregard makes me feel that I am nothing more than a walking wallet to you. I half expect to be told, after my money is safely in your greedy hands, to “have a nice day, please use the door to the right as you are now depreciating the showroom floor value by not having any potential cash to give us”. You may have noticed that i have used the word ‘Customer’ rather than client, something I loathe to do. I would like to think that most businesses see us as someone who is part of the process and a potential long term relationship not just a consumer - blindly devouring random products.
As an end note: I am also told that Bob is aware of the online / social commentary on his company. In searching out reviews of Bob’s Discount Furniture online I notice an uptick cluster of complaints on this and related issues. In addition there is a twitter account @Bobopedic which suggests that it is the official account for your company. If this is your official outreach it is not clear this is so. It is hardly active and the bio is a long url link to what looks like a YouTube video. I did not click on this for two reasons: 1. No supporting bio info (and with the long link you have exceeded the 140 character limit.. please use a bit.ly link. shortened link not only saves you space, it is verified by twitter and provides you with ready metrics on who clicked through, re-tweeted and commented on. 2. No mention of social connection on your main web page.
It is my hope that we can find a way to resolve this issue quickly. As for now, this letter will be posted as an open communication between us on my blogs and to my associates on social.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Have you had a similar experience with Bob's- I would love to know! I am considering contacting the local news consumer advocate folks..
Update: June Sixth
Things may be taking a turn for the better! I just received this message:
Good Afternoon… My name is Nicole and I am a Manager for Bob’s Discount Furniture and would be more than happy to assist you with any concerns you have had with your experience and with our company..
Please contact me at Nicolexxxx@MyBobs.com or call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx with your contact information so I can research your account and resolve your complaint. Your feedback is appreciated as it helps us directly address customer concerns and make necessary adjustments within our company to improve the customer experience which is very important to us..
Looking forward to the opportunity to assist you…..
Sincerely, Nicole xxxxxxxxx Customer Care Liaison Manager Bob’s Discount Furniture, LLC.
Huzzah! More Progress!
This time from Jennifer in Corporate Consumer Relations
Just wanted to update you that I am working with my merchandising department to see what can be done to fill this order. Once I do get information back from them I will be able to better assist you. Will it be ok, if I get back in touch with you within the next 24 hrs? I will be stepping out of the office soon, and I want to make sure I have updated you. If I get information back before I leave today, I will definitely be in touch.
Time will tell if this actually happens - details to follow
UpDate June 8th
My customer Care folks - Nicole and Jennifer - have been trying to resolve my issue with great care and attention. I only wish I was given the option of speaking with them when I called into customer support.
While still will not have my bed until July 2nd they have offered us a discount on the bed and to have the delivery fee waived. Truth be told I would much rather have the bed installed and my kids sleeping off the floor than have the money back. Still the admission of a wrong by offering this is much appreciated.
I am holding judgment until the unit is delivered and installed correctly. I will be posting pictures 'live' as the delivery happens and updating this post weekly until then.
Nicole and Jennifer appear to be ramping up a social outreach plan for Bob's Discount Furniture to help directly alleviate the recent issues. My advise is to admit an issue has occurred then move forward to resolving and preventing further lapses in inventory quality and availability.
I hope they can do it. Such a task is fraught with long hours and lots of listening, not to mention pressuring corporate (and head hancho Bob Kaufman) to make real changes. The social outreach is only a first step.
Thanks to everyone who contacted me regarding this on my FB, Twitter, email and private boards- your stories (both good an good bad about Bob's were helpful).
*UPDATED Resolution! * (see just above for the full timeline)
We Actually had the units delivered Early! The folks at Bob's came through and had the Bunk Bed here and built before 10 am! Hurray !
Some Issues: The bed has the smell of processed and treated wood which took almost a week of leaving the windows open to dissipate.
Other than that, the kids Love it! the Storage units are a great with two boys clothes and toys being squeezed into one room.
Thank you bobs discount for coming through in the end. If the team keeps up this good work I have no doubt that the flood of issues and client complaints will be reduced dramatically.
It may be sometime before I shop at Bobs again, but I will tell those who ask just how well it all came out.