Saturday, June 6
Let’s call this one “Sleepless in Sonora: Geezer tries to buy a mattress.”
Should be simple, right? Decide which mattress you want, then order it. A few days later a truck shows up, a crew lugs it to your bedroom, puts it on your frame, then takes the old one away. Mission accomplished.
Not this time. I reached the mattress company and was put on hold for 10 days. Then I was asked how I liked the experience.
The above paragraph sums up my dealings with an outfit called Avocado Green. Maybe the name alone should have raised suspicion. I know all about waterbeds, but guacamole??
Anyway, here’s how it happened:
My memory-foam mattress has over the years developed amnesia. It has taken a shape that is not mine. There’s a mountain in the middle and valleys on each side. I’ve flipped the mattress over a couple of times, and the same thing happens.
I wake up with a backache every morning.
So figured I’d switch from memory foam to inner spring. I pulled out a recent issue of Consumer Reports, and it put Avocado Green at the top of its list: AG’s mattresses are firm and got excellent CR ratings “for supporting people of many sizes and sleep styles.”
I went to the company’s Web site on May 26 and learned that its mattresses are natural, 100 percent organic, won a People Planet Award, are endorsed by chiropractors, and even come in a vegan version. (Not that I’m going to eat my mattress, but this is good to know).
Not only that, but an Avocado Green mattress is cheaper than a high-end memory foam number I have now. Still, I had a couple of questions. And I like talking to real rather than disembodied people.
So I said no thanks to the Web site’s “chat” option and left this phone message: “Want to order mattress: have questions.” The AG Web site responded that someone would call me back in “six to eight business days.”
I did a double take: You might do better calling the state unemployment office.
But I’m quarantined, and spending a few more days on my old mattress is not going to kill me (although it might hurt me). So the clock began to tick.
Do I sound curmudgeonly yet? Well,just wait.
On Thursday (nine days out), AG emailed me to say that “due to increased demand, it may take up to 8-10 business days for our support team to reply to your inquiry.”
OK, I shrugged. I’ve waited this long…
Then things got weird: A guy named Aaron W. (with tiny pic, but no last name), Friday emailed me with an opportunity:
“Hey Chris, I feel like you’d really benefit from our virtual retail experience. It’s a 30-minute Zoom conference where you’ll connect with someone who’s inside one of our retail locations. That way you can see the products and ask live questions!”
As you may have deducted by now, this sort of thing is not right up my alley.
“Rest assured,” Aaron continued, “you don’t have to have your camera on to engage with us, we want you to be comfortable.” Sorry, but even video anonymity didn’t convert me.
So when he asked me to click on “Avocado Virtual Experience,” I passed.
Aaron next suggested I go to “Santa Monica Experience Center!” to get a tour of Avocado Green’s “flagship location.”
I declined. I’ll wait for my call.
Then came the straw that broke this geezer’s back. A follow-up – labeled “Request #428725” – from Aaron. Whose title is “brand experience advocate.”
My first question: Does anybody want to grow up to be one of those?
“Hi Chris!” began his email, offering further assurance that the exclamation point is far from the English language’s endangered species list.
Aaron continued: “We would love to know what you thought of your experience with our team! We are always striving to do better and with your help we’ll get there! :)
I was asked to choose between 1.“Good. I’m satisfied” and 2.“Bad. I’m unsatisfied”
But I could not leave it at just that. I sent this email:
My experience with Avocado’s team??
I have had no experience. I have no interest in a Zoom conference, a virtual experience, or a tour of the Santa Monica Experience Center.
All I asked was a phone call, which I have not received.
I’m a senior (74) who lives in the Sierra foothills. I’m kind of old fashioned. Don’t like chats. Do like talking to human beings.
But for you folks at Avocado, this is apparently very problematic.
I called 10 days ago.
I had two questions that could have been answered in less than two minutes. Then I was going to put in my order.
But now this will not happen: I’ve decided to look for a mattress elsewhere.
Please do not call me.
OK, so now how do I rate on the get-off-my-lawn curmudgeon scale?
I thought so. But, hey, I’m sleeping better already.
I have, however, rethought slamming that door on Avocado Green: Aaron is probably a pretty nice guy doing a job that might not be fun. And here was I, peppering him with cheap shots from afar.
So if he is persistent enough to call, actually answers my questions (Do you deliver? Will you take my old mattress?) and gives me a reasonable price, I’ll likely forgive him.
But this comes with a caveat: If Aaron’s resulting thank-you contains as much as one exclamation point or happy face, the deal is off.