No, No, That’s Not OUR Fault

I think most of you know I am an interior designer by trade. I love my job and have worked in the architecture and design field for more than twenty-five years now. I mean, I get paid to help make the world more beautiful – could a better job exist?

I will share, however, that I came to the interior design game long after it had been “created” – and whomever created it, well I am sure they are long deceased but, if they weren’t, I would hunt them down and kill them myself… You see, much as I love the discipline of interior design, it is the BIGGEST pass-the-buck business ever created. Let me share with you a situation my firm is faced with at the moment.

We selected a spectacular console for a client – I’ll spare you all the details but it is magnificent. And big. And heavy. And expensive. So, as is the “norm” in our industry, we elected to have the piece shipped to a receiving warehouse who is tasked with receiving the piece, inspecting it and delivering it to the client. All of this service is well compensated-for, including a fuel-surcharge fee due to the “high cost of gas.” Anyway, as I said, this is how the interior design industry has largely handled these matters for decades. Fast forward to our account…

Less than an hour after the console had been delivered, our client called and mentioned that they felt the console was damaged – and supplied photos to support that claim. The console is damaged; I have subsequently inspected it myself and believe it suffered the damage while in transit. The receiving warehouse should have noted the damage upon delivery, or refused the piece. Anyhow, the console is now sitting at our client’s home, damaged, gazed upon by our unhappy client every day.

The delivery company says they did not see any damage, plus the client signed off on the delivery. They do not feel responsible.

The client says he did not inspect the piece with a microscope when it was delivered, assuming we would only use a reputable and responsible company to receive and deliver the piece – plus, I know for a fact he did NOT cause the damage. He does not feel responsible.

The manufacturer says they would have never shipped the piece with any damage so it must have occurred in transit, making it the trucking company’s responsibility. They do not feel responsible.

The trucking company says there were no notes regarding damage or concerns when the package was delivered to the receiver, plus it was “signed for” so – you guessed it – they do not feel responsible…

ResponsibilityThe truth is that my company only selected and purchased the piece on behalf of our client – we did not manufacture it, we did not package it, we did not transport it, we did not receive it, we did not inspect it, we did not deliver it. We had NO contact with it any point along its path. You know who is absolutely NOT responsible for that damage? My company. But – know who will get screwed and wind up paying to repair it and make everything right? My company. It infuriates me.

As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE most of my job but parts of it I truly hate. This scenario is one of “those parts.” I’m not sure when it became necessary for everyone to shun responsibility but it makes me sad. And I am sure that mine is not the only discipline that suffers from what I term the “not-my-faults.” I mean, the last time I had a minor surgery, I swear I had to sign more papers than when I bought a house. The papers “…absolved the doctor and medical institution of any possible future legal actions should my procedure be less than 100% successful.” (I was having a hernia repaired). The whole state of the world makes me sad sometimes…

Oh well, in the meantime, if anyone knows how to correct rub marks in faux metal resin, I’d appreciate it if you let me know ASAP. Thanks!

2 responses to “No, No, That’s Not OUR Fault

  1. omg Tim this reminds me of a incident that happened to me at work also lately you know when you get one of those guests lol nothing makes them happy well to cut a long story short he posted a bad review online and that pissed me off because we could do nothing about what he was complain about we informed him to turn down the control on the ice box. I noticed he also passed a bad review online about our local Texas Road House, music too loud food awful etc etc etc well I have eaten there many times and the food was always good case of you get a genuine complaint and everybody passes the buck and I get complaints that is out of our control you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

  2. Oh I hear you. What seems to work is building a good relationship with your supplier and logisitcs team. If the relationship is good and they value your business, they are much more likely to solve problems in an honest and reasonable manner. I’d inform the transport people that if they don’t accept responsibility they will lose your business.

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