Monday, 26 November 2012

The worst customer service experience ever

Finally a full fridge after two months!
Before you read this post, please read my original post and the update about our Kitchenaid fridge. 

A few days after I posted the last update, the lady from Whirlpool Executive office (  Let's call her WEO lady because I don't want to give out her real name on a public forum. I am still nice even though she was very rude. I found it interesting that when I googled her name, I found two other blog posts by unhappy Whirlpool customers complaining about her attitude and Whirlpool customer service )called again with a new offer. Her new offer was to give us a different model  (not a built-in so it is cheaper) for more reasonable price, approximately the amount of money it would have cost us to repair the fridge had they had the parts. R and I decided to take the offer. Some friends suggested that we should ask them to reimburse money for the spoiled food and the inconvenience. We didn't because 1) I simply don't have the energy or time for more negotiation 2) The offer seemed like a reasonable one.

We have requested multiple times for a  similar deal from the beginning. Both their customer service managers and the WEO lady  said no every time we asked.  When I talked to WEO lady just a few day before, she said paying them $3000 for a built-in fridge was the only deal they were willing to offer.

So why did Whirlpool/Kitchenaid change its mind?  I never asked the rude WEO lady. I think my blog/Facebook posts and the comments from friends and strangers on Kitchenaid Facebook page helped change their minds. Ellen Roseman from Toronto Star also said that she would ask her contacts at Whirlpool about our case. I don't know if she did or not because I didn't hear back from her. But, if she did talk to Whirlpool, I am sure it also helped the case.

So what is the lesson learned here?

For consumers:
  • Don't give up. If we had accepted their first offer, we would have paid $5000!
  • Trust the power of social media and your friends!  You can use it to let the world know about the issue. You will also receive a lot of helpful feedback from others who have been thru similar situations.
For businesses and other organizations
  •  Listen to your customers. If Kitchenaid/Whirlpool had offered their final deal a month ago, I would have posted a really nice update about them on my Facebook wall and be done with it.
  • Trust the power of social media!  Even people without one million followers can use social media to spread their concerns. There are many other examples of regular people using social media to get actions. You should use social media not only to inform your customers about your products and services but also to listen to your customers' concerns.
I would like to thank all my friends, family and strangers who have commented, liked or privately replied to  my posts about  Kitchenaid woes both on my wall and on Kitchenaid Canada's wall. I think your response helped  Whirlpool/Kitchenaid listen to our concerns.

If anyone want to hire me as a social media consultant, let me know!  

Nov 26 Update

I wrote this post on Nov 1. But, I didn't want to post it until the fridge was delivered.  We paid for the replacement fridge on Oct 30. At that time the WEO lady said it would take them two to three weeks to have the fridge delivered.  I didn't hear anything from them for two weeks. After two weeks and three more phone calls to Whirlpool customer service, finally they told me that they have contracted the delivery to a company called Returntrax. Finally someone from Returntrax called and told the fridge would be delivered the next Tuesday (Nov 13). Tuesday came and gone. The fridge wasn't delivered. I called Returntrax. The  lady at Returntrax said that she meant Wednesday and not Tuesday. I had a meeting on Wednesday. So I had to rush home after the meeting to wait for the delivery. The delivery guys came, looked at the refrigerator and said that they wouldn't be able to remove the old fridge because the built-in fridge is much bigger and he didn't have the proper dolly. He claimed that he wasn't told that he was removing a built-in fridge. And since he couldn't remove the old fridge he couldn't install the new fridge. After more calls to Returntrax and Whirlpool, they told me that I have to wait one more week.  WEO lady was still very rude. She said that she couldn't do anything else other than apologizing. Whirlpool and Returntrax blamed each other for not bringing in the proper dolly to remove the old fridge.

So, It is Monday Nov 26th, and there are five people here. Two came to remove the old fridge, two to bring in the new fridge and another guy to install the new fridge. Let's hope that I'll have a new fridge in an hour.

So it took more than two months, TWO MONTHS to resolve the issue.  We will stay away from Whirlpool or Kitchenaid appliances( or any other brand owned by Whirlpool) when we need to buy new appliances in the future.  If you don't want to deal with similar customer service nightmare, I would strongly suggest you look for other brands when you are in the market for major appliances. I'll also try my best to other consumers about this experience.

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