Attention: This post has been updated to reflect new information regarding the errand service who attempted to scam me. The new information is at the bottom of this post.
Where, oh where to begin. Ripped off, nearly scammed, bought a new mattress, and almost lost it on the way home. Sounds like the type of movie they’d air on Lifetime.
After my fall in St. Thomas, my back and shoulder were injured. The L3 and L4 vertebae, or rather, the discs in between them, were toast, and I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with my shoulder. Awaking from the mattress I purchased some months ago left me in excruciating pain. When I would walk, the nerve running down the lower left of my back into my though would cause muscle spams, walking felt like I was being electrocuted. Anytime I tried to move or rotate my shoulder more than 90 degrees, the pain was horrendous. I could feel a muscle or tendon clicking as it moved over bone. Sitting, as I do working from home was equally painful. I could never find a comfortable position, and utilizing a keyboard or mouse only made things worse.
Fast forward a few weeks, I see my Doctor, Orthopedics, a Physical Therapist and have a MRI. Turns out I have a mild back injury which will require physical therapy, and mild tendonopathy of the something or other in my shoulder, which *may* require surgery. Lucky me! /sarcasm
During consultations with my various healthcare providers, they all recommended I purchase as firm mattress. Great, I thought. I just bought that nice (somewhat expensive) soft and cushy bed a few months ago, now I have to go through this all over again.
After the anxiety settled, I knew what I would do. I’d buy a mattress from IKEA. If you recall from Part 1 of the now “series” of mattress posts, I was originally going to buy a IKEA mattress but decided against it due to lack of available information on product quality, reliability, and longevity. However, with having to buy a new mattress less than one year from a previous purchase, cost was the number one concern.
We visited the IKEA in Orlando once more, just to lay upon their various mattresses. Unable to make up my mind, I decided to sit on it and not rush into a decision.
I had a good idea of what I wanted, a combination bed as depicted below. All natural materials, it looked like a dream bed in which to sleep. Of course, I had never tried it in person!. As of this writing, this item, or at least, parts of it, are no longer available.
This particular bed included the legs, as you see, a foundation, headboard, mattress, and topper. This is where the problems with this bed begin.
You see, the headboard was the problem. Our Orlando IKEA had everything else in stock, but only 1 of the headboard. Being the crafty person I am, I contacted a company in Orlando who specializes in personal shopping services.
Top Notch Errand and Concierge Service
Little did I know, I was making a mistake by engaging in such a transaction with this company!
I contacted Michael, the owner of the company on the morning of April 6 to inquire about the possibility of him (or his staff) driving to the IKEA, purchasing this item on my behalf, and allowing me to meet them somewhere to pick it up later in the day, or week if they prefer. They agreed, and I authorized a charge for $379.75 to my credit card. This charge included their “gas fee” + “errand fee” + the cost of item and sales tax. Later that day, they iMessaged me to advise they did in fact have the item. I was quite relieved. Unfortunately though, they wouldn’t be able to meet me until the next day.
My personal vehicle would not have had enough room to transport the headboard back home. After all, it is a king size headboard and quite tall (or long, if you prefer). So, we would need to rent a car. I didn’t have the intentions to buy the mattress combination bed (shown above) on this same journey as I wasn’t sure I could swing it, financially. So, we didn’t rent a truck. Just a Chevrolet Suburban, fun drive I must say!
On arriving to IKEA, I spoke with their very helpful furniture team in the bed/mattress area who informed me the mattress I was looking at wasn’t entirely compatible with the headboard, nor was the foundation on which the mattress would sit. It would work if I drilled the holes myself, but that would void the warranties on the foundation pieces. So, I decided against it. The guy from Top Notch had already texted me earlier in the day to confirm I was coming down to Orlando and let him know where we’d want to meet him. So after texting the guy from Top Notch that we’d like to meet at the IKEA in Orlando, he says great, I’m next door getting something at J. Crew for a client. The Mall at Millenia is literally adjacent to the IKEA as you can see from the map to the right.
It is in this text message conversation Michael, the owner of Top Notch Errand and Concierge Services decided to tell me about my payment, and how it “didn’t clear” his account. Exactly what he meant at the time puzzled me. I knew my credit card wasn’t declined as there was a pending charge for the $379.75 on my credit card statement. Later, it dawned on me, he was waiting for the transaction to move from “pending” to “posted”, meaning he gets the money in his account.
Never in my life have I done business with a company who practices this. When you go to a restaurant and pay with a card, whether it’s debit or credit, doesn’t matter, it’s still a PIN-less transaction, do they make you sit there, in their restaurant, while the money from your bank account transfers to their account? This can sometimes take 2-3 days for transactions to move from pending to posted.
When you go to Wal-Mart and use a credit card, they let you leave the store with your items, right? They don’t hold you hostage in some room until the money is transferred and the transaction moves from “pending” to “posted”, right?
Apparently this guys business does practice exactly that. And it seems, on this Tuesday evening, he wasn’t going to release the headboard to me. You see, I was just going to return the headboard and use the gift card towards the purchase of the mattress, bed legs, and the foundations needed at a later time. I wasn’t trying to scam him at all. I thought it was nice of him to buy the item, not having met me before, and attempt to meet with me, but to deny me the item because of some unique (and I must say – silly) policy of not allowing his customers to have the goods he purchases for them, on their behalf, is absurd.
He offered to return the IKEA headboard himself, and later, refund the $319.50 to my card. The remaining $60.25 was his gas and errand fee charges.
While I won’t get into the specifics of what this guy did, I will say this:
- He asked me to come down Tuesday April 7, as he was too busy to meet me on April 6th, after they had acquired the headboard.
- He had to have known that morning, April 7th, that my payment didn’t “clear” and should have told me, I would have waited a few more days, no problem.
- But, instead, he waited until I was already in Orlando, had already rented a car, just to bring the headboard home, to tell me this.
- After one week, I didn’t see the $319.50 on my card, so I disputed the charge. Magically, a $319.50 refund came thru, and the rest is still in dispute. I’ve lost the first round of dispute, but I have filed again, and this time I have sent the messages this business and I have had over iMessage. Below, you can read them yourself if you are curious.
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If you are a potential client of TECS, or Top Notch Concierge Service, you should know about their payment policies, as they won’t tell you over the phone. If you are a little old lady, or someone who is home bound, and ring them for bread, eggs, and milk, note – they will withhold these items from you until your (probably less than) $20.00 payment is actually in their hands, not in bank transfer limbo (like every other merchant on Earth).
At this point, you may be wondering, which IKEA mattress did you get? Did you replace the headboard?
Yes, and Yes!
After purchasing a nice and rather pricey mattress just a few months ago, I wasn’t immensely pleased about doing it again. Cost was the main concern. Fortunately, IKEA isn’t the most expensive case goods store on Earth.
We selected the Sultan Holmsta, in a King, and the two 1/2 king foundations to go with it. So far, I’ve been quite pleased with this mattress. It was quite firm at first, but it is easing up on us. I’m half tempted to add a Latex topper, but I’m giving it some more time.
IKEA has an excellent warranty on their beds and it makes the cost of this mattress. I figure, if I file a warranty claim 3 times, I’ve broken even on the cost of the bed I purchased a few months ago. Or, if they deny a warranty claim, I’m not out a lot of money.
Before you read on to see my fabulous home-made headboard, let’s tell the tale of how the mattress and it’s accessories made it home over a 6-7 hour journey, 90% of which took place going less than 40 mph.
Fortunately, I rented that huge Chevy Suburban (so the headboard I was supposed to pick up would fit inside), and it had the roof space for a King version of the IKEA Holmsta bead, an enough interior space for the 2 – 1/2 king pieces counterparts. Tying the bed to the roof of the car was the trick. It took just over 1.5 hours in the parking lot of IKEA, and more twine than there is fiber optics crossing the ocean for intercontinental communications, plus a trip to Wal-Mart for ratchet straps and some more rope.
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As for the headboard. I made my own 🙂
I was seeing a massage therapist as part of my physical therapy and we happened to engage in a conversation about mattresses and bed sheets, which inevitably led to him telling me how he was going to make his own headboard.
Essentially, you take a 8 foot by 4 foot board, plywood, I acquired mine with both sides sanded. I bought enough polyester batting for 8 layers. And of course, the fabric. Total cost? Under $140.00. If I bought this in a store like Crate & Barrel, or Pier 1, it would easily cost $500-$600 bucks.
Finished product below:
Update: 8/3/2015: Top Notch Concierge Services seems to have gone through a variety of renames, including TECS, and now, Orlando Errand Service. Their Facebook page has been removed from the internet, no doubt an attempt to stifile unhappy customers from publicizing their experiences. Their website now redirects to Orlando Errand Service. Do not be fooled! These are the same people who attempted to scam me and made off with a small pittance of “service fees”. Don’t do business with them, you’ll regret it!