|Isla Mujeres - "not really part of Mexico"|
Every once in a while you just have to laugh at the absurdity of “it’s the rules” that really large companies, the behemoths of consumerism, operate by.
Recently we decided to replace two eight-year-old appliances, a stacking washer/dryer and a small fridge, that were showing signs of age due to rust and corrosion.
(On the other hand our big GE Profile refrigerator has been replaced three times, and we finally got smarter and switched to an LG model without all the fancy electronics.)
|Isla Mujeres - I'm pretty sure we live in Mexico|
Lawrie had discovered Costco On-Line shopping with lower prices than the stores, better choices in brand names and best of all - direct delivery to your front door, anywhere in Mexico. Anywhere. A phone call to Costco confirmed that, yes they would be delighted to deliver to our front door on Isla Mujeres, at no extra cost.
Encouraged, Lawrie ordered the new Frigidaire washer/dryer combination, plus a Frigidaire wine fridge that would fit perfectly into the under-counter spot recently vacated by the demise of our third dishwasher. The dishwasher was not going to be replaced. We decided that for two people and two pets we sure as heck didn’t need another electronic-nightmare princess-of-a-dishwasher. I mean, really, how difficult can it be for our dog Sparky to clean a few plates, pots and pans? The utensils, well, that’s a bit more of a challenge because he has to be careful of the sharp knives and pointy forks, but he gets the job done.
|Bird of Paradise in paradise - Isla Mujeres|
I was excited about the new appliances. A new rust-free washer/dryer would be nice to have in hopes of preventing more rust stains on our clothes, but in my humble opinion the wine fridge was a necessity. Confirmation of our order came through on our email. We could expect delivery of said appliances in about twenty days.
A few weeks ticked past without any more information, then we happened to be shopping at the Cancun Costco store. We stopped at the customer service desk and they referred us to a very helpful English speaking employee. She checked the status of our order and pointed out that the invoice said: twenty working days, not twenty days. Saturdays and Sundays were considered non-working days.
|Looks like Mexico to me ....|
“Oh, okay, so that would be around November 5th?”
“Well, more likely around November 9th, because there was also the October 31st, November 1st and November 2nd national holidays to celebrate the Day of the Dead.”
“Perfecto! Thank you so much for the update.”
Then on November 3rd we received an email from Costco. The appliances were now on their way from the distribution center and would be delivered to our front door by Almex, a world-wide ginormous transportation company whose modernized company name is a shortened version of All-Mexico. Another week ticked past and still nothing, but the on-line status showed that the appliances are out for delivery and should arrive on Isla by November 16th. Okay, a little later than promised, but no big deal.
|Oh look, there's Cancun - in the real Mexico, I guess|
November 16th comes and goes, and once again we happen to be shopping in Cancun at Costco. The Store Manager gets involved this time along with two other very helpful employees.
They attempted to reach the Almex trucking company distribution center to find out what’s happening with our order. An hour and many minutes later on his cell phone the Store Manager finally gets through to a person at Almex.
The response: “We don’t deliver to Isla Mujeres, it’s not really part of Mexico.” Well that’s strange: our address says Isla Mujeres Quintana Roo Mexico, the islanders speak Spanish, and the local currency is Mexican pesos. Who knew we weren’t really living in Mexico?
Very patiently the Costco Store Manager explained to the Almex branch manager, “Yes, you do deliver to Isla Mujeres. It’s in your contact. It’s listed on our on-line webpage. You deliver to anywhere in Mexico.”
“No we don’t!”
Really, a trucking company giving Costco, another world-wide ginormous corporation, the proverbial finger? Wow!
Eventually the Store Manager fought his way through the maze of Almex personal to reach someone more important in the hierarchy who very grudgingly says yes, we will deliver to Isla Mujeres. The Costco manager told us the trucking company will call within an hour and arrange at date and time convenient for us.
Lawrie and I do a mental eye-roll, and chuckle to ourselves. Sure. Sure they’ll call.
|Yeah! Finally arrived - 7 weeks after ordering|
For the next few days we hang around the house, concerned about missing the delivery. By November 21st our patience is getting a bit thin. We would like to join our friends for Happy Hour, not be stuck at the house waiting. Lawrie sends off yet another email asking Costco On-line what is the status of our order. They in turn say that Costco Head Office has had a very up-close and personal conversation with Almex Head Office.
We will be getting our appliances delivered on Saturday November 28th. Guaranteed! Costco Head Office apologizes profusely for the delays.
Well, just when we thought it is never going to happen - it does. A day early. On Friday November 27th at 8:30 in the morning, when both Lawrie and I happened to be out – the appliances arrived!
|Thank goodness for strong friends - laundry centre 2nd floor|
Fortunately Lawrie was just next-door at his sister Linda’s casa and his brother-in-law Richard noticed the truck at our house. Whew! If we had missed the delivery I am pretty sure that Almex would have refused to try again. They would have been only too happy to give those pesky islanders, and Costco, the middle-finger-salute!
We have to say we are delighted with our purchases, especially the pretty 42-bottle wine fridge. The Costco staff went out of their way to help us out.
The Store Manager even called on the following Monday to make sure that we received our order and that we were happy with the new purchases. Yes, and yes.
|Mexican fisherman cleaning catch - and feeding bird|
Almex on the other hand might need a lesson in geography. Isla Mujeres really and truly is part of Mexico.
It would be interesting to hear from other islanders, or residents of Isla Cozumel or Isla Holbox if you have successfully had a large delivery from Costco On-line, or did Almex cause you some hair-pulling moments too?
It’s all part of the daily fun of living in paradise.
Lynda & Lawrie
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