Monday, November 16, 2015

Forty Wanks - The Tale of a Bloody Mattress


Mattress shopping is such a novelty to me. I'm a gal whose father found her a mattress outside the back of an Old Folk's home. It was ready for its final resting place at the local dump, and not in the room I shared with 3 sisters. So when we recently moved my two year old from a cot (crib) to his big boy bed I was extraordinarily excited to find him a mattress free of old people smell, stains, and broken springs. Of course, we foolishly thought we could go mattress shopping with him, chasing him up the highest loft bed he could find in the shop. We took turns wrangling him and succeeded in purchasing a mattress. We reached an anti-climax when we were told it would take one to two weeks for the new mattress to come in and discovered we would need to go pick it up from a store that was further away. We were a little disappointed because we had wanted to purchase the mattress on the spot and set the bed up that day, but we settled on delayed gratification.

We have been really struggling to have time in our house. Time together as a family. Renovation time. Couple time. Me time. Sleep time. Like many families, we have been feeling extra maxed out and drained and have been struggling to cope from months of illness. Most of my husband's time has been spent on our reno's (when he's not at work). That means the pressure on me, to be with our child 6.5 days of the week, has been enormous, and I've been desperate for a break. DESPERATE.

When my extremely time poor husband set out the following Saturday morning to pick up the mattress I felt like we were sacrificing an hour of crucial family time for more home stuff, but I was devoted to the cause. Any first time parent will tell you that putting your toddler in a big-kid bed is a big milestone, (about as un-important to the rest of the world as a constipated pig pooping), so I got busy disassembling the cot with interference help from my son. 

Soon the mattress was home, and we were ready to assemble the bed. But wait. As it stood in our hallway, face to face with my husband, he noticed a blood stain. Not a huge one. But enough to know we'd have to return the brand new mattress. 

So Mr Peachy called the store to see if a delivery truck could bring a mattress out to us to exchange. No can do. The delivery-men had gone home for the day, and don’t work on Sundays. My husband was told he could come in the next day and exchange it himself. We accepted the news, but not before making it very clear that if we had to return their faulty mattress then we'd expect compensation. The employee’s hands were tied, she couldn't authorise anything for us. We were told the manager would be in on Monday and we could discuss it with him then.  I begrudgingly thought about how this would take away another hour of our precious weekend.

Mr Peachy set out the next morning for the mattress exchange. Forty minutes later I received a call from my irritated husband. He had been confronted by an employee who had identified himself as the store man. 
After exchanging the mattress he'd asked the store man when the manager would be back in so that he could talk about compensation for returning the faulty mattress. The store man said the manager was next in on Monday however he was a senior employee and invited my husband to discuss his grievance. Mr Peachy stated his case: the basis being we shouldn’t have to wear the cost of their mistake and that their delivery fee of $50 would suffice. The store man told my husband he would need to wait and speak to the manager the next day. Mr Peachy was a little fed up at the constant deferral to the manager and knew that if his exceptions weren’t clear he’d be driving out of that warehouse and never hear back. Up until that point, the store man had been nice enough however as my husband was loading the mattress into the car the store man had gone back inside, returned with a $50 note and earful of patronising, high-horsery. According to the store man, "there are bigger problems in this world … starving kids, take this and go”.

My husband is a level headed, logical and calm guy who works in finance.  He replied by pointing out how patronising the man was being. Suddenly this situation had gone from a business exchange to personal. (Is this the part where Mr Peachy tells the guy he gave 4 years of his life, being penniless and doing good, in a non-profit? No, because that’s personal and none of his business). The store man's tone was aggressive and he went on about how my husband was making a huge deal out of something so trivial and that things just happen in life, (thanks for the life lessons, dad). You know, just the basic customer service you'd expect anywhere. The store man’s next logical thing to do was to offer a full refund while he started to yank the mattress from our car.  My husband told him not to touch our car or our (paid for) mattress. 

Mr Peachy told the store man that he had his head in the clouds if he thought he could talk to a customer like that. The store man then got right up in my husband's face, a few centimeters from his nose. To which my husband's flight or fight response kicked in. What do you do when someone aggressively comes towards you and stands in your personal space? Mr Peachy didn't punch him. He filmed him. As soon as the camera rolls, the store-man backs away, and changes tone. But you can see at the beginning of the video where the store man's foot is in relation to my husband's body.

It's a pretty extreme response to a family man exchanging a mattress through no fault of his own. Behavior like that needs to be reported. So Mr. Peachy now considers a full refund is in order, as no customer should have to receive a tirade of patronisation and physical intimidation.

So Mr Peachy waited for the manager to call him on the Monday. When he didn't get the promised call he rang up, and was told the manager wasn't in today. Wow, a three day weekend. It's possible, but more unlikely in this case. On the Tuesday Mr Peachy still had not received a call so he decided to call the manager at the store we had originally purchased from where he uncovered that the store man was actually the owner of the store, and is in fact the owner of many stores in Newcastle and the Central Coast. Whoa. The manager explained that there wasn't much they could do because the bad behavior came from an owner and not an employee. Was the owner going to discipline his bad-self (classic case of being above the law)? Not likely. Out of options, Mr Peachy contacted the newly appointed State Manager, who he says is a very rational guy, however from our perspective his hands were tied.


All that's left is for us to tell our story, and let you know we'll never be shopping at Forty Winks again, even though the rest of the staff my husband dealt with were very courteous, well mannered, and cool headed. We don’t want our money going to hot heads like him. This owner could take some lessons on customer service from his own retail staff on how to treat a customer.

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Did you know - Today is World Prematurity Day

Last Friday I attended a Blogger's Brunch ™ in Melbourne, hosted by Kids Business Communications. They host a series of events where bloggers and brands meet and mingle. These events also raise awareness and funds for different charities. (Find out more information: www.kidsbusiness.com.au)

This year's brunch featured some top speakers, amongst them was founder of Life's Little Treasures Shussanah Morris. I had tears in my eyes as she shared her own touching story of her daughter born premature at 25 weeks, who is now a healthy adolescent. Life's Little Treasures Foundation, supported by Medela Australia, is dedicated to helping families by providing friendship, support, and specially tailored information about their premature or sick baby. The foundation provides services in hospital and in the community. The foundation was founded by parents who have all had a premature baby. Please take the time to read this fact sheet, and share photos and memories on social media with the tag #76BornTooSoon 


*PKM is Linking up with Essentially Jess for 'I blog on Tuesdays'

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