House hunting

Rona’s Customer Service

Posted on October 16, 2010. Filed under: House hunting, renos, Social Networking, Technology | Tags: , , |

Despite the trouble and hassle I have had with Rona Regina while shopping for a new bathroom vanity, I have to give them credit for their customer service. On August 14th of this year, my husband and I went to Rona and picked out a cute modern bathroom vanity we wanted for our new house. There were no more in stock so we purchased the vanity and were told our order would be in in a couple of weeks.

We waited patiently while working on the many other projects we needed to get done on our house. After about 3 weeks of not getting a phone call from Rona, we went to the store and asked about the vanity. We were told that they hadn’t come in yet, but they should be in soon. We waited a little over week and while my dad was going to Rona to pick up some baseboards for us, I gave him the receipt to pick up the vanity if it was in. It wasn’t yet, but we were told it was backordered and should be here soon. 2 weeks later, we were told any day, and about 2 weeks ago I decided to call and complain/ask what was going on. I called the store’s customer service and was told by a nice young lady that they were still back ordered and weren’t in yet. I asked to speak to the store manager, and though he wasn’t in, I was put through to another manager. I explained the story and he told me he was busy with another customer at the moment but would call me back in 10 minutes. 10 minutes later when he still hadn’t called, I decided to go on Twitter and see if there was a Rona representative I could tweet and get a quicker response.

No such luck.  There was nothing for Rona on Twitter. (Read Dean’s story about how Roger’s on Twitter saved him money.) I decided to look on their website and try and call the head office to see if they had a customer service rep that could help me. (Read my engagement ring story about calling People’s head office customer service.) No luck there either because it was Saturday and the head office was closed. I chose the next best thing in my mind, clicked on contact us on the Rona website, and filled out a general form explaining the situation. I sent it off to whoever reads the Rona contact us emails and hoped for the best.

About 15 minutes later, the manager from Rona called back and I reviewed the story with him. I asked for compensation because we were just about ready to move into our house and we still didn’t have the vanity. He was good and offered us a $100 gift card, but this was the least of our worries considering the mirror we bought, that fit perfectly over the Rona vanity, was over $50. We just needed a vanity. The problem is that in Regina there are next to no options for places to go for vanities. Rona, Costco or Home Depot are pretty much it. I told him that I was going to keep shopping for other vanities and I wanted him to call if our vanity came in.
That Monday I got a call from another manager, Rob, who apparently had been forwarded the email I sent. I explained the situation again and he apologized. He assured me he wasn’t making excuses, but he explained that it was the manufactures fault the vanities weren’t in. I completely understand that, but again, our problem was we didn’t have a vanity. He called the manufacturer and was told the vanities were leaving the Calgary warehouse on Thursday evening. I asked if we could have the display model. (Even though we were told earlier that they couldn’t sell those because they belong to the manufacturer, not Rona.) Rob agreed and on Thanksgiving Sunday we picked up the display model vanity and took it to our new house. Rob even guaranteed that if the vanities came in that Tuesday, they would have a new one delivered to our house, and they would take out the old one. On Sunday, when we were waiting in the ridiculously busy customer service line, we decided to ask a Rona worker to page Rob. He came right down so we could bypass the line, he helped us get our 100 dollar gift card, and he even printed off a new receipt for us since we didn’t have ours on us. He also decided to take 10% off the price we paid originally because this was the display model. He continued to apologize and was extremely nice.
I have to say, Rob Frank from Rona Regina saved Rona 2 customers that were very close to not shopping at Rona anymore. I can’t imagine the hassle it would have been had we kept going back to the regular customer service desk trying to get help. I guess there is a reason why there are managers!

3 reasons why I will continue to shop at Rona Regina:
1) I know I can ask for Rob if something goes wrong again.
2) They are willing to take responsibility for issues caused by their manufacturers.
3) They have some of the best selection when it comes to product.

3 things I think Rona needs to work on to improve as a company/store:
1) Hiring a couple people to represent Rona on Twitter and/or
2) Have a better web service to handle customer questions/complaints whether that be a weekend phone number, or more specific contact information.
3) Have a person who is the liaison between manufacturers and Rona. They would be notified when things are backordered and could let the customer know promptly what the time frame looks like.

As I finish this post, I am glad that I can say I am happy with the way things turned out. I promised/”threatened” Rona’s customer service that I would be tweeting and blogging about my Rona bathroom vanity experience, and I am happy to encourage those who read this post to continue to shop at Rona. You will be treated with respect, and your needs will be dealt with, even if it wasn’t in the time frame you first expected! 🙂

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Lawyers Speak a Different Language

Posted on April 28, 2010. Filed under: House hunting, personal, reflection |

Excuse the language, but I thought this was a funny cartoon that had to do with my post today… lawyer language.

Jon and I went to a lawyer in Regina yesterday to sign our lives away, or in other words, buy a house.  We are meeting tonight with a woman I work with to put an offer on her house she’s selling privately, so we needed to prepare an offer to purchase beforehand.  Well, the lawyer emailed me during the day yesterday and told me the only time he had open was at 4:45.  That’s pretty much 15 minutes before closing time I guess, so he zoomed through these papers with us, and when I say zoomed, I am not exaggerating.  He didn’t explain any of the meanings to us, and he honestly barely pronounced words when he was reading back to us what we signed; he was actually jumping over complete words!  For all the teachers out there reading, if I was benchmarking him, he would have had a ton of errors, and his fluency would be quite low!

The other thing that scared and bothered me yesterday was the amount of money he assumed we had in our bank account.  He was talking about a deposit we needed and he wanted me to write a cheque yesterday for $5000.  I didn’t think this was a problem because I thought it would be held until after the sale went through, but no, when Jon asked him when it would come out of our bank- he said tomorrow.  Jon and I had to laugh because we really just don’t have $5000 in our bank account!  I’m sure he does, dang, I should have asked if he would pay it for us and we could have given him an I.O.U.  But either way, it was so crazy for me that he just assumed this.  Jon and I are not rich by any means, but I do believe we are well off, and it just made me realize that for some people the idea of purchasing a house is unheard of!  Even if they are pre-approved for x amount of dollars, there are all these other fees and costs that come with this type of purchase.  Thank goodness my parents are helping us out, and that God has blessed us at this time so that this is something we can do.  I realize not everyone has this opportunity, and so even though the lawyer language is frustrating, I am not taking this for granted, but I count myself blessed.

On the other hand, if you haven’t gone through this yet, and you have any questions, feel free to ask- Jon and I as we are trying to learn as we go!

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Houses for the price of mansions

Posted on April 9, 2010. Filed under: House hunting, personal |

Jon and I tried to put our first offer on our house today.  We want an old, outdated house that we can work on. We only need about 1000 square feet, and we don’t even need the basement done yet.  We had heard through a friend about a house that wasn’t even on the market yet.  It was an estate sale, and the people actually let us have the first look through.  We had really shown our interest and Jon and I were thinking and planning of lots of things we could do with it.  We were wishing/praying for $200, 000 but realistically knew that it could be anywhere between that and $220,000 maybe even $230,000 but that was getting a little high.  We had decided that we weren’t going to go past $220,000.  So, they walked us around the house and showed us everything again to refresh our memory.

We got back to the kitchen and I half jokingly, half seriously asked how much they were going to sell it to us for.  Her answer… $253,500!  I honestly didn’t know what to say.  $250,000 for an old house that doesn’t have a basement and that we would need to COMPLETELY change?  What can I say.  I am discouraged, shocked, angry and sad all at the same time.  Anyone know of any outdated houses in Regina that are not over priced?

Something we would like to own.

What we can afford apparently…

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