Sunday, July 1, 2012

Now We're Cookin'!

Our kitchen was finally delivered and installed last week, a full 6 weeks after buying the kitchen.  Over the last two months, we have a totally new Top 5 Worst Customer Service Experiences list, as our top 5 Worst Experiences have been completely replaced by new ones. 

The kitchen debacle was by far our worst customer service experience ever (even worse than trying to cancel our AT&T plans when we moved here), even though our service expectations were very low from the beginning.  The store that we bought our kitchen from, Poco, uses Daniela Katzenberger as their spokesperson.  This would be the American equivalent of Kendra Wilkinson from the Girls Next Door.  So ... not the highest end product.

On May 8, we bought one of the store's floor models in order to save some money and get our kitchen sooner than if we have purchased a non-floor model.  This way they assured us that by the end of the month at the latest our kitchen would be ready to be delivered, which was perfect since we were moving at the end of the month.  We needed to order a new countertop, however, because the sink was on the wrong side for where our water pipes were, but the salesperson told us it take "a week or two" to order and we could have our kitchen delivered soon afterward.  After two weeks, we followed up and learned that the "factory was busy" and it would take "a couple more weeks" before it arrived.  In America, we would have cancelled our order and found another kitchen somewhere else.  Unfortunately, we stayed with it. 

Trying to be proactive, we tried to get our delivery and installation appointment set before the countertop arrived.   But, for some reason, we could not set up a delivery appointment until the countertop arrived.  When the countertop arrived on June 6th, the soonest installation appointment was … June 19th!  Dana took that call and I promptly moved Dylan into the bedroom until that call was over. 

We proceeded with this horrendous service and our kitchen was installed on Tuesday, the 19th, 6 weeks and 1 day after buying our kitchen.  When the kitchen was delivered, we were really surprised that the countertop wasn’t even cut!  Our installer had to cut it on our balcony.   In hindsight, we should have cancelled the countertop order and had it purchased at a different store (same day service).  Nevertheless, we have our kitchen installed and vow to never shop again at Poco. 

Out of spite, we bought the rest of our furniture on  Because we don’t have a car here in Münster, we would need to have the furniture delivered.  Interestingly enough, we made a huge furniture order on Wednesday night and most of it arrived Friday morning.  There is hope for timely service in Germany.

When we tell this story, the response is totally different depending on whom we tell it to.  Germans don’t even blink and tell us that "this is completely normal here."  They are not surprised or compassionate to our predicament.  Our American friends and family, are totally appalled and can’t believe how someone could stay in business with this level of service.  (They still can’t believe that we would need to buy a new kitchen for a new apartment, but we have already blogged about how weird that is.  Speaking of which, can anyone tell me another country in the world where you have to buy your own kitchen for an apartment.  I would be interested to know where else not to move.)

1 comment:

Lisa Rogers said...

Well, the kitchen looks GREAT, after all of that craziness I hope you settle in and never have to move in Germany again :) I'm pretty sure Sweden is the same way; when I was there for vacation, we could tell the homes were 'build as you go' type places. Guess the Europeans don't know how good it COULD be!! I can't even imagine!!