# Fuzzy Math

I called an upholstery cleaning company, Coit, who shall remain nameless, and asked, roughly, what it might cost to clean two love seats.
"Seventy-five dollars each, but this month we're having a 40% discount," said the nice lady.
"Send 'em over," I replied.
Tech comes in the next day, looks at the furniture, strokes his chin, and sits down with a calculator (I should have know that was a bad sign).
Eventual estimate, after carrying the three, came out thusly:
\$75 + \$75 - 0.40 x (\$150) = \$200.36
I cursed him like a red-headed step-child and escorted him from the building.
FOLLOW UP--- I called the company, COIT, who shall still remain nameless, and politely inquired: "Good afternoon. I am a dissatisfied prospective customer. May I speak to whomever handles complaints?"
"The manager and supervisor are out of the office for a training session. I can transfer you to their voice mail," was the official response.
"Hmm. Now I have two complaints," said I. "I'll try again tomorrow."
Continuing...
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I guess it would have been too easy to just tell him that the price should be \$90 plus tax, if any?

And what exactly is the objective at this point? If they are too dumb and or lacking in customer service, why not just find another company?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I did. \$118.00. Total.
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Why? While some people are able to do that type of math in their head, why is it a "bad sign" when the estimator pulls out a calculator?
The guy cleans furniture for a living - and I say that with all due respect to a hopefully hard working guy. Odds are he doesn't have a degree in mathematics.
I work with numbers all day and I'd be lost without my calculator.

OK, so this might be a silly question, but why didn't you simply point out the math error to the tech? If at that point he was still confused, he could have called his office for verification.
What did you gain by cursing him like a red-headed step-child and escorting him from the building?

Why? Because no one was sitting around waiting for you to blow in an employee for a math error?

Now that's a shame.
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I'm not sure what the problem is here. This is the same math that Nobama's been using for the last 3+ years.
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On 6/19/2012 10:20 AM, rlz wrote:

Yup, one of his secrets as to how unemployment has gone down ;)
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You are right. And, that explains a lot.
I'm not sure what the problem is here. This is the same math that Nobama's been using for the last 3+ years.
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Huh? Business Administration 101 emphasizes that an enterprise must ALWAYS handle complaints expeditiously. That the company was unable to even acknowledge the misunderstanding (at a minimum) simple ups the righteous indignation level.
It may turn out, that because of this thread, thousands upon thousands of potential customers are lost to Coit (who shall remain nameless).
But you raise a good point. I wasn't cursing him for a math error, I was dismayed that MY calculation of \$90 was nowhere close to their final offer of \$200.
I am not the sort of person who falls for the "Invisible Rust Protection Coating" on a new car either.
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Huh?...right back at you. The only thing that you posted was that the rep who answered the phone offered to put you through to the manager's and a supervisor's voice mail. If what you said that you said is true, i.e. that you politely asked to speak to whoever handles complaints, the rep did the correct thing: (S)he told you that the person(s) were not available and offered to put you through to their voicemail.
Where's the lack of acknowledgment of the misunderstanding? If you've left the rest of that conversation out of your post and you were actually treated badly by the person you spoke to, then don't "Huh?" me because there is no way any I or anyone else reading this thread could have known that. For all we know, you spoke to a receptionist who is not responsible for dealing with complaints but who *is* responsible for getting you to the right person, which, according to you, (s)he tried to do. (S)he in fact did acknowledge your situation by trying to get you directly into the proper person's voice mail so that you could explain the situation in your own words.
That's a lot better "acknowledgment" than simply saying "No one is available, call back later." or "Leave your name and number and I'll have someone call you."
The fact that you chose not to leave a voicemail with the person(s) that *you* asked for doesn't give you any right to be indignant.

Have you noticed how many people have not said a single thing about the company, but have only talked about how poorly *you* handled the situation?
It may turn out, that because of this thread, thousands upon thousands of potential readers will ignore the furture posts of HeyBub (who shan't remain nameless).

You were "dismayed" so you cursed out the guy and then got indignant with the person who answered the phone? Did you ever ask for an explanation of the estimate when the guy said \$200.36? If you did, you sure didn't mention that in your OP nor show any other numbers that would support that value. What you posted appears to nothing more than a math error.

How does that relate to this thread? Did the tech try to sell you something extra - something that you never mentioned in your OP - that caused the estimate to be higher? If so, how are we supposed to know that?
Go re-read you OP and see how silly you sound.
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I admire your position. Mine is that a human being should record the particulars at the first hint of trouble. Equivocating, putting me off, or shrugging off the issue to someone that's not there is, again in my view, unacceptable.

Agreed it wasn't her fault, and I was not unpleasant to her. She was only doing what she was told. It's the bosses' fault for not having an acceptable (to me) complaint procedure in place.

If I wanted to have a conversation with a machine, I'd have a chat with my refrigerator.

I've always known I'm one in a million...

Yep. Could happen.

I wasn't indignant to the 'phone person.
Sorry. He gave me an itemized list, reproduced below: * Clean - \$270.00 * Less 40% - -\$108.00 * Tax - \$13.36 * Service Charge - \$25.00 * Total - \$200.36 * Items cleaned at customer's risk - No Charge

I *DID* mention that he strongly suggested a ScotchGuard application. When I demurred, he fell back to a "less expensive but equivalent" Brand X poltice.

Good idea. Standby...
Hmm. My evaluation shows my posts to be the exemplars of clear, cogent, and convincing facts.
'Course I could be wrong...
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Yet further down in your response you state/admit that it wasn't her fault...she was only doing her job.
You had every opportunity to leave your message with the powers that be, yet instead you chose to get "indignant" and post your complaint here.

I wonder how many companies have someone sitting around waiting for your call.

Yet here you are having a conversation with a machine.

You weren't indignant *with* the phone person.

Do you see how much that information changes the entire conversation? Your OP makes no sense without it, which is why you've received so much flack.

Once again, go back an read your OP. No where did you mention anything related to what made up the \$200.36 estimate.

As far as what you claim is in your OP, you are.
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Right. It wasn't her fault and I didn't fault her. Somebody higher in the food chain told her to do what she did.

Yep.
Good question. For those that want my business, all of them.

Excellent observation.

You have punctured a gaping hole in my "amateur wordsmith" belief. You are a rascal.

Er, no, I don't.

Right. I still don't see how a detailed estimate changes anything, except, of course, for pedantic fuddy-duddies who somehow can't accept my claim of bait-and-switch.

I left out compelling and comprehensive. Does that change your view? And it's "...your claim..."
Of course I could be wrong about that, too.
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Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote:

Of course. Do you have a differing take?
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Malcom "Mal" Reynolds wrote:

You're correct. 'Course, being abnormal, I don't care whether anyone compliments me on my math skills.
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nor, apparently, if they get to hear your complaints
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Yep. You wanted some action taken but refused to do your part to initiate it. Did you expect a person unavailable at the time to suddently _become_ miraculously there?
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

Er, no. I expected someone to TAKE the complaint, that's all. I'm not sure that hope counted as "action."
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You were given the opportunity to leave a complaint, why didn't you? Just being a jerk is my guess.
Harry K
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