So as some of you may know, we have been waiting for a new bed frame that we ordered in July. As we waited and waited for the bed, I thought it would be fun to write up the experience, but never really got around to it. Today, in a fit of furor, I finally put it all down on “paper.”
The point of this is not to sound petty, or to seek revenge against the makers of the bed. It really is just a place for me to vent my frustration about the situation and to document it.
Enjoy the read, but I should warn you, it’s long…
In July, Jaime and I decided that we wanted/needed a larger bed. Henry was spending more and more time in our bed at night and the old queen sized bed that we had was getting a little long in the tooth. It was a dual chamber sleep number bed and Jaime’s air bag was not holding air, so it needed to be pumped up every other night.
We started looking around for a new mattress and found a groupon for a Nature’s Sleep bed. We ended up order – and receiving – a Cal King sized bed.
With the new mattress ordered, we started looking for a new bed frame. We wanted something with a head board and something that we would want to keep for many years to come. After looking around locally at a lot of furniture shops we couldn’t find anything that we really liked, so we started looking into a custom build option.
After a lot of looking around, Jaime found Arrowhead Wood through esty. Their furniture looked great and we found a bed that we liked – and they were willing to add a couple of shelves for us. After sending a couple of pictures back and forth, the order was finalized, and we paid them $1,950 on July 23. At the time of the order we were quoted a delivery time of 6-8 weeks. To us this seemed reasonable.
The only thing that Jaime and I had to do was figure out the stain and finish that we wanted on the bed. The order confirmation said that they would be sending us samples in the next couple of days…
On August 5 (13 days later), Jaime reached out to Arrowhead to check on the samples because we hadn’t received them yet.
I just wanted to check in because this confirmation email mentioned that you’d be sending us a stain sample in the next few days. Its been almost 2 weeks and we still haven’t received it. Just wanted to make sure that nothing got lost in the mail!!
The response we get back from Heather is:
You should get them by the end of the week sorry I’m a little bit behind.ThanksHeather
We do receive the samples and on August 17 we let them know that we are going with Burnt Caramel.
Jaime and I start doing some math at this point and realize that 6-8 weeks will mean that we might be out of the country when the bed ships. This will make it difficult for us to accept the shipment. Jaime reaches out to Heather to about this.
Hi Heather,I was wondering If we could get an update on when our bed will be ready and shipped to us. I’m asking because we will be on vacation from Sept 15-Oct 1 and wouldn’t be able to have it delivered during that timeframe.Thanks,Jaime
The following day, we get this response:
Let me check with my shop and i will let you knowthanksHeather
Four days later we get this response:
It is on the schedule for next week so we will hold off shipping until the end of September.ThanksHeather
The upshot of this is that the bed looks to be on schedule and will be shipped at the end of September and that it should be at our house shortly after we return home from Europe. I don’t know why it took 5 days to gather this information, but it is a pattern that we have become very accustomed to.
We head off to Europe for two weeks and have a great time watching two good friends get married in Italy. On October 3, Jaime reaches out to Heather:
We are back in town and able to have the bed delivered anytime. Is it ready to ship?
2 days later, we get a response from Heather:
I’m out of town on business when i get back I can get you an update.ThanksHeather
This is the classic, two days later non-update update. Emails like this would be great if sent back within an hour or two. Getting one two days later is just infuriating and shows that you haven’t done anything on the topic in all that time…
13 days later on October 18, we still haven’t heard back from Heather so Jaime reaches out again:
Any updates on our bed? We’re coming up on 3 months since we ordered it and I thought you said it was ready in Sept and you were just holding shipment until we returned from vacation.Thanks,Jaime
The following day, we get this response:
Let me find out for sure and let you know.ThanksHeather
Yet another non-update update!
4 days later, on October 23 we get this update from Heather:
Brian held off on finishing it since you were gone on vacation it is on the schedule to be finished up between this week and next when I have a firm ship date i’ll let you knowSorry for the delaysThanksHeather
This means that when they held the bed for shipping, they actually stopped working on it and it seems like they hadn’t started it back up yet. I don’t know why it happened this way, but whatever…
On November 7, we still hadn’t heard anything so Jaime again reached out:
Heather,It’s been another two weeks and I’m curious to know if you have a shipping date yet?Thanks,Jaime
2 days later we get a “response”:
I’m going through the schedule today. I’ll email you a littler with a ship date.ThanksHeather
Yet another 2 day non-update update. We are starting to get used to these things at this point, and if we weren’t waiting for $1950 bed it might be funny.
3 days after Heather has gone through the schedule, we get this:
I don’t have an exact date but it is going out on our Next shipment which is Next week. When I have tracking info I’ll send it to you.ThanksHeather
Why it took her three days to go through the schedule and see that our bed in on the next shipment, I don’t know, but we are now exciting that the bed is done and is ready to get shipped out! We may see the bed before the end of the year.
BTW, at this point it has been 16 weeks since we ordered and paid for the bed, but at least it looks like it is about to be shipped.
On November 27, we still hadn’t heard anything about a ship date so Jaime decides to reach out, once again and summarize our experience:
I am writing to once again check-in on our bed. At this point, I am extremely frustrated with your lack of communication and the delays in the production and shipping of our bed.
Back in July, when we first placed our order, Aaron estimated 7-8 weeks for production. Our order was confirmed on July 23 so I assumed we’d have our bed by the end of September at the latest.
I hadn’t heard anything by mid-September so I emailed Heather. I knew we’d be out of town for the last week of September and I wanted to make sure that our bed wouldn’t ship while we were gone. Heather said the the bed was scheduled to be completed soon but that she’d hold shipping until we got back on Oct 2.
On Oct 3, I emailed to ask for an estimated shipping date. On Oct 5, Heather replied saying she’d check on it. I did not hear from her for over two weeks and so I emailed her again on Oct 18. On Oct 19, she again promised to check on things. On Oct 23, she finally let us know that when we had asked to delay shipping, that actually meant that production had been postponed and the bed wouldn’t be finished for another week or two. I was very disappointed to hear this.
We waited another two weeks before inquiring again on Nov 7. Heather replied on Nov 9 saying she’d check and then on Nov 12 she said the bed was scheduled to ship the following week. We were so exited at the possibility of finally getting our bed.
Unfortunately, its been another two weeks and we have no tracking info, no confirmation of shipping and no update.
It has been over 4 months since we placed our order. That is more than double the time estimate that we were given. At every step of the way, I have had to check-in with you to get updates and at no point did you offer any proactive communication about timetables, delays, etc.
We paid a large amount of money up front and are extremely disappointed with your customer service and communication. We are hopeful that we will love the bed once it finally arrives, but I am very nervous right now. I hope that the quality of your workmanship is far better than your customer service.
Please reply as soon as possible with a firm shipping date.
This is a good summary of what we had been through up to that point, and there’s enough in here that should prompt some kind of response, or at the very least some empathy. Instead we get this response the following day:
Hello,I just got back into work today after being out sick and with sick kids for a week. Brian just got back to work today also from being sick. Let me find out what is going on and I’ll let you know.ThanksHeather
Yet another non-update update that contains only excuses and no information relative to the lengthy email that we sent. 3 days later, we this update – which does contain a small apology:
Hello, Yes your stuff is shipping out on our next truck which is leaving either Monday the 10th or Tuesday the 11th. I apologize for the delaysThanksHeather
So the bed is scheduled to be shipped, but now we are bumping up against the fact that we are going to Michigan for Christmas, and we are thinking that the bed will arrive while we are gone – a problem that we have tried to avoid once already. We decide to wait on the tracking information so that we can see when the bed is scheduled to arrive.
On December 20 we finally get the tracking information:
Here is the tracking info 4175118 you can track that at www.forwardair.comThanksHeather
We go to the website to check on the package and realize that Forward Air’s tracking numbers have 8 numbers, so I call Heather to ask here about what is going on. I have to leave a voice mail and hope that we will get a response.
The following day, we get this email – not a phone call as I requested:
I apologize the tracking info is 41751118. Just got your message. I just came into the office to check messages before I leave for the day. Hope that helpsThanksHeather
At least this tracking number has 8 digits, but Forward Air has no record of this tracking number. I even spent 10 minutes on the phone with a very helpful rep on Forward Air’s end, but we are not able to find the package in their system.
I notice that the tracking number that Heather gave me has the same last 4 numbers as our order number. This can’t be a coincidence. I assume that Heather gave me her internal invoice number and not the actual tracking number. Seeing that emails get us nowhere, I call Heather and leave a voice mail. She actually calls me back and we have a 5 minute conversation. She has no information for me and she is actually out driving back to the office after dropping her kid off at school. During the call, my frustration boils over and I let Heather know that she has called back with no information and that she is just wasting both of our time. I told her that I appreciated her calling back, but I would have rather she actually had some information than a quick call.
Jaime and I were quite frustrated, but we were getting ready to head to Michigan for Christmas and we decided to not worry about the bed while we were home celebrating with family.
On December 26, we hear from Brian:
Hello Ben and JamieHeather has brought it to my attention of what is going on and I looked into it. I have to apologize Heather was just passing on the information that was given to her, she doesn’t come to the shop very often and can just inform customers with what she is told. Your pieces did go out around the 12th or 13th however it was brought back because there was damage done to the crate. We have inspected it and there is no damage to your piece. We fixed the crate and it is waiting for our next shipment. I apologize about this and am willing to offer you a $250 refund on you piece for the trouble and frustration.ThanksBrian R. HegerhorstV.P. Arrowheadwood
So while we have been getting more and more frustrated with Heather for her lack of information, it is really the company’s fault because they have someone on the front line answering customer questions without access to the information that she needs. At this point, I almost feel sorry for her, but not really.
Jaime responds to this email on January 2, 2013:
The $250 refund is much appreciated. Any idea of when the bed will be shipped out again?
5 days later we get this response from Heather:
Let me check with Brian and let you knowThanksHeather
5 days and you still need to check on it! Really?
11 days after this email, we still haven’t heard back with any information so we decide to step up the pressure:
Brian and Heather,Over two weeks have passed since I last emailed you asking for an update on when our bed will ship. I continue to be shocked that it has been so hard for you to confirm when we will receive our bed. If we don’t have a response from you by next Tuesday (the 22nd), we will begin the process of contacting our credit card company to rescind the payment we have given you.
We have now put the possibility of pulling the payment on the table and our patience is really starting to wear thin. On January 21 – 3 days after the email, but one day before the deadline – we receive this email:
I apologize we are working now with our shipper and a new one trying to get things sorted out. So we don’t have anymore damaged pieces. I was out all last week with sick kids and a hospital visit and unable to work on it. Brian was also out sick with the kids.We are trying to have answers by the end of this week.ThanksHeather
While we both have empathy for the situation that Heather and Brian were in, there is a certain level of service that I expect when I pay someone almost $2000 for a bed. But hey, we are going to have answers by the end of the week.
Friday rolls around and we still haven’t heard anything, so Jaime emails again:
I understand that you have had illnesses to deal with and while I have empathy for that, it has been six months since we ordered and paid for this bed. I expect an update on when we will receive it by the end of today.
Surprisingly, we actually get a same day response:
We have not been able to get things settled with our shippers or the new ones set up and Brian is getting tired of it so we are going to send the bed with ups. It will be going out Tuesday or Wednesday. I will send you the tracking if when i get it.ThanksHeather
This looks like some good news. The bed is going to be shipped out via UPS and will be leaving in a few days!
Wednesday rolls around and we haven’t heard an update on the bed, so Jaime reaches out:
Heather,We were excited to hear that you were going to go ahead and ship through UPS. What day did the bed go out? Can you forward me the tracking info?
5 days after this email, on February 4, we still haven’t heard from Heather, so Jaime sends this email:
Its been 10 days since I last heard from you. Your last email indicated the bed would ship LAST week. Did that happen? Do you have any information about when it will be delivered?
I would like to believe that these are all honest errors but I’m starting to feel that we are being taken advantage of. We’ve prepaid a hefty amount and we’ve gotten excuse after excuse about why the bed has been delayed.
This does get a same day response from Heather:
Let me find out for you Brian was supposed to e-mail you last week. So I’ll find out and get back to you.ThanksHeather
Not a lot of information here – which has come to be expected – but the funniest thing about this response was that Heather doesn’t even respond to the fact that we think we are being scammed. This is rule number one in customer service, if the customer raises a concern, address it!
2 days after this email and one week after the bed was supposedly given to UPS for shipping we get the following:
Jamie,We just got this back from UPS saying it was to big, we are just getting things finalized with our other shippers to get it shipped out. I am sorry this has been such a mess. If you would like i can get some pictures for you.ThanksHeather
At least this time Heather offers up some proof that the bed exists, however the bed is still in Idaho as far as we know.
This last email, which was received on February 6, is the last communication that we have received from Arrowhead. At this point, I’ve decided to ratchet up the pressure once again. I always thought that it would be interesting to write this whole thing up just to see what it looked like.
Starting Monday, I’m going to call Heather on a daily basis and ask where the bed is and when it is going to be shipped.
Updates will follow, and hopefully there will be a picture of the bed at the end of this story, but I’m not holding my breath. As of today, it has been almost 30 weeks since we ordered the bed.