6 May 2014

Took this week off, as we’d ordered an aluminum pergola for our patio which replaces an old dry rotted one crawling with termites. It’s scheduled to arrive today but already there’s a problem – the manufacture used suspicious math to determine tube spacing for the percent shading which was ordered. The math is pretty simple: I requested 50% shade. To most people, this means that, using 1.5″ tubes, there will be 1.5″ spacing between the tubes. Said another way, the 1.5″ tubes should be located on 3″ centers, only they aren’t. Per their mystery math, “50%” means 4.5″ of space between tubes. Using real-world math though, 1.5 / 4.5 = 33%, not 50%. Did they make an honest mistake, or have they been screwing customers for years figuring they wouldn’t notice? I wonder… because that little difference makes a $300 difference… in their favor.

I’ve gone back and forth with them, and at first, they tried using circular reasoning, “well, our website clearly shows that 50% shading is 1.5″ tubes on 4.5″ centers.” I agreed that yes, their site does say that, and it’s incorrect. I eventually got the sales guy to agree that 50% means half and half, half sun and half shade, so it’s getting escalated to the higher-ups. Oh, and he offered to send the additional tubes… at extra expense. I think I have them cornered – legally – because they made me sign off on the plans – which specify 50% shade. Unfortunately, actually getting them to ship the tubes at their expense could be a different story. The drama continues.