Thursday, May 29, 2008

Emerald Dry Cleaning Sucks

A month ago, I had no opinion w/r/t dry cleaners. Hell, I do not even know what martinizing is. Now I do, however, have an opinion. Fortunately for me, I also have a blog.

I should backtrack.

Given my paucity of dry cleaner knowledge, I was pleased to discover that my wife had discovered an inexpensive place to get our comforter cleaned. Our washer and dryer? That is far too sensible. Remember, Khris is a woman, and women are the people who pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to have people choose flowers for a wedding.

After some discussion about the merits of sending a comforter that says "do not dry clean" to the dry-cleaners, her solution was Emerald Cleaners, which was offering one of those ubiquitous half-off specials. As such, instead of absurdly paying $40 to wash a $60 comforter, we were only absurdly paying $20. It costs just as much to not dry clean, which, apparently, dry cleaners also do things that are not dry cleaning (martinizing?). This is how husbands lose arguments.

Well, I do know somewhat more about dry cleaning than the lackey Emerald Cleaners hired to not dry clean our comforter. I know this because he dry cleaned the damn comforter. Unfortunately, the "do not dry clean" instruction proved utterly prescient, and the comforter was torn and shrunk.

As any reasonable person would, my wife called to ask for the replacement cost of the comforter. She was referred to the manager, Lynn, who asked us to bring in the comforter. Here's what you need to know about Lynn at Emerald Cleaners. She is the least pleasant person in all of Minnesota, which is huge because Keith Ellison lives here and he is a horror of a human being. Suffice to say, I sure do despise me some Lynn.

When I went to the store, Lynn greeted me by noting that she was upset that aforementioned lackey had provided her personal number. Now, I work in public relations. I give out my personal number like it's Altoids, and hope to God that I get a phone call because it gives me an opportunity to kick ass and make money.

The good people of Emerald Cleaners, I would discover, guard personal numbers the way a nun guards her viriginity. Lynn doesn't strike me as the "too busy to take a phone call" type, but I digress.

Lynn takes our complaint, and our comforter, with the promise that the owner, Helene, will offer a resolution within one week. One week was last Thursday.

So, today my wife calls Emerald Lynn to inquire as to the status of our comforter. Lynn explains that the owner has gone on vacation, and that these issues can take months to settle. My wife notes that this is an example of bad customer service (which, empirically, is the case) and so Lynn commences to accuse my wife of harassment, and tells her that the issue will be resolved when they get to it.

As regular readers know, when someone bullies my wife, I turn green and smash things, symbolically speaking. Ask Rich Garvey how that goes.

So I call Lynn, explaining our troubles, and ask for the owner's number. Lynn notes that she is not at liberty to provide the owner's personal number, which makes it difficult generally because Helene does not work at any of the store's locations and cannot be reached by traditional means.

Lynn then proceeds to hang up on me, and refuses to answer the phone when I call back. Again, I'm not a Lynn fan.

So I decide to call another location. Loretta answers the phone, listens to my story, and refers me to Wendy. By the way, I am not making up these names. Apparently, Emerald cleaners is run by a bridge club.

Wendy explains, again, that I will not be given the owner's number, and that the owner is on vacation as of TODAY. I ask why my issue was not dealt with in a timely manner, and offer some commentary as to how the people of Emerald Cleaners could improve their business practice. Wendy informs me that Helene is visiting a sick sister, which comples me to add a side note.

Side note: Since when is a sick relative an excuse not to do your job? I have had all manner of sick, dying, and otherwise incapacitated relatives. I have never, once, thrown them under a bus by using them as an excuse to not do my job. End side note...

Wendy then proceeds to call me a "jerk". Why am I a jerk? For asking for a follow up call early next week. This request is "irrational", especially since Helene is returning from vacation early next week and will be home and obviously has a million better things to do than to run Emerald Cleaners, which happens also to be THE BUSINESS SHE OWNS.

Wendy offers a nebulous promise for a call back at some point next week, reiterates that I am a jerk, and then hangs up on me when I promise to call her back next Tuesday (one gets the sense that she has been through this rigmarole before).

Fast forward to ten minutes later. Wendy has spoken with Helene-the-unreachable. Apparently, Lynn-the-imcompetent was supposed to call us and ask for a receipt for the comforter. After all, doesn't everyone keep every receipt for every single thing in their possession? Of course, we explained (many, many times) that we did not have the receipt, having provided an online printout of the comforter, complete with cost from IKEA.

Wendy apologized for the fact that "we both got emotional" and explained that Helene the absentee landlord would be visiting IKEA on the way back from visiting aforementioned moribund sister, to verify the cost of the comforter. I am not going to get into the absurdity of that particular exercise as it relates to Emerald Cleaners' ROI, but the upshot is that I can expect a phone call next Tuesday.

If it's anything less than the full cost of the comforter, Kevman will be very angry. Helene won't like it when I'm angry.

This is why I vote Republican, people.


Anonymous Clint said...

The elusive question of "Why do bad things happen to good people?" has finally been answered. In the case of Kevin Sawyer, it is clearly for my entertainment.

Great post. I'm already looking forward to the follow-up.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

The Republicans were smart to add the FDIC insured comforters to their election platform.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Rypick said...

You do realize that you're a crap-magnet, right?

Or maybe your wife is... ;)

7:46 AM  
Anonymous John McCain said...

If I have your vote...I will certainly add the customer service problems of Emerald Cleaners to my platform. I have never set foot in there myself. Hopefully, that won't haunt me later.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Barack Obama said...

McCain does not go far enough. Kevin...if you will change your allegiances, I will make sure that everyone who ever used a dry cleaner gets a free comforter from Ikea.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Bob Barr said...

Both McCain and Hussein offer typical Big Government solutions to your issue, Kevin. As the new face of the Libertarian Party, I vow to repeal all business regulations and implement Caveat Emptor throughout the land. My condolences. It was all your fault.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Hilary Clinton said...

I'll have a new bumper sticker made to promote your cause.

I'll also have Walmart hook you up with a new comforter.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Hilary's TV commercial could easily be changed from "Who do you want answering the phone at 1 in the morning" to "Wouldn't you like someone to answer the phone?"

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I called on them to see if I can earn their business, the manager or person named Tim from the main office hung up on me without me even able to talk to him for a minute. The sad thing is that The have over 5 locations in the twincites and sounds like they are buying up others... how can do you this if you customer service is not excellent?

1:46 PM  
OpenID ppcrzy1 said...

I worked there and it was hell. Lynn is not a nice woman at all and has a serious gas problem. I witnessed her be very rude to customers and instead of giving you Helene's number Lynn should have called Helene herself and and told her to call you. Helene is a sweet woman and cares for customers very much. I was fired because I wasn't "enthusiastic" enough about work and I took expired coupons. Lynn is rude and also very racist. I've bit my tounge many times with her. I hope you can shut her ignorant ass up.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Hmmm... just found this entry via a Google search trying to figure out how much it costs to have a comforter cleaned for me. I think I'll take it to the laundromat and do it myself.

4:01 PM  
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