The Customer Service Professional… what?

On Tuesday of this week I decided to use some free time for home repair projects. A couple of years ago we replaced both a bathroom and kitchen faucet with lovely to look at Home Depot products that cost much more for a plumber to install than the units themselves cost. It did not take long for one Pegasus faucet plastic soap pump dispenser to fail and a fancy Delta kitchen faucet to leak. To add to the water issue based misery, a Cuisinart coffee grinder/maker began leaking water when pre-set overnight, so we stopped using that feature and made the coffee fresh each morning. It still leaked.

Call #1 was to Pegasus, who could not have been more cordial. When I could not identify the model of the faucet, they asked me to email a photo, recognized the item while still on the phone, and after searching their database for the part (out of stock) decided just to send me a new soap dispenser to match what I had. No question was ever asked when or where it was purchased. When I mentioned I had another issue with a Delta faucet from Home Depot she said Delta could handle that directly and connected me with them on the same call.

Delta was as customer service oriented as Pegasus (a brand name of Home Depot). I identified the faucet and explained there was a leak and asked if there was a fix. Delta never asked where or when I bought the product… they identified a cartridge replacement that would fix it, assured me I would not need a plumber to install it, and had it sent out in the mail the same day.

Both of these calls took a total of 15 minutes and I was knocked out by how helpful both reps were.

Flush with the success of this I called Cuisinart and very politely explained the leaking coffee maker situation. I had looked on line and leaks in these machines were quite common with various solutions suggested. So I asked the male customer service professional for some help for a fix. All Cuisinart wanted to know was the serial number, and once given the helpful rep explained “that is unit is over four years old and the warranty is three years… we do not do repairs, we just replace units, so I cannot replace this one as it out of warranty”.

Translation (as if one is needed): “This is a cheap product made in China, it made it through the short period we expected it to before failing, go buy another one”. No matter how I tried to explain to the rep how two other companies had just handled a similar problem, and if the life span of their products is this short that I would never buy another Cuisinart product ever again, the “customer service” professional was unmoved.

I then sent them an email comparing their service with the two other companies; I asked only for some solutions to repair the unit I had (which cost the same as each of the two faucets did) and to offer me something to keep me buying Cuisinart products. The next day response can be broken down to “sorry, you are out of warranty”.

Three companies. Two completely different results. Pegasus and Delta actually “wowed” me with their customer service. Cuisinart was a lot like dealing with US Air (see the blog piece “US Air’s attempt to End Bankruptcy, $419.80 at a time”).

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