|Paradise - 99% of the time!|
We seldom “bitch” about anything in this blog, preferring instead to keep it upbeat and positive, but this week Home Depot Cancun pushed all of our buttons; the Frustrated Button, the Annoyed Button, and the dreaded Crabby Button.
We have four ceiling fans in our house, one in each bedroom, and two on the downstairs floor that have been working just fine for the last seven years but were getting to the end of their usefulness. Rust, corrosion, and squeaky motors: it was time to replace them all.
|The store we love to hate.|
The fans were a decent price, dark brown fake palm leaf-shaped blades, exterior quality so they should last for quite awhile, well, until at least one week before ten-year warranty expires that is.
When we got back to the island we called Patricio, our friend who built our home seven years ago, asking him if his electricians could install the fans. Jose, Benito, and a new trainee Juan were at our house within a few minutes. Within an hour or so the guys had all four fans installed, but only three worked. Jose tested all the circuits and connections still nothing happening with the fourth fan. I said no worries, just take it down and put it back in the box. I'll return it to Home Depot tomorrow.
|Three fans installed and working just great.|
I nodded and laughed in that polite not-quite-understanding-way that everyone uses now and again when you have absolutely no idea what the other person saying.
The following day we headed back to Cancun to exchange the fan.
Got the original receipt? Check. Fan and all the original parts? Check. Original box? Check. Okay, good to go. We will just pop in and exchange it for an identical one. Easy.
At the Home Depot return counter we explained in Spanglish that the fan was not operating, and we would like to exchange it for a new one. Lawrie went ahead into the store to make sure they had more in stock. He loaded one into a cart and returned to wait patiently with me at the returns counter.
|Hanging out at the returns counter - waiting, waiting.|
She could tell just by poking and prodding at the various little bags that we hadn't secretly held back any of the parts; that we didn't keep any of the 16 pieces of part AA Blade attachment hardware, or the 3 of part BB wire connecting nuts, or the 5 of part G Blade bracket screws, or the 1 EE a balancing kit, or even the 1 HH pull chain. What an amazing memory she must have.
Another clerk was paged and everyone repeated the process; look at us, the receipt, the box, poke at the parts, and look at us again. Nothing had been said up to this point by any of the staff members.
|The parts list|
These are the same security guards who are located ten feet from the cashiers, and consistently check every bag, box and item before stamping the receipt and allowing the customer to exit the store.
We are still waiting at the returns desk and a third clerk is paged. Same routine. Still no one is saying anything. We are now hitting the thirty-minute mark. I asked if there was a problem. No answer, instead a fourth clerk is called via a portable radio. He explains that since I had already been back to the store to return a fan I must have another receipt, that the one I had presented to them was incorrect.
Really? We purchased the fans two days previously. We live on Isla Mujeres. We have not been back to Cancun, or Home Depot to exchange any fans until today. This is the original receipt. All we want to do is exchange one non-working fan for a hopefully working fan. (Can you tell, my Crabby Button has just been pushed?)
The four clerks exchange knowing glances: “Whoa, Crabby Person! Better call in the big boss.” The department head is paged. He tests the motor to be sure that we aren't lying. It will work - if he pushes it with his fingers - but will not start on its own. No problem. He nods, and tells them to go ahead and do the exchange. He then repackages the defunct item and places it back on the shelf with the other fans that are for sale. Problem solved.
|Headed home to Isla|
That's when we read the 10-year warranty fine print: the warranty document must be stamped and signed at the time of purchase at the store where the product was sold.
Are you kidding me? We were supposed to open the box at the store, read the warranty document, get it stamped and signed before we left the store!
It is very common. We marvel at our Mexican friends who nonchalantly accept indifferent treatment boarding on rudeness.
They just shrug their shoulders and laugh: It's Mexico.
So, we take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine and sit on our ocean side patio.
This is the real reason we live in Mexico. We enjoy the climate, we enjoy our island and our waterfront casa, and we truly do enjoy the Mexican culture – most of the time.
|Paradise - reclaimed!|
Oh, and did we mention the new fan squeaks like a rat caught in a trap? Sigh, looks like we will be visiting our “favourite” store again: Home Depot in Cancun.
Lynda & Lawrie