27 April 2011

Oh, nice...

As some of you know, my brother and I are doing some renovation work at our Mom's place. She wanted one of those walk-in bathtubs-the ones with the car-style door that you sit in. Much easier for older folks who have trouble with getting into regular bathtubs. So we ordered one up from a major home repair center, since nobody seems to keep them in stock. This was on April 11th. We were told that it would ship in 3-5 business days. That time came and went. We tracked the order on the 'net, and that indicated the tub would arrive last Saturday. The weekend passed. Monday I called the major home repair center. The revised arrival date? June 2.

That's an amazing expansion of time.

I keep a lot of peeves around the Yankeedog household. Most are feral but some are pets. One of the pets is 'business ethics' which is fast becoming an oxymoron, like 'hamburger steak' or 'jumbo shrimp' or 'government assistance'. To be brief, businesses-give a realistic lead time on items you ship and sell. If something will take six weeks to get, say it will take six weeks to arrive. Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. Now we've got rooms all tore up. Thanks, Major Home Repair Center, for lying to us.

Geez. At least say '4 weeks' and stall and make excuses for the remaining two weeks. Or try the Montgomery Scott method. Say an item will take eight weeks to arrive. When in comes in six weeks, you get the reputation of being miracle workers!

Monday night we went down to get a refund. We were told the major home repair center would send a check within 14 days. I said they'd have to do better. It was, after all, their fib and screw-up to make right. It isn't like the tub got there and we didn't like the color. They hemmed and hawed, but the next morning they managed to come up with the refund money-in the form of a horse-choking wad of greenbacks. I wouldn't have cared if they gave us a wheelbarrow full of pennies so long as we had the dough.

Long story short-all of the home-repair chains have about the same lead time for a walk-in tub. But we ordered a tub from Another Repair Store Chain, who at least quoted a realistic lead time and have a better delivery plan. It'll still be early June-but some semblance of honesty gets the $5000 order. Now if it gets to us intact and correct...

And I don't know why a walk-in tub takes that long to make. No one can tell me they don't have several of those molded and sitting in a warehouse somewhere. They don't have a troll from Bundaberg paddle his magic canoe here to hand-hew one from the living rock. Or maybe they do, judging from the price and lead time for one. Maybe if they didn't have to ship one from Mexico or China it'd be here sooner. Bastidges.

And while we're on it-we picked up a faucet for the new sink we put in. Made in China, of course. Let's just say that if their military equipment is engineered as well as this faucet was, nobody has anything to worry about. What a piece of crap. Actually ended up tossing it in utter frustration and buying another one. Also Chinese-made, but someone here must've designed the thing so it could be easily installed.

I remember the good old days, when we made things here, and they worked right, and they generally arrived in a couple of weeks.

And a lesson learned-when renovating or remodeling, start the job ONLY when everything you need is in your possession-and take that too-good-to-be-true quoted leadtime and add five weeks to it.

Ah well. It isn't like there isn't plenty of stuff to do in the meantime.

yankeedog out.


  1. I always pad my lead times for parts, being stuck on a job is no excuse (allegedly) for not being on their job!

    China parts are cheap, temp controller about A$30 (with thermocouple), off the shelf A$250 (without). Will the cheapy be as reliable? On the whole no but specifically probably. Mechanical devices are another matter GIGO applies.

    Good luck with the reno YDog.

  2. Bangar-Knew you'd understand-you've probably been on both sides of this issue.

    Once we get the stuff, it should (knock on wood) go OK.