The Life Of A Retail Employee

Customer Advice: Buying Appliances

Taking advantage of the President’s Day Sale, I bought myself a whole new kitchen set. My oven died, so why not?

Well, everything was delivered today, and all I can say is: know what’s being sold to you when it comes to delivery and installation. 

1) When product is being delivered/installed to your house, find out if it’s going to be brought to you by a third party or the company itself.

If the retail location is using a third party, you need to know what is the responsibility of the store, and what is the responsibility of the third party delivering it. These two will try to push any responsibility back and forth to each other until you give up trying, so know ahead of time. 

2) Know exactly what your delivery fees cover.

I had to buy a gas stove, which was not part of the President’s Day sale. Thus instead of paying $20 for delivery, I had to pay $150. When asked why, I was informed it’s because they can’t touch a gas stove under the normal delivery fees.

3) If they’re using a third party and you’re getting a gas appliance, find out what your state/county/city laws are in regards to gas inspections. Make sure you’re given all this information long before the delivery. 

That last sentence in part 2? It turns out the third party used has their own contract for handling gas appliances and inspecting them. This contract is through that company only and had nothing to do with the retail place I bought my appliance from. The day of the delivery, the installer called me ON HIS WAY TO MY HOUSE and THAT’S when I found out I had to pay a $92.50 fee for the gas stove inspection. I yelled at talked to his boss, called the company I purchased it from’s 1800 number and was hung up on, and finally I called the actual store’s phone and talked to a manager until I could get it resolved.

4) If it’s about billing, talk to the store you bought it from, not the installer. 

Third party groups WILL return your product if you do not pay the fees they need right then. If the problem is a miscommunication with whoever sold you the product, call the STORE you bought it from. There’s a good chance they will reimburse your original purchase for the amount you had to pay the installer. 

5) KNOW WHAT CERTAIN TERMS MEAN AND KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN YOU PREPARE FOR BATTLE

The first thing the manager did when I called the store was find the original manager I talked to during the transaction. When telling her the problem, she immediately got on the defensive and said “I TOLD you there might be additional fees during delivery.”

Well excuse me if I’m put off by the idea of $93 being waved off as “additional fees”… 

The only thing that saved me was what I did next, asking her once again why I couldn’t take advantage the President’s Day installation sale price of $20 and instead had to pay $150 for the gas installation if they’re going to charge me $93 at my house to inspect the gas lines. At which point she tells me because they have to charge that in order for the delivery guys to TOUCH a gas appliance.

Aha. Well, I’ve been informed by both the third party company AND the 1 800 number that this group has a specific contract for inspecting gas appliances in this county that has NOTHING to do with your company, and thus must charge me $93 at my house in order to be able to touch a gas appliance. However, by saying that you have to charge me that price in order for HIM to touch a gas appliance, you DO have something involved with this contract and somewhere someone is charging me twice for this service. 

….at which point I was directed to the right supervisor, who then talked to the installer for a bit and then informed me that the $92.50 will be removed from the original purchase. 

So know who to call when dealing with corporations that use third party installers. If something is damaged at your home during the delivery, it is the installers responsibility. If the appliances were not installed correctly, it is also the responsibility of the installers. If you feel you’re getting cheated out of money, make sure you have all your facts ready and then call the store you bought it from. 

1 800 numbers will help you for some things, but often times they will dismiss you on the notion of “word of mouth means nothing”. I even had a manager hang up on me because she was interrupted when the installer needed to know where my water valves were. Always call the actual store first. 

  1. a-retail-employee posted this