Friday, August 29, 2008

Did I actually stumble out ahead in a Chilean bureaucratic maze?

The types of circles you’re sent around trying to do things in Chile are often amazingly complicated, often times for little apparent reason, or are complete Catch-22s (Ask me about trying to legally exit security in the Santiago airport…)
Anyway, long story short minimally reduced and reflection omitted, one month ago I purchased a brand new refrigerator. Why new? Because when I agreed to buy a used one and return with a rented truck to pick it up, the shop had shut their doors on me. So, Plan B, that was sketchy.

Anyway, the one I picked was the last one in the department store, and they gave a discount because it was the display model on the floor. It arrived at my house, although within days of plugging it in, spoiled soy milk convinced me we had nothing more than a futuristic cupboard with an internal light.
Because it was the last one and swapping to another would be quite a price jump, we just wanted our money back, but customer service needed proof of its dysfunctionality. Apparently I wasn’t in Nordstrom’s anymore… (Ok crappy joke. Their customer service is famous for going to extents of accepting returns for products not even purchased there just to save client satisfaction)

Seeing as I cannot hardly do a pushup and we live essentially on the side of a mountain, someone was going to have to come to our house as “proof,” a later understatement for the technician’s report: does not freeze, missing parts of the motor.
Uhhhhh?….. oh right, Chile.

He advised that help from the store would be unlikely, and pleading with the manufacturer to replace their faulty product was the best bet.
They agreed. They said it would be at our house within 5 days.
8 days later and all food long spoiled, we called back to check in. “We already sent it to the local branch, its out of our control.”
So we call the local branch- “It hasn’t arrived yet.”
Odd, but a few days later they tell us “we’ll deliever it between 9am and 7pm tomorrow, someone has to be home.” So we sit inside all day, and nobody comes. This happens about 4 more times over the following 3 weeks, ‘til last Thursday Angel freaks on the phone and asks why he should waste his days waiting for a truck that never comes, and how he knows when to believe them that they’re actually coming. They replied apologetically that the replacement had not been confirmed on paper before, but to rest assured that this time everything is under control for Saturday.
So you’d laugh to learn Saturday was another no-show.

A month had passed and I was fed up, trying to decide what legal trouble I might get in by asking Visa to cancel the payment. We went to get some legal advice and got things in order to file a lawsuit this tomorrow.

Anyway, anybody who has been through anything similar will realize what a long, horrible, and complicated process I was probably getting into. So thankfully and ironically out of the blue, on my way home that day they called to say they were waiting outside my house. Arriving home would prove otherwise, but they did return later that night with my my brand new replacement refrigerator.
Brand new as in: in the package, never used, never displayed, and a larger, upgraded model than the original purchase.

Excuse me, did I not completely lose out this time?

Wait, seriously?

P.S. Please don’t wait for the sequel to this story, I plugged the thing in, and it *gasp* makes food colder.