A Samsonite suitcase.
And the worst part is that I LOVE SAMSONITE SUITCASES.
The saga begin-eth: I have traveled for work for seven years...maybe eight...I actually don't remember for sure...but for a while. I enjoy parts of it, but overall, I am tired of traveling for work. It's at its worst the few weeks leading up to travel, when I fall into what I call "Travel Lurgy (travelurgy)" (because it really is highly infectious, since I'm generally a huge downer), and I don't want to talk about leaving, prepare for leaving or even think about leaving.
This fall, that came back to bite me because I had a big trip in November, for which I needed to invest in a new suitcase, as I had to throw my old reliable suitcase of two years away, because it had been "handled" by baggage handlers one too many times. Because of the Luuuuurrrggyyyyy, I literally forgot to get a suitcase. I went looking two times, and was so sad at the thought of leaving town again that I just walked out empty handed. So go time came (two days before I left), and Kate was Grate (get it?) and lent me her suitcase.
I LOVE her suitcase. Perfect size, perfect pockets, spinners (requirement), easy to lift...it's perfect. I keep almost buying one for myself, then getting too sad about it. Also, it's expensive. I think Kate got it (I always typo that to say "go tit" and I know one day I'm going to hit send without seeing it) as a gift.
I left town, I used it, it was amazing, I went home.
On the way home, the suitcase was "handled" right out of a zipper pull. I KNOW that a missing zipper pull isn't the end of the world. The zipper is still totally zip-able, and it was the big one, so there are actually two pulls, and the other one was ok.
But that's not the point...the point is that someone really kindly lent me something, and I don't want to give it back sub-par. "Thanks for being so nice, here's something not really nice in return. Have a great day." So mid/late November, I went to get this thing taken care of.
Here's how it went down: Mid November: I called Customer Service, and I was instructed to go into a Samsonite retail store to buy a replacement zipper pull. The retail store told me they don’t carry extra parts.
I checked the website for an answer, and was told that I needed to take it to a licensed Samsonite zipper repair shop. The closest one to me is in Arizona.
On November 23, I called Customer Service to see what I should do. A really nice lady emailed a list of zipper pulls to choose my replacement from. It was a PDF that looked like it was from 1988, full of pixel-ated zipper pictures and part numbers, many written by hand. None of them were in color. That was really helpful.
On November 30, I selected the piece I thought I needed, based on the largely unhelpful Xerox, and emailed back with my order. Sidenote--don't you think I should've just been able to tell them which suitcase I had, and they would have been able to tell me which zipper pulls it had?? I did. I guess that's not how it works. Un-sidenote. I received the standard "we got your email" email, that ends with a "We will get back to you with in 7 days."
One more sidenote. SEVEN DAYS?? We get back to our customers within 24 hours. Come on.
On December 7, I followed up with Customer Service, as I still hadn’t heard anything about my order, seven days later.
On December 8, I was contacted, requesting my mailing address, to which I immediately replied, and I was assured a response within seven days (again).
On December 16, I followed up with Customer Service, as I still hadn’t received any response about my order...more than seven days later.
On JANUARY 7 (more than seven days later...more than seven and seven more days later!), I was informed that my part would be sent within 10-14 business days, that I would be billed $4.50 for shipping, and “If there should be any problems in filling your request, we will contact you.” I gave them the benefit of the doubt and assumed they'd waited the full 14 days, sent the piece likely in the slowest manner possible, and that it would arrive sometime in the month.
On February 10, as I still hadn’t been contacted, I contacted Customer Service again.
Today, February 11, I received an email, letting me know that my part actually had not been shipped as promised, it was now on back order, that they didn't know when it would become available, and that in order to receive an un-matching replacement part, I would have to pay for the part, and pay $5-$7 for shipping.
SO, in a move completely out of my real character, but in this character of someone who doesn't get pushed around by mechanics and who doesn't let strange men into her hotel room at night (another story... I think I might have already told that) that I've really been working on lately, I sent the following email:
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a working suitcase since mid-November, 2010. In my numerous contacts with Customer Service, I have been referred to many “solutions” that haven’t actually led to me receiving my part.
(Basically cut and paste all that I just told you, but more professionally)
I really love my Samsonite suitcase, and as I travel for work, I generally get great use out of it. However, working with Customer Service has been discouraging. I haven’t been able to use my suitcase since November. At that point, I was willing to pay for a replacement part for it to be usable again. However, to wait for almost three months, and to have to repeatedly reach out to Customer Service even though I was assured a response just to be told that the part that I need isn’t available, that there is no date that it will become available, and that I can receive an un-matching part, but I still have to pay for it, and that for some reason, the shipping cost is even higher, is unacceptable. Please let me know if you’re able to send me the un-matching part free of charge so that my suitcase is usable until the part I actually need is available, or if I need to file a formal complaint.
Thank you, jerks,
Just kidding about that last part.