October 28, 2016 by phicks2012
You’ve got to love the internet, because whether or not you love it the bloody thing touches everything we do. One of the problems is that we tend to trust it. If something is on the internet, a lot of people figure it just has to be true, right? I mean, how could they get away with publishing inaccurate information, huh? Well, until there’s a reliable Lie Detector App anyone with internet access can Tweet, Blog, or post anything they please, and it absolutely does NOT have to be true.
However, we tend to expect credible businesses to be accurate in what they post, and have a right to expect that. If we’re searching for a product on the web and are told it’s “in stock” in a local store branch, then it should bloody well be “in stock” after we drive nearly 20 miles to the store to get it. Right?
So, at the end of September we were preparing to start working on some exterior repairs at one of my rental units. Some of the siding above the brick was warped and needed to be replaced. Not all of it, mind you. There was no need to replace ALL of the siding. Just a few of the horizontal boards needed to be replaced, so we had to find siding similar in material, width, and thickness to what was already there. No problem! Just replace a few boards and repaint. No sweat! Yeah!
I went on-line and did some browsing, trying to find simple 8″ wide wooden siding — not vinyl, not concrete — WOODEN. Luckily, I found pretty much exactly what we needed at Lowes.com, and the web site verified that the nearest Lowe’s had 99 pieces (12′ Long) in stock, for only $6.98 a piece. Jason said it would work, so we drove 15+ miles in to the store to get it, planning to go immediately over to the rentals and start the work. Easy, right?
Wrong. The Aisle and Bay where the print-out told us the siding was located at my nearest local Lowe’s had vinyl and concrete, but no wood siding at all, and no one at Lowe’s was able to tell us where else it might be in the store. Their in-store computer said that they had 94 pieces still in stock, but it could not be found anywhere, and one employee swore that they did not carry wood siding at all. I’m not blaming the store employees., mind you, but what’s wrong with this picture?
So I went home and went on-line trying to get help, opened a “Chat Window”, and was basically told by the ubiquitous Chat-Guy that “sometimes the online inventory didn’t get updated” the way it was supposed to be, and that my only option was probably to order the materials on-line and have them delivered — to the store that was already supposed to have 90+ pieces of the stuff in stock. That’s what I wound up doing — trusting that it would be delivered (as promised) by 1:00pm the next day, and that they would then actually be able to find it.
I didn’t order as much as I actually needed though (I needed maybe 10 pieces pieces). Not a chance that I was going to risk ordering the max of something sight unseen that might not actually blend with the existing siding. Especially after having trusted the internet the first time around.
So, the next day we drove in AGAIN to pick up the siding. This time I got it, and it worked perfectly. We’re going to have to get more to finish up, but THIS time I know to order it on-line and have it delivered to the store for pickup rather than trusting what the internet says regarding what’s in stock. Live and learn, huh?
[Below: Repairs in progress Not yet quite finished, and not yet repainted)