I come from a family of crazy female consumers who do not stand for being wronged by Corporate America (or mom and pop stores if the shoe fits—no one is really safe from our wrath if need be). Our modus operandi varies from girl to girl. Marie is a one-woman-boycotter. Ask her if she wears Reebok shoes, or what her general feeling about Joann Fabrics is and you'll likely cause her blood pressure to skyrocket while she spits out consumer vitriol like it's toothpaste. Katherine, on the other hand, is more of a girl with a loudspeaker, publicly ranting and raving about a company's indiscretions until she draws a crowd. My mom is more of a blanket boycotter... she didn't just get rid of the actual coffee table Katherine cracked her head on when she was a baby, she vowed never to have another coffee table ever set foot in her house for the rest of her life. My strength? I am a pesterer. You don't get to screw up and get away with it, no ma'am. These days the average female life expectancy in the U.S. is around 80. Because I am part Anderson, I can count on living until I'm at least 113, so I have a good long time to bug you until you fix it. I'm not going away until then.
I can't say that my crazy consumer gene developed in a vacuum, because as all natural talents require, I had an inspiring mentor to guide me in my early adulthood. My friend Jane is a queen of consumer pestering, and her natural talent definitely helped me develop my confidence way back when. Between Jane's lessons and the years I had to develop my Teacher Voice, I am able to bypass a lot of the back-and-forth nonsense that occurs when a company has failed to satisfy me. For example, it only took me a few phone calls and a very pointed letter to be refunded more than half of the purchase price of our new armchair and ottoman from Pottery Barn, who messed up and then had the gall to pass off the blame on an unwitting freight company in Denver. I'm pretty sure I was flagged as a "don't mess around with her" customer then, because when they messed up part of my order for Maddie's new bedding and sent the wrong thing, I didn't even have to haggle to have the right thing sent (express!) at no additional charge, despite the fact that the right thing was $12 more per item. Unlike Marie, I am happy to do business with you again if you make it right. In fact, I am downright gracious about it.
So this morning when yet another day had passed without receiving the mattresses we ordered for Maddie's new bunk beds from Costco.com (ordered August 3, to be delivered within 3 weeks), my genetic predisposition for consumer craziness kicked in with full force. After an unsatisfactory exchange with their online customer service robot yesterday, today I picked up the phone and let my blood pressure (and Teacher Voice) do the talking. I found out that those mattresses have been sitting in a warehouse in Stockton, undelivered, for a week. After I was done (and mind you, I am never rude, just painfully direct and full of intention) the nice mattress delivery man had those mattresses unwrapped, up the stairs, and into the bed frames in less than an hour from when I called Costo.
Long live the Crazy Consumer.