12.28.2010

Wow.

Are you ready to hear about how Porcher made our great sink debacle up to us?

Last week I mentioned how floored I was when I found out how Porcher was making it up to us after they heard the headache we endured with their sink. Here's how it went down in a longish story, but I wanted to give you all the exciting details!:

I drafted an angry letter about 10 days ago to send off to many representatives at Porcher and American Standard (who owns Porcher). Unable to find out exactly who at Porcher I should mail it to, I called the showroom we bought it from. Our amazing sales lady Gretchen over at Style Bath and Kitchen here in Oakland remembered me and was sad to hear about our towel bar problem (to add to all the other sink problems). She promised to contact Porcher and see who we should get in contact with.

The next day (Friday the 17th) while I was at work I got a message from her saying Porcher is aware of the problem and they're getting people on it. Hmmm, what does that mean? I hoped someone did indeed get on it.

Monday the 20th rolls around and an email pops up in my inbox from the Director of Design and Branding at American Standard. Whoa. He says he wants to help. Busy at work I put off responding. In the afternoon I get another email from him, this time with his office number to contact him when I get the chance. When I had a free moment at work it was already too late in the day (they're on the East Coast) and so I figured I contact him the next day.

Tuesday morning finds me delivering holiday goodie baskets for my brother to his tennants (he's in commercial real estate) in Walnut Creek when I get a phone call from an unfamiliar number. When I get back in my car I check my voicemail and it's Mr. Design and Branding (Mr. DaB) who is amazingly appologetic and asks me to call him. Popping in my hand's free while I drive to my "real job" I call him back. He is SO nice and appologetic. I spend the first 5 minutes of the conversation with my jaw dropped. I remember the words "this is unacceptable" , "I am so so sorry" , "we stand behind our products and are ashamed this happened" , "this problem has gone on far too long" and other absolutely wonderful things being said by him. How can you be mad when someone volunteers to admit how poorly their company fucked up? I was amazed.

He went on to ask what they could do to help us. I suggested the most cost-effective thing was to just send smaller grommets. But halfway through mentioning that he said, "I don't care what is most cost effective or easiest, I want to give you a product that is right and you are happy with." Well that just made me so happy again. After much conversation we decided on trying to get smaller grommets and then if that didn't work they would hire a tiler to come out and try to bore bigger holes in the sink to fit the original grommets in. If that didn't work, they would remove the sink, repair/replace any damaged tile and install a new, towel-bar-fitting sink. All at their cost. And he would ship the sink the next day to have it waiting in case of any problems. Holy crap in my pants.

Just when I was getting over the shock of his generosity he asked, "How is your kitchen going, do you need a new faucet?" (I had mentioned in passing that we were redoing our whole house bit by bit.) I laughed and said, "Well, our kitchen is finished, so could I take up your offer on a faucet for our second bathroom?" (I felt guilty asking to switch out the complimentary kitchen faucet for a bathroom one, but hey, he was offering.) He insisted that we take a faucet for the bathroom and told me to look on the website with Chris and send him some pictures of the bathroom so he could see what kind of style it was and offer some suggestions (the man is the Director of Design at American Standard afterall!)

And just because the universe likes to entertain me, Mr. DaB then asked if we wanted a toilet upgrade too! I was speechless. I sort of stammered and said that we actually had an American Standard toilet already installed and that we were very happy with it. He said, "Well, the [can't remember the name] toilet is designed to go with the sink you purchased, so if you were interested in an upgrade that would be the one to go with." I fumbled over my words in amazement.

I ended the conversation thanking him so much for his generosity and letting him know that customer service is extemely important to me (I would gladly pay more for an item if a company's customer service is top notch) and so I was thankful for his effort and sincerity; that our debacle with the sink did totally suck and frustrate us but it was really good of him to admit the mistake and get right on track solving it.

Chris and I talked that night. He had gotten the towel bar installed by shaving down the grommets. The bar was a little wonky but with some silicone we got it fixed in well. We thought about having the holes drilled so the new grommets "really" fit, but we figured that since the bathroom was so close to being done, we really didn't want to deal with the possible construction getting a new sink would entail. Despite how amazingly nice it was of them to offer.

Wednesday morning I called up Mr. DaB and relayed the decision of just sticking with the now installed towel bar sink. Mr. DaB insisted that he didn't want us to settle and that it was really important to him that our sink operate properly. I reiterated that we were totally fine with the sink now that Chris had gotten the towel bar in, but that if we did encounter any other problems down the line we'd take him up on his new sink offer. With that, I let him know that he didn't have to worry about shipping the sink. Surprise again, "We shipped the sink this morning already, so please feel free to use it however you like." FREE SINK!?! Helllloooo back bathroom.

Then he asked if I'd had a chance to look at faucets with Chris. OF COURSE! I let him know we liked the Jado Hateras faucet, but saw online that it was out of stock in oil-rubbed bronze

He said he'd try to see what he could do. I let him know, "We like cross handles, water to spout from higher up and oil rubbed bronze finishes. If the Hateras isn't available, feel free to pick out what faucet you think would work for us." Amazed at getting a free sink and faucet I didn't dare bring up the idea of the free toilet. He was being so nice I didn't want to take advantage of his generosity.

The next morning another email from Mr. DaB popped up in my inbox. In it contained the goodies we'd be receiving: not only the faucet, but also a toilet paper holder, hand towel holder, bath towel holder, and a robe hook. HOLY SHIT! I fired off a quick response thank thank thanking him, but he had already left for the Christmas holiday and wouldn't be back till January 4th (as his Out of Office reply told me).

I was shocked. I forwarded the email to Chris and we expressed to each other our bewilderment at such great customer service and all that he had done to ensure that we were happy. He truly went above and beyond the call of duty. Honestly, just having him admit that they made a mistake and were sorry would have been enough for me, but getting a free sink and lots of bathroom accesories was icing, ice cream, whip cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles and a cherry on top.

I put off letting you guys know because I wanted to show you the goodies! Yesterday when I got home there was a pile of bathroom accesories, and today was a big, huge box that had the sink and TWO towel bars in case there were any problems


(insert many squeels of excitement)

After the amazingly annoying headache of a 3 months late arriving sink, one that was sent broken and a towel bar that didn't fit I am so thankful for what Porcher and American Standard (and Jado, another brand of theirs) did to make it up to us. We are so thankful and so happy for American Standard's generosity. Before, I wouldn't have recommended them to anyone, but now, I am so pleased with how on top of things they were the second they found out what was wrong that I would recommend them in a second.

I called Gretchen to thank her as well for all she did to help. She said that apparently the CEO got involved when he heard what happened, that she had never seen someone so high up take such responsibility and make sure a customer was happy, and that they resolved the issue super fast (4 days later, but really only 1 day after Mr. DaB got my phone number), especially considering it's the holidays.

And now, because we have all these amazing goodies...we've decided to move up the back bathroom reno! We were originally going to work on it down the line, but how could we let those splendid items sit, lonely and unused in the front room? They want to be in the bathroom! I guess it's more rotten floors to repair and tiling to be done! And, because we're sick and twisted, we're actually considering chair rail height subway tile again...maybe even higher than chair rail...

Thank you Porcher, Jado and American Standard!!!!!!

6 comments:

aptpupil said...

great to see a company step up and make it right. it's increasingly rare these days so i'm officially an american standard, porcher, jado customer for life.

Gene said...

that's awesome. and as aptpupil says, increasingly rare, alas.

Erika said...

I am so impressed with you for taking action and for the company for making it beyond right. Thanks for sharing this storing. Home renovations have so many headaches - the good stories need telling, too.

Best wishes for continued success in your renovations!

Happy New Year!

meryl rose said...

It is so unfortunate that it is becoming increasingly rare :( but amazingly great when a company really steps it up.

Thanks so much for your support Erika! I sort of have a habit of saying I'll do something, but then..sort of...not getting around to it ;) so in my initial frustration after the towel bar fiasco in a bout of anger I declared "I'm going to write them a letter!" Chris said, "well why don't you?" And I dropped my work right there and wrote it. I'm super relieved with how everything turned out. Phew! They really impressed us!

threeacres said...

Awesome! We've been considering some American Standard products for our bathroom remodels next year so that's good to know.

Tamara said...

Sometimes it's a good and necessary thing to drop the f-bomb.

Nice work by you, and by this company.