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Costco.ca delivery woes

I received a delivery just now that seemed somewhat surreal.  A couple of weeks ago I ordered a desk set from Costco for the new home office.  It’s a good price and looks to be decent furniture so I went for it.

Today we get a call from trucking company called Robert Transport (I know the company because my neighbour actually works there).  Odd that they would be calling us, given that they tend to do long-haul freight and commercial freight.  The person on the other end of the phone wanted to know where the loading dock and forklift were because the driver was on his way with an 850lb delivery.  WTF?  Okay, well let’s play along with this one…

Obviously the answer was that no, we didn’t have a loading dock nor a forklift.  When challenged as to how they were expected to get an 850lb package off of a transport truck and into my house, Jodie politely informed them that this was not our problem and that someone at Costco obviously screwed up in a big way.  We agreed with the person on the other end of the phone that if the desk came in smaller pieces that I could probably help the driver unload them.  Good day.

The next phone call was from the driver, who had just dropped off a load at Zellers and was confused as to how he was going to get a 53′ tractor trailer into our neighbourhood.  You see, our house is on a cosy little crescent buried deep within a residential neighbourhood.  It’s the kind of place that is hot real estate because it’s on a street that is unlikely to get much traffic at all.  This serves up a challenge for our driver, who sounds understandable reluctant.  Together we work out the route with the easiest turns and he heads our way.

I ran outside and moved the cars into my neighbour’s driveway and wait patiently for the truck to arrive.  The first evidence of the truck’s approaching was the sound of limbs snapping as the truck drove down the street.  The truck is apparently a few feet taller than anything that had ever been down our street and it left a trail of twigs, branches, and newly budding leaves in its wake.  The truck stops on the street opposite my driveway, and the driver hops out shaking his head in disbelief.  We chat, we commiserate at how stupid this is, and we decide that we’re going to get along.  He’s a nice guy.

He swings the door open revealing a massive empty space the size of which I’ve never seen towed behind a vehicle; at the very far end of that empty space sits a large palette shrink-wrapped with about ten large boxes all bundled together.  We exchange glances that say “We’re so screwed” and then get to work.  We slash apart the shrinkwrap and carry the boxes to the edge of the truck.  These boxes are heavy, and the packaging delighfully announces that when carrying, two is better (but clearly two is the minimum for unloading these bad boys).  Jodie grabs the neighbour’s spare key and steals his dolly from the garage so that we have something to help us from road to garage.  Of all of this work, the biggest pain (literally) is getting the awkward boxes down from the four-foot trailer bed onto the cart.  My back is killing me.  One of the very last boxes off the truck had been damaged, not by me, but I took delivery anyways mostly because I didn’t want to have to load it all up again.

The truck pulls away from the house, with the gleeful snapping of twigs trimming the other half of the street and dropping wood onto the road and I am left here staring at this pile of boxes in my garage.  The next step is to get all of these boxes over to the new house using nothing but a minivan, any volunteers?

I sent a complaint along to costco, I’m really hoping that they pay attention and give me some sort of reasonable response.  This experience has soured me from ever shopping on their website again and if their response is anything but apologetic I’ll be tearing up my store membership as well.


Categories: Front Page
  1. Jason Tsang [MVP]
    May 23, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    Don’t tear up your membership. Get a membership refund.
    You can get your money back.

  2. kinch
    May 26, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    Great story Peter, you tell it well! Reminds me of when home depot brought some wood to our cottage — the long line of destruction you describe is very familiar. Thankfully, they brought a forklift 🙂

  3. Dan
    October 24, 2006 at 2:51 pm

    We ordered a 6 piece King size bedroom suite about 8 weeks ago, delivered with the Costco “white glove service”. Every piece was damaged…and try getting them to come back to pick the stuff again after its been delivered…then the 6 to 8 weeks for a refund.

  4. Olivier
    November 10, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Hehe, I drive for Robert Transport but on the u.s side. Do you know that the story that you have lived is a regular occurance for me? I deliver LTL freight in the u.s and I deliver pretty often furniture in home because the shipper don’t know where he send is stuf?!? Bah, I live with it, no choice, but there’s a lot of trees that would yell at me if they could lol

  5. Barry
    January 9, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    I tried to order a leather living room set online, it was suppose to be 3-4 weeks. I finally had to cancel after 8 weeks & many calls to Costco, I never got any help when I called the 1-800 #. I will never order online again.

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