You know how I post the recitals, the soccer games, the report cards, the improved behavior, the milestones? Well, I get very few of those Big Finishes all for my very own self. Motherhood/Homemakerhood just has very little of those…clothes are getting dirty as I finish the last load in the hamper, food is being digested after I clean up from the last good meal, my good-handling of one kid situation happens while another arises. Not many “touchdowns” in my life, you know?
I have a nice Jennair oven. It’s large, gas, grill-top, stainless steel. It also has an electical control panel that breaks every 6-9 months, since it was new 4 years ago. When the buttons that say “Bake” and “Temp” and “End” break…you can’t use your oven at all, just in case you were wondering.
This is how it goes: I call Jennair, they send out THE EXACT SAME REPAIR GUY EVERY TIME to check it out, they report THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM EVERY TIME, order THE EXACT SAME PART EVERY TIME, they bring it to my house and replace it. The whole process takes 10-14 days. I have no oven and it’s annoying to come up with meals that I can cook on my range/bbq/crockpot. Do you realize how FEW desserts you can whip up without an oven? I do (ice cream, no bake cookies, peanut butters bars)….it’s a total tragedy around here.
Anyway the last time it happened, I got really angry when they said they were going to do the SAME repair. “It won’t work!” I said “Get me a new oven”. They told me if this fix didn’t work, they would.
So when my electrical panel failed (mid chicken-and-rice baking—I literally had to turn off the breaker to turn off my oven) this time, I happily skipped to my phone and called the direct number I’d been given in case this happened again.
The girl on the phone said they could either 1. repair the part again or 2. I could get a new oven….for the prorated cost of $800! (This is when I started Mormon swearing: “Are you FREAKING kidding me? Do you really think I’m going to pay you more money for your crappy products?!”)
Now. I have quite the Gift of Gab. It’s not always a good thing: sometimes I let slip family secrets (hello Kelsie!), talk too much in the back of a classroom, go on and on while I Enlighten my children about their behavior. But when it comes to stuff like this…I must admit: I’m kind of awesome. I should’ve been a lawyer.
So after I put down my “Oh No You Dih-nt!” homegirl finger, I asked to talk to a manager. I calmly explained that it was
a. not fair. The MONEY I gave them for my oven worked just fine and the oven they gave me in exchange didn’t. I told them I would think they’d be embarrassed for all the irritation and poor service their product had provided me and would want to rush to repair the wrong.
b. ludicrous to think I would want to give them another dime for their product that had served me so poorly in the past.
c. bad business sense. By the time they paid the repair guy parts and labor for the next 8 years, they would pay waaay more than $800. Plus, I told them I would spend a morning, going to every review site I could find on the internet to warn people aware from their poor products and poor customer service.
Great logic, right? Well the supervisor didn’t think so. Neither did his supervisor (though this one did tell me he’d feel the same way, if he were me.) So I said “I know that there is someone in your organization who can authorize this. I want the person over you, please.”
He said she was in a meeting and, to her credit, she called me back and we played phone tag over the weekend. Today, we finally got in touch. I gave her my list of reasons (see above). She put me on hold. She came back.
“Mrs. Romney. We have an administration/installation fee of $150 dollars. If you are willing to pay that, we will begin the process of ordering you a new oven.”
I agreed ($150 for a brand new oven without broken knobs, scratched and stained surfaces and a short-circuiting electrical panel? NO PROBLEM.)
So what have we learned here today?
1. Figure out whether you are really in the right; it was so much easier to do what I had to do because I knew it was only fair.
2. Talk through/write out you want to say ahead of time; I didn’t do this exactly, but man, by the time I got to manager #3, I had it DOWN.
3. ALWAYS ask to speak to a supervisor; like I said SOMEONE has the authority…you just have to find them.
4. Be willing to give…a little.
So that’s all. I’m just a little elated, and felt the need to share my triumph with my internet friends.
Anyone want some pumpkin cookies? I’m in the mood to bake.