Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Sofa Saga

It started simply enough. Dear Hubby and I decided to replace our sofa. Our old one was in pretty good shape, but our decor in the living room evolved over time so that it just didn't really "go" anymore. Plus we decided it would be nice to have a fold out sofa bed for guests.

We decided to splurge and order one from our local furniture store. I jotted the dimensions of my old sofa on a piece of paper and took it to the store. The sales lady and I found a style I liked, compared the dimensions of my sofa to the new one we were considering, selected our fabric and placed the order. They said it would take 8-10 weeks (yikes!) so I borrowed a fabric swatch and took it to another store where I ordered a new area rug and selected new paint colors for the living room.

The rug arrived, I painted. We were all set. Just waiting for the sofa. It was delivered to the store earlier than expected and we set a delivery date for this past Friday. The two delivery guys arrive and one of them had the worst attitude from the start. I told him that he might want to take a look to see which way would be the best to bring the sofa in because it would be a tight fit. "Aw man, don't tell me that," was his reply and it went pretty much down hill from there.

The problem is this. My doorway is 35" wide but as you step in to the foyer, you have 51" before you hit the coat closet, so there is an awkward angle. The kitchen doorway (through the garage) was 29" wide, with no awkward angles.

Delivery Guy #1 just kept telling me that it wasn't going to fit. He tried to bring it in the front door at an angle but it wouldn't work. I explained that my old sofa came through that very door and the dimensions were very similar (new sofa is 2" shorter, but 1.5" deeper). I also explained the the previous sofa was angled upward, and his reply was that the sofa-sleeper was "heavier." Well, duh. But that shouldn't be my problem, should it? Okay, I didn't actually say that.

I suggested removing the feet of the sofa and Guy #1 said they didn't come off. Huh? Keep in mind that this sofa was not carved out of a single piece of wood. If someone put the feet on, then of course the feet come off. He persisted in trying to wedge it in at an angle and ended up damaging the fabric (only slightly, it turns out).

Delivery Guy #1 moved the sofa back outside and called the store to tell them that "it won't fit." He also mentioned the damage, which I'm sure he's thinking is my fault because, "it won't fit." I suggested trying to go through the kitchen door. Guy #1 says, "You still want it like that?" (referring to the damage). I replied that of course I wanted it. I have no sofa (we gave our old one the neighbor across the street), and I knew this one would fit. Once it was inside, I explained, I'll call the store owner to discuss restitution (either a discounted price or ordering a new one). He made a half-assed attempt to get it through the kitchen, but started complaining again about the small freezer that I have in my garage (the same freezer I offered to move twice before he even got started).

Finally I had enough and told them to load the sofa back on the truck and take it back to the store. I should point out that the entire time, Delivery Guy #2 was rather quiet. He'd occasionally offer a suggestion but Guy #1 would shoot it down every time.

At this point I was so bummed and stressed and second-guessing my measurements, etc. I tend to do that. Something goes wrong and I tend to scrutinize my own role first. Normally special order items are non-refundable, but the owner said if I wanted to cancel the order, he would refund all but a 15% re-stocking fee. I was satisfied with that, but Dear Hubby said, no, the sofa would fit so we shouldn't have to pay the restocking fee.

That evening Dear Hubby took some PVC pipe that we had laying around the garage and fashioned a frame that was 86" by 37" (the length and depth of the new sofa). We knew that since the height was 31" if you turned it sideways, it would fit in the 35" wide doorway. He and I practiced bringing the frame in through the front door. Essentially, you have to treat it as it you were trying to load it in an elevator. Go in slightly, angle it up sharply, and bring it it on its side. Worked every time with the frame.

The following day, Saturday, Dear Hubby, kids and I returned to the store, armed with my measurements. I explained to the owner what happened. He looked at my measurements, apologized profusely and said that yes, it should indeed fit if it was brought in how we practiced with the PVC pipe (which the delivery guys did not try, by the way). He offered to try deliver it again on Tuesday. We agreed with the stipulation that Delivery Guy #1 (Mr. Negative) would not come.

Dear Hubby wanted to assess the damage for himself so he and the owner walked back in the warehouse. Delivery Guy #1 has the gall to walk up and tell Dear Hubby and Store Owner, "I told her it wouldn't fit." Dear Hubby got very close to Delivery Guy #1 (okay, he got 'in his face') and words were exchanged. Delivery Guy #1 said he wasn't going to be the one to deliver it on Tuesday (fine by me). Dear Hubby apologized to the store owner for almost causing a scene (even though they were in an area where customers do not normally go).

Flash forward to Tuesday. The warehouse manager, Delivery Guy #2, and two other delivery guys arrive in the afternoon. The smaller guy - who looked to be 17 and couldn't weigh more than 130, looks it over and said 'piece of cake.' Dear Hubby is home, because I told him I didn't want to deal with the stress. I said I was going into the bedroom, turning the radio up very loudly so I can't hear anything that's going on, and to please tell me when the sofa is inside. I go to my room, click on the radio, before I can crank up the volume, Dear Hubby tells me, "it's in."

The damage is so minimal that you can't see if unless I point it out. It's a chenille sofa so much of it was just the mashing of the fabric against the door frame. The store folks used a little soft brush to fluff it back up. We're still going to discuss a small discount, which I think all things considered, we're entitled to.

Oh and Delivery Guy #1 no longer works there. Apparently this wasn't the first time they had a problem with him. (I should mention that it's crossed my mind that, uh oh, he knows where we live.)


Sue said...

Hooray for new sofa! Sorry it was such a stressful ordeal getting it in the house. But now you can relax on it!!

Lala's world said...

oh my what an ordeal!!!

glad it all worked out and I would definetely try to get a discount! that is brutal!!

Elle*Bee said...

thanks, sue and lala. The first two days we had the sofa, my schedule was so nonstop, I scarely had time to put my butt print in the velour (or chenille - I forget which).

What can I say...I lead and exciting life (NOT!). ;-)

josh williams said...

Just dropped by I deal with the public and employees and attitude is everything isn't it, half empty half full. I bet the kid is not moving furniture for a living much longer.
I love the pvc idea, you prove beyound the shadow of a doubt to yourself that you are right, #1 is realy # 2 or as we say in Indiana a real turd.

Farm Girl said...

That sounds like a miserable experience. I'm glad you finally got your sofa. I bet it looks wonderful.

Elle*Bee said...

thanks for stopping by, josh. It takes more than brawn to move furniture. Sometimes it takes brains. And you're right, attitude makes a huge difference. And yes, he was fired from his job, but that happened even before the 2nd delivery attempt. Apparently there had been problems before the near-altercation with my husband.

Yes, les, it looks really nice. Comfy too. Great for napping in the afternoon, when Son #3 lets me.