Monday, October 4, 2010

Never Come Between A Baker and Her Oven

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?

Except today.

Picture 197

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.”

OH yeah.

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.


Annie said...

Touchdown is right! Go you!!
I'm going to have to channel you the next time I have to have a Difficult Conversation with corporate America. They won't know what hit them.

Cami said...

Excellent, excellent!

Elizabeth said...

Such great advice! You should be proud for handling this as you did and Yay you for getting the right outcome (a new oven).
My oven at present has no door... can I come cook on your new one? Ta.

the wrath of khandrea said...

we are cut from the same cloth. there is ALWAYS someone higher up you can speak to. we have earned many an airline voucher this way.

i know you will put this fabulous oven to good use with your outstanding cooking skills. i am sad that i don't live close enough to invite myself over to eat.

Tristan said...

A BIG congratulations on that one!! Way to go!! I bow down to your stubborness ;-)

mandy* said...

Nice, Jessica!!!!

jessica said...

I love taking it to the next level...but only when I know I am right. You Go Girl!

Lindsey said...

We would be tight. I am just like you, and I will fight for my rights. :) PS- It sounds like you needed to borrow jessica's Deep Covered Baker. You can put ANYTHING (even a cake) in it and cook it in the mirco wave. It will revolutionize your life. Serious. I love it. Think about it.

Brooke said...

Way to go! Yes, You can just mail some pumpkin cookies my way. JK

Lauren in GA said...

Jessica, you are completely awesome. I love how you calmly and firmly confounded them with all of your factual and intelligent arguments.

...and I love this post because I actually belly laughed when I read about you putting down your, "Oh no you Dih-nt!" homegirl finger. That finger rears itself around here, too.

Margaret said...

Woot you go girl!!!

Rochelleht said...

You rock. 'nuff said.

Annemarie said...

Touch.Down. Way to go!

Kirbell said...

Yes, a triumph! So proud of you. AND I think you'd make a fab lawyer.

elizabeth scott said...

Hmmmm..... Now I know who to call to help me in my important negotiation situations! Way to get a new oven!I heard you had a nice visit with G and G Romney. I think I might be visiting soon.

Shopper Gal said...

I can just see you waving that finger at that phone, "Oh snap, no you didn't just tell me I was paying $800 large!". You my friend, are hilarious! Way to go on getting to the 3rd manager and a new non-busted oven on the way :)

Come and use mine anytime, seriously. I wouldn't be opposed to eating all of your delicious treats!!!