Thursday, August 31, 2006

Um, this is hard

Back when I was a renter, I had a maintenance dude come out about a dozen times to repair my dishwasher. Said dishwasher flooded my kitchen a number of times, destroying my Buffy the Vampire Slayer board game and the inside of some cabinets. Over my birthday weekend, the maintenance dude started the dishwasher, saw that it didn't leak and left my apartment. The dishwasher continued running until I returned days later to a flooded kitchen and a message on the machine from the manager saying that the downstairs neighbor reported some leaking, was anything wrong? Uh, why don't you come check?

Eventually, at my suggestion, they replaced the dishwasher.

So I'm not saying that life was grand and easy before I became a homeowner. But here's what's bugging me today. And because I feel powerless at this point, I'm naming names: Bode's Plumbing. I found them in the phonebook. Fancy website, right?

My inspector found several fixable things wrong with the plumbing in our house. I had a plumber come out the first week to go under the house, fix a few leaks, repair a runny toilet, a dripping shower and install a new kitchen faucet. The kitchen faucet works great.

The toilet was made worse, the shower drip continued. Under the house? How the hell should I know? I'm not going into that crawlspace!

The dude came back and made an adjustment on the toilet and may or may not have done something to the shower drip.

The drip continued, but I thought maybe we just needed to really crank the knobs when turning off the water. (Incidentally, both knobs say C for cold. The previous owners didn't speak English so well. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Two weeks later, Rob, with one flush, made the toilet run forever. See, the flapper is so big it gets lodged under the float bulb and doesn't go back down into its little home. At first I thought we'd just buy some new parts and then I was like, Uh, shouldn't the plumber who installed it fix it? So we called him back.

On the day he was supposed to come, he called Rob and said, "I've already been out there a second time and not charged for the trip, and I was originally called out for a leak in the crawlspace. I told you it wasn't a very good toilet. It'll cost $100 for me to come back out."

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize when I paid you $300 to do some work that you weren't obligated to do the job correctly.

I want to bitch to his boss, but the lady who answers the phone just said she'd have the plumber call me. So I'm waiting for that call, powerless.

But it's Best Buy that wins today's shitty customer service award. I paid $40 to have a subcontractor pre-measure for a dishwasher. Rob's dad keeps telling me it can't be done with our existing cabinet structure, but I disagree. On the day the pre-measurer was supposed to arrive, Rob called and the Geek Squad (their real name) told him they had no idea what a pre-measure was and they didn't do that. Hey, genius, I paid for it. Got the receipt right here. Once we got that sorted out, it was determined that Best Buy failed to fax the paperwork to the subcontractor, so they never got it. They could come out the following week. They did, and said they'd call with an estimate. They didn't.

I called the number I had for the subcontractor and got a weird voicemail. I called the store, and was told they'd "call their guys." 48 hours later (today) I called the 1-888 number and again was told to wait for the call.

Why is that worse customer service than Bode's? I don't know, at least the plumber gets back to me. This sort of thing is subjective. Like Rock Star Supernova.

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