Just last week, I was telling one of my team members that I had never made a threat to someone that I would blog about something (like "if you don't fix this, I am going to blog about it") which took some restraint (which any long time readers know) and now today, a few days later, I totally want to do it. I really, really want to do it. I'm ticked. There's a story.
I've complained about my crazy hair before. It's not really a complaint as much as an acknowledgment. If you think my hair is crazy, well, I thought it first. So you aren't telling me anything I don't already know. Most days, I rather enjoy it (and I receive some compliments). But it's the mere threat of a slight breeze, any kind of humidity (either very wet or very dry), waving a hairbrush in my direction or even slightly resting my head on the headrest in my car or airplane seat; my hair goes a little nuts. Sunday at the gym, it just got bigger and bigger and I wanted to tell everyone "hey, you better evacuate because pretty soon, there's not going to be enough room in here for my hair and you. Run while you still can", but I was too busy trying to maintain some facade of coordination and athleticism while I was pretending I didn't care. Remember that movie "The Blob"? Man that freaked me out. People have known to react similarly to my hair on a rainy afternoon outside.
It's hardly "important", but there's a beauty industry for a reason. If me caring makes me vain then fine. Read on, fellow vanity indulgers.
Underneath the sink in my bathroom is a product graveyard. I try just about anything made for fine, curly or color treated hair (Oh, you didn't know? hah!). I'll use it a few times and unless it changes my life (like Sebastian Laminates did in the 80s....still using it today), it generally makes it's way to a dank resting place next to the Soft Scrub and that big vat of paraffin that you are supposed to dip your hands into....yeah, I used that thing once. It didn't change my life.
So we can say that I invest some money in haircare. Oh, we all have our thing (don't judge, especially if you are into any kind of sports or video games...just saying). So anyway, early last year, I "invested" in an ionic blow dryer (I was hoping for an iconic blow dryer, maybe for Christmas) . This isn't the $19.99 one that you see at Target. I'd heard good things about it and was willing to put up about $175 to make one mine. I was pretty happy with it; it cut my blow drying time, did a good job, etc. Until it stopped working about three weeks ago. I never fill out those stupid warranty cards, but I happened to remember filling out the card for the pricey blow dryer, so my 4 year warranty was intact. I went online, researched the return method, got my purchase documentation, filled out the form and shipped it back to the manufacturer. Then I waited. And I used a little $10 travel dryer to get by while I waited. You know the kind....your hair gets stuck in the back of it because it's so small. It has not been enjoyable.
Then, last week, I get a package in the mail from the manufacturer. And instead of my replacement for this, I get this cheapie. I'm sorry but that is NOT the same thing. I was all excited to blow dry my hair until I saw what was inside and it was a total let down. I know that sounds crazy, but I guarantee that you are crazy about something. Trust me. Ask your friends. You really are. So I e-mail their returns department (again!) and the gal tells me the "additional documentation that is required from the Shipping Manager is a copy of the original receipt from the shipping company you used to send the item to us." So I think, OK, she is going to ask the shipping manager and in the meantime, I am going to sit around here with sub par hair because I'm not going to go and buy a new hair dryer because of the principal. I'm the customer and they should make this right, right? She told me she would get back to me and essentially 3 business days later (this afternoon), I e-mail her to find out the status because how long does it take to contact your shipping manager and hello? Did I mention the situation with my hair? Gah!
So I hear back from her and she tells me this:
"In order to resolve this issue I will need the documentation as requested from the previous email as our records indicate that a Overnight Dryer was sent in to us. The additional documentation that is required from the Shipping Manager in the event there is a discrepancy is a copy of the original receipt from the shipping company you used to send the item to us."
I'm still not clear as to why the "Shipping Manager" would have a copy of my receipt that I used to ship it (and shouldn't it be the Receiving Manager?), but the thing that makes me care about my hair this much is the same thing that makes me save things like shipping receipts (yeah, I know....it's fun to be me) and feel sad when I see run-on sentences. So I send it (the receipt) to her as an attachment and resist the urge to tell her that they should have response templates for e-mails so that the communications are more clear. Her mail is making it sound like I did something wrong (sent them a travel blow dryer I do not own and then lie about it) and have to rectify it by sending a shipping receipt which proves nothing more than the fact that I shipped something to them; which they have already acknowledged.
Speaking of resisting urges, I also decided not to mention to her about my blog (though if she just checked my auto-signature...) because I don't want to be *that* person. Would you have done something differently? Think about going 3 weeks without your thing, whatever your thing is. Let's say your thing is water. How cranky would you be after three weeks without water? I'm hopping mad and I can't help it. I'm channeling Sam Kinison. I have no way of proving to them what I shipped back and I'm stuck with this stupid little light weight travel blow dryer that I really don't want (did I mention that I already have a crappy travel dryer)?
Sometimes I read other peoples' stories of bad customer service and think to myself: chill. Only, I can totally understand how people can come unglued over this stuff. It's the principal: it's about entering into a relationship and having the other party not live up to their end of the explicit agreement. It feels shady (let's see what we have in stock and just ship her that). And while I am not going to make an explicit point to them that I have a blog that has traffic, the kind of traffic that might like to have good hair (I've seen some of your pictures and I'm predicting a high likelihood of good hair), I am definitely hoping they are checking their trackbacks or searching their brand online.
The reason why people will spend almost $200 on a beauty appliance (we won't even talk about the curling iron I bought at the same time) is the same freaking reason they will lose their minds if you withhold said appliance and not honor the warranty that was promised upon purchase. Let's see if they do anything.
Sorry so crazytown today but it's my hair y'all. Days like this the words just float onto the blog page.