I agree the instructions were pathetic, but once you see it, it is simple, so I will try to describe it to you. First, the elevator itself should already have snapped into place so it goes up and down freely. There is a box-like location that will allow it to go up and down freely.
Next, the string will need to be straightened out end-to-end all the way...there is no doubling of it anywhere. You will notice that each of the end pieces inserts into one side of the elevator or the other, top and bottom, and each end is different, so make a note of which one is which. Now from underneath, you will feed the bottom side of the string through the hole (roughly bottom left) that is the roughly the size of a quarter from underneath (I was purposefully redundant) the dollhouse and snap it into place. Run the excess underneath the dollhouse to the front through the little slot that is at the very bottom, about 1/2 inch to the left of the front column. Run the excess up the three guide holes that are directly in front of the left columns, up over the top of the roof, dropping down through the center hole into the elevator shaft, and snap the other connector into the top center of the elevator.
From there use the jewel to move it up and down, taking it out of the guide holes as necessary.
I will note that if you have any trouble getting the fireplace to work, there is a button directly behind the T.V. button that makes it work. The fireplace is probably detached from the wall, and snapping it back into place will make the T.V. button activate the fireplace. If you GENTLY pull the top of the fireplace forward, you can see there are two hooks on the back wall. Re-seat the fireplace on them by gently pushing back until they click and you will be all set.
My 5-year old got this from Santa this morning, and she is loving it. Merry Christmas.
The contact info is on the front page of the instructions inside a box, with a thick black band, that says "service.mattel.com". The number listed there for the US and Canada is (800) 524-8697 M-F 9 AM-7 PM of Saturday 11 AM-5 PM. These are Eastern Time.
It's been nothing but a nightmare so far. My grandfather is the former head of R&D for major aircraft manufacturer. If something is broken, he can fix it period. So far he has been working on the assembly for over an hour. Quit simpley put, some of the plastic pieces just dont fit.
Take some sand paper to the elevator top (the hard plastic) and sand the edges that interfere with the 2nd and 3rd floors. it then goes up and down easily. This thing is definitely "built to a cost" as some have already suggested.
You will need to take the roof off at least to get the elevator back in if the house is assembled. Lood carefully at the ends of the string used to raise and lower the eleveator and attche them to the corresponding shapes at the top an bottom of the elevator. This will be a little more difficult with the house fully assembled but still doable.
Thank you to U4IC61 as that was very helpful in putting together the elevator. The instructions for this piece are pathetic as provided by the manufacturer. I am not sure why writing instructions is so difficult. The instructions basically are pictures and tell you which floor to work with next. Just awful. Thankfully my daughter loves the toy.