Monday, November 12, 2007

Toy Piano

Beeps turned 35 last month and to commemorate this milestone in aging, I decided to get him a baby piano. He already has several big boy pianos; a baby grand, a couple key boards, a Rhodes, etc. So I thought this would be a fun little addition to the collection. So almost 3 weeks before his birthday I did some online research and found that a company named Schoenhut® made probably the best toy pianos in the world. The problem was that you had to order from a retailer and not directly from the company itself. No problem. So I searched around the web.

The model I wanted came in both white and red. The red one was FLY! I really wanted to get red. But as I searched I found that the red model was on back order at most retailers. But I managed to find one dealer on Amazon that claimed to have a red one. So I ordered it. Only to be contacted a few days later by them telling me that their post was a mistake and they only had the white
piano. So I canceled my order with them and continued my search. I sent several emails to them inquiring about my refund, asking for proof etc. No response.

I finally found a company called Harmony Online that claimed to have a red piano. So I ordered it and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

About a week later I called the company to see where the piano was. "So sorry" they said, "The red one is on back order." Okay, I'm a little pissed, and now a week closer to Beeps' birthday and getting desperate. "Okay I said, I'll take the white one instead." I hang up and then get an email confirmation of the change from red to white.

A week passes and no tracking number and no piano. I call them and they check their records. "So sorry but the piano has not been sent. We order them from the manufacturer and they have not mailed it yet. We will expedite your order."

"Fine." I say, "I just need it by the 27th for a party."
"You will have it by Monday." They say.

Monday comes and goes, and no piano and no tracking number. Now I'm pissed. I call the company. My call goes righ
t to voice mail. I send an email, no reply. Now I'm livid!!!

The next day I call again (at strategic times during the day and from different phones just in case they have caller ID and are avoiding my call). I FINALLY get a rep on the phone: Maryanne. I've spoken to her before and she is very nice. One of those people that seems genuine and concerned on the phone. It was hard to be mad at her.

Again, she says "sorry" but their computer system is down and that she will call me later to let me know what is going on with my order. (I'm not kidding!!) She calls later to tell me that it still hasn't been shipped but that it will go out "expedited (3-day)" and I will have it by Friday (Mind you Beeps' birthday is on Saturday!)

Friday comes and goes, and no piano. Saturday I'm beside myself with grief and call Harmony Online. Now their voice mail is full and I can't even leave a message!!!! I call and call and finally get Crystal on the phone. She tells me that she "Doesn't deal with the vendors" and that I'll have to talk to Maryanne on Monday. I give her a piece of my mind and she plays dumb. I hate her.

I hang up in tears.

Beeps is very nice about the whole thing and says sweet things like "It's okay, I don't need a gift. I'm sure it will work out." But inside I'm embarrassed and humiliated.

Monday rolls around and I call, first thing in the morning, to speak with Maryanne and guess what, voice mail. Now I think I'm getting ripped off. I head home for lunch thinking MAYBE it arrived. No dice.

But what did arrive is my credit card statement. And guess what? Not only did I get charged by Harmony Online, but also by the FIRST guy I ordered the piano from and then canceled. UGGG!!!

I come back to the office and immediately inquire with Amazon about how I can get my money back from the first guy. They tell me to email him and if he doesn't respond w/in 3 days, to file a complaint. Fine. I send the email.

Now back to Harmony Online. I call again and get no one. Instead of shedding more tears I decide to take matters into my own hands. At this point I still don't have a tracking number (although I have been asking for it this whole time) so I decide to send an email directly to
Schoenhut® to find out if they have my order on file. I also say in my email that I think I'm getting ripped off by one of their dealers. Almost immediately I get a call from their president and CEO. She was awesome. She told me she was upset and concerned by my email and that this isn't the way they run their business and that she will contact the dealer herself and get back to me.


The next day I get an email from both Harmony Online and Schoenhut’s® CEO apologizing for the mix up. "Great!" I think. Justice, finally!

I check my email. Amazon has refunded my money but attached to the email is a message from the original vendor. Here's what it said:

Memo from seller: Never received any e-mail from you. I contacted you through Amazon the day after purchase offering u choice of waiting for stock, a white one instead of red, or a refund. You never responded until you decided to rudely blast me w/o giving me a chance.

WTF????? Are you kidding me? I sent 4 emails to this guy and he never once responded to me! Now I'm the bad guy?? I respond again to him, this time attaching all 4 of the emails I previously sent.

This is getting ridiculous. But at least my gift is on its way.

The tracking number is FINALLY emailed to me. I check it online to make sure it's real. And guess what? After all this mess, they ship it GROUND!!!! I shit you not. GROUND!

The piano finally arrives on November 7th. A week and a 1/2 after Beeps' birthday and 1 month
after I ordered it. Luckily Beeps LOVES it and he plans on recording with it and incorporating it into their shows. Plus he was a real sport about the whole thing, telling me he was okay with getting a late gift and whatnot.

So if you are ever at a MPW show and see the little white piano, you now know the back story. And please, be sure to come up to me and Beeps and tell us it was all worth it.