A return visit to the hardware store.

16 May 2014

Last week I reached the end of my tether with my glossy black recycling bin. We have shared a friendship since the end of January … of late, a tenuous friendship … which finally hit crunch point on last bin day.

Despite the beautiful sunset in the west.

And moon rise in the east.

I had had enough.

It all began in early January. MLP and I went in search of bins to fit the spaces in our new rental. As is always the case, the bins which fitted neatly under our sink in our Townsville rental and had served our needs for 14 months, just did not fit.

Why is the cupboard space under kitchen sinks such a conundrum?

Moving homes with new postings for MLP holds hidden expenses. New bins, new garage storage, new shelves for the sparsely shelved pantry cupboards. But, such is life.

So, bin shopping it was.

The only spot for bins was beside our fridge. Not much space, so, initially we bought skinny little bins. You can imagine how that worked for recycling. NOT!

So, in the blink of an eye, I repacked one bin and retraced my journey to the hardware store, fridge side measurements in hand … well, in iPhone.

"I'd like to change this for something bigger."
"Yes, no worries. Do you have the receipt?"
If there's one thing I'm good at it's keeping receipts. I have a drawer full of them. Every now and then I have a cull, but they're in there lurking, just waiting for something to fail, to not live up to expectations, to die unceremoniously before it is acceptable.
Hence was the beginning of my glossy-black-recycling-bin friendship.

I thought he could be trusted.

I thought he was handsome, perfect, caring.

And he was.

For a time.

And then our relationship started to crack … literally.

Firstly, the top rim of the inner bin which held the lifting-out-handle decided to remove itself from the body. Hmmmm!?!

It was still possible to remove the inner cylinder on bin night if I s-q-u-e-e-z-ed my fingers down the side and suffered significant blood loss to my finger tips.

For MLP such a feat was impossible.

But black-glossy-bin and I continued our relationship, strained though it may have been.

I should have known then. I should have known it was over. The cracks in the relationship were too big, but I persisted. As you do, hoping that things will improve, or at least not get any worse.

And so we continued, glossy-black-bin and me. For a few more weeks. Throwing nasty words at one another. Dreading bin night. Muttering under our breath.

But last bin night, it was over. O-V-E-R!!! I lost it.

After almost amputation of the digits, I slowly raised glossy-black-bin's inner cylinder oh so carefully only to be rewarded with recyclables scattered across the kitchen floor. Cans, bottles, paper, all manner of containers with the magic triangle symbol that I so painstakingly search for on each item. It's the Virgo thing. Again.

Glossy-black-bin had decided that its inner cylinder's base would disintegrate, without a care for our fragile relationship.

So that was IT!

I rummaged around in my receipt drawer, found the requisite piece of paper and headed back to the hardware store, disintegrating-inner-bin-cylinder and glossy-black-bin in hand … well, under my arms.

Returns desk lady was lovely, perhaps a bit gushy. Maybe she knew I was about to confront the customer service manager from the wrong side of the bed.

"I think my bin may have had a faulty inner cylinder."
"I don't think we refund after THIS length of time."
Mmmm … three months … and I hadn't mentioned a refund.
I didn't want a refund.
I just wanted a replacement.
"Well, I did think it would have lasted longer than th .."
"THAT'S why I'll have to speak to my supervisor!"
And off she stormed with my merchandise in hand … well, under her arms.

Some time later, after gushy-returns-desk-lady had reassured me many times, wrong-side-of-the-bed-customer-service-manager returned dragging a new inner cylinder along behind her, my glossy-black-bin under her arm.

"How did you go?"
"Hurmph! I can't see how it could end up like this if it was just being used as a bin!"
C-a-l-m-l-y, "Yes, well, it's just used as my recycling bin. It must have been faulty plastic."
Under my breath, "No, MLP and I kick it around the kitchen for fun, then stomp on it just so when we put recyclables in it they'll fall out all over the floor when we empty the bin and then we have to clean up the mess, you nutcase!"
"Well, I'm going to write on this receipt that we've exchanged this and date it."
Good, I think, that will make it sooo much easier should I need to return my glossy-black-bin's inner cylinder again. And I have YOUR signature and hence YOUR name should I decide to make a complaint about YOUR courteous customer service.


A new inner cylinder for my glossy-black-bin.

For MLP and I to kick around the kitchen, obviously.

Why is it that customer service managers forget that, unfortunately, some products ARE faulty
and that that is no one's fault?

Why is it that customer service managers forget that there is a law which protects customers against faulty products?

And, hence, customers have a right to expect products to do the job for which they are designed for an acceptable period of time.

Why is it that customer service managers have forgotten what customer service is?

I know my experience is, hopefully, one bad apple.

I hope so.

What's your experience with customer service?

Good, bad, grumpy???

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