Crib from HBC Came Weeks Late For Expecting Parents: Roseman
I love to shop at Hudson’s Bay Co. But I know some customers find it difficult to deal with the company’s customer service staff when orders go wrong.
The Better Business Bureau has closed 191 complaints about Hudson’s Bay in the past three years, but gives it a high rating (A-) because of its size and long history in Canada.
I also hear from HBC customers who find my online column of Feb. 27, 2015, “Hudson’s Bay Co. needs to improve service.” Some spend weeks or months trying unsuccessfully to resolve issues before reaching out to the media.
Melissa Clerque and Jose Acosta: They ordered a $500 crib online from HBC on June 25, well before the expected birth of their child in mid-August. They were given a tracking number and told the item had been shipped.
Clerque waited a few weeks and contacted HBC to see why she hadn’t received it. The reply: It hadn’t been shipped from the warehouse after all.
More anxious inquiries followed in July, but still no delivery. She remembers being told by a customer service representative that she would get the crib and a refund for the inconvenience.
“It is now August and I am 37 weeks pregnant, with three weeks to go,” she told me. “This has taken so much time. I’d expect some degree of professionalism or sympathy for a pregnant person waiting for her crib.”
Simon Lysnes, HBC spokesman, swung into action after I contacted him and ensured that the expectant couple received the crib by Aug. 8.
“The crib is now ready to go and we are just waiting for baby to make her debut any day now,” she told me Aug. 11. “A full refund was promised and will show up on my next credit card statement.”
Chantel Janeiro and Jordan Brooks: The engaged couple bought a $3,000 king-size Gluckstein Loft Storage Bed last October and received it on Nov. 4, 2015.
“We did not build the bed frame until late April, since our apartment was not fully finished until then,” Janeiro said. “We did not use the bed until we were married on May 14, since both of us were living with our parents.”
“After trying it, we realized the bed lacked significant pieces of hardware to support the mattress and was sinking terribly in the middle. Our first night as a couple was spent on a blow-up mattress.”
In late May, HBC sent a diagnostician who said two key parts had to be ordered and installed. But while the parts package arrived a month later, the installer found the centre support was missing from the package.
Janeiro sent two emails sent to Liz Rodbell, Hudson’s Bay president, and didn’t get a response. That was disappointing, given her level of business with the store.
“I never imagined spending the first two months of my married life in a mattress on the floor in the living room-kitchen area,” she told me. “You can imagine how awkward it is to entertain guests.
“I purchased my wedding dress from Kleinfeld Bridal Boutique at HBC Toronto. We had a wedding of 325 guests and five wedding showers. We had over $20,000 worth of items purchased from our Hudson’s Bay gift registry.”
Things changed once I contacted Lysnes and his team. Janeiro received the part needed for the bed frame and an appointment to install it, plus a full refund and compensation for the time it took to deal with her situation.
My advice: When you order furniture items from retailers, remove the packaging and assemble them quickly. Do not wait until you are ready to use them.
Many companies have tight deadlines (24 to 48 hours) in which to report damage or missing parts after a delivery has arrived.
“We discussed buying the bed closer to our move-in date of May 2016 or getting a later delivery,” Janeiro said. “But our HBC furniture salesman said they couldn’t guarantee inventory by May and couldn’t offer a later delivery.”
Finally, when frustrated with front-line customer service, use social media. Hudson’s Bay has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, so post messages there.
Play up the human interest angle to encourage sharing your story. Companies will often rush in to pick up the pieces, not wanting to be embarrassed by mistakes that inconvenience customers and make their lives miserable.