I don’t ask for much in this world (ok maybe sometimes I do, but that’s not the point I’m going to make here) but the one thing I would really like to receive, just once, it prompt service. I mean for heavens sake, I am paying taxes etc. so the least I could get is someone who can provide me with a service where I don’t end up acting like a complete bitch. Maybe it’s just that South Africa has a service delivery issue which has been going on for like forever and people just don’t care how customers are treated anymore. Is it really that bad? Really?
I reckon I should start at the beginning so I don’t sound completely nuts. I warn you, this is a long one. Grab a coffee or something and make yourself comfy.
Ok, so Thursday evening I get home to a power failure. Not just our house, but the whole neighborhood and half the town. Annoyed from a crap day already we proceeded to get candles out and sort out kids supper with the gas canister we have outside. It had already been off for close to two hours when I got home. Another hour and it popped on again. Relief! Not! It was on for two minutes and back off again. For like another hour! It eventually came on half an hour after the kids had finished with their supper.
I go towards the TV and notice or DSTV (Digital Satellite TV) decoder has a ‘be1’ on its display screen. It doesn’t work. Resetting it doesn’t work. Nothing bloody works. A1 then decides to check on the net to see if there is a remedy for this and he finds one. It’s supposed to work. It always works. Except for us. We tried 7 times. It did not work. Murphy, you bastard!
So we figure we are going to have to take it in. We do this Friday after work. They were “helpful”. When we told them of the problem all the service guy said was “oh shit”. You clearly know what this means right? He then proceeds to tell us what he is going to do. It happens to be the same thing we tried 7 times the night before. He gives us a look that says “yikes, you’re screwed”. We had to get a new one. LUCKILY it was not expensive in terms of replacing our damaged one. My blood pressure had already raised a level but I was still rational and calm.
We then decided that since we are in the vicinity and we are in desperate need of a new TV and wouldn’t be able to do it over the weekend that we would pop into three stores to scout if there was one that suited us (and would bloody last longer than the previous two we have gone through!).
We eventually settle on a well known furniture store as the price was reasonable and it looked really good. We were in there previously while scouting and the sales guy gave us his card. So naturally we go looking for him (to save time) to get this all settled. From here I must apologize as I will be using a couple of swear words. If you are sensitive to this, I advise you to stop reading.
So A1 asks that since they are on special are there any that are sealed in a box. Sales guy says “oh no sorry, we are out of stock in this store but we can organize it here and you are welcome to go and collect at one of our other branches”. I should have listened to the warning bells then already. I should’ve said “well, that’s it. We’re off”. But I didn’t. I didn’t listen to the slight pain above my eye as my blood pressure rose half a level. I just didn’t.
We then say there is no way we can go anywhere else now to go and collect, so he responds and says that they can arrange for delivery on a Saturday if that would suit us. My blood pressure dropped that half a level. We then say we want to pay on terms and he gets a look that says “ah right”. He responds by telling us that it would take a bit of time to fill out the necessary forms etc. I ask how long and he says no longer than about 10 minutes. I think that’s manageable and we go ahead.
We sit down and he gets the relevant documentation from us. He disappears to make the copies and this has already been 5 minutes. He comes back and I think “great we’re done”. We weren’t. He then whisks us off to one of the behind the counter service ladies and tells us to have a seat she will assist with the rest of the way. He then disappears again.
The lady behind the desk is facing her computer and peeling a naartjie (like an orange except smaller and softer and easier to eat than an orange). Sitting there, hasn’t said hello and is peeling and starts eating a fucking naartjie. Through chewing she mumbles something about the computer being slow and she will be with us in a second. It has now been over the supposed 10 minutes and my blood pressure has rocketed up 1 and a half levels.
We start the whole procedure. And I say procedure because it is a torturous one! Because of the new Credit Act that has been passed here you practically need to give your whole life story before you can get approval. And don’t think you can go and buy a surprise gift appliance or gadget for your spouse on credit because now your spouse has to be a co signer person on the documentation. Complete fuckover. Anyways, we carry on like this for the next 45 minutes!! By now my head is pounding, my stomach is churning like I am going to throw up right there and the pressure behind my eyes makes me want to gouge them out with a pencil. We sign enough forms that could have killed 50 trees and we are on our way.
But wait! As we stand another lady comes on the scene and says “Oh did they ask for a three month bank statement”. That is when I became completely fucking irrational. By now A1 would’ve had to stop me from climbing over the desk and bashing their heads in with the damn computer. She takes one look at me and says “oh not, but don’t worry that is our fault”. I respond and say as long as we get our TV tomorrow that is fine. She has a hesitant look and says that she will speak to manager and something will be arranged. I tell her that the sales guy needs to call me in the morning so I can speak to him (actually just rip him apart over the phone for his bullshitting from the second we walked in there). She said no problem she will pass on the message. I again should have listened to the alarms going off, but my head was pounding so bad I could barely here the alarms.
I walked out of there furious that we were misled about how long this would take (PS: sales guy had left to go home already) and I was sick and literally nauseated as my blood pressure was too high. I could’ve thrown up right there, but maintained some kind of decency. I recovered enough about two hours after we got home. I had calmed down and nausea and headache had subsided. Thankfully.
So this morning I see I had a missed call on my cell. A1 recognizes the number as being the store. I call back. The sales guy is busy with a customer and will call back. No problem. I get a call 10 minutes later from the lady who “assisted” us the day before and she then requests a three month bank statement. I saw red. I can’t even remember what I said to her but it wasn’t pretty. The one thing you must understand folks is that not once during our whole experience the day before was the issue of a bank statement mentioned. Except when we were done with the paperwork and then were told “not to worry it’s our fault”. I let her have it. I was told the TV would be delivered today and now you’re telling me no? Oh hell no. It does not work that way.
She promptly says she will find out when it will be delivered and call me back. Three hours goes by. I’m livid. I call back and find out the situation with the TV. She says it can only be next week. You know what I did then? I told her to cancel the contract. Cancel everything. I do not want your goods, I do not want your crap service and I do not want to deal with you ever again! Her response? “Oh ma’am, no. Let me get the manager to contact you”. I say to her that I am being serious and that even if the manager does call me I still want the contract cancelled. Ladies and gentleman, it is now 21h50 in the evening and I still have not received that call.
Tomorrow I go to war.