Thursday, January 19, 2017

McNichols -Truly The "Hole" Story......

I'm working on a new project- a really unique Custom Fireplace Screen for a home next to The Drake Hotel in Chicago's Gold Coast. 

The Architect (& his client) like the minimalism of Piet Mondrian's paintings- so the design of the Fireplace Screen's predicated on Mondrian's geometry.(see below)
Mondrian-esque Fireplace Screen Design
Of course- a Fireplace Screen- isn't a Fireplace Screen unless there's some "screen" involved...which in The Steel Industry is called-"Wire Cloth". Note, this please....for if you ever need to purchase any "mesh" or "screen"- you will not get what you want as easily if you specifically search for WIRECLOTH.
OK- Lesson in specifying is complete for today.

There used to be a plethora ($10.00-word meaning a whole bunch of sumpin') of WireCloth Distributors in and around Chicago. 
Sadly, one of my all-time favorite places to visit- F.P. Smith WireCloth is no more- they closed about 8 years ago- absorbed by a place I used to buy from called McNichols. Attentive readers will note I say- "used to buy from"- and if you know me, at all there's a reason for that....either poor customer-service, or a basic lack of respect from the Vendor, for accepting my hard earned dough in exchange for what they sell.....or smoother reason- in this case it was all of the above.

Now- I like Religion. I mean- as a inner-spiritual belief system, I'm all for any human "believing" in something- be it G_d, Budda, or Jesus or Mohammed or whatever- just like your snot and spit- keep it to yourself. So, when McNichols would send invoices with Scripture (from The New Testament- a knock-off of The Torah) and have a variety of Religious messages on their statements- I got annoyed.
Mentioning it to them, seemed to get me no-where.
Add in being treated as if my "small orders" didn't matter- making me wait- when I was told my materials would be cut wrapped and ready- left me feeling not so warm-and-fuzzy about these guys as a Vendor.
Which brings me to this past Tuesday in January.

I'd begun, by getting pricing via their website.
Seems easy enough- fill out the specifications > Wires per inch + wire diameter + material (Steel, Stainless, Copper, etc) and Square footage or size of the cut piece.
OK....waiting for a reply meant, that The Weekend + The Martin Luther King Holiday may delay my getting a Price Quote. Fair nuff. 
So, I call on Monday, anyway- and, they say "they have my Quote"?
That's nice that YOU DO- but how come I don't? 
So, after getting a Price-I chose to pass on the $ 28.00 Shipping charge- and asked to pick up my order from their suburban Chicago location.

OK- is the response- wait till tomorrow- after noon-and- your order will be ready for PICK-UP!

So- I drive the next day to their warehouse in the Chicago suburb of DesPlaines, on a road that's tough to get to- since they closed off the way own- from Route 83.
I pull up- where Id gone in the past to pick-up wire cloth for other Fireplace Screens, and, strangely- its dead.
No Trucks. No workers cars.
Looks like they closed up?
So- I call their 800# only to discover that they MOVED over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Funny- I never got that Memo.
Nor- did the order taker in Atlanta, GA.- think that I may need that information. 
So, now burnin'-up with the wasted time- 
I drove the 6 miles to their new spot in Elk Grove Village.
Went to Customer Service,  and was told she couldn't find my order.
Lots of waiting.
Finally- "Anna" comes out to tell me- Yes, they "have"my order- but- it's in PHOENIX ARIZONA- and in the Chicago location- they don't have what I want.
And- to make matters worse- don't offer me a viable substitute.

McNichols "new" warehouse in suburban Elk Grove Village,IL
So, my question is this- How Can a Vendor screw up any worse that these THREE errors in handling an order.......I'll tell ya- when I call top complain to a very nice Customer Service Manager @ McNichols- he agrees to supply my material for no charge- great.
Then, another person calls me- after I see that they've already "Charged" my Visa for the wire cloth- I didn't get to pick say- that the REFUND will take up to 14 Days!
So- if you are looking for a WireCloth Vendor- be sure- to do your best- NOT to use McNichols.

Over & Out.