Monday, June 20, 2011

Customer Service Is Dead

         Electrolux Appliances:  These look like mine.  They Suck.

I recently purchased an entire set of new appliances for the new kitchen my husband and I created in what had been my MIL's living room. 

I bought the appliances from a client; a small retailer who specializes in a wide variety of appliance choices, custom installation, customer service.  I needed a d/w, m/w, range, refrigerator.  In this day and age, the manufacturer likes to sell in groups of 3, 4 and 5.  They offer rebates as an incentive.  In my case, I'd settled on three brands:  GE Cafe, Bosch, Electrolux.  The price, after rebate/discount...neglible. 

I rejected going to a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe's because:
  1. Small retailer client who spent $$ with me over the years.
  2. Buy local.
  3. Figured he'd guide me straight & take care of me if there were issues.
    (you know where this is going)
My client/retailer wouldn't commit to one brand over another but when he told me "Electrolux has great customer service and Bosch doesn't" then added the Electrolux d/w was the "greenest d/w on the market".  That made up my mind.

The sales order reads 9/18/10.  I have a few months left til my ONE YEAR WARRANTY is over.  My order took weeks to deliver and a few more to install.  The refrigerator had cold spots.  My produce and other foodstuffs were freezing if they were at the rear of the fridge; costing me money in ruined food.  Two service visits & an installation later, it's working okay.

The microwave handle broke off several months ago.  It took that long to get the replacement part.

The dual fuel range is the best of the four appliances but the gas burners have required adjustment several times.  Right now, the gas flame coming out of the smaller burner is uneven at best.  It snuffs out continually and the propane gas leak is palpable if I don't catch it.

The dishwasher has been a disaster from the get-go.  The one I originally ordered was unavailable so my retailer "upgraded" me to one he could get.  It doesn't clean my dishes.  I find myself wiping food stuff, grounds, etc from my glasses, dishes, etc.  No, not all but I consider an ongoing task to wipe out or re-wash any dishes a failure.  I've been complaining since November and asking for a new model since March.

My retail guy/client has continually turned over the issues to his"customer service" person.  She's repeatedly told me I should "go direct to Electrolux".  Today we got into it and I accused her of "foot dragging and indifference".  Here's her response:
"Sorry that you feel that way, but I am working according to protocol by Bay Street Discount and Electrolux. I would love to do things differently, but am instructed to do them a certain way. I didn't contact you to follow up because I was told by Electrolux they were going to handle this issue from here and my job was done. Not my fault Electrolux didn't follow up with you.  Hopefully you can see where I am coming from and that Electrolux needs to make this right at this point."
I've been a salesperson for 30+ years and I've never crafted a note like that.  Seriously.  I bend over backward  to keep my clients happy, particularly when they are spending big bucks.  I'm in touch with Electrolux and I'll handle this myself from now on.



Unknown said...

OMG!! The LG dishwasher I bought the day after Thanksgiving and didn't get delivery on until January 18 is the worst, THE WORST, dishwasher I have ever owned. It was a low water sensor that stops the machine if there's the slightest dip in pressure, or if you don't load the racks just so. I took dishes out of it last week that looked like they had never been put into a dishwasher! Plastic containers? Fuhgeddaboutit! Greasy. I've tussled with CS and they will happily send someone out, but if it isn't a manufacturing defect, I will have to pay an enormous service call fee. Finally, in frustration, I found the name of the CEO of LG America and wrote him a letter. It will probably get me nowhere, but it felt good writing it.

I hate the damn thing and will never buy another LG appliance. We're remodeling our kitchen in a few months and we found a beautiful GE Profile double wall oven on clearance (display model) for less than $1500...half the original price. The only thing different between it and the new model is the new one has a bright blue inside (woo-hoo) and the handles are slightly different. I've always had good luck with GE appliances and will stick with them in the future.

I guess Kelly Ripa is a big fat liar.

Tanna said...

Doesn't that just burn you up? I have an Electrolux range, too, and have had numerous issues. I did buy mine from Lowe's; so have dealt directly with Electrolux straight through... not much better than Bay Street Discount. Grrrrrr! Hope you get your issues resolved soon. I finally did.

#1Nana said...

My new microwave handle broke a month after installation. Unfortunately it was no longer under warrenty because it took my husband over a year to get around to installing it! BTW my new Bosch dishwasher cleans great and is very quiet...its downside is that the shelf dividers don't fit bowls and glasses.

Good luck!

Betsy Brock said...

Ugh. That is awful! I have a GE dishwasher and I've sworn we will never have another. Like you, I'm always picking off food and rinsing crumbs out of the glasses. And we paid extra for the 'extra quiet' model and it was louder than the previous one!

Too bad you didn't get better service from someone you knew. I agree...who treats people like that? Seems she would bend over backwards since you trusted her. Ugh.

Brian Miller said...

ugh. well she could have, minimally, communicated that...but there is so much left on the table she could have done...uncool...

DJan said...

This really does sound like a disaster. Thanks for making sure I NEVER EVER have an Electrolux anything in my house! Sheesh...

ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! C.G.,
Wow! That sounds like a living kitchen "nightmare"...Kitchen Disaster 101...
...I have never experience that situation before, but my parents, have well, not to your degree...
Therefore, I hope that everything works out for you, and I'm quite sure once you, take charge Of the situation everything will be straighten out!
deedee :-/
[By the way, the painting by Paul Cumes, kind Of, looks Van "Gogh-ish."]

The Silver Fox said...

What a freakin' mess! Keep going further and further upward on the Electrolux "food chain" until you get results!

I'm really good at this, having worked in many retail establishments and customer service departments over the years. Don't back down!

Unknown said...

You have every right to be angry. I'm not in sales, but I would call her supervisor!

Captain Dumbass said...

Alright, scratching Electrolux off the list.

Nancy said...

I feel your pain. We live in a house with very high-end Thermadore appliances and the d/w is a nightmare. I have to literally wash all the dishes and they still come out with food stuck to them. I've had better luck with Jenn-Aire appliances at the Lake, but the oven has already had work - less than a year after buying it. I think all of these things are manufactured in China, regardless of where they say they are from.

Ice Queen said...

Wait...I'm confused.

Don't people buy dishwashers so they don't have to wash their dishes???

Did I miss something? I think it's time to call Kelly Rippa and tell her how you feel. Surely she can make this right!

Megan said...

LOL I'm still dreaming of the day I get a KitchenAid mixer. Let alone anything else. :)

Baino said...

It's much the same here. I have bought appliances from The Good Guys who are still going strong in Aus and bought extended warranties but when something goes wrong, and it doesn't seem to matter what the appliance is, they refer you straight to the manufacturer and don't want a bar of it. Very frustrating.

The Silver Fox said...

There are, unfortunately, several reasons why in SOME cases complaints have to be taken up with the manufacturers and not the retail seller. Often there are rules set down by the manufacturers themselves. Having said that, there's an across-the-board apathy here which, as I wrote earlier, demands correction by someone. Good luck.

California Girl said...

Susan, hate to say it but I hear nothing but negative things about LG. They make a nice looking product, but then, so does Electrolux.

Tanna, I'd like to hear more re: your ability to resolve the range problems w/ Electrolux.

#1Nana, you must name names! Your story sounds like a sitcom a la' Everybody Loves Raymond or The Middle or any family comedy.

Betsy, a GE d/w...I wonder if Kitchen Aid still makes the best d/w. Bosch is touted as the best. Quiet? Ours is so quiet we frequently open the door not knowing it's on. Maybe that's part of the problem.

Brian, hence my post title.

DJan, may I quote you in one of my emails to Electrolux?

DeeDee, from your lips...
Yes, Paul Cumes has very strong influences but they're more along the lines of Picasso & Matisse. He just moved from Santa Barbara to Rhode Island. He's in for a shock.

Foxy, I won't. I just have to stay calm and that, for me, is difficult.

Emille, AS for calling the supervisor of the idiot at the retail level, already have. He's my ex-client. Now I'm his ex-customer but he has MY money.

Capt: That's my goal, to get people to avoid Electrolux.

Nancy, Thermador too! What is this world coming to? Do we all have to shell out for $8000 ranges & $12000 refrigerators and $2000 d/w to get something that works? (No, not what I paid...I'm thinking Sub Zero, Viking) or should we acquiesce, buy what looks good and live with the consequences? Or should we just try to find old fashioned straight appliances w/o computers etc?

Ice Queen, I would so love to somehow reach Kelly Ripa and tell her she's fronting for a manufacturer whose product doesn't live up to the hype.

Megan, I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and I love it as much as anything in my kitchen. They make a great food processor too.

Helen, years ago my husband was a consultant to Circuit City back in the days when they were still family owned and had tremendous service. He said it was a top priority with them. After they took the company public and started looking to cut costs, service personnel were out the door. Circuit City, a once great company, is no more. They filed Chap. 11 which eventually went to Chap 7 a few years back.

Foxy, this is what my retailer claims but my husband, once a retailer himself in the consumer electronics field, said he always interceded on behalf of his customer.

Pat Tillett said...

To me, it's not so much that there are problems, it's how they are handled. I LOVE to use local and small retailers and contractors. Sometimes though, the stability and resources of a big box feels more safe. I'm torn...
Sorry about all this mess you had.