Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Fan Story - Not a Love Story

Here is a story of caution and a warning to all of you out there looking to buy a ceiling fan or light.   We finally decided to buy a fan and get it wired and installed above our pool table in the living room.  We've lived in the house for over 4 years now and did not have any fixed lighting.  The room wasn't wired for a fan so we hired an electrician to do the install including wiring.  He recommended getting a high quality fan so that it will last a long time.  We ended up decided on Seattle Lighting. 

Back in mid-February Kirsten and I went to Seattle Lighting in Bellevue to look for a ceiling fan. While there we found one we really liked.  We had a couple requirements that had to be met.  They were, the fan needed to look contemporary, with nickel metal and dark cherry blades.  We also were only going to control it with a remote and since our ceiling is really high we needed the remote to reverse the direction of the blades. 

While at Seattle Lighting we worked with a person who was able to find the fan we wanted and make sure it did everything we wanted it to.   That is where everything went wrong.  See the breakdown below...

Mid Feb
  • Wife and I come into store and work with a Seattle Lighting Employee (This person will now be referred to as SLE)
  • We found one that can be run off the remote and reverse with the remote
  • The fan was nickel with dark cherry blades.
  • We ordered fan; the SLE told us it would arrive in about 2 weeks.
  • We have the fan the week before and scheduled the install for today.
  • I paid electrician to install first fan, including wiring.
  • He installs fan but finds out it won’t reverse by remote as we were informed.
    • Originally thought it was missing transceiver.
    • I call the SLE and let him know, says he will order transceiver and pay for installer to come out and fix
  • The SLE calls to let me know the fan I have won’t do reverse by remote as he originally thought
  • He will order the right model.
  • The SLE designated installer comes out to install replacement fan
  • The installer brings in the fan and it is not the fan we ordered originally
  • I wasn't told I was getting a completely different fan
  • I tell the installer not to install the fan and I will call the SLE
  • The SLE emails me picture of a replacement fan, says the fan we wanted doesn't do reverse by remote (he just now finds this out). He apologizes.
  • The replacement fan is a higher end model which is cool
  • On the picture dark cherry blades and a remote are marked to indicate I can get the same features I wanted in the original fan.
  • I reply back saying that the replacement fan will work but make sure to get with dark cherry blades
  • He says no problem.
  • The installer comes out (2nd time) to install new fan the SLE ordered.  
  • The installer brings everything in and we find there are no fan blades.
  • The SLE forgot to order the blades
  • I email the SLE letting him know, he apologizes and says they are ordered now to be shipped overnight.
  • I email the SLE about the blades as he said they should be overnighted.
  • He tells me they should be here on Monday (of the next week).
  • I emailed the SLE again about the blades, said they arrived Wednesday (5/2).
  • He informed the installer to contact me.
  • The installer comes out (3rd time) to install the fan as the blades have arrived.
  • He opens the box and finds the blades are Cherry, not Dark Cherry.
  • I call Seattle Lighting (Bellevue) and ask to speak to the manager.  I am told she is out until Sunday.  I ask to be forwarded to her voicemail.  I leave a voicemail letting her know the situation and to please call me back.
  • No call from the manager as expected.
  • The SLE calls me and personally berates himself on the phone (very professional).
  • I tell him that it has two months now of mistakes and if we don't get this resolved and installed this week, it will be another two weeks as I'm going on vacation.
  • He tells me he will get them overnighted and installed this week.
  • Installer calls to setup appointment, says the SLE told them the fan blades will be in on Wednesday.
  • Installer calls (3pm) to let me know the blades are not in yet, but they should be in later today.  Says he will stay until 4pm for the blades.
  • Installer calls again (3:45pm) and let's me know all deliveries have been made and the blades were not delivered. For the second time the blades are NOT actually overnighted as told to me by the SLE.
  • I call Seattle Lighting to talk to manager, she is out again.  Will be back Sunday.  I tell them I will call back then.
  • Seattle Lighting manager called me back and apologized for all of my experience.  She said she would take care of everything so that we can finally get the right fan installed once we got home from vacation.
  • Fan is finally installed!
As you can see it over 3 months to get what we originally requested installed at our house.  Now not to say the SLE was only terrible, he did upgrade our fan and let us keep the old one.  He also paid for the installer to come out several times to do nothing.  From my perspective he is at least making an attempt to resolve the issue, but unfortunately he is simply incompetent.  At any point in this process he could have double checked what he was doing and make sure what was being ordered was correct. He could of also kept me more up-to-date.

It is also extremely frustrating to not have the manager call me back in a timely manner.  Not sure what I could have done to get proper attention from them, maybe write the Better Business Bureau?  Simply put this is the worst customer service I've ever received from a company.

I will never make another purchase from Seattle Lighting and will tell this story to anybody that is looking to buy. 

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