Customer Service in 2011

Here is one for the record books.   My parents purchased new dishes for us as a Christmas gift.  This was wonderful for several reasons.  First, I have never had "nice" dishes, just plain old white or whatever I found at reasonable cost. Second, these matched my kitchen and we got service for 16, that meant no mix-n-match at large family dinners. After 11+ years of marriage, we had a nice table setting! Yay! 

The dishes were several hundred dollars.  I loved them-- until, after a month's use, the developed strange spiral cracks in the plates underneath the glazing. I believe this was due to faulty firing, as the dishes themselves were not cracked, just the pottery under the clear glazing. Or, perhaps it was the clear glazing itself,  as there is a ridge to them now.   In any event, they look dirty and awful. 

I am bitterly disappointed. I am certainly not able to get a new set any time soon.

I called Customer Service about this. I was told to return the dishes. By mail. 
Now these dishes came carefully wrapped and sent via freight (truck) not UPS. Two sets of 32 dishes weigh a ton!  I did not think it fair for me to pay to return this.  Also, what was I supposed to use for plates while waiting for this return?  I was also told that I could not return them to the store, as they were on online item only.  

The customer service rep said she would ask for a factory replacement, while I retained the current plates, but it could take weeks.  I have heard nothing since then.

In my frustration, I wrote a complaint on the customer review section of the store website... right under the dishes... I advised other consumers not to purchase.

Tonight, I received and email from a (plate manufacturer) representative offering to replace one set.  Apparently, the store monitors customer comments and he was put on the task to resolve this!   I wrote back explaining it was two sets, not one. And further, that I was hesitant to receive the same set.  I am hopeful he will replace all the dishes with an alternate choice. 

I am amazed. Amazed that in this modern world-- my small paragraph written on a review could muster a corporate response and an offer for mediation.   

I do believe companies are changing the way they market to us, as well as changing how they track customer satisfaction. 

I will keep you posted. 

This is what I am hopeful to receive in lieu of the damaged dinnerware:


I'm a MOM now

Today was one of those difficult days with the girls. They are getting older and being sisters, lots of bickering between them. It doesn't help when they are tired.  Madeline had a bit of an attitude, got in trouble, and ended up tearfully pouring her heart out for almost two hours. Which I listened to. Yes, I actually listened.

And what I learned is that I am not always a good listener.  She's getting older and I probably need to change my approach with her now.  She needs more privileges to balance out her greater responsibilities. And my dear oldest child is responsible- for which I need to give her more credit, more often.  

I am a nagger. I nag, nag, nag all of them. Because---- I find it is the only way to get anyone to do what they need to do. But, I learned tonight that's its not laziness, its not not-listening, it's not defiance I see. No, this child is really trying her best. And she is still just a child. With lots of homework, and piano, and other things going on (boys teasing her at school, poor baby), and an annoying baby brother, and a slightly more annoying younger-sister. And-- she is nearly 11, going on 20, and it's hard

I love her. God how I love her.  I am going to have to adjust to the fact that I have a blossoming young lady here and not a little girl anymore. That makes me a little sad, and a little happy, and makes me feel just like a Mom.  

I think I have taken that turn now with her. She gets older and she needs a "Mom" and not a "Mommy" if that makes any sense. Alex still needs a "Mommy".  So I find myself with one leg in each of two worlds and it's a difficult balance.   

Where the little one still needs cuddling and bedtime stories... the older one needs time to talk, and be listened to.  I had to tell her tonight that I don't have all the answers like I did when she was little, but it was my job to help her find the answers and to guide her through. 

I never knew there was a growth and learning curve to being a parent. As they age and change, so must we.  So be it.  I guess that now that I'm a MOM, I can wear sneakers everyday and get myself some of those elastic-waisted "mom jeans"?  Good grief, not yet.........  (I have to remind myself I said, Mom, not Grand-Mom.  But I guess someday will come when I will find myself embracing those changes too.)   

Time and generations march on. Parenting is the toughest job you'll ever love!