Posted in Rant

Get your own boxes!

The boxes were so heavy I could barely slide them in through the front door. I had to unpack and move each piece of the expandable metal table and chairs to the back patio and assemble them there. The chair and table lets were no problem. The box of hardware was only about five pounds. Doable. The table top was formidable, close to one hundred pounds. I put it on some old blankets and slid it through the house and out the back door. However, the charcoal-colored, powder-coated, rust-resistant outdoor furniture left behind an enormous pile of cardboard and styrofoam packing that I stacked in the garage to put out over several recycling days.

The arrangement looked nice when fully assembled and arranged on the patio beneath the shade umbrella. It was like adding another room onto the house for those days when we had all the family together.

Less than two weeks later, my wife announced, “It’s already rusting!” A few of the welds hadn’t been fully painted, exposing them to the usual humid Florida weather. But the product description specifically stated rust-resistant. Those were deliberately and carefully chosen words. But they didn’t call rust proof. It’s only rust resistant.

That didn’t sit well. My wife was immediately on the phone with the company’s (whose name rhymes with daycare) customer service. They were receptive, but wanted pictures. Fine; here are pictures of the rust spots. They were willing to make it right. What did we want?

After some discussion, we decided that a replacement would rust in the same way. So we asked for a refund. It shouldn’t be a problem. Returns and refunds are a way of life now.

Both the manufacturer and the distributor were willing to issue a refund. But they wanted us to repackage and ship it all back. Really? They were going to restock and resell this item? Did they really think we had saved all the boxes and styrofoam? When we mentioned that, they replied, “Get your own boxes!” Did they think we would be able to find boxes that big for repacking and shipping? Did they really think we remembered how it had all been packed up in China? Did they really think we would be able to load it in the back of the CR-V and drag it down to the local pack and ship guy?

Forget it. I metal brushed the small rust spots and sprayed them and other welds with a clear coat. If I keep an eye on it, I should be able to stay a step ahead of the rust. My wife then wrote a frank review for the product, adding hers to others who complained about rust spots.

Yeah, we’re going to think long and hard before buying anything else from this company.

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