Saturday, February 16, 2008

Driving away customers.

With the downturn of the economy - I hoped companies would take this time to learn what it is customers really want. Namely - better customer service.

Sadly, I still don't see any evidence companies care about getting a customer to return. They know we have a lot of choices right? So... pissing a customer off - only sends them to another establishment. Here is an example.

One of the more frustrating things about rehabbing the crapshack has been buying tile. We'd started out at Home Depo. But - they don't really carry much tile anymore. Plus there is only so much tan I can take.

Our next stop was the Expo Design center. Which is just a division of Home Depo. They have tons of choices. They really do. But getting tile through them has grown to be really irritating. We've gotten tons of tile from them in the past, but something has changed. They've decided to make buying tile from them as inconvenient as possible.

We wanted to buy some really unremarkable black mosaics made by Dal-tile. We would have bought them directly through Dal-tile, but they don't sell to the public anymore. So the only other place we knew to get them was from Expo.

I was a little surprised that for such an plain unremarkable tile, it was going to take two weeks. I know it seems fussy to think I shouldn't wait a couple weeks for tile - but honestly you can get most anything shipped anywhere in a week these days.

That wasn't the most irritating part though. To get my tile - I have to drive 25 miles to San Leandro, Ca.

Dal-tile won't ship the tile to the Expo Design center at all. They ship it to a warehouse in San Leandro. I have three Dal-Tile stores within 25 miles of my home. My local Dal-tile is less than 2 miles from my house. Yet they will not ship it to any of those stores either. They are franchises - so they wont accept something shipped from Dal-tile Atlanta for instance, that wasn't ordered by them. So, I have to go pick it up. Which really irritates me. Like I have nothing better to do.

This has also forced me into buying from boutique tile stores. Which still sort of sucks. I still have to travel about 25 miles, but most of the stores I've bought from since buying at the Expo - has given me the items that day. One store it took two days. But it is still better than having to travel and wait over two weeks. Expo will certainly be the last place on my list to get tile from now.

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